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Russians in Pattaya

There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings about the Russian holidaymakers in Pattaya. Some are not so happy about it while others are reeling in the Russian money flooding into the place. In March 2007 Thailand and Russia entered into a mutual visa waiver program between the two countries. This enables Russians to come here on the standard tourist visa as we all know today. The following graph shows the numbers of Russians that have visited Thailand over the past 6 years.

Growth of Russians in Pattaya

As you can see the amount of Russian tourists has simply exploded, Pattaya has seen it’s  biggest share of those Russian tourists but you have to simply ask why? Seems to me a lot of them are down on the beach oblivious to the hookers lining the palm trees. I can see young kids playing in the sand and walking down Walking street, what’s up with that?

Are the Russians ruining Pattaya? No of course not, this is an international city now and people are going to come here from everywhere, Russian Chinese Malaysians Indians are also increasingly coming to Thailand and why not it’s a great place why can’t everyone come?

The problem with the new wave of Russian tourists into Pattaya is many if not most of them are not the sex tourist. I remember more than 15 years ago when I first went to Pattaya that’s all there was, sex tourists. It was like a secret global meeting place of mongers from all over the world who were seeking one thing. A place where every business revolved around the Sex Industry.

Things have changed a lot now the happy beer bar girl has to watch hundreds of family holiday makers walk by before she get’s the opportunity to shout out “sexy man”. Anyone working a beer bar isn’t too happy about the new “Family Friendly” arrivals.

Russians in Pattaya

Are the Russians turning off the wanna be sex tourist? Maybe. Mongers typically don’t want to pick up hookers in front of women and children, just makes you feel a little off. Remember this place used to be a secret getaway where you could do this shit without women and children being around, that’s why you left yours back home isn’t it? It’s off putting and I’m sure there are plenty who feel the same effect.

But it’s not just the Russian invasion that has changed things, big business and hotels have changed the face of Pattaya as well. Higher rents closer to the beach has been pushing the beer bars further away from the beach.

Pattaya is changing all the time and quite frankly you can’t say it’s better or worse nor can you live in the past. Take a look at this picture of Pattaya from nearly 50 years ago, there’s always an argument that it was better 10/20/30 years ago. Hell in 10 years time we could be saying that today were the good old days.

Are the Russians really outnumbering the original isaan Pattaya girl? Hardly! Whatever horror stories you’ve been told just forget about it. There are plenty of young brown girls to choose from.

Pattaya 1965

Photo of Pattaya in 1965

Whether the Russians are here or not it really doesn’t matter, as much as Pattaya has changed there’s one thing that will stay the same even if 3 million Russians arrive in Pattaya. The Go Go’s the beer bars and especially the girls will always be around they just might not be in the place you remember.

Are the Russians really ruining Pattaya?

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About Chris

Chris founded Living Thai and author of the books Learn the The Thai Alphabet and How to make money in Thailand also the Blueprint for Living in Thailand. Chris started this blog with the aim of educating westerners on how to have the best time in Thailand, to make new friends and to vent his frustrations Chris is also fluent in both written and spoken Thai.

12 Responses to Russians in Pattaya

  1. ChiangMaiGuy April 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Privet!!! I like Russians (not the mafia type obviously) and picked up a hot chick in BKK recently – Russians and Russia get a bad vibe from people but I have been there many times and loved it. Have met some in Pattaya and they don’t really remind me of the ones I met in Moscow and Pete on all those hunting trips between 1994 and 2004 – not sure why… the Russian hookers are rough I must say (so far). Is it a good thing? not sure as they are building a ‘state within a state’ and will not mix much with other farangs I have found.

  2. Alex April 2, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    That’s the one of the reasons escaped from Pattaya, even though I’m russian.

  3. Milbrath April 5, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    I know a lot of really cool Russians, but the ones coming to Pattaya seem to be mostly lower class Russians. Probably on a cheap tour package or something. Yes, they have ruined Pattaya right along with the insane amount of rude and low class, cheap-skate Arabs. Oddly, just a few years ago most of Pattaya was anti-Arab and many restaurants and bars had signs saying Arabs were not welcome there. How times have changed.

    • greg October 13, 2014 at 2:12 am #

      I recall the Grace disco(replaced)on walking street was almost exclusively Arab. There’s a longstanding large thriving Arab/Persian bar group that’s hard to miss where soi VC crosses second road toward walking street.
      The staff there back in the day had to ban the US Navy for assaulting the arab guys who were the preferred customers. Kuwaitis,UAE,Qataris,Saudis are generous to a fault. It’s the north african muslims(Algerians) that cause the trouble. Beware of anyone from former french african colonies. Ignore this advice at your peril.
      In Bangkok Sukumvit soi 4 Farang bar owners used to ban Muslims to keep them to soi 3.
      As far as cheapskates go no one surpasses the Indians,Nigerians.
      Just sayin’…..

      • Mina November 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

        So racist article. We all human being. All nations have good and bad people, so please don’t generalize.

        • ron March 21, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

          Greg is not generalizing those people are scum, the entire population.

  4. Thommy June 15, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Its definitely not bad for Pattaya (i’m here now) – if you want old-style crazyness, you can get it a bit later than before – 3-4 am – most of family tourists already sleeping. Also now its a pretty Russian girls, for the difference, most of them want to meet some good guys from other places, but don’t like Arabs and Iranians (I’m Ok with everyone, its just recent impression).

    Bad side is that 90% of Russians don’t speak English and don’t want to. Also i see influence on Thais now – some of them bacome more agressive and greedy, police looks like i Moscow sometimes.
    And bad for those isolated Russians is, that nobody really care now – just trying to avoid them, like some aliens. There are the walls between them and others, that you can almost tauch.

    But, you can notice it, surprise, and easily ingore it after!

  5. Arab October 11, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    Hahahahahahaha, A Arab needs just to say Hello to any Russian, and she replies him Marhaba Habibi. That’s the full truth.

  6. Derek January 13, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    I have lived in Pattaya two years and am from America! I have a Russian girlfriend! Why would the Russian men want to take a thai women do you see these Russian girls!! EWWEEEEEEEEEEE!!! :) They are not just gorgeous but cook clean and take very good care of their man! A thai lady can not cook for the most part, cleans long enough to get married and then fills your house up with her family! My father has been here 8 years and had two thai wives so I am not speaking out the side of my head! How are we going to knock a group of people like the Russians because they come with a little morale and want to have family time here instead like the people that come from where I am from, from the UK, and Europe that come here to PERV!!!! You can’t go wrong with a Russian women Men I am telling you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  7. aziz October 4, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    did thailand girl like saudi arabia man yes or no thank you

    • Chris October 5, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      I think you’ll find a range of women, some that like Europeans, some that like Aussies and americans, some that like arabs and some that like jews. But they all love money. ;)


  1. Why Sex Tourism in Thailand is Dying | Living Thai - April 22, 2013

    […] to that of yesteryear is much smaller. This can clearly be seen in Pattaya where you’ll see Russian Families sharing the beach right alongside Thai hookers. The regular western monger is being pushed […]

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