The narrow promenade that runs all along Pattaya Beach stretching from North to South is affectionately referred to as the Coconut Bar. It’s a social meeting place for tourists and expats from all over the world. There are benches all along this boulevard. There’s plenty of shade and it’s a great place to just hang out, people-watch, and relax. A stop at the Coconut Bar is a must for any visitor to Pattaya.
The Coconut Bar has become an institution almost as famous as Walking Street itself. This is the main venue for picking up the Pattaya Freelancers. The Pattaya Freelancers can be found here at almost any time, day or night, but there’s more than just girls along this popular stretch of beach.
There’s always a cool breeze and it’s the best and cheapest place in town to enjoy a cold beer in the daytime. All along Beach Road you will find convenience stores such as 7/11 and Family Mart at strategic locations where you can pick up your favorite beers for as little as 45 baht for a large bottle. Buy a beer, walk across the street, and find yourself a shady bench to sit on. The sitting areas that are closest to the convenience stores are the most popular. There’s also food available from the numerous vendors that ply their wares all along the beach.
I try to make it a point to spend at least an hour or so everyday down at the Coconut Bar. It’s good therapy. There are always joggers, walkers, and couples strolling up and down the Boulevard and you never know what you might see. The Pattaya Girls will be down there chatting, putting on makeup, talking on there cell phones, and getting ready for their next customers.
The main road that runs along this stretch is appropriately called Beach Road . On the opposite side of the street from the Coconut Bar, you’ll find numerous beer bars and other entertainment venues, as well as souvenir and coffee shops There are dozens of beer bars where you can find a cool beverage and some company.
Besides the beer bars, you will find the Tahitian Queen down around Soi 13. If you’ve had a couple of beers in the shade at the Coconut Bar, it’s hard to pass up the Tahitian Queen. I’ve fallen victim to their short-time room, in the back, many times after a pleasant morning on the beach.
Traffic is one-way on Beach Road running North to South all the way down to Walking Street where the Coconut Bar ends. You can catch one of the many Song Thaew also referred to as Baht Buses, to get get to Walking Steet, day or night. It only costs 10 baht for a ride.
Also, along Beach Road you can find girl-friendly hotels like the Siam Bayview and the Baboona Hotel overlooking the Coconut Bar.
The Coconut Bar Umbrella Experience
Pattaya Beach is an “attended” beach which means that most of the area is covered by umbrellas and lounge chairs that are available to rent. These umbrella establishments are run by various families that have been doing this for years and years.
You can rent a chair for the entire day for 30 baht. These vendors also cook food to order, serve beer, soft drinks, and coconuts and generally cater to your needs while you enjoy the shade. It’s really a good deal.
Besides the vendors that own the umbrellas and chairs, you’ll find a whole bunch of other walking vendors that will try to sell you anything from a tattoo to knock-off designer sunglasses. There will be food vendors of all sorts, walking foot massage girls, Tiger Balm sellers, ice cream guys, paintings, hats, bags… you name it. It’s all available at the Coconut Bar.
All of these strolling vendors can actually become quite annoying if you’re trying to enjoy a quiet time in the shade. According to my observations, most of the vendors will assault you as soon as you sit down in your rented lounge chair. After they’ve each had a go at you, after a while, they will eventually stop bothering you and you can enjoy the rest of the day. If you’re wearing earphones and listening to an iPod, they’ll give up even quicker.
No matter what you do while you’re enjoying your day at the beach, do not rent a jet ski. It is one of the famous Pattaya rip-off scams that has been going on for years. Stay away from the jet skis.
The best activity at the beach is watching the Pattaya freelancers. There are plenty of freelancers all along the boulevard. In the daytime, if you spot a freelancer that you’re interested in, invite her to sit down under the umbrellas with you. Buy her some food and a beer or two while you get to know her. The freelancers are very appreciative of this and will treat you right when the time comes to go back to your room.
Night Time at The Coconut Bar
Starting around 5:00 pm, the Coconut Girls start to come out in force. I personally think that between 6:00 and 7:00 pm is one of the best times for viewing the Coconut Bar Freelancers.
This is the time of day for great sunsets in Pattaya. With the position of the sun in the sky, it’s best to be walking from South to North if you want to stroll and check out the girls. Otherwise, the sun is shining right in your eyes and you can’t get a good view.
The highest concentration of girls is between Central Festival Mall and Royal Garden Plaza, although the girls can be found all up and down Beach Road.
Some of these girls come all the way down from Bangkok, just for the weekends.
I’ve noticed that there are a lot more girls that show up right before the first of the month when the rent is due. They slide down to Pattaya to pick up a few extra baht and scamper back home to pay the bills. If you’re lucky, you can occasionally run across some of the sweet freelancers from the Bangkok universities.
Man, I love this place!