The Coconut Bar
The Coconut Bar is the name given to the 3km path which stretches along the edge of Pattaya Bay between the beach and Beach Road. The path is well constructed and level over most of its route and shaded by well over a thousand coconut and other trees. The Coconut Bar is almost an institution in Pattaya, Thailand and is almost as famous as that other tourist 'must see', Walking Street.
The Coconut Bar is open 24 hours a day and is in constant use by someone or another. In the early morning and in the evening there are joggers of all nationalities. There are dog walkers, strollers and loiterers. There is nearly always a cool breeze coming off the sea and under the shade of the trees there are numerous places to sit and rest awhile.
This is a meeting place for both young and old and each have their favourite spots. Here you can see chess being played by groups of aged Westerners from Southern Europe and the same game being played by Thai motorcycle taxi drivers using bottle tops. People sit and chat. Girls apply make up and knit.
You can eat and drink along the Coconut Bar as food is available from vendors along the beach side. Here you can sit and drink cool sweet fresh coconut juice straight from the shell.
Beach Road starts at the Amari Orchid Hotel and runs alongside the Coconut Bar till it reaches Walking Street. It then finishes and turns left to head to 2nd Road. Beach Road is one way and is busy at most times of the day or night. Here you can easily hail a Sang Thaew and travel the whole length of the Coconut Bar for just 10 Thai Baht.
All along Beach Road there are Soi's (Roads) which stretch inland to meet 2nd Road which runs more or less parallel to Beach Road. Here the road is one way too, but in the opposite direction. Using this knowledge along with the Sang Thaew circuit it is possible to easily and quickly and cheaply move around this central area of Pattaya.
The beach along the edge of Pattaya Bay is sandy and clean. Efforts are made to clean up the beach every day. The water is not crystal clear but it is clean and safe to swim. A recent positive improvement are four spacious areas set aside specifically for swimmers. Whereas the whole beach is open, within the designated areas you are safe from motor boats and Jet Skis.
The whole of the beach is 'attended'. It is divided up between various families to rent out deck chairs and offer umbrella shade from the sun. A deck chair will cost you just 30 Baht and you can sit there all day. The proprietors can also supply you with a wide range of refreshments.
The Coconut Bar By Day
The Deck Chair Experience
Sitting on a deck chair between the Coconut Bar is an experience not to be missed. Here the world comes to you. Vendors stroll past at intervals offering a huge variety of foods, sunglasses and souvenirs. You can also have a massage and a manicure or an imitation tattoo.
Fresh seafood will be cooked to perfection next to where you sit. Finish off with fresh fruit and wash it down with chilled coconut juice straight from the green shell.
Sleep a little, swim a little and perhaps buy a cheap DVD to watch in your room tonight.
Full of energy? How about a Jet Ski, or Para sail or take a speedboat out to the Islands?
It is a cheap day out. A great day out. Face the beach and people watch. Face the Coconut Bar and do the same. Two different worlds with a common link.
As The Sun Goes Down
As the sun goes down the Coconut Bar changes. The Coconut Ladies come out. Some are there all day but most prefer the cool of the evening and the twilight. The Coconut Ladies are the working girls, the cheapest available. They specialise in 'short time' and, if attractive could turn several tricks a day. Some are reputed to earn more than GoGo dancers and some do have their own apartments.
Some of the most beautiful girls in Pattaya can be found amongst the Coconut Ladies. They prefer the independence, the ability to work their own hours. There are some rather unfortunate looking girls there too but none seem to go without a partner for too long.
Though there are undoubtedly some bad apples amongst them and the Kathoey in particular have developed an unfortunate reputation, most are nice girls. They are generally looked down on by the bar girls who offer the security of a Mamasan.
The Coconut Bar By Night
A Must See
As the sun goes down take a stroll along the Coconut Bar. This is people watching paradise. Try to spot who is who and what is going on. The Coconut is as safe as anywhere in Pattaya and Pattaya is safer than practically any major city in the West. Use your common sense avoid the dark corners and walking alone very late night.
Pattaya and the Coconut Bar are safe and to be enjoyed by everybody.
Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on December 01, 2010:
Thank you Hello, hello. Pattaya is a crazy place but it has its beautiful corners.
Hello, hello, from London, UK on December 01, 2010:
Very informative. I have heard about Pattaya how beautiful it is. We went to another island further up which was also a paradise.