Coming to Thailand, and Pattaya in particular, is certainly exciting. It's the kind of thing that gets you through those final days at work that just seem to keep dragging on in the run up to your well deserved and long anticipated holiday. At night the images of sexy Thai gay boys fill your imagination. Not to mention the sun, the tropics, the food and the prospect of diving head first into the laid back island life. But wait! You're flying all the way to the other side of the world to a place where people neither speak your language nor understand your culture. And vice versa. We've all heard of the exotic potential awaiting the gay traveler over here in the land of smiles. The boys, the shows, the gay beaches... But... where to actually find them? What's a safe way of enjoying the forbidden fruits of passion without worrying about running into unexpected trouble? Before crossing the world's oceans: It might be worth knowing a bit of the different gay areas that Pattaya is known for. Especially those a bit more off the tourist map which might just be all the more worth your while.
But if you're a more seasoned visitor to Thailand or Pattaya in particular, keep on reading too. Things can suddenly change in Thailand, even after decades of "same-same"-ness. And recent times have certainly brought on a few shifts that are well worth taking into account on your next trip to Sin City.
Boystown is where gay nightlife started in Pattaya, 30 odd years ago
Boystown is situated near Walking Street Pattaya and it predominately sports gay go-go bars. There is a bar or two where you can sit inside or outside and enjoy a drink that is pretty much priced at "tourist levels". Mostly the establishments there however feature "boy shows" that run about every hour. The shows consist of a large group of boys of various body types performing dances and all kinds of sensual entertainment. Involving on stage showers, underwater performances and more. Clothes don't come all the way off but it gets very close. In between acts the boys are lined up on stage, all wearing a number. At that point you can invite any of them over to your table for a drink and possibly take him away into the night.
Boystown is the oldest gay area in Pattaya and more or less consists of one small street. There are some peripheral boy / go-go bars surrounding the stretch of road but most of the more (in)famous venues are found in the main area.
Recently, Boystown has seen a bit of a downturn in popularity. There used to be a lot of Russian expats and tourists around in Pattaya but a fall in the Russian currency has forced many of them to leave. As Boystown caters predominantly to an international audience, it feels the sting.
Sunee Plaza has been around for 2 decades and has a distinctively more local character
Hidden almost behind Boystown is an interesting little gay neighborhood called Sunee Plaza. No Thai gay boys bouncing around in white underwear with numbers patched onto them but no less able to accompany you to your hotel room. Sunee Plaza is indeed a "plaza" with bars situated in a round about way, on two soi's that form more or less a circle. The audience here is less "touristy" but rather more a place where foreign expats living in Pattaya sometimes frequent. Sunee Plaza though, is not always known to be without problems. The area is certainly seeing a lot of improvement lately but troubles with drug dealers and police officers with questionable loyalties can occasionally still dampen the otherwise pleasant mood a bit. This is not to say that Sunee Plaza is a place to stay away from. It's more a common sensed advisory to mind your P's and Q's a bit and bear a certain degree of caution in mind. Sunee plaza is perhaps not the best place to find yourself getting into trouble at.
Jomtien Complex is arguably the most pleasant gay area in Pattaya
So here we get to the hidden treasure. Jomtien Complex. It's the newest kid on the block with just a few years' track record of sporting a long strip of open bars with gorgeous gay Thai boys sitting outside waiting for you to come and join them for a drink. They'll be happy to join you for some healthy exercise later on, as you ride them into the night. When the night is still young though (and so are the boys) Jomtien Complex is a safe and pleasant place to sit back and relax and enjoy the beauty surrounding you. Most boys that work here are from the Isaan region in the north eastern part of Thailand. They bring their beautiful facial features and generally slim builds that speak so well to the imagination. Raised upcountry they generally carry that lovely Thai attitude to life. Have fun with your friends, don't worry about tomorrow and just enjoy the moment.
Jomtien Complex is different from Boystown in the sense that it's not lined with loud go-go bars hunting for tourist dollars. It's a perfectly safe and relaxed place that is just not known for any trouble. It also sports a few restaurants, including off course The Poseidon Wine Cellar Restaurant and later at night street vendors roll in their carts to give the boys a taste from home with traditional Isaan snacks such as Som Tam salads and a delicious array of fried bugs to wash away with a few more of those cold beers. Drinks are very inexpensive, a hundred baht will get you glass of red wine and beer costs even less. The fact that it's next to Jomtien Beach and thereby near Dongtan Gay beach adds a nice whiff of extra salt to the breeze sailing through this magnificent yet still often un-discovered gay area in Pattaya.
The Poseidon Hotel Pattaya together with Dick's cafe Jomtien actively contribute to creating a healthy business environment for tourists to enjoy and for the locals to work in. Forming a great collaboration across cultures and resulting in a truly unique place where foreign tourist can easily mix with local exotic boys. Enjoying drinks and conversation throughout the tropical night in the open air bars under the salty Pattaya sky.