Sunset strolls & Pattaya Beach
Serendipity was in my favour, because as it turns out, Pattaya is only about a 2-hour drive from Bangkok (which I was heading to anyway), so I decided to extend my trip by a couple more days to make full use of my prize. Wheeee!
Pattaya is a very popular side-trip for visitors to Bangkok, so it’s not hard to get there. If you want to get there without any hassle, you can actually hire cabs to take you straight from Bangkok to Pattaya, and vice versa; but obviously this is only a practical choice if you’re traveling in a group. But if you wanna do it for cheap, and travel like the locals do, just hop on a bus from Ekamai Station in Bangkok! A one-way ticket will only cost you 124 baht if I”m not mistaken, and buses leave every half hour.
Okay so I gotta take a moment to talk about my room at the Amari Ocean:
Suh-weeeeeet 😀 Even though it was just a Deluxe room, it was about 5 times the size of my room at home wtf.
That bathtub was awesome, by the way 😛
From the balcony, you get views like this…
… and this! Look. at. that. pool. And in case you were wondering, the blocks of buildings around the palm trees are the Garden Wing of the Amari Orchid; there are two “wings” in the hotel complex, and I was staying in the Ocean Tower.
If you’re ever in Pattaya, I would definitely recommend Amari! The prices are pretty decent for a 5-star hotel, and the service is everything you’d expect from the famed Thai hospitality standards. On a random note: the hotel lobby smells awesome, not sure what scent it was, but I felt utterly relaxed the moment I stepped in.
And of course, one of the best things about the hotel was that it was just literally across the road from Pattaya beach!
To be honest, you probably won’t find Pattaya Beach on any Top 10 lists – it’s not bad, but it’s not spectacular either, and as you can see from the pictures, there’s not a lot of “beach” to play with as the tide comes up pretty high. But the wide beach walk just behind the beach makes for a nice evening stroll to catch sunsets from!
If beaches are what you’re looking for, Jomtien Beach in the southern part of the city is apparently a better choice. But really, beaches are most definitely not the main draw in a place where big, flashy neon signs advertising a “Honey Body Massage” are all up in your face 😛
Yes, this city is one for the sinners and not the saints! Just get out of your hotel and walk around, and you’re guaranteed to end up at least one of the many hotbeds of alcohol and “entertainment” of all sorts, as helpfully catalogued here on WikiTravel.
Unfortunately you won’t be hearing anything any personal accounts of Pattaya’s legendary red-light district insanity from me; I passed by this street rather early in the night when things were barely just heating up, and I don’t have a tendency of prioritising nightlife when I travel alone anyway. And I didn’t dare take too many photos in case I got beaten up wtf. But I did get to see extremely tall ladyboys teetering along the street in 5-inch heels and absolutely spilling out of microscopic dresses that would’ve been a tight fit even on me, so there’s that 😛
So if you ever make it to Pattaya, do check out the Pattaya Walking Street, or any of the other beer bar & go-go bar locations, and lemme know how it’s really like! And if you’re feeling in need of redemption after a night of sinning, there’s a shrine somewhere along Pattaya Beach 😛
But if you’re looking for something a little less tame, fret not – Pattaya has it too. Next up, my trip to the Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens!