No stranger to changes over 50 years history, Pattaya’s iconic street is on the move again. Figuratively that is. There are now 7 Indian discos and nightclubs located on Walking Street with more following the trend. The total rebuilding at the former Marine disco area is rumored to include a hotel as well as a club catering for tourists from the sub-continent, as reported by knowledgeable nightlife gurus Stickman and Dave the Rave.
There have been already this year over one million Indian tourists to Thailand with Pattaya being the prime destination according to the Thai tourist authority. Given that 90 percent of them are male, it can be assumed that they are not looking for family entertainment after the sun goes down. Now that Indian nationals automatically receive a visa-exempt 30 days on arrival at Thai airports, currently a pilot project, the numbers are expected to zoom over the next few months.
Currently, virtually all Indian tourists arrive at Bangkok airports as Rayong’s U-tapao has not yet started regular charter or scheduled flights from 20 Indian cities. Once they do, the scope is gigantic. However, it is not uncommon for specially-arranged flights of 300-plus passengers already to arrive in Thailand for Indian weddings which are already a significant income earner for some of Pattaya’s five star hotels. Thai tourist officials are keen to develop links with India as the numbers of Chinese visitors so far has been lower than predicted.
The Indian clubs on Walking Street are increasingly glitzy and upmarket in line with the broader street trends. The Nashaa has been totally rebuilt following a still-unexplained fire during the pandemic. Others include Tony’s by Nashaa, Jannaat, Raas, Cavalli, Rajah and Leela. As Stickman points out, the nighteries specifically targeting white foreigners are declining whilst those catering for other target groups, such as Indians, South Koreans and Russians are increasing.
The traditional Pattaya markets, mostly Brits and mainland Europeans, are now mostly to be found in the Soi L.K.Metro and Soi Buakhao district with 10 new bars under the title Las Vegas Beer Garden set to open in January in Soi Diana, opposite L.K.Metro. There will be novel features in this bar complex such as a centralized sound system and common booze prices, so the main attraction will be the female Thai staff in each separate venue. Same same but different.