Typical Pattaya Beach girls are, for the most part, amongst the most unfortunate of the working girls that you will set eyes upon in Thailand. They are at the bottom of the status ladder, less attractive, and not capable of getting work in a good bar or agogo.
There are exceptions to this rule, with some girls preferring the freedom offered by freelance sex work compared to the formal employment offered by the bars, but they are relatively few in number.
Some of the beach road girls are really not attractive at all and they look a little like they’re only one step away from reverting to outright begging. There are quite a lot of them too, despite ongoing efforts by the authorities to remove them!
Beach Road is also a popular hangout with ladyboys but you really shouldn’t go anywhere near them as there is a significant threat posed in terms of theft, assault and/or being drugged; check out the video below for more info.
I'm wandering off track a little, but if you see a street beggar with a baby, please don't give any cash to him/her. It is not impossible that the beggar is not the baby's parent, but has kidnapped the poor thing for the purpose of begging - such things really do happen!
Getting back on track, Pattaya beach girls tend to have fewer options in front of them and are more likely to accept the advances of men that the other girls wouldn't accept. That goes both ways, the typical customer tends to be unwilling to pay the prices that the other girls demand.
For some reason, darker skinned men are not seen by the girls in Pattaya as being as desirable as fairer skinned men. I'm not sure why that is, I think it's some sort of cultural thing. Even the girls see themselves as being more or less attractive based on their own skin tone.
I suspect that the attitude towards darker skin is something to do with the nature of low-paid outdoor work; if you do have to accept such work, the sun will darken your skin, which may be perceived as running hand-in-hand with poverty.
This is how darker skin used to be perceived in the UK at one time… I can only assume the weather was much better back in those days! In any case, the beach girls will usually accept the advances of those guys that the other girls might refuse.
Another common aspect of dealing with a Pattaya beach girl, unlike other working girls in Pattaya, is that she may have a gentleman manager who will need paying. This being Thailand, that manager might be someone you really don't want to mess around with.
That guy could also be her boyfriend; he might even be the girl's husband!
Once the customer has sorted out the necessaries with the manager, assuming she has one, he can depart with his girl. He might not depart very far.... at night it is not unknown for services to be performed on the beach!
It’s your choice but I recommend that you at least find a hotel room to keep things private – or risk upsetting the local law enforcement.
Despite frequent prostitution crackdowns by the local police, freelance hookers on Beach Road remain a fixture. They are concentrated on the stretch of road that runs along the main beach for about a kilometer from Pattaya Klang (Central Road) to Walking Street.
The presence/absence of these ladies at any given time sort of acts like a barometer for the authorities’ current tolerance level for prostitution.
The first working-girls that get targeted by the government movement to clean up Pattaya’s image are those girls who are most overtly soliciting their services to tourists. Pattaya beach girls are about as visible as it gets, and hence the focus on stopping them.
I remain unconvinced that any of the current policies to clean up Pattaya and the reputation that it enjoys suffers will have much success.
Now, I’ve no idea what the current penalty for suspected soliciting of sexual services is, but apart from rare occasions when the streets are literally devoid of working-girls because of a large temporary police presence on the scene, the number of freelance hookers working there is just as high today as ever.
Video footage exists on YouTube from way back in August 2011 showing how Pattaya beach girls (and ladyboys) have been targeted to little or no effect. At the time of the video, the fine for loitering and suspected prostitution was a mere 100 THB.
That’s not exactly a career-altering penalty...
Of course, the current Thai government was not in power at the time of the footage above, and there’s no doubt that the latest push to clean things up is much more determined than anything that we’ve seen before.
Ultimately, I suspect that things will change and that the Pattaya we all know and love will eventually be consigned to history... but then again I’ve been making this premonition of doom for a while now.
As already alluded to, the guys who go after the Pattaya beach girls are amongst the least fortunate guys in terms of financial resources. Prices for company are certainly lower than in the bars and clubs, and there is a certain section of the expat community that likes to stretch a baht.
Some of these guys will wander around the bars looking for balloons (which indicates that it’s someone’s birthday and that there will be some free food to be had). I’ve also been in bars where some western toe-rag has been freeloading off other tourists, and when his turn to buy the drinks came up he refused (deservedly earning himself some street justice).
Other guys refuse to pay the extra few baht for a beer from a bar, and instead will head to a seven-eleven store to buy beer. Obviously you can’t drink those beers in a bar, so they’ll head to the coconut bar (colloquial name for Beach Road on account of the palm trees there) where they can drink.
Whilst there they’ll hook up with the girls there to save a few baht more (no barfine to pay and cheaper prices for company).
It’s these sorts of westerners that tend to give the worst impression of the west in Thai minds. They sometimes end up homeless, penniless, overstaying their visas, dressed in rags, unclean, etc.
There was even a Dutch fellow at one time, albeit in Bangkok rather than Pattaya, who used to beg on the streets with a sign reading that he needed to raise money for a flight home. People would donate generously but the guy never left, and he presumably never intended to leave.
It was almost certainly a con that was intended to fund his life in Thailand. No one knows what became of him, one day he just disappeared…
Other than the dregs of western society, the street-hookers also get a large amount of custom from visitors that hail from poorer countries. Indian guys can often be seen in groups, of anywhere from two to a dozen or more, negotiating with Pattaya beach girls.
