Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pattaya City: South-East Asia's Premiere Holiday Destination

words by Edgar Petallo
A very common scenario at Beach Road, Pattaya. The place is always jam-packed with tourists from around the world (mostly from the western hemisphere) spending their humdrum afternoons  along the beach either trying to achieve a sexier summer (tan) look or just simply lazing around the corner.


"No matter where you go in life or how old you get; there's always something new to learn about. After all, life is full of surprises".


Never did it cross into my mind that one day I would be able to experience and perch in the city of Pattaya popularly known as one of the leading beach-resort destinations here in the 'Land of Smiles'. I have never dreamt nor have ever desired for it, however life's unpredictable circumstances, inevitably brought me here. Well, as what the old adage says, change is the only permanent thing in this world, might as well embrace it. 

Strolling on the beach during the early mornings is simply rejuvenating. A refreshing way to start the day!
I have always thought that this place is all about sex and adult entertainment (which until now remains to be the city's undisputed top money-earning industry), however amidst from its famous go-go bars and prominent lustful-fantasy trades, still intricately looms a wide variety of family-friendly attractions and wholesome, unadulterated activities you can indulge in with.



If there could be a 'saving grace' from Pattaya's highly commercialized and spoiled beachlines, then it would definitely be its enchanting sunset freely seen along the famed
Beach Road.
Pattaya nests in the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand which is approximately two to three hours bus ride from the capital city of Bangkok. Throughout the years, it has dramatically metamorphosed in leaps and bounds from a seemingly mundane, dull, fishing village into a buzzling city resort clad with a plethora of enticing sceneries and pulsating nightlife venues. 

         

The water isn't crystal clear but it's CLEAN (well, at least in Jomtien Beach). The golden-brown colored powdery sand might have tainted and marred its unsullied purity.


The influx of towering buildings and hotels as well as the grips of over-commercialization might have spoiled a once exotic beach and ravaged its natural charms and beautiful shorelines. If you're expecting for a more nature-driven, far-off paradise holiday vacation in an unspoiled pristine beaches, then Pattaya ain't probably the best place for you.


Beachfront view along Beach Road, Pattaya City taken from the second floor building of the renowned Central Festival Mall during the 2013 Chirstimas Holiday Season.

Although the quality of its beaches is not at par with world's best known resorts, the city still boasts of attracting millions of tourists from the different parts of the globe every year. Its easy accessibility from the country's capital itself, the budget-friendly accommodations, the wide array of excellent activity choices (which I am going to feature each of them in my upcoming posts), and not to mention the ever booming and stronger sex tourism industry (which generally attracts western guys and old but wealthy 'retired' farang) might have been the very main reason why it still holds the weight as the most sought-after travel destination in South-East Asia. 

Pattaya abounds with water sports activities and Jet Skiing is probably one of the trendiest
sea activity to date. (Just beware though with the emerging Jet Ski scam).
Another thing that I've always loved to do during my holidays, is just merely sitting down idly on the beach (listening to Bruno Mars' "Lazy Song") while ogling at those European eye-candies  strutting in their gorgeous body-hugging swimsuits.

Travel Guide: How to Get Here?

If you're traveling (light) in a tight budget (with only a backpack and probably a not-so-heavy carry-on bag), getting a metered 'licensed' taxi the moment you arrived in Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok wouldn't be advisable since it costs quite a lot, approximately 1,500.00 ThB (Thai Baht) plus the 60.00 ThB highway (motorway or expressway) toll fee. For me the most efficient way and yet still very budget-friendly and at the same time convenient is going through an air-conditioned 'first class' bus (with an on-board toilet inside) accessible at the Eastern (Ekkamai) Bus Terminal. Please take note that the bus service operates until 9:00 in the evening, so be at the terminal at least 30 minutes before the time.

Bangkok City Train Map/Guide.

*First you need to take the train from Suvarnabhumi Airport Link going to Phayathai BTS Skytrain (the train service is open until 11:00PM). Bear in mind that the Airport Link and BTS Skytrain are two different lines. You need to transfer to BTS Skytrain the moment you arrived at Phayathai.


The Pattaya Map. The North Pattaya Bus Terminal is located at the farthest end on the right side.

*And from Phayathai BTS Skytrain Station continue riding on the train going to Ekkamai. The Bus Terminal is just a stone's throw away from Ekkamai's BTS station.

*Tickets are sold at the bus terminal at around 124.00ThB (April 2014 price) going to North Pattaya Road Bus Terminal.

*From North Pattaya Road Bus Terminal, you can ride on a motorbike (60.00-100.00 ThB) or take a hitch on the most common public transport known as songthaews (which is a 'cross-breed' between a pick-up truck and a shared-taxi). The standard fare is 10.00ThB (as of this writing) anywhere in Pattaya City. You can press the buzzer button on the underside of the roof of the vehicle the moment you arrived in your destination of choice. 

I am hoping you find this information helpful. Please enjoy the city of Pattaya as much as I did! God Bless You:)

Lying on the beach while gazing at the beautiful sunset gorgeously unfolds before your eyes is more than just a kiss of serene solitude. 

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