When we had landed at Suvarnabhumi airport, it was way past midnight. The good thing was that the queue for Visa was short and we were done before dawn break. Our plan was to stay at Bangkok at the end of our vacation, so we were to head away to Pattaya directly from the airport. We had done our research, of course, so we headed to the bus information counter in one of the underground floors, got our tickets and waited. The first bus out was at 6 am and we were on it.
The journey from Bangkok to Pattaya was nothing short of being gorgeous once we were outside the city limits of the country’s capital. the sky was clear, sun had risen and while we drifted off to sleep and wake up from time to time in the comfortable, cozy and perfectly chilled bus, we covered the distance unaware of what the real temperature would be. At the bus station we had to hire a Thai rickshaw, also called the Tuk tuk. For a while the experience wasn’t that great, the humidity was unbearable. But our spirits were perky, we’d fallen in love with Pattaya.
The Tuk Tuk driver couldn’t identify our hotel and took us to a different Marriott property. This was our first experience of language problem. This was also the first time we’d travelled to a country where English wasn’t widely spoken and we anticipated some problem. However, this was a one-off case and after this, we didn’t have any communication problem.
A little late, but at our hotel, we got a royal treatment. You can read about our stay at Courtyard Pattaya here. After settling in, we planned our days and here are some things we’d recommend you do. While many, many people have been to Pattaya before, there are more people who might be making their maiden trip soon. If you are one of the latter, this is for you!
How experimental are you with food? We are considerably experimental but we couldn’t eat local cuisine throughout our trip. The only dishes we practically survived on, were Thai Green Curry and Fish & Chips. And, fruits! Thailand is a heaven of coloured fruits, some of which we don’t get in India. And even the ones we do get in India, specially Guavas, are a must eat in Thailand. So when you head out to the beach and spot a fruit seller, go look at his wares and buy what you favour. In fact, even in the malls, we made sure we ate fruits and juices there. If you plan to try the Durian, do it at your own risk – you will either love it our you’ll puke it out.
Try local food if your palate permits. Try local beer, they are quite good.
At Pattaya, the most famous place probably is the Walking Street. Go for the experience. Go watch Indians go crazy there, have your fun and come back. Go inside, if your mood permits. If you are a couple, take your partner’s consent, please. Don’t just force them to go inside. Some amazing street food there, go indulge. Put your hair down and dance the night away if that is what fancies you. Or if you’ve had your fun and want to do something quiet and indulgent, walk out of the main gate of the Walking Street, and go straight ahead. The beach would be on your left side and some restaurants including a Mc Cafe on your right. A little ahead is a mall as well, stop for a bit of shopping,
Some might tell you, Art in Paradise is a waste of time. Unless you have already been to one of those, I would say, still go. It won’t be a waste of time. It is extremely hot during the day anyway (we’d gone in November, so pretty much all year around), and a few hours indoors isn’t a bad idea. Not only that, We had absolutely loved all the art work inside and clicking pics with each one of them was such fun. It was a great ‘us’ time and what a treat it was to witness such exquisite art work, specially the ones that were 3D. So, if you haven’t been to one, go spend a morning or afternoon here.
Everyone we know has been to the Coral Island and as expected it was full of Indians. Only. Indians everywhere. If that turns you off and you are particularly looking to stay away from a lot of people and go to some hidden beaches, you can, but otherwise, specially if you have kids with you, Coral Island is lovely. The ride to it is fun and the boats stop mid-distance to allow tourists to indulge in water sports. Wrap the sarong and get ready to splash.
We’d gone to Thailand just a few days after their King had died and a lot of places were not open to tourists. We missed out on the palace tour which you must not. At the Walking street, check out the Alcazar show if you are up for it.
Thailand is famous for its floating markets and you simply cannot miss them. They are colourful and vibrant, and hey, another place to eat fruits from!
Very near to our hotel was the big Buddha statue and a morning walk uphill to see the glorious statue and amazing view of the city ended our trip perfectly. If you can manage time and are not too tired, try to wake up early and go there. It’ll be worth all the effort!
Oh, and I almost forgot! If you spot these ice cream being sold on the roadside, go pick one and eat! You will be having a lot more than just one; these are so yummy to eat!
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