Bar workers return to Pattaya ‘restaurants’

A pair of upcountry girls walk to the beach down Soi 6.

While bars technically haven’t reopened in Pattaya, bar workers have steadily returned, finding work in newly minted alcohol-serving restaurants.

From brothels on Soi 6 to the 800 disco on Walking Street to indoor, air-conditioned go-go bars in central Pattaya, bars are reopening their doors again, waving easy-to-get restaurants licenses and SHA stickers to do business as “restaurants.”

It’s all good news for women who used to make their living fawning over older men in exchange for drinks and tips.

One, identified only as Araya, came back from Udon Thani where she lounged around, not working and living off payments from an overseas sponsor. Now she’s back in Pattaya hunting for more foreign men to support her.

Workers like Araya may find their fortunes limited, as Pattaya remains at least 80 percent expat with few tourists. With Thailand now suspending the Pattaya Sandbox and the Test & Go entry scheme, the number of tourists to the city is seen dropping again.

Taxis might soon be doing brisk business from the north.

Local hangouts have started to fill again with expats denied access to watering holes for over eight months due to Covid-19.