Bar observations

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Gaybutton
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Re: Bar observations

Post by Gaybutton »

gerefan wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:47 pm
reported jam packed motorways and roads in Pattaya....media hype?
That did happen this weekend in Pattaya.

You don't have to worry about life for us expats. I'm much happier without the Chinese tour buses, huge traffic jams, air pollution, difficulty trying to find a place to park, Middle Eastern motorbike maniacs, and all the other problems caused by tourist overcrowding without proper infrastructure to support it.

I will be sorry if the go-go bars eventually fail, but for us locals Jomtien Complex is doing jut fine.

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Re: Bar observations

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Pattaya bars and clubs seem resigned to the new-normal

By Barry Kenyon

July 28, 2020

The late July four-day holiday certainly brought a zombie Pattaya back to life. Traffic jams lay in wait for unwary drivers everywhere, hotels happily switched off their vacancy sign and many restaurants were packed out before their customers headed for various entertainment plazas. All that was a tribute to the government’s campaign to encourage domestic tourism by Thai citizens, sweetened by generous discounts and special offers.

But large slices of Pattaya are dependent on foreign clientele which, as everyone knows, is a scarce commodity right now. By mid-week the new-normal was back in stark reality. At Walking Street, the overhead neon sign at the main entrance is still turned off. And the kindest estimate would put the number of closed businesses there at 60 percent. Most, of course, had never reopened after the enforced closure last March.

There is fierce competition for the comparatively few wannabe customers. Happy hours are back in fashion and you can even buy an early beer for 39 baht in some venues. At the Pin Up club, the friendly female staff are lined up outside and are remarkably cheerful. Miss Moo seemed to speak for them all when she confided that they would persevere until the good times returned in the high season. She did ask if I knew why foreigners who were permanent residents could return to Thailand whilst mere residents could not. Her friend then queried why the government was allowing foreigners needing hospital operations to come back since the bedridden seldom dance the night away. Sorry, dunno I replied.

Nobody seems to have told the police that numbers are well down in Walking Street. A group of city policemen on motorbikes guarded the main entrance and exit on Beach Road, whilst at least six tourist police – three of them foreign volunteers – lolled on a vehicle further down the street chatting about football. Two hundred yards further on was a table reserved for another cop group, this time four Thais wearing insignia to indicate they were Special Affairs. One suspects they were heading for a distinctly uneventful night. However, the 7/11 store nearby had a merrily-ringing cash register.

Ten minutes walk away, Boyztown was doing its best. I sat at the Panorama open bar in sparse company and ordered a soda water for 90 baht. A nearby nightery sported a sign which stated that there was one show at 10.30 pm and that all drinks were 200 baht. By no means a full house, but full marks for effort. In a nearby street, almost as black as Dock Road in Liverpool during the nazi-era blitz, a young man from Mynamar asked me to check whether his passport was OK. Since the last two pages were marked “Void” in red ink, probably not. I wondered how many other nationals from neighboring countries had been caught out by the coronavirus travel restrictions. Probably more than we think.

To be fair, other areas were doing better. Jomtien in particular. The market area on Jomtien Two Road wasn’t humming, but is clearly favoured by the local expat population. One open bar had a snooker match in progress whilst at another there was even a mini quiz. The question reader was asking “What number lies between 4 and 6 on a dartboard?” which was unlikely to separate the brainy from the bewildered as a man was throwing his arrows at the bullseye just feet away. Five minutes walk from there is the Jomtien Complex, a street of gay bars, which was quite busy. It’s a likely surmise that the cheapness of the drinks in Jomtien, compared with downtown Pattaya, may be an explanation of the numbers game.

At the moment, most of the foreigners eligible under the government rules to return to Thailand are wealthy, or certainly well-heeled, individuals. But Pattaya’s nightlife can only be revived by open access at airports and borders which may in turn be dependent upon a mass vaccination program sometime next year. In the meantime, the low season is sadly and firmly in the driving seat.

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/pa ... mal-309138

gerefan
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Re: Bar observations

Post by gerefan »

That picture of Boyztown in the article is really shocking! And that was
supposed to be a special holiday long weekend according to the article.

