Playing around in Pattaya

13 Apr
My first time in a pool bar

My first time in a pool bar

Pattaya is known for its horrors and pleasures. Some websites and guidebooks go into detail about which streets are more lively, where to find the lady-boys, where they speak Russian or Japanese, where the beer is cheapest, etc. The French Guide du Routard simply mentions “à eviter” (to be avoided). That would do the place injustice though. It is something one must have experienced in life. But probably once is enough.

There must be a market for the Pattaya experience, because there are shuttle buses (and even public buses) bringing people directly to this party town from the airport. You’re even not obliged to see anything cultural in Bangkok on the way there ;-) And when speaking to people along my route, many of them visited Pattaya also for a cheap beach holiday, with the family. So there is more than only the girly bars or boyz town.

Getting there was not the easiest part of the trip – but once we got there – we were plunged in luxury – thanx to my fancy Brussels friend traveling with me. Pattaya also has lovely stretches of beach, so I could try on all the new swimming wear I had bought in Bangkok – pictures below.

Getting on the wrong bus

Getting on the wrong bus

Getting there

Since we had opted for a bit of culture in Bangkok before (see Bangkok post) we had to get there by the usual public transport – from the Ekamai (Eastern) bus station. Having been in Bangkok too long, we had grown weary of the thousands of people pushing us to buy things, get in their taxi, visit their bar etc, so when this guy stormed at us as soon as we arrived in the bus station shouting Pattaya Pattaya our alarmbell rang and we tactically got rid of him – and found our way to another ‘official’ public Pattaya bus.

Wrong! The guys that ran out to us was just filling up the express bus (official and public and cheaper) with some last passengers before leaving. And suspicious us, we found ourselves on a slow (but aircon) public bus that stopped at virtually every village on the road. So what should have taken about one and a half hour, took us 3 and a half. So much for trying to outsmart the system.

  • The lesson learnt: look for the blue express buses and avoid the orange omni-buses – one should not mistrust everyone.

Not just any hotel

Our deluxe room - 2 beds that seem many more in all the mirrors

Our deluxe room - 2 beds that seem many more in all the mirrors

My friend from Brussels that joined me on my Thailand trip, likes to live the good life, and likes to get things organized properly well before, otherwise he’s at risk of major stress & nerve attacks. So after a whole hoist of emails, booking sites, reservation requests and denials (it was Songkran – Thai New Year) we managed to get a ‘deluxe room’ in the Nova Platinum hotel. Deluxe it was!!

  • Wow, wow and wow

It was a luxury hotel, with modern design, golden elevator with mirrors on all sides, our luggage carried up to the room by some slaves (quite embarrassing to arrive with a back pack and in old shorts that are barely surviving 3 months of Asia). The room was lovely, the bathroom even more. The room had mirrors on all walls, so if you were in the right position (believe me, we tried!) you could see yourself from about 6 different angles. There was a leather sofa-corner, coffee-maker, mini-bar, wifi, safe, and lots of more things I would never have needed. There were even 3 times more pillows on the bed than I have heads

I want a bathroom like that !!

I want a bathroom like that !!

The bathroom was even nicer: I want a bathroom like that if ever I grow up (and manage to find a house). Designer sink in wave-style. Rainforest shower. Toilet with the omni-present Asian ‘toilet shower hose’ (very convenient to keep things clean). Complimentary flacons of all kind of toiletries, creams, lotions and potions, etc. Bathrobes, slippers and towels a go go. It just felt soo nice that everything was taken care of and thought through.

  • And it’s that wow feeling that I would want to give to people – so maybe I should move into the hospitality sector?
Posing at the pool...

Posing at the pool...

There was (of course) also a swimming pool, but this one had a fully fledged (and overpriced) pool bar, with happy hour on their cocktails (lasting all day – so I should call it ‘happy day’). There was a slide for the kids, lots of deck chairs to soak up the sun, and umbrellas to hide away from its cancerogenous burn. There were some fountains down one side of the pool and a cozy bubble bath corner on the other side. I must say there were suspiciously many white male guests (and quite some hairy arab men) with thai girls lingering around… So you can complete the picture yourself.

We did not go for the girls

The beach boy showing off - trying to catch us

The beach boy showing off - trying to catch us

It is probably difficult to be in Pattaya without getting sucked into the seedy side of the city (literally sometimes). You linger down the (in)famous walking street and any eye-contact you make will be followed by some kind of approach (keep your money ready). Similarly, when you go through Boyz Town (or Patong in BKK) the skimpy clad guys will take your arm (or whatever other body part they can hang onto) and try to drag you to their:

  • banana show (I don’t have to explain this do I?)
  • full body massage (and they mean the full body)
  • big size show (very un-asian – lol)
  • gogo dancers (pick your number)
  • f’ing show (indeed, a bit less romantic…)
  • and any variation on those themes

We just settled for one of the bars for a drink – and to observe the gay fauna and flora walking by, circling around us, tempting the odd attack, trying out their pick up lines, us trying to divert from the eternal “where you from” conversation. Anyway, when the local guys approach you in a quite direct way (and direct means direct here) you can be sure that they are of the professional category. We found out that there are the ‘bar-boys’ (doing the bars at night) and the beach boys (who hunt for victims under the sun).

Relaxing at the beach - keeping the beach boys abay

Relaxing at the beach - keeping the beach boys abay

  • PS many asked me if I was Lassian (Thai pronunciation for Russian) – so either I look very eastern – or there are many Russians around. Indeed since a few years the Russians have discovered Pattaya and all its cheap wonders. Many signs, menus are in Russian and the girls even start talking Russian. Not sure if this is a good evolution. But the ‘Arabs’ (did not find out from which country) are trying to catch up. Also lots of arabic writing around, and women in veils, and men in long dresses, ogling down the local working girls… Globalisation

Also you see far too many old guys with young Thais. I hope I’ll never get to that stage! But on the other hand, I noticed that many of the Thai guys contact older guys… And when I asked whether they thought 10 or 15 years age difference is not a bit too much, they replied that they prefer to have dates (lovers) with more experience

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One Response to “Playing around in Pattaya”

  1. fabrice 24 April 2009 at 22:11 #

    On adore le maillot de bain… Très asiatique…

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