Almost every night of the year, you will be able to find a party at one of the thousands of Pattaya bars. Some nights, you will be able to find many more.
The tell-tale signs that a party is going to be happening is you will see the girls blowing up balloons. They will decorate the outside of the bar with strings and strings of balloons.
It may be for one of the girl's birthdays or it may be the anniversary of the opening of the bar. There are also times that tourists plan parties for their birthday or to celebrate a major event, like their divorce.
Whatever the occasion, there will usually be some food to go along with the balloons. Typically, it is roast pig on a spit with plenty of side dishes. The food will be free, but you are expected to buy a drink or two.
On major occasions, like Christmas or New Years, just about every bar in town will have a celebration. Many pigs will sacrifice their lives to satisfy your appetite.
There are many expatriates, and some tourists, that get accused of being balloon chasers. These guys look for the parties in hopes of a cheap or free meal. They can be seen nursing a coke and stuffing their faces with all the food in the buffet line.
Balloon chasers are known to frequent the Pattaya forums to see the party listings. They will mark their calendars and hit all the parties they can. Believe me, there can be 3 or 4 major parties going on at the same time in different parts of Pattaya on any given night.
There is nothing wrong with chasing balloons as long you aren't a cheap Charlie. Buy the host or hostess a drink and get one for yourself. Eat your fill, but don't be a pig about it. Also, check and make sure that it is not a private party you are crashing. Most are not.
I have seen some guys that just buy a coke for about one dollar, and then heap the food on their plates and wolf it down. Once they have had their fill, they are gone. They don't even say hello or buy the host a drink.
Throwing one of these parties can cost $200 - $400 for the birthday boy or girl, so show a little class, and at least buy the host a drink.
You may also see at a party for one of the female employees, that the girl will be wearing a flower necklace. It is tradition to give the girl a gift by stapling some Baht to the necklace. Even if I don't know the girl, I will give her 100 Baht. After all, we are all there to have some fun and it is a party.
Partying in Pattaya can be a blast and there are many, many parties going on every night. Hit as many as possible but show a bit of class and chip in by buying a drink or two. Be a Pattaya Balloon Chaser, have fun, but don't be cheap about it.