Trip Start Feb 18, 2009
42Trip End Aug 10, 2009
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Staying in Pattaya with Don Kinaschuk (a builder in Saskatoon that I know from working at the Land Branch)... his house is amazing.
Got a few really good hours sleep that evening which was good because I hadn't slept much on the plane.
Went for a walk in the morning (Don goes swimming then for a 5k walk every morning) around the area. Good idea to carry a stick... so many dogs around and not the friendly Canadian kind (and I didn't pay the $700 for a rabies vaccine so I have to be careful!). Don's mode of transport here is a motorbike and I've never been on one before so it was quite an experience to do it and to do it amidst the chaos of Thailand! I loved every minute though and swear I was born to ride!! I must take after my mother! I wanted to throw my arms in the air in some kind of Kate Winslet-esk fashion! We got up to 85k on the highway which was a real rush. My first of many firsts on this trip I'm sure. I met Don's friend Leslie Dowd (a 'Liverpolitan') who used to work for Reuters and covered the Falklands. Very interesting man. He's 70 and married to a 50 year old Thai woman. They live in Bangkok and he has a condo in Pattaya. We then went to smoke a shisha... this was another first!
We then headed for Ban Saray which I fell head over heals for. We sat on the beach
Today we did the usual walk and then met Leslie for coffee downtown at the Starbucks accross from the beach (mostly because it has a deck on the roof and Don can smoke is cigars up there!). Found out that Leslie had once met John Lennon at a party... John handed him a piece of paper that said 'fold 9 times'! Leslie was very non-chalant about having met him! After coffee we went for another shisha and then to another friend of Don's who is also English and married to a Thai woman. Jeffery first came to Thailand when he played with the Pro-Am and fell in love with the place. They have a spectacular home that in Canada would be worth well over a million. The white-man-Thai-woman marriage is very interesting. In some cases it does appear to be a win-win situation (the woman has financial security [money for a Thai woman comes above everything] and the man has someone to take care of the house and nurture him). But it is hard to get passed the wierdness of it. After our visit and a few Leo beer we stopped for a bite to eat at an outdoor 'restaurant' not far from Don's. I use the term restaurant loosely! But the food was like nothing you can imagine... at least not the kind of food out of a place like that! Had the Khao Pad Moo... garnished with fresh cilantro, cucumber and green onion... even the presentation was fabulous!
I've already seen the seedier side to Pattaya (of which there is plenty in this Asian 'Sin City'). More on that later.
Where I stayed