Naughty Nightlife Dangers and Scams Overview; I recommend having a look at the YouTube video below; it gives an overview of the nightlife scene in Pattaya when things go wrong. You may have seen it before, especially if you are form the UK as it has been televised there. There’s no reason to be put off by the goings on that the video shows, if you behave yourself it’s very unlikely that you’ll get into any trouble.
APOLOGIES, the YouTube video has been removed and is no longer available
There's one quote in the video that I particularly like; it relates to the Westerners that fall in love with the wrong sorts of women: "There's a lot of people come here with a lot of money… there's a lot of people gone home with no money!"
The naughty nightlife in Pattaya is extremely seductive; about that there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever, and you really need to keep your feet firmly on the ground. Do not go along with any sob stories, don't invest in the next big opportunity, don't believe anything that sounds to good to be true.... with one exception.... you really can get great company and have a lot of fun very easily! That's what seduces so many Westerners in the first place!
There are, unfortunately, quite a lot of scams to be wary of in Thailand (especially in Pattaya's naughty nightlife scene), but the good news is that things are really not all that bad. If you are sensible and don't get involved with anything illegal, you should not have any concerns. You could still get caught up in a scam through no fault of your own, but that can happen in any country.
I've spent years in Pattaya, I have friends that have been here longer than me, we've all been scammed for little things like over-charging on bar-bills and so on, but none of us have ever had any serious trouble. In the video clip, you’ll notice that all of the problems were problems that could have been avoided with some common sense and some calm behaviour.
There are a few rules to remember when in Thailand and anyone can follow them:
Firstly, NEVER lose your temper. This will never help your situation and will almost certainly worsen things
Secondly, it is usually better to swallow your pride, pay what is asked and learn from it. You won't make the same mistake twice, whatever the mistake was, so if you are unlucky enough to get scammed in the first place, you'll only get stung once.
Thirdly, if you have a serious issue and refuse to give in, don't try to resolve an issue yourself. Call the tourist police (tel. 1155) and they will negotiate on your behalf. They might not be able to resolve an issue, but they will probably be able to get a less costly settlement.
It is worth wandering over to the Tourist police desk at the beginning of Walking Street and picking up a contact card. In the unlikely event that you have a problem with someone trying to scam you, just call the tourist police in to negotiate on your behalf. Just showing the card to your scammers will probably get you some sort of positive reaction.
Many of the things that you might consider to be scams are not actually scams at all. Business practises are different in Thailand and this sometimes leads to frustration when Westerners expect Western style service. For example, if you don't get a satisfactory service at a restaurant, don't go thinking that you don't need to pay or that you can get a refund - this isn't the Thai way! Just pay your bill and eat somewhere else next time.
There's another quote in the video that I like; it relates to the naughty nightlife of Pattaya and it comes from an old-timer that has moved over from the UK. He's talking about the attachment and trust that Westerners develop with bar-girls:
"It’s crazy... like we can't be that stupid, but we are!"
Haha, don’t be too hard on yourself if you do fall for the charms of a Thai lady and end up getting taken for a ride, it happens to lots of Western men in Pattaya at one time or another!
Pattaya Nightlife; for info about all the best nightlife hotspots around town, click this link.
Pattaya Girls; if you want some background about the working-girls and the tactics they employ, see this section.
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