Pattaya – NSFW

I was advised against writing about Pattaya on my family-friendly blog. Someone said I should just skip over it entirely and pick up again in Bangkok. That grandmothers and cousins and aunts wouldn’t want to know. Well, I’m sharing.

 

Pattaya is the second most visited town in Thailand, after Bangkok. It’s also the, “arsehole of the world,” according to a lovely Brit we met in Bali. Wikipedia will tell you it’s a family-friendly resort town, but then again, it’s Wikipedia. Once a small fishing village, it all changed during the Vietnam War when American soldiers headed there for vacation. Nowadays it’s known for the sex industry.

A few of the go-go bars.

At least 80% of “couples” here consist of older, white gentlemen and younger, Thai women. Upon checking into our hotel, there were several of these couples in the bar/lobby area, some of them making out. Our hotel is pretty nice, but our street is like the Vegas strip, only grimier. You should never see 6-inch heels by the light of day, and Zac insists on clinging to me as we walk around so that the ladyboys will leave him alone.

Ladyboys

 

One amazingly awesome thing about Thailand is that it’s incredibly open and accepting of cross-dressing, homosexuality, and playing around with gender roles. The less hate, the better. With this openness come ladyboys, the effeminate, or transgender, males. There are shows, strip clubs, whorehouses and more for these “kathoeys,” as they’re called. We saw plenty of them in Phuket, but apparently, in Pattaya, they’re working alongside females in the sex industry, and they’re not afraid to approach and grab men walking down the street. Now Zac knows what it’s like to be a girl in a grimy bar. Bangkok apparently puts San Francisco to shame in terms of homosexual-friendly atmosphere. That should be pretty unique and exciting!

Aside from that, Pattaya is apparently incredibly safe, and if you venture out of the Pattaya Beach area, or wander about in the daytime, you see a lot more tourists and a lot less skin.

Hahahaha

We stayed in Pattaya for two nights, and in addition to the great people watching, we did find some cool things to see and do.

The Sanctuary Of Truth

 

The Sanctuary of Truth

We were able to squeeze in some sightseeing, and made the 6-kilometer walk to The Sanctuary of Truth. Construction on this wooden, hand-carved building began about 100 years ago, and is an ongoing process. Apparently, by the time they completed the initial construction, it was already time to work on the old portions again.

Some details on The Sanctuary of Truth's building techniques. Taken & uploaded for my Dad to enjoy!

Yet again, we walked a long way for very little reward. The cost to actually go up to the building was 500 baht (about $16), and we decided that was too much. We each paid 50 