Pattaya - sun, beaches and nightlife...

Trip Start Nov 24, 2009
1
5
Trip End Dec 14, 2009


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Monday, December 7, 2009

One of the great things about Thailand is that no matter what you seek in your vacation - it's likely you'll find it there...





There are mountains and jungle and cooler climate up north, and you can do trekking there, or rafting, or hiking...or you can visit the hill tribe people, or go zip-lining, or spend a day with the elephants...


There is Bangkok that offer everything big cities can offer - museums, shopping, entertainment...you can take fun and educational day trips, you can take a cooking class, a massage class...






And of course, Thailand has great beaches...that paradise you saw in the movie "The Beach" - it was filmed in Thailand - on Koh Phi Phi Leh island, just off the coast of Phuket...


During both our visits to Thailand we tried to "sample" a little of everything and finish our vacation on the beach...last time - in 2007 - it was in Phuket...you can read all about it in my blog from that time (http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/irenan/6/1223175720/tpod.html), but in a word - we absolutely loved it...








This time, unfortunately, we didn't have much time left (what else is new - vacations are never long enough!), so - instead of flying to one of the islands of Thailand, we spent whatever few days we had on the "mainland" - in Pattaya...







Now, if you have more than a couple of days left for the beach, I would suggest you go to Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Pha-Ngan, or any of the hundreds of Thailand islands in the Gulf of Siam or Andaman Sea...but if time is very limited - you can take a taxi from Bangkok, and in less than 2 hours you'll find yourself on the east coast of the Gulf of Siam - in Pattaya...


Pattaya is probably better known for its colorful nightlife - cocktail lounges, nightclubs, racy shows, omnipresent go-go bars...this city is quite famous for that...or maybe "infamous" is a better word?...girls, girls, girls...or boys, boys, boys...catering to all tastes and fantasies...















The Walking Street in Pattaya (as well as the Boyztown - for the gay community) is the epicenter of all this craziness...and many people (especially single men) who come to Pattaya prefer to stay in the vicinity of this epicenter...regardless of what you think of it - it's undeniably a curious place, and it's amusing to be a spectator in the human comedy that unfolds before your eyes...








But you get tired of it quickly; besides, neither of us can tolerate loud music, crowds and endless partying in large doses, so we decided to stay further away from the city center...that way we had nice quiet private beach during the day, yet were only a 10-15-minute taxi ride to the Walking Street in the evening...


The resort we stayed at - Birds and Bees Resort (formerly known as Cabbages and Condoms Resort) - was quite a curious place in itself...it was built by an activist involved with charity organizations promoting wide availability of contraception and safe sex education in Thailand... hence the peculiar name...










Condoms rule at this resort: you see sculptures wearing suites made of real condoms (or - for that matter - real birth control pills)...tabletops at the restaurant are decorated with red and yellow condoms...at the bar there is a big pyramid made of condoms, and you are encouraged to take as many as you want...even floor mats in our suite were condom-related!...


Despite the somewhat unusual theme it's a very family-friendly resort...the guests included couples as well as families with children, so if you are planning to stay there with your kids - I think they will love it there...what I wouldn't recommend though is taking your children to the Walking Street...













The resort itself is located on a secluded hilltop overlooking the sea in the midst of a huge lush jungle-like tropical garden...even though it takes a large area, there are not too many guest suites, so quite often we felt as if we were the only guests there despite the fact that the resort was fully booked...so - if it's privacy and tranquility you are after - you'll definitely find it here...



















This place has everything to make your stay pleasant and comfortable - private beach, swimming pools and jacuzzi, swings, streams and ponds with tropical fish in the garden, the acclaimed Cabbages and Condoms restaurant on premises (which has its branch in Bangkok, too, by the way), witty signs posted along the secluded garden paths...















The resort has amusing things scattered here and there in the midst of the garden - like bicycle energy generators: you begin pedaling, and in a minute or two one of several national anthems starts playing from a loudspeaker hidden in treetops...or - there is a banana tree with a pair of scissors attached to it so that you can cut off your own snack-on-the-go...I think I was the only one doing it, and because I love bananas very much - they barely had a chance to ripen on that that tree...



And yet another peculiarity of this resort - it has RABBITS!...


Yes, there is a group of rabbits living on the premises...real, fluffy, a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e rabbits!...about 10 or 12 of them...they are not pet rabbits, yet not quite wild rabbits either...just living there...during the day they mostly hide in the bushes, although sometimes get out and even ever so timidly let you pet them...














But at night - the whole rabbit community is lounging on the lawn near the pool...we would usually return way past midnight, and on the way to our suite would just stop and watch rabbits playing in the moonlight...for various private (and largely unexplainable) reasons we have very warm feelings towards rabbits...so - seeing them just living next to us was a pleasant surprise...


A few days that we spent in Pattaya went awfully fast...we would spend a whole day on the beach...or rather - my dear angel would spend the day on the beach, and I would spend the most of it in the water - the sea was calm and very-very warm...they offer massages right there on the beach, so a few times we indulged in that...in the evening we would take a taxi into the city, walk around, watch a show or just watch people...








......If we had more time - we would maybe take a boat to one of the little offshore islands or just explore Pattaya...or - I thought it would be interesting to see Mini Siam - a miniature model village with replicas of most famous historical sites in Thailand - such as the Bridge over the River Kwai, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, to name a few...but most of these sites we did see "in person" during either one of our visits to Thailand...


We took a taxi back to Bangkok and spent our last night there before flying home...one last walk along the Sukhumvit Road...one last massage...one last glimpse of the city and the country...ah, even before leaving Thailand we began to miss it! ...






When we finally landed in San Francisco, it was a cold, gray day...such a contrast to the warmth of Thailand...but the city was decorated for the holidays, the shoppers were hurrying across the Union Square past the gigantic Christmas tree and ice-skating rink...the steep streets and the clunking sounds of approaching trams were so familiar...and it felt good to be back...but we will return to Thailand one day, I know we will...







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