I’d been thinking for a long time, whether or not, as there are hundreds on online already, if writing a blog about Pattaya was a good idea. I mean there is nothing unseen in this seaside town vicinity anymore. I do really wonder how many nicknames Pattaya has: Dodge City, Sin City, Porn Town and the Land of Go-Gos Galore. And these are only a handful of example names. Yet, there is so much more to do in Pattaya than just drinking and whatever related these days. Over the last decade, Pattaya has certainly brushed its image up with an aquarium, fun park, zoo and tropical gardens etc….etc…. Foreigners are always amazed that Thais think the place is a family-friendly haven for kids.!
A couple of Saturday mornings back after spending the previous night in Bangkok, I took my Golden Tiger Girl out of her cage for the 230 km walk. After only hearing the idea of setting off for another weekend out, she was already purring and eager to go. Being honest, the only part of the Eastern seaboard journey I don’t really like is the city crossing of Bangkok; passing through an endless stream of lights, you are often stopped by a squad of ever-friendly Boys-in-Brown who think up any old excuse to extort tips from you.
Actually, just evening the evening before, on the way from Suphanburi, I was a little more fortunate than usual; I was pulled over for ‘apparently’ not driving on the left lane, but after explaining to him that I’d had to move out the way of some manic bus driver who was about to mow me down, he accepted the reasoning and let me off.
Got to say, there is some absurd traffic law enforcement in Thailand; while the Boys-in-Brown are sat there goggling at pretty office ladies walking past, they are indifferent to those drivers zooming past wearing no helmet, driving on the wrong side of the road or sitting 5 to a bike. It seems the only time they get to work is when either the big boss comes to inspect or they need to fill up the whiskey funds.
Bag packed, helmet at the ready, I mounted my Tiger girl and pulled her ears and instant roaring was the result. Off I was with her …….. and my ride through the concrete jungle of Bangkok was, this time around, a much more straight-forward one.
Prior to setting out on the journey, I had planned only 2 coffee stops, the first one in Bangkok, and the second in Chonburi, but after being ‘taken for a ride’ by the cops the evening last, I decided against making a coffee stop in Bangkok and besides my Tiger girl wasn’t looking so thirsty. I opted to make the first stop instead in Samut Prakarn as my intention had been to go for the Samutprakan – Chonburi connection due to the road being better than the terribly pot-holed Bangna-trat Rd . After a well-earned lunch, I took Tiger off for the final stage of the journey towards Pattaya.
We didn’t really experience anything hazardous along the way here, except that is for the numerous trucks and ever crossing dogs on the way to the beach resort par excellence. This is one of the worst roads in Thailand. Only the elevated road is in good condition.
Once I arrived in Pattaya, I launched my search for a room but after finding that the place was booked out, I ended up in a very romantic short- time love motel. The bathroom didn’t have a door and it was surrounded with glass walls. What a nice view for amateurs .Can you imagine ………
After an uneventful evening having a quiet few drinks with a couple of old friends, the following morning I went to the highest summit of Pattaya. It’s a short swooping but very steep ascent to the top. My Tiger Boxer 250 Rs was amused by it. For her it was just a short hike. At the top you can witness a breathtaking view over Pattaya Bay with its impressive skyline.
From there, I went straight to Bang Sare travelling along the Sukhumvit Road. Just past the entrance to Nong Nooch Tropical Garden you can see the road sign to Bang Sare and about 7 km further on to Sattahip you will be in Bang Sare. Here you can find several kilometers of golden sandy beach and the area is well-known for its stilted restaurants serving mouth-watering seafood dishes, at a very low cost in a family-friendly safe environment. People come to Bang Sare to relax and enjoy beautiful scenery surrounded by friendly and smiling Thai people. Nearby there is a nice little fishing port with traditional Thai fishing boats scattered around.
After dinner, I took my Golden tiger girl to Walking Street, which is the infamous, seedy part of Pattaya that is covered in western men, and very rarely western woman, looking for some company. And you cannot miss those offering business, as they are everywhere you go, there are also Go-go bar doormen offering not so delicious “menus” every 10 meters. I had had dinner already so I wasn’t hungry anymore! To be honest I find it quite sad, from the point of view of many of the working girls there, it is there only way to make a living, and from the westerners’ point of view they feel they can find someone they can call a “girlfriend”.
Sunday morning I had to leave Pattaya to return back to Suphanburi. I had planned a stop at Sri Racha which is a seaside port and fishing town. It’s about 30 minutes north of Pattaya by bike. It is the largest private port on the eastern shore of Thailand in Chonburi province. One of the main attractions in Sri Racha is the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and the pier is also worth a visit, together with its sea turtle basin. The turtles there are so tame you can easily lay a hand on them.
After a 100 baht breakfast and lunch at the same time, I continued my way back to Suphanburi. Early evening, My Golden Tiger girl dropped me off her back right in front of my front door. She had completely fulfilled her assignment with great ease .
Mission accomplished ………..
More tourist information for Pattaya at www.ThailandGuidebook.com.