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Re: Bar observations

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gerefan wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:05 am
That picture of Boyztown in the article is really shocking!
I think now you can see why I am pessimistic. Boyztown is geared for gay farang tourists. And since there is virtually no one here other than us expats - and not all that many of us go to the bars very often or even at all - neither Boyztown or Sunee Plaza are exactly thriving. Bear in mind that several of the bars chose not to reopen yet. Also bear in mind that for the past few years, long before anyone ever heard of Covid-19, many bars closed due to lack of customers. Once tourism finally reopens, I have seen nothing to indicate the bar scene is likely to get any better.

What we don't know is when and how farang tourists will be allowed back into Thailand and how many will even want to come. If you can live with only a few bars open in the Boyztown-Sunee Plaza area, but plenty of action in Jomtien Complex - and supplement your willing young gent search using the apps along with your "gaydar", then you can still have a truly wonderful time in Pattaya. But if anyone is expecting Pattaya to be what it used to be, at least any time within the foreseeable future, you're in for a disappointment.

That is the way things are for now. We cannot know what to expect, but we can at least hope for improvement.

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Re: Bar observations

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:23 am
If you can live with only a few bars open in the Boyztown-Sunee Plaza area, but plenty of action in Jomtien Complex - and supplement your willing young gent search using the apps along with your "gaydar", then you can still have a truly wonderful time in Pattaya.
I have to live with what's available on this planet.
Even if just 50% of Pattaya's bars reopen, I don't see a better alternative.

OK, so Bangkok has better gogo bars, some with a very good selection of cute lads in nice white underwear. However offing from there costs at least 1000 more than Pattaya & I'm typically paying 4~500 baht a night more for a hotel in Bangkok. Hence I'm only going to stay here for relatively short periods of time.

In Yangon or the Philippines, lads boys are available at lower cost, but I'm paying more for a lower quality hotel than in Thailand. A little more effort is required to find the lads in Yangon, although after that, the results can be very good. The selection and quality of food, coffee etc is also better in Thailand.

So when it comes to my winter holiday, if I'm allowed into Thailand with reasonable conditions, more days will be spent in Pattaya than any other destination. If I'm not allowed into Thailand, I'll look at the alternatives.

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Re: Bar observations

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Jun wrote:
Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:41 pm
if I'm allowed into Thailand with reasonable conditions, more days will be spent in Pattaya than any other destination.
If it works out that way and if enough other gay farang plan the same, then Pattaya's gay scene stands a good chance of at least beginning to recover. That's a couple of big ifs, but let's hope it happens.

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Re: Bar observations

Post by jimnbkk »

I have it on good reliable word that tonight is the last night for Forest House bar. It will close permanently after tonight.

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Re: Bar observations

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Some of Pattaya’s gay bars are by no means in intensive care yet

By Barry Kenyon

August 1, 2020

You won’t hear much in Pattaya about how the Stonewall Inn riots of 1969 gave rise to the gay civil rights movement across the globe. The gay scene here is mercurial: selling alcohol, providing trendy cabaret shows and offering male eye candy to overseas visitors. After all, the local radio is still calling the Thai resort Fun City.

The pesky virus and the government ban on foreign tourists have certainly resulted in a huge drop in pink-pound spending and a 30 percent closure of businesses across the board. But the resort still offers around 25 gay leisure spots situated in three areas. Boyztown is downtown and still offers classy shows and upmarket go-go bars, but even its most ardent fans will admit it has lost ground commercially in recent years in spite of frequent face-lifts. Ten minutes walk away is Sunee Plaza, but most of its bars and clubs have been replaced by padlocks and for rent notices. Sunee never recovered a decade ago from frequent police raids to expose lewd shows and teen prostitution. That’s all in the past.

