Pattaya Walking Street must be the most busiest area in the entire beach side city and for those of you who have not been here, this is entertainment central! During my trip to Pattaya for the Medical Tourism Blog Contest, my entire daily schedule was pretty much packed so by the time I was done, it would be around 9-10pm. 'What else can I do around here?' I asked Patty, my guide and she suggested that I pay a visit to the famous walking street. Without hesitation, I was there in a flash and to my delight, it was a photographers heaven, provided you like to shoot live moving subjects and risk getting shouted at or chased away.
Arriving at the Pattaya Walking Street, the entire length estimates about one kilometer long and is closed off to traffic during the nights. Hoards of Thai police men are seen moving around to keep the peace while literally thousands of tourist are seen moving about this lively street. So, what it is here that attracts the common tourist? Well, from a first timer here without reading any information of this place, I would clearly say that this is a men's heaven. But then again, the early parts of the street provide various seafood eateries and interesting live show bars and lounges - some of them very intriguing, which include an Elvis Presley Show, a Beatles Bar, Rock Live Bands and the spanner thrown in. Yes, Entertainment is the word here and probably everything under the sun could possible be found here too.
Reception girls promoting the various outlets
A lady boy in action
As I walked along the street, my eyes could not focus at any one point as there were too many distractions with all sorts of people, neon signs, local Thai people calling me, drag queens or lady boys giving me the eye, young Thai girls inviting me into their establishments... the list goes on. Go Go Bars are on top of the list here with all sorts of catchy and cheesy names which are found at every nook and cranny along this walking street. There are lanes than branch off the main streets and here you would find more detailed and specialized bars and clubs. An influx of Russian tourist in Pattaya has also created a demand therefore you see a number of establishments and clubs that cater to their own kind and even having signs in Russian. Trust me, it's a real challenge trying to pronounce those Russian words. Apart from that, the Middle Eastern demand is up and coming as I noticed a number of Shisha or Hookah joints filled with Middle Eastern men and women.
After about an hour of walking and photographing the many interesting subjects here, I came to the end of the street which lead into another entertainment area with Karaokes and Discos. It looked like the street never ended so I decided to make a u-turn and head back out. Even the walk back was distracting with many other things I missed along the way in. One live bar lounge caught my attention as a local band was heard playing Deep Purple's My Woman From Tokyo and sounded very original. At these open aired bars, guest simple sit around and people watch while having their Thai Beer. An observation also showed that the unsuspecting common tourist with his family were totally caught unaware of the adult entertainment scene here and were seen quickly hurrying out. So, if you have children, it would be best to avoid this place. Tuck them to bed or get a baby sitter before proceeding to the Pattaya Walking Street. I could go on into details about the other interesting places here but I would rather leave it to you to explore further when you visit here.
Below are some random pictures of my first experience visiting this lively place.
Rock Dancers? A signage to one of the many clubs
Shisha or Hookah Joint
Colourful Afro wigs on sale
Cheep beer promoted by local Thai Girls
Neon signs of the various outlets
Lucifer's Disco, wouldn't you want to go here
I love this sign
If you get lost...
One of the interesting cafes
Seafood signs all over the Walking Street
Pattaya Walking Street in general
If you are visiting Pattaya, be sure to check out the Walking Street here as it is located along the Pattaya Beach Road and connects to this place. The atmosphere here is very lively and a great place to people-watch or simply explore your fancies. On a side note to the male traveler, be careful of the approaching women as one may never know if it is a lady boy or woman. If you are walking alone, chances are that you will be approached by girls or women asking you if you would like to hang out of have a drink. Overall it is a very safe place with the local police seen around this area. Photographing the people here should be dine discreetly and not in their faces or you may be harassed, though when I was here, it was relatively easy as every other tourist seemed to be having a camera phone or camera shooting away.
Seafood is on the pricey side so if you don't mind it, then by all means. There are a few reputable seafood restaurants along the walking street that have been there for over 30 years. Shopping here is pretty decent with some unique items for sale. Have fun and be safe here at the Pattaya Walking Street.