But concerns about the impact on Thailand’s reputation have spurred authorities to act, while frequent reports of underage sex workers, drug abuse and mafia operations further muddy Pattaya’s name.
Prostitution May, who is transgender, said the strip has felt more subdued in recent weeks as police and soldiers conduct frequent patrols as part of a clean-up ordered by the censorious ruling class.
Almost invariably carried out by men on women; to be a male recipient means you're either extremely lucky or the giver believes you, as the British say, to bat for the other side.
A common, braindead, and therefore quintessentially British phrase, which explains the strange and nonsensical definition(s) sitting next to this one.
Early afternoon and a middle-aged, balding British tourist is striding purposefully down Beach Road, Pattaya's main street, with a Thai girl slung over his shoulder.
He's obviously in a hurry, preferring to walk between the traffic rather than along the crowded pavement. Suddenly, she pops up her head, grins and then flops back, making no attempt to free herself.
She is bullish because she, like tens of thousands of others in the industry, have no plans to give up their jobs.
A less kind, but more accurate, description would be one huge brothel.
The average visitor appears to be male, 40 or more, probably losing his hair, frequently fat, very likely British and there for one reason only - to buy sex with young Thai women.
Puen Thanachai threw noodles at the woman before punching and then kicking her after asking for her number in a shopping centre food court in Ko Samui, Thailand.
CCTV footage from Central Festival shows the 19-year-old become angry after the woman refused his advances.