The City That Sex Built
Trip Start Dec 15, 2008
37Trip End Ongoing
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I'd like you for a moment to think of Las Vegas, the place we refer to as Sin City. Now take away all the gambling and fancy casinos. In their place think of a beach with murky green water and street after street of go-go bars and rent-by-the-hour hotels. Remove all the young 20-somethings and replace them with overweight, balding, middle-aged white men walking around in Speedos and Hawaiian shirts. Take away the pretty showgirls and in their place put 500,000 Thai girls (and ladyboys) aged 13-40. For the final alteration I would like you to image that there are no moral standards and what few laws there might be, are not enforced. There you have Pattaya. If gambling is the main crux of Vegas, surely sex is the cornerstone of Pattaya. The city was founded on it, and it flourishes still today.
After some searching, we were able to find a room in the center of town. We started our time there with a stroll down the beach road in broad daylight, where we saw all the happy couples walking hand in hand down the street (he's happy he's got a 20-year-old in his hand, she's happy she's got his wallet in hers). We checked out Walking Street, the area that is known for being nothing but go-go bars and brothels, and it somehow managed to look seedy even in the middle of the afternoon. While walking down the main beach road, we were approached by a few guys holding tour brochures, which they quickly dropped as they approached and replaced with little baggies, asking if we wanted to buy drugs.
We got ready and went out that night to experience the full force of what Pattaya had to offer. Walking street was packed with sex tourists and other inquisitive onlookers, all walking mouth agape at what lay before them. One end of the street was dedicated to men who fancied Thai girls, the other end to those whose hearts and groins were still at home in the West. They had a girl for every taste: dark, light, short, tall, fat, skinny, natural, and fake, all displaying their goods in barely their outfits. They even had one bar that advertised that it had nothing but European women. By about midnight the party started to die down as all the girls who were worth anything had already been rented and the rest were scrambling to get the few remaining single men.
We made our exit and decided to walk down the beach road to the other end of town to see what we could find. Along the way we passed all the girls who clearly weren't fit for work in the bars and were instead trying to peddle their wares on the street corners to passers-by. Most of these looked more than a little rough and many were clearly on drugs at the time. Although, looking around at the clientele they had to chose from, I supposed you'd have to be.
We got back to our room a little past one, feeling in desperate need of a shower.
The next morning on our way to breakfast we passed a guy being assaulted by two women for refusing to pay for the previous night's festivities. He claimed not to know payment was expected. I suppose he thought he had been charming enough to convince her to do some pro bono work. He hadn't, and they were in the process of getting the heavies to deal with him when we decided it would be best to leave.
We got a sawngthaew to the dolphin fountain for 10B each and then hopped on another one that took us all the way to the bus station, where we were able to get a bus straight to the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok and thereby bypass Bangkok fully on our way to Phetchburi.