Recently in Pattaya Category

Wow, it's such a nice feeling to get out of the City for a while, even though you never really know what you are going to get once you leave. This time, for some reason, I was on the local slow bus again. It took us over three hours to make the 120 kilometer trip. At least the airconditioning was working. And even though the side of the bus said "Jomtien Beach" (my final destination) they actually let me off on the side of the highway that was kind of near Jomtien Beach. Oh well. I definitely had the mai bpen rai frame of mind the whole way. I was just happy not to do school work for a day or two.

So after an 80 baht (US$2) three-hour bus ride and a 50 baht (US$1.25) 10 minute motorcycle ride, I finally arrived at the Jomtien and checked into one of the many guesthouses along the beach. The sun was going down and a nice breeze was blowing, so I walked down the length of the beach and then walked around the "downtown" area a bit.

Every time I have ever been to this beach, I have stayed in the same area. To get over to Pattaya, you have to take a songthaw truck. There are a lot of them around, so it is easy to flag one down. But I thought that this time it would be nice to have my own transportation. So, 150 baht (US$3.75) later I had my own motorbike for 24 hours.

I travelled down the road along the beach, past all of the many hotels and condominiums, until I was out in the fields. It was amazing how quiet the air and how slow the lifestyle around me quickly became. At the end of the road I turned my bike back towards Jomtien and stopped. In the distance, the setting sun cast a yellow hue across the highrises of Jomtien standing tall and solitary, and from here, quiet. Directly ahead of me, an outdoor restaurant was set up, with many small tables full of dining Thai families and strings of lights strung above their heads. It was perhaps the most beautiful scene in all of Pattaya/Jomtien.

When you drive into Pattaya, you are greeted with a huge sign over the road that labels Pattaya as "The Extreme City". This is true, in many ways. I for one, certainly don't care for most of these infamous "extremities". I'd much rather sit here on my rented motorcycle and watch the tide come in and the sun go down and the locals eating the fresh catch of the day.

Jomtien Photos Added

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I just uploaded a few pics from our overnight trip Jomtien last week to the Pictures of Pattaya Photo Album.

A return to Pattaya

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The last two days were spent in Pattaya a small beach town a few hours from Bangkok (well, we were actually in Jomtien, just east of Pattaya). Mark and Petak drove down Wednesday morning, and Mag and I took the bus to join them later that afternoon.

I was a little hesitant to go to Pattaya again. Manop and I spent a night there last November, and it was perhaps my least favorite place in all of Thailand. The beach was very crowded (mostly European tourists) and the water was dirty.

This time, however, I actually had a great time. It appears that the town has been working hard to improve its image. They are building a wide brick walkway along the beach and have planted hundreds of trees. The chairs and umbrellas for rent are still there, but it seemed to me that the people renting the chairs were trying a lot harder to keep things clean. It was the first time I had ever seen anyone sweeping a beach, or smoothing out the sand.

It also helped that we were there on a Wednesday during the rainy season. In any case, I surprisingly had a relaxing time there, and hope to go back again sometime.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Pattaya category.

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