Walking Street Pattaya, the Cons
I’ve already mentioned the main gripe i.e. the higher prices and the declining P4P scene. Older gentlemen that may have visited Pattaya 20 years ago will have fond memories of the place, but they will be sorely disappointed by what they find here these days. Prices are higher, attitudes have worsened, and service standards have dropped.
There's restaurants, gogo bars, nightclubs, and street entertainers...
The worst attitudes, in some peoples’ eyes, come from other westerners (especially Russians if you include them as western). I’ve already written about the Russian girls in Pattaya, but the Russian tourists have also drawn criticism. I’m not being bigoted here, even the better class of Russians look with disdain at the kind of other Russians who are here. If they were Australian the label ‘bogans’ would apply, but I’ve no idea what the equivalent Russian term is.
Anyone familiar with the local Pattaya news with no doubt recall several altercations involving drunk Russian guys. Trouble can easily erupt when high levels of testosterone and alcohol are mixed… I recall one particular instance where a Russian guy had been hauled to the local Police station to answer a complaint by a ladyboy who he’d beaten up. Apparently, in his inebriated state he hadn’t realized that his intended bed-partner was not a lady, and he didn’t take too kindly to his enlightenment…
General safety in Pattaya is good, but it is at its most dangerous deep into the early hours when alcohol fuelled altercations get blown out of all proportion. There is regular bill-padding by many bars if they see that a customer is too drunk to argue his case, and if the poor sod doesn’t have the money to pay the extortion then he can easily get beaten up. The tourist Police do have a presence on Walking Street Pattaya, and if called they will make sure that you are safe, but you’ll still have to pay up.
The last thing that you should do is get arrested for any reason – even if you know that you are innocent. If charges are pressed it will take months for them to be processed and you’ll be locked up in some cockroach infested hellhole whilst awaiting your trial. Any job back home will likely be lost, and if you lose your case you’ll likely have to pay a much larger amount of cash than if you had settled in the first place.
Another complaint that many of the Pattaya faithful have comes with regard to the new laws and regulations that affect them. Obviously most of these, e.g. visa restrictions, are not specific to Walking Street but some of them are.
The most obvious example is the bar crackdowns that have occurred in town, usually on Walking Street. However unlikely it is that you’ll end up in the midst of one of these, it can seriously disrupt your holiday if it does happen.
It usually plays out that the Army will burst into a venue, be it a club or a gogo bar, and start drug testing everyone on the premises. It will take hours to resolve and if you aren’t carrying your passport with you for identification purposes (most tourists aren’t aware of the need to carry this and wouldn’t want to for fear of it being lost or stolen) you’ll be whisked away to the cop shop and detained until someone produces it for you.
That’s the best that can happen with a stop and search, if you are stupid enough to have narcotics in your system or on your person, welcome to hell…