The new gay mecca is Jomtien Complex, sometimes marketed as Jomtien’s Walking Street which is odd as the original version in Pattaya is exclusively heterosexual in tone. The two streets of open gay bars (no clubs with security doormen and no male pole dancers), popular restaurants such as Yupins, health studios (massage parlors to you and me) and a lively cabaret show at The Venue still collectively attract 200 customers on a good night. “It’s not wonderful cash-wise,” confides one Thai bar owner, “but people are still coming here to chat and to watch the passing human parade over a drink.”

Perhaps accidentally, the Jomtien Complex has hit on a successful formula. Everybody seems to be welcome. Guys in wheelchairs are given first class treatment by staff to settle in. There’s no discrimination against transgenders, lesbians, bisexuals or straights. If a guy wants to sit down with his wife or girlfriend, nobody bats an eyelid. Only boys under 18 are strictly off-limits as staff or as freelancers. That’s all in the past too.

Local drag queen and cabaret star Pandora Boxx (probably not her real name) explains, “The key to the Complex is that it’s truly international and there’s always something new going on: a birthday party here or an anniversary get-together over there with everyone welcome. Gays need their queer space to mix and relax more than ever in the coronavirus age.” She adds that the competition between bars, never antagonistic in any case, keeps prices low.

It is hard to predict the future, particularly as it hasn’t happened yet. The commercial gay scene worldwide was in decline long before anyone had heard of Covid-19. Geo-locating smartphone dating and hookup apps such as Grindr and Romeo bear some of the responsibility. But Pandora says that’s only half the story. “Many gay Westerners stopped coming to Thailand 10 or even 15 years ago when eastern Europe opened up to cheap travel. Then she adds, somewhat obscurely, “There’s a lot of fresh meat in Czechoslovakia.” One assumes heterosexual travellers have found the same thing.

Some pundits argue that customers must take matters into their own hands: shaking cocktails at home, turning up Bluetooth speakers to listen to a virtual DJ on Instagram live, maybe even watching a remote cabaret with friends on Zoom. But virtual customers are useless in Pattaya. Waiters, bar staff and performers – not to mention ancillary staff such as motorbike taxi drivers and street hawkers – depend largely or wholly on tips from real customers carrying a wallet. Hi-tech solutions won’t provide employment. Who wants to watch a digital drag show anyhow?

With foreign tourists to Thailand banned by government decree, all local businesses have to rely on expat business people, foreign retirees and Thai domestic tourism which fills up the beaches and hotels on weekends. The government has issued a list of 22 health and safety precautionary rules for all niteries and insisted on a closing time of midnight. Nobody envies the owners of entertainment spots right now. Challenging stuff no doubt.

The final thought is with Pandora. “In the 1980s, it was widely predicted that the aids pandemic would wipe out all organized gay life forever. It never happened. We will get over this too. In the meantime, wear your mask, keep washing those hands and don’t let anyone into your 1.5 meter space.” She forgot to mention No Flirting.

https://www.pattayamail.com/featured/so ... yet-309554

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Re: Bar observations

Post by gerefan »

jimnbkk wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:29 pm
I have it on good reliable word that tonight is the last night for Forest House bar. It will close permanently after tonight.
That is awful news if it is true. I often used to go there on the way home from Boyztown, or if visiting Sunee Plaza.

What’s left there now? Just Nice Boys and a couple of bars in the Plaza? I even read that Nice Boys was thinking of closing too.

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Re: Bar observations

Post by SP55 »

Sad news about Forest house indeed. They were closed yesterday evening when I was walking past.

Cupidol reopened yesterday. I saw 0 (zero) gogoboys on stage or anywhere around the premises so didn't bother staying and buying a drink and left since I go to gogobars and pay gogobar drinkprices to watch boys in underwear or at least shirtless. A few waiters and customers (?) or friends to the staff was sitting around drinking.

Toyboys is open again. Zero gogoboys. The inside of the bar and stage empty as others have reported here. Two dressed boys outside try to get customers to go inside and drink in an empty bar for 240 baht per drink.

On the positive side, Dreamboys have several handsome boys shirtless on stage. I was really impressed with the quality of the boys there. They seem to have raised their drinkprice again from 200 to 220 baht. Winnerboys and Niceboys were also well worth a visit imho.

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