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The lost bars of Pattaya

Pattaya is arguably the center of commercial sex worldwide. The city may not contain the highest number of prostitutes on earth. But I don’t know of another single place where so many people from so many various parts of the world converge mainly in order to purchase sex or sexual services of one kind or another.

Even package tour groups from places like China and India descending on the seaside town in recent years visit places like the Tiffany ladyboy shows. Side trips with busloads of men pull into the soapy massage parlors on a regular basis. Some of the women from these groups even engage in their own sex tourism.

Walking Street in Pattaya

Still Pattaya was clearly in some sort of transition even before the pandemic began in 2020. As early as 2016 large condos were springing up around the area with family tourists from countries like Russia showing up to enjoy such wonders as the beautiful beach and the amazing wonders of Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.

At the very least there was a sort of tug of war going on. It was like a battle of new and old with a governor claiming there is no prostitution in Pattaya, the tourism authority coming out against paid sex services, and police stating there are no prostitutes on Walking Street.

Or perhaps more accurately reality and appearances. We are speaking of Thailand after all. It is a country that is home to dozens of blowjob bars. But Thailand is also a country where recording sex or engaging in swinging can land one in jail.

Then and now

So it is that bars come and go. I remember much of what old timers might call the good old days. Those were times when the city was smaller and mainly visited by lone males. It was the days of cut outs under bars where women performed oral sex under curtains. Fully nude dancers with toned bodies and genuine smiles intrigued men. Many ended up in actual relationships with visitors from overseas. Hardcore hagglers and hustlers weren’t as common in those days. Nor were corporate chain restaurants or jet ski scams. Alas nothing lasts forever.

Pattaya go go bar shower show

The pandemic has hit Pattaya particularly hard and Thailand’s sex workers even harder. Only time will tell what will come in the future. The news seems to change from one day to the next. In the meantime I can report on what once existed but can no longer be found. Those are the lost bars of Pattaya. In previous years I have reported on the lost BJ bars of Bangkok, lost bars of Phnom Penh, more lost bars of Phnom Penh, and the lost bars of Sosua.

Many bars have come and gone in Pattaya. More than I could ever hope to report on here. So I will stick to mentioning some of the more prominent or interesting venues that have fallen by the wayside. My reasoning is perhaps similar to those who mention the lost city of Pompeii while ignoring Oudong and Kuelap.

Pattaya’s lost bars

Some places are close to my heart. For example Clinic A Go Go was one of the best go go bars I have ever encountered in all of Thailand. And perhaps even the world. A team of lithe dancers worked the stage and the customers around it in a full state of undress. The staff was easy going and unpretentious. The prices were reasonable. And the dancers were some of the best looking I have ever seen.

The Devil’s Den was not nearly as impressive though it was certainly more widely known and visited. This club took off from where the Eden Club in Bangkok started. It featured a bevy of women who worked in groups of two or more. The venue was fully decked out with rooms that contained rubber mattress covers, mirrored ceilings and full body sex swings. The fully bisexual staff was visited by almost as many women and couples as single men. Let’s not forget the infamous line down the middle of the main bar either. When the women lined up for work, their location in relation to that line indicated whether or not they offered up a third input.

The Kitten Club is another big and once well known venue that has disappeared. Attached to the Penthouse Hotel this place was once one of the more prominent go go bars in town. The sister bar contained a bevy of ladylike ladyboy dancers. The hotel itself was one known as a haven for newbies and adventurous or open minded couples. In the early days of widespread internet adoption the Penthouse Hotel’s website was one of the best sources for information about Pattaya to be found.

Other longstanding yet less notable places such as Dundee and Golden Girl have also disappeared. Some seem to have succumb to the pressures of the pandemic while others wrapped up shop earlier. For instance Club Nevada seemed to be doing little business as early as 2016 yet it wasn’t until the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020 that it finally closed its doors. The story of the straw that broke the camel’s back comes to mind.

Yet some bar owners were speaking of slowdowns before anyone had even heard of COVID-19. Case in point we have the once-great Babydolls which was sold off to the neighboring Club Electric Blue in mid-2019.

Others did their best to adjust. Popular go go bars like Heaven Above and Windmill turned to live streaming over the internet as millions around the world were stuck at home. It doesn’t seem to have panned out though. From what I can tell Heaven Above is closed as is their Youtube account. I am not surprised by this. It would be difficult to compete with prominent and well liked adult cam sites even in the best of times.

This is where it stands for now. New bars may emerge in the future and become popular and successful. Old bars might even reemerge in the right situation. On the other hand the past is the past and you cannot step into the same river twice. All entities move and nothing remains still.

6 thoughts on “The lost bars of Pattaya”

  1. Its a difference between prime location Bars with a lot of foot traffic, and slightly remote areas. Its not that unusual that Bars on Walking street change hands. Hopefully this means that new management develop better concepts. Its more uncertain with Bars in a less attractive location and they were often branded as daytime Go gos but some do pull it of like TQ? Nevada had problems long before covid. Is Silver Star 2 on soi 7 still up for sale..

    Interesting to read about Clinic a Go Go, no memory of this Bar.

    Heaven Above has been replaced with Heaven, I was told it looks the same inside, but the colour white is gone. Cheers.

    1. Thanks for the comment. Clinic was arguably the best go go bar not located on Walking Street. And one of the better go go bars in general. Cheers.

  2. Milton Friedman once said that “the business of business is business”. The business of some Bar owners in Pattaya was to sell more % in the Bar. I have seen posters in Bars promising high return on investments. But those Bars are gone…

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