A place you never want to leave, a place where, as often quoted “the women treat you like a king”. A tropical, temperate place, where the ocean meets sun kissed beaches. A place not like home, a place like no other place on earth. Pattaya.
There is another world, another way of life, a heaven on earth, Pattaya. A tourist trap would usually be defined as a “place which attracts tourists with the sole intention of making profit”. Pattaya is a tourist trap of a different kind. The sensual, erotic, provocative charm of Pattaya attracts single men just like pollen attracts a bee. But for the unwitting, impetuous or love struck, Pattaya so often fills its flowers not with pollen, but with another sweet and enticing offering. Irresistible and inviting, but like a Venus fly trap which has enticed its prey, Pattaya becomes a dark despairing well, from which there is no escape.
Sexy girls in Go-Go bars, sexy girls in beer bars, they call you “sexy man”, and they “want to go with you” they’ll “love you long time”. Who can blame a single man for succumbing to the feminine delights of Pattaya. Who can blame a single man for wanting to make this friendly, erotic paradise his new kingdom. Sun, sea, sand, beer and sex, who could say no ?.
The Farang (foreign) Beggar
Destitute, living on the street, an expired visa, maybe even an expired passport, no funds for a return ticket home. His friends forgot him, and the girls don’t want him, the party ended a long time ago, now he’s not only single, but alone, very very much alone. He became a leper in his own kingdom, begging for handouts from sympathetic tourists and Thais alike.
What’s the Farang’s story ?
A destitute farang, begging on the streets of Pattaya, you can only wonder what happened to him. Just like you, he arrived in Pattaya from a foreign land as a tourist, with money in his pocket, a hotel room, and a positive outlook. At some point he started to slowly spiral into free-fall. This might have been his first trip to Pattaya, or it might be one of many frequent visits to Pattaya.
He’s become hooked on the free and easy lifestyle in Pattaya. If he had a 1000 baht in his pocket he had a sexy girl on his arm, and every time he had a sexy girl on his arm the desire to return to his homeland grew weaker. He always knew he must leave one day, but not today, not while he still had money in his pocket, he would worry about that tomorrow.
He was having the time of his life in Pattaya, so much so that he canceled his flight home, and the party rolled on. He spent a little more than he budgeted for, but where else can you have so much fun for so little money. He moved to a cheaper hotel, and started living off his savings.
He never bothered to check, but he was sure he had enough money to continue living his dream, even though he had been in Pattaya 6 months already. Time had passed so fast he completely lost track, he realized he may need to do a visa run soon, that’s the moment he realized his visa had long since expired. Never mind, he would just pay the overstay at the airport, party on.
He woke the next morning, next to him in bed were 2 of the most gorgeous women he had ever seen, he recalled one of the best nights fun he had had so far, but that night of passion and fun had left his wallet empty, and his 2 gorgeous escorts had not yet been paid.
His 2 female companions escorted him to the ATM on Pattaya Beach Road, where he intended to pay them before heading off for breakfast. He stared in disbelief at the message on the ATM screen, “no funds available”. A telephone call to his bank confirmed that his account was empty. His face ashen gray, his stomach churning, he managed to persuade his 2 hired lovers this was a temporary glitch, and that he would call at their bar tonight and pay them.
He made a few friends in Pattaya, he often spent a night out on the town with them, but they proved to be fair weather friends, after lending him several small amounts for a room and food they chose to ignore his phone calls.
He’d taken many girls back to his room in Pattaya, some of them several times, he had a soft spot for some of them, and he was sure some of them had feelings for him. Some of them wanted to help, but they had little to offer, for them their own family was the number one priority. He asked his embassy for help, but they unfortunately had to decline. He pawned his watch, he sold his phone to some guy in a bar, he packed his clothes into a small bag and left his room.
He spent his first homeless night on Pattaya Beach, the second on Jomtien Beach. For those first 2 days he would go penniless into a supermarket or 7-11, arrive at the counter with a loaf of bread or a packet of noodles then pretend he’d forgotten his wallet. He would ask a foreigner in the queue if they could lend him the 100 or so baht and that they should give him their phone number so he could repay them.
Countless nights sleeping on beaches, benches, and in shop doorways reduced his appearance to that of a vagrant. His appearance meant he could no longer feign the forgotten wallet, his destitution is plain for all to see. Nowadays he relies on the sympathy of tourists, who wonder what happened to the foreign beggar in this far off foreign land.
The above story is not based on a real event or person, but it is typical of what can and does really happen in Pattaya. Of course there are many more examples, and many more case studies. Quite common are stories of middle aged men rashly investing their redundancy payout or life savings into beer bars, only to return home broke a year later.
It’s oh so easy to believe we can live the dream, so easy to fool ourselves, and be overcome by an infatuation for life in paradise. But the reality is, paradise is a cruel, hard, unforgiving place. A place which should be treated with respect and never over indulged. Many unfortunate people enter paradise through the neon lit front door, but leave through the dark corridor of hell.