Pattaya clubs: insomnia, marine, 808, gogo girls at freelance prices?

Many a disappointed punter has found himself empty handed at 3am. However all is not lost. Closing times of 12-1 am (Soi 6) to 3-4am (Walking Street and Soi LK Metro gogo bars) mean that even if you arrive at 4.30 or 5am you have a chance of finding a girl at an attractive price in some of the clubs (which Thais tend to call discos) on Walking Street. After all many of the ladies to be found in the clubs go there after they have finished working in the bar. During one visit in December we found ourselves chatting with some ladies from a well-known Walking Street bar, and ended up dancing and drinking until it was already light outside, hitting the New York diner next door for breakfast before heading to our room with some new found company. You will also find a number of “normal” girls in Pattaya clubs, as well as sideline girls and ladies from the beer bars who are out socialising with friends and not actively trying to pick up.

Timing is often important. If you are going bear in mind when ladies finish their other jobs. Soi 6 bars typically close by 1.00 am or slightly afterwards meaning girls make their way to clubs by 1.30 or 2am. Lately the gogo bars have been staying open until 4am for high season though this has become somewhat arbitrary and can be anytime from 3am onwards. This means that taking into account changing into street clothes, eating, redoing make up you may need to wait until 4.30 or 5am, and if you are unlucky, you might not have any chances by leaving things that late, except to find a freelancer from beach road, a beer bar, late night massage parlour or elsewhere, which can be a somewhat dire proposition. Different clubs also have different times when they are “hot”. Flexx for example stays open well into the morning, so when the clubs go “lights on” at 6am, the afterparty is at Flexx.

Ibar/insomnia (ibar is downstairs, insomnia upstairs) operates a “no ladyboy” policy however Marine in particular is known for the large number of kathoeys to be found inside. As the saying goes, buyer beware. As with any club anywhere, there may be different types of crowds on different days. 808 attracts the hip/hop crowd. Indian venues like RAAS and Nashaa focus on that specific clientele and their local tastes in music. Somedays the club may have a high proportion of males compared to females. This is a problem worldwide and not unique to Pattaya, but at least in Pattaya you have a chance of evening the odds in your favour by splashing some cash.

Prices in the clubs vary. As we have mentioned in our article on Hollywood Pattaya, -or- How to piss away money  some are better value than others. Expect to give a tip of at least 20 baht to your server regardless of whether you are buying a bottle of Black Label or a small Chang beer. Pier is also notorious for its pricing and pushy staff in terms of tips expected. Some punters have reported forking out 100 baht for a visit to the bathroom! Ridiculous and vote with your feet by not visiting. Anything more than 120-130 for a beer is starting to get a bit much even before taking into account the tip making it 150 baht for a beer that costs 40 baht at 7-11. Typically, buying a bottle and mixers or a beer tower is the best value over buying individual drinks or cocktails, although you will probably be asked to buy shots for staff regardless of what you choose to order for yourself and your group.

The music in the clubs also varies from live bands in Lucifer to typical doof doof club music in insomnia, to Indian music in RAAS. Most people dont go there for the music anyway. It is usually worth a shot to take the barfine out of the equation, get gogo quality girls at beer prices. Of course the star girls generally are barfined most nights so are rarely to be seen there alone, usually they already have company.

If you are interested more in Western style live music there are a number of spots like Rolling Live and Stones House that have popped up on Walking Street in recent years. The quality varies from moderate to good, but if you feel like drunkenly belting out rock classics then it is a good option, and you can often meet Thai girls in these spots as well, although the live music pubs shut a little earlier, usually 2 or 3am in general.

An advantage to visiting the Walking Street clubs is that all types of employees and even normal girls are there in one spot, from gogos to beer bars to massage to sideliners. It saves you having to jump around from place to place looking for what you want.

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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