Category Archives: Pattaya

Pictures of Pattaya Music Festival 2011

This weekend, Thailand is hosting one of Asia’s biggest beach music festivals. The Pattaya International Music Festival, 18-20 March 2011,  is now in its tenth year and is bigger and better than ever. The opening night was on Friday which I attended. It continues over the weekend with both Thai and international singers.

Over 400,000 people are expected for this three day concert at various stages along  Beach Road. This stretch of road is three kilometres long which is why they are now calling it “The Longest Beach Music Festival in Asia”. The four main stages are Galaxy Stage located on Laem Bali Hai, Moon Stage on Pattaya Soi 4, Universal Stage at Central Pattaya and Reggae Stage at South Pattaya.

Over one hundred famous Thai and foreign artists are scheduled to perform during the  three day event. They represent different styles of music such as Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B and Rock. Some of the big Thai stars include Golf-Mike (see picture below), Da Endorphine, Potato, Paradox, Slot Machine (see picture above), Chin Chinawut, Ice Sarunyu, Namcha, Aof Pongsak, Punch, Sweet Mullet,  Blackhead, Bie The Star, Tai Oratai,  The Richman Toy and Modern Dog.

Last night I started at the Galaxy Stage which is at Laem Bali Hai, the southern end of Pattaya Beach Road. The opening ceremony took place at 7 p.m. and was attended by the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand as well as the Pattaya City Mayor. The opening song, by Golf-Mike and Vietrio, was an arrangement of H.M. The King’s song “Klai Roong”.

I stayed at the Galaxy Stage for an hour or so then decided to walk north up Beach Road. From Walking Street up as far as about Soi 4 the road had been closed and many vendors had set up shop selling everything from delicious food to handicraft and clothing. Also along the way were a couple of other smaller stages with bands performing. I found the biggest crowd at Universal stage which is just north of the Hard Rock Hotel. This one has the popular Thai pop singers.

More information about Pattaya Music Festival can be found on our festival blogs. We have the full schedule there for each of the main stages. All of the concerts are free to attend. Below are some more of the pictures that I took on Friday night. I also posted pictures on my Facebook last night. Feel free to add me as a friend if you use Facebook already.

[album: Music Festival 2011/]

Biking to Pattaya

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

Pattaya Floating Market

When I first heard about the Four Regions Floating Market in Pattaya, I just thought that we would be getting another tacky and artificial tourist attraction built just to bring in the tourist dollars. There are not really that many authentic floating markets around. The famous one at Damnoen Saduak was recreated in order to cater for foreign tourists. It is situated on the site of a much older floating market that was abandoned years ago when people started going to local supermarkets by car. However, we now have an alternative that was specifically built as a floating market. The recent soft opening of the Pattaya Floating Market has already made it one of the best and biggest floating markets in Thailand.

Over recent years, Damnoen Saduak has become ugly with rusty corrugated iron roofs and rubbish piled up in plain site. On the other hand, the 350 million baht Four Regions Floating Market is purpose built on a 27 acre piece of land. The wooden buildings have been built in the different styles of the four regions of Thailand. So, as you walk along the board walk, you can admire the architecture as you go from region to region. The shops at Damnoen Saduak all sell the exact same tacky souvenirs. However, the Pattaya floating market has over 100 shops selling food and quality souvenirs. If you like Amphawa Floating Market then you will like these shops. The food here was also excellent.

Entrance to the floating market is free of charge. There is a museum to visit or you can just wander around the shops buying souvenirs or eating snacks. You can either buy from the shops or the vendors on the boats who are paddling around the canals. If you would like a boat ride, then it is only 200 baht per boat. These are big enough for four people. But, you don’t need to do this. It is just as pleasant to walk around the large complex. There are bridges criss-crossing all of the canals. You cannot do this at Damnoen Saduak. There are also free cultural shows and dancing. During the week there is only one show in the late afternoon. But, at the weekend there are fours shows in the afternoon and evening.

The tourist attraction isn’t fully open yet, but it can get very crowded at the weekends. So far it is mainly popular with Thai tourists as it is not featured in any English language guidebook. When we were there we only saw a few other foreigners despite being so close to the beach in Pattaya. Later they plan to have sunflower fields, elephants and a working rice field. In one corner they had bird cages on poles which will be used for turtle dove singing competitions. A popular event in Southern Thailand. The floating market is just south of Pattaya on Sukhumwit Road. It is open daily from 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. If you are planning a trip to Pattaya then I strongly urge that you visit this floating market.