The aim there being that bargaining for pleasures in bulk might further reduce individual costs per participant...
There are several safety concerns that you should be extra careful of when dealing with the freelance hookers on Beach Road. First of all, if you stay with one of these ladies all night you can easily wake up the next morning alone and with missing valuables, because there is no way to trace these ladies and no return address to which you can register a complaint.
This is especially risky if you are drunk when you hook up with the girl. You probably won't get robbed, but it could happen so just be aware of the risk.
Even if you are sober and arrange for a short-time liaison you can still wake up robbed the next morning. It is not unheard of for these ladies to spike your drink with something that will knock you out for hours. You then wake up with a nasty headache and no cash or valuables in your room…
Another risk which I think is a particular concern with beach girls relates to sexually transmitted diseases. Since these girls are working freelance, they are not subject to the same testing that other girls are.
This can be a bit misleading and it might get you thinking that you are safe from such things if you stick with girls from reputable bars.
No such luck, whilst some bars do periodically require a certificate to show that their girls are clear of infection, most do not insist that the actual disease testing is done on the premises.
The problem with that is that it is very easy in Pattaya for the girls to go and get a fake certificate at the cost of a few hundred baht! Caution on this one needs to be exercised at all times.
Yet another risk comes with the shady characters that you might run up against. Whilst the girls have no attachment to any bars or other establishments with fixed premises, they do often have an attachment to drugs, and to some dangerous guys who supply the drugs and pimp the girls out.
If you were to inadvertently upset one of the girls, which is easily done if she is loaded up on meth-amphetamines or who knows what, you might end up being visited by someone whose positive characteristic traits do not include reason or self-restraint!
There are an alarming number of western guys who have been fished out of the sea the morning after a bad night...
For anyone who just wants to see some sights and have some cheap thrills, there's usually plenty of stuff going on to keep people interested. There's even a bikini beach run from time to time...
You make Beach Road sound like a den of iniquity; is it really all that bad?
Not at all; the best hotels in Pattaya are found on the Beachfront and some of them are of a very high standard… even the Hilton hotel group have built a very impressive hotel there and I don’t think anyone would call that a den of iniquity.
If you want to avoid the working girls the best area is to the northern end of the bay, the beach is a little better there too.
Why do the police arrest working-girls on Beach Road but not the bars?
This is an interesting question with no clear answer to it. I think that the most likely reason probably has something to do with the image that these ladies portray of the area. The bar girls do actually serve drinks, collect bottles, and so on, so they don’t loiter around in the same way.
When the bar closes they either go to a disco or they go home, assuming they haven’t already gone to someone else’s home.
For some reason the police don’t get involved with the bar scene and it may also be due to the fact that there are fewer complaints to the police about girls met in bars i.e. they aren’t going to rob you in the same way that a beach girl might because you’ll easily be able to track them down, so they don’t pose the same problem.
You said that Pattaya beach girls work on the streets because they can’t get jobs in the bars and gogo’s, but I’ve heard that some bars have tried to recruit girls from Beach Road, is your information up-to-date?
I said that they can’t get jobs in good beer bars and gogo bars, but it’s a good point.
As Thailand develops and becomes a richer country with a wider range of employment opportunities, there’s a declining proportion of girls, each year, that come to Pattaya to work in the naughty nightlife industry.
That means that there is fierce competition amongst the bars to attract the best looking girls to come and work in their bars. Some bars struggle to get any girls at all to work for them and it is these bar owners that are starting to try new methods of attracting employees – e.g. asking ladies to work for them that at one time they would not have wanted anywhere near their business premises.
From what I hear it has not been a particularly successful recruitment drive and most have failed in their attempts. Part of the problem is that there are just too many beer bars in the city, there are literally thousands of them but, even in Pattaya, there are only so many girls to go around.
It sounds a bit like beach girls are a unique category of working girls, don’t other areas of Pattaya get these freelance working girls?
There are other areas that have these sorts of girls working the streets but not to the same degree. You might notice some girls hanging around just about anywhere, but not in any great numbers.
You can get a proposition just about anywhere in Pattaya…
I’ve even been asked by a motorbike taxi man if I’d like a massage… and this is in a place where there is a massage shop every 200 meters or so!
The girls on Beach Road are there from early afternoon until late at night. In other areas you only tend to see street workers late in the night.
You mentioned that Pattaya beach girls sometimes perform their acts on the beach; isn’t that a little too out in the open, what if they get caught?
Yes, it is crazy to get involved in this sort of thing and you will be prosecuted if you get caught. It seems that some people either enjoy the risk element or they get too drunk to make a sensible decision but, whatever the case may be, it is a bad idea to have any kind of illicit interaction in public.
I’ve tried to make clear that having any kind of contact with Pattaya beach girls at all is a bad idea but this would be one step further into the realm of lunacy. The Thais find the whole sex scene in Pattaya to be much too out-in-the-open at the best of times, and there is a real effort being made by the authorities to clean things up.
If you get arrested you might end up in a prison where you can wait months just for your case to get to trial. That would months in a really bad place, and it’d probably cost you your job back home as well as all sorts of other grief, so don’t be silly.
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