Saturday, November 24, 2007
Pattaya Is More Affordable, More Fun
In short, Pattaya is more fun.
For some hard statistics, take my recent weekend in Pattaya as an example. I stayed in a comfortable mid-range hotel run by a large group in a double air-con room. The hotel had a swimming pool, restaurant, coffee shop and good security. The room rate was 550 baht per night, including breakfast. A similar place in Bangkok would be the Nana Hotel, whose rates for a standard room have gradually crept up to the current level of 1,290 baht.
Perhaps because there is so much competition, bars in Pattaya try a lot harder. Happy hours are everywhere. One bar on Second Road doesn't have a happy hour as such but charges just 45 baht at all times for bottled beer. Try finding a similar deal in Bangkok.
We crawled from beer bar to beer bar at both ends of Beach Road. The hostesses were lively, fun and engaging company. Most waited for customers to offer them a drink, unlike the many Cola addicts 150 kilometres up the road in Bangkok.
If you decide to buy a lady-drink, they are rarely more than 100 baht in Pattaya, even in the best gogo bars. Contrast that with Bangkok, where a Cola can set you back 150 baht and water masquerading as Tequila (an increasingly popular scam) will dent your wallet to the tune of 200 baht. Beer guzzlers will find Pattaya prices up to 50 baht a bottle cheaper than in Bangkok at beer bars and gogos.
Then there are the relative demands of the ladies. Most Pattaya bargirls will stay overnight with punters for 1,000 baht in addition to a barfine of 300 baht. You can at least double both those prices in Bangkok, assuming you aren't negotiating with those Rainbow gogo girls who now value their services at 4,000 baht. The mercenary attitude of the capital's entertainment providers has persuaded many farangs to head east for their pleasures.
We dined at La Cuisine Au Beurre, a French restaurant that has been getting rave reviews. For 220 baht, I had spinach soup, sensational braised veal shank with vegetables, Camembert cheese, French bread and coffee. I don't know how they make money and am not aware of any French restaurants in Bangkok offering such great food at that price.
The plain fact is that party time in Pattaya is more fun and a lot less expensive than in Bangkok. More and more people are coming to that conclusion.