Many thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for taking us to Pattaya. Thanks also to the management of Pattaya Floating Market for giving us a tour and the Hard Rock Hotel for providing us with accommodation.

Road trip to Pattaya

After a few days in the central countryside I was informed that we were off on a road trip to Pattaya.

An overnight trip to the seaside is some sort of family tradition at this time of year. So in the early afternoon we piled three adults and four children into the pickup and set off. The children were kept amused by the DVD/VCD player. And the old American cartoons were even funnier in Thai than English. When we got sick of Daffy Duck and Loony Tunes there were other cheap options available at the convenience stores.

One of the delightfully unexpected features of the fuel stops (at least for men) was the outdoor urinals around the back of the toilet blocks. Very civilised, I thought.

Roadside signs in Thailand are intriguing and usually a great way to practice your reading. However, the sign below was in English. I was not sure whether to feel more or less safe after seeing it.

When we stopped for late afternoon noodles I was reminded how delightfully polite Thais are in such situations. One of the things that had surprised me on this trip was the way my friends talked within the family. Not rudely, but bluntly, without the little niceties you get taught are so essential when speaking Thai. So when we got to a restaurant and they switched to textbook Thai the contrast was dramatic.

A little further on rain threatened. This is one of the disadvantages of a pickup. Your bags are out in the open. There was a brief stop at the side of the expressway to bring the least waterproof items into he cab, but the rain never amounted to much.

We got into Pattaya in the early evening of the last Songkran public holiday and spent what felt like hours in a traffic jam observing (comfortably) the last vestiges of the Songkran waterfights. Pickups full of drenched revellers, people on the roadside with buckets of water, and some enthusiastic and extroverted dancing by people of indeterminate gender. Not quite up to the excitement of Richard’s video but interesting nevertheless. Unfortunately it was dark by this time so I have no photographs.

After losing our way a few times we finally found the hotel. After an hour or so at the pool we headed out to look for something to eat.

We were staying at Jontiem beach, which is south of Pattaya, and so relatively family friendly. However, I felt rather uncomfortable sitting at a table in a restaurant with two Thai adults and four children when a late-middle aged tourist wandered in wearing only shorts and parked himself opposite his Thai friend. To add insult to injury, the meal we had was by far the worst and most expensive I had in Thailand.

After total immersion with Thai people for almost a week the sight of foreigners, and the way they behaved, was a little disconcerting. They seemed so loud in comparison to the Thais that I had been mixing with. Not that the foreigners I saw were behaving badly, it was simply a large contrast with what I had become used to.

We were up early, on Jontiem beach by about 9am, and enjoyed breakfast and lunch on the beach. After the 35C heat in the central countryside it was nice to be a little cooler. The almond trees in the photo are discussed in another blog. Pattaya proper is beyond the headland in the distance.

As you can see in the picture beach wear for adult Thais tended to include a t-shirt. I didn’t really register this at the time, but no one seemed too bothered about me taking my shirt off to go in the water. However, I definitely had my shirt on at other times.

The beach was a very friendly family-oriented place. While I was minding the children out in the very mild surf a pair of twenty-something Thai women from Bangkok befriended them, and we became involved in an extended game of tag. I was pleased that I had enough Thai so that when they asked me if the children were mine I was able to explain that they were children of friends.

The public toilets and showers you see at western beaches don’t seem to exist here. However, across the road there were a number of places to take a shower, for a small fee.

After the beach we headed into Pattaya itself. It seemed odd to see so many signs in English and even more foreigners. The whole place had a slightly run-down feel about it.

Our main destination Pattaya was Ripley’s Haunted Adventure. It was reasonably interesting and moderately scary. The advantage of travelling with children is that you get to do things that you otherwise would not have an excuse to do.

After the fake horror we were off to see some real-world carnivores at the crocodile farm. Apart from the crocodiles the animals included camels, tigers, bears, and various birds. Feeding the crocodiles with meat on a line was popular with the visitors, but there were few takers for posing with a tiger or a crocodile. I considered it briefly but in the end passed on the idea.

