Recent Trip to Pattaya
This is a quick blog about my recent trip to Pattaya. Like a lot of travellers i have often wondered what it would be like to visit Thailand. In 2017 i did just that. For my first trip to Thailand i decided to travel with a friend. This was to ease the fear of being in a completely new part of the world which i had never experienced before. Like most travellers from the UK, we flew into Bangkok airport from London. This was after an enjoyable 11 and a half hour flight with Thai Airways. I managed to enjoy some basic food on the flight that would be the start of a 2 week vacation in Thailand. Upon landing we had a lengthy walk to immigration control where i feared we would be waiting for upwards of an hour due to the sheer number of people arriving in Thailand. However i was pleasantly surprised that both my friend an i managed to get through in around 25 minutes. This was a good thing as i began to appreciate the climate that was about to meet me outside the airport. Luckily i had packed a change of clothes into my carry-on bag. Next stop was our hotel in Pattaya.
Our Taxi Took us to Pattaya in around 90 minutes, which was quicker than i expected. Once we arrived at the hotel we managed to check in straight away which was my biggest worry as we arrived at 08:30 in the morning. Our rooms at the Bay Breeze hotel were ready for us straight away. The gentleman on the reception desk could not have been more helpful and polite. This was the start of things to come on our trip.
Over the next 2 weeks we would begin to see some of the best bits of Thai Culture as well as some of the not so nice bits. The first thing i noticed when walking around was how polite and accommodating everyone appeared to be. As you walked along the street people would be welcoming you into their restaurant or bars. They all realise that everyone is a potential customer and will be very respectful when they welcome you to their business. It is important to be respectful back even if you are not interested. A polite shake of the head and most will let you continue on your way. There are some areas though, particularly with bars, where some people will try and be a bit more persuasive by trying to grab hold of your hand. I saw this happen quite often while people watching an bar on Soi 7 at night. But again a polite decline was all that was needed for the person to carry on with their evening.
As my vacation progressed i decided that i needed to do a little bit more with my time than just sitting around eating and drinking. So i talked with my friend and agreed that we should visit some of the sights. There were several things we wanted to do on this trip, like see the Sanctuary of Truth, visit Buddha Mountain and spend a day at Koh Larn. But we had no idea how to get to them so we asked at our reception desk in our hotel. Now our first idea was to visit the Wat Phra Yai temple which features and 18 metre high statue of Buddha. As we did not know how long it would take to get us there we were in the hands of our hotel concierge. Unfortunately there was some breakdown in communication and we ended up at Buddha mountain instead. This was no means a bad thing as we wanted to visit this as part of our trip. So we had a taxi to take us to Buddha mountain and our driver would wait for us whilst we were walking around the shrine.
Our visit was only a brief visit to take some pictures and have a look around. The temperature on the day was extremely hot and neither of us wanted to stay out in the heat too long. There were many small shrines around the mountain for people to go and worship should they wish. It is important to remember that if you do want to have a look around any religious site in Thailand that you remove any footwear before you enter. You will often find a large pile of shoes outside of each temple, so just leave your footwear here. You are free to have a look at any of the religious artefacts and statues, but you should not touch them unless you are given permission to do so. When you leave the venue, a small 20thb (50p) tip is always appreciated. For most people this is not going to break the bank, but means a lot to the Thai people who maintain the site.
After around 45 minutes we made our way back to the car where our driver was waiting for us. This was a great relief to me as i was able to get into an air-conditioned vehicle for our return trip. This mini adventure cost us 1000thb but was worth the money.
A few days later we did make it to the Wat Phra Yai temple, where again we spent around 20 minutes looking around a got some great photos from the top of the hill. It was just a shame that we had to head back so quickly due tan approaching storm. But the weather does change quickly in Pattaya.
The final place we had planned to visit was the sanctuary of truth. Unfortunately, we never had a chance to go and see this, but it is on my to do list the next time i go back to Pattaya.
The final place i managed to visit was Koh Larn. This island just off the coast of Pattaya is an ideal place to visit if you want a relaxing day on the beach. By this point on my holiday i just wanted to slow down a little bit and relax. The previous evening i had met a young lady who told me about Koh Larn and i offered to take her for a day out. So she became my unofficial tour guide. I decided to take a speedboat over to the island as this was the quickest way to get there, although this did cost 400thb per person.
When we arrived at the beach (yes that's right, the boat drops you right on the beach) we headed for some shaded sunbeds where we would bases ourselves for the day. We paid
200thb for 2 sunbeds and we were all sorted. It was not long before the gentleman looking after these sunbeds mentioned that they also served food and beer on the beach. Well this was all the encouragement i needed to try some local food (pictured right). This food was fantastic and i really enjoyed trying something new. I spent an enjoyable few hours just relaxing with a cold beer on the beach and few quick swims in the sea to cool off.
Later on in the day we had to get our boat back to Pattaya, which again picked us up from the beach. On our trip back the sea had become a little bit choppy and our driver had to slow down. This is where i probably would have wanted to be on the ferry as it would not have been so bouncy all the way back.
Next time i am there i intend to see the other side of Koh Larn, but for this holiday i just want to relax.
The following day in Thailand was a Buddhist holiday. This meant that all bars and restaurants were banned from selling alcohol. This made our last day of our holiday very boring as a lot of locations closed for the day. Even Bars were banned from playing loud music until after midnight. It was interesting to find that as soon as the clocks hit midnight normal service was resumed though.
So i managed to see and do most things i wanted to do on this trip and I'm sure i will go back again.