Like a string of dominos, Pattaya’s economy began to collapse when the bars closed, throwing go-go bars and hostesses out of work. They stopped buying makeup and stripper heels, leaving street vendors broke. Then they moved out of town, nearly bankrupting landlords.
“Meena” is a hostess in a Soi 6 bar who, when the bar wasn’t shut down, catered to the few men who wandered in and more lonely boys overseas sending tips and rude comments on YouTube live streams.
Now the doors are closed, the camera is off and Meena has 1,000 baht left to her name. She said May 3 she doesn’t know what she’s going to do. Maybe she’ll borrow cash from friends who still have some.
Meena fit the demographic of the customer for “Prasit”, who rides around town selling war paint and clothing to bargirls. But the few women left in town need neither and, on a good day, Prasit earns 200 baht.
After gasoline and expenses, there’s nothing left.
Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Boonanan Pattanasin said earlier that 90 percent of Pattaya hotels are closed and nightlife is dead. The government, he complained, shut down Pattaya’s economy, but has offered nothing to help businesses and people survive.