We headed back in the direction of Ang Thong in the late afternoon, with several meal stops, and a shopping stop where we picked up various foods, including some durian, which made an excellent breakfast the next morning.

An interesting trip, but I was happy to be “home”.

My recent vacation

Ok..we just got back from Thailand after spent 3 weeks over the X’mas and new year. Guess what?, we chose to stayed at some condo in Jomtien beach area for entire 3 weeks, and never once set foot in Pattaya! We had booked the condo over the internet a few month before with the taxi pick-up service of $1200 from the airport. Our flight was supposed to land around 11:00pm but didn’t actually land until 2:00am! Our driver’s pretty cool about it. we went and slept pretty much the whole trip to Jomtien beach. We had so much fun over there! You’ll be amazed at what we did during our time there….which’s nothing much!

First – our condo’s very nice and in the super location. We’d decided not to book a hotel room because it’s much more expensive during the high season, and we found out that our condo’s much much better than some 4 stars hotel rooms and we’re paying only $18 a night. So you guys, next time during the trip…book a condo room instead. It’s much cheaper! Anyway our routine is like this. We would walk out 5 min. to catch the 10B songtheaw to our favorite breakfast place – Lotus foodcourt for breakfast…then walk around for a few hours within the vicinity…then catch a songtheaw back to Jomtien beach for the same 10b and have our lunch there…then back to our room for 3-4 hours…then go out again at the night food market for more food hunting (either at Jomtien beach or the one next to Theprasit rd.) We did this routine for entire 3 weeks. Can you believe that? The night market next to Theprasit road’s quite big during weeknights, and 4 times bigger during weekends. We probably tried every foods at every stalls inside Lotus foodcourt and at those 2 night markets as well! Man oh man…thai foods are very yummy!

Anyway the second reason – as why we had to be in Thailand’s that I have to renew my thai-ID card after 23 years absent. In order to do this I have to go to Bang-Kapi city hall in BKK, and what a hassle that was. It’s about 2 hrs from Jomtien beach to go to the Ampur Bangkapi, this’s where my tabiean-baan is. Luckyly my aunt and uncle came all the way from BangKapi to pick me&my hubby up and sent us back too. I was so nervous and not sure whether they would let me do this or not, because as of now I can only speak and write thai about 75%. I’d gone to the US to study since high school and then on to university and all these times didn’t use any thai at all, but since I have such a nice uncle and aunt who did filled out everything for me!

Then the official asked me whether I’m married or not and wished to change to the new married lastname. So I asked her, if it would be better to change it? Then she said better not… since my husband is an American, it’ll be less hassle when I’m trying to buy some properties over here later on, even though the current law allows me to…but the law can change at any time! So that’s that…I got to keep my old last name…it’s kind of famous lastname anyway! At the same time I told her that I would like to change my first name also and I wanted to be “Teresia” – because this is the name I’m using in the US. But the lady official told me I can’t use this because it doesn’t have any meaning in thai and according to 1998 law all thais must have thai names….and here is the book….just look through it and pick one or go to the monk asking for one. Well I don’t have time to go to see any monks, so all four of us (me, hubby, aunt, uncle) looked through the book given for just about 15 min., then came up with the name “Nisha”. We all agreed it’s very pretty and means “smart & pure”. So my new first name will be “Nisha” to use in Thailand.

Then came the hard part – the id making, this’s the most difficult of all, I had to fill out some paper works and in thai too, because they just want to make sure I can still write in thai , before they would renew my Thai-ID card, and with the penalty fee of 300b + 25b id’s fee. I filled out most of the blank spaces, but not all, and they said ok..fine. So after all these years I finally have my new id card with the new firstname!

So now I have it
In the US , my name is…..Teresia + old thai name + married lastname
…now I have to change asap to …..Teresia + Nisha + same married lastname

But in Thailand….I will be known as……Nisha Sankavadana

I know it’s a bit confusing!

In addition, I also made the new biometric thai passport right away to match with the new name. The process was simple : waiting time – 1hr and after that, only 10 min of making it – at Central dept. – Bangna branch.

I’m so happy that everything had gone smoothly and now looking forward to buy a piece of land for our future retirement home in BangSare – Chonburi.

In the next article I will be writing about our house and land hunting experiences in BangSare, with pictures. BangSare is the seaside town between Jomtien beach and Sattahip, Chonburi.

Thanks for reading my story