Soi New Plaza is perhaps a little less well known than some of the main nightspots in Pattaya but it is gaining in popularity. For those of you who do not know where it is located, you’ll find it opposite Soi 8 on Second Road.
It runs inland, connecting Second Road to Soi Buakhao, and it attracts a decent amount of footfall from people bar hopping from sois 7&8 to the cheaper inland bars.
One of the things that I most like about Soi New Plaza, other than the cheap beer prices, is that it offers a slightly different sort of vibe to other Pattaya nightlife hotspots. On occasion there is actually a sense of community here...
That sense of community is most apparent during the Christmas & New Year period when the bars that line both sides of the soi all work together by organizing a street party.
Neon decorations are strewn from one bar over to the next and a single DJ/disco set up is organized to entertain the patrons. It gives the place the feel of one big venue rather than a collection of smaller venues fighting each other for customers.
The soi has long been known as a “Cheap Charlie” destination due to the lower price of drinks here. I can confirm that the drinks are a little lower in price, especially compared to what you find in the Coyote bars and a-go-go bars in town, but you won't notice too much difference with the standard beer bar prices across the road on sois 7&8.
If you were to do an average price check across all venues on Soi New
Plaza compared to all venues on any other soi, then I guess that you'd
find a significant price difference, but that's more because of the lack
of Coyote bars and a-go-go bars here than anything else.
This is a relatively quiet soi
with beer bars only... and a few food outlets.
The standard price for a small beer (330ml) is about 55-65 baht depending on your favourite brand, and that is more or less the same amount that is asked in most other simple beer bars around town with the exception being Walking Street.
Walking Street remains noticeably more expensive...
If you are
especially price conscious then there are some bars on Soi
Buakhao that are noticeably cheaper. The Katesiree bar and a few others
offer the big 660ml bottles for something like 70 baht, or you could just buy beer from a 7-11 store because drinking on the street is legal in Thailand.
Never the less, whether or not the perceived cost savings on Soi New Plaza are real or imagined, this place does have the reputation of being a Cheap Charlie destination and that is reflected quite a lot in terms of the customers that frequent the area.
A sizable proportion of the 'digital nomads' in town (as well as a sizable share of Pattaya's poverty stricken expats) spend a disproportionately large amount of their nights out on this soi.
You also tend to see more people drinking with their Thai wives and girlfriends here and, to be honest, the local talent with regard to bar girls is not the best that Pattaya has to offer. There are one or two bars employing some attractive ladies as you get closer to Soi Buakhao, but the busier half of the Soi is closer to Second Road, and there aren’t too many hotties working there.
You'll also only rarely see guys who have bar-fined
a young stunner and brought her for a beer on the plaza... and if you
do she'll likely give off the impression of feeling a bit like a fish out of
water. Image matters for these girls and they expect to be seen in the
glitzy expensive bars rather than slumming it with baht stretchers on Soi Cheap Charlie...
I think that the high proportion of older long-term visitors and expats that you find here probably explains, to some extent, the increased sense of community in this nightspot. You get the impression that more of the patrons know each other.
As I indicated, the bars themselves are fairly typical of the standard beer-bar complex set-ups that you see all over Pattaya, but the half of the soi that is closest to Second Road is slightly different.
You’ll find a long central island that divides the road in two, and the bars located on that central island tend to be slightly cheaper than the bars to each side of it. They also get a bit more custom due to their central location. Some of the most popular bars are:
If you enjoy a game of Pool, or any of the standard bar games in Thailand then you’ll find plenty of options on the central island, and all of the three bars that I've mentioned have these facilities available.
If you want to stop for a bite to eat, then many of the bars on the side of the road are also restaurants, and a few of them are popular choices for an English breakfast in the morning.
At night there is a regular flow of mobile street food vendors passing through Soi New Plaza and some of them cater to western tastes. There's a pastry vendor that sells pasties, pies, and sausage rolls at cheap prices, and the quality is good.
The Pattaya girls who work on the soi seem to buy a lot of their meals from the mobile vendors, and they usually take up seating in their bars to eat those meals - you can take that as a sign that you too will be welcome to eat the food you buy at one of the bars tables. You'll need to buy your drinks from the bar of course.
There’s a good range of proper food outlets to choose from including a
Kebab/Pizza shop, a good Thai restaurant on the corner of Second Road
called ‘Yiam Restaurant’, a coffee shop, Hot Dogs & Burgers and two
Indian restaurants to choose from. For English food aficionados, there's
also a good Fish and Chips shop...
At the Soi Buakhao end of the plaza there's the imaginatively named 'Take Away' restaurant that has a decent reputation for western food. Despite the name it is not a take-away, but it does have plenty of seating available.
All in all, Soi New Plaza is a decent place, it’s well worth a visit and it seems to be getting better as time passes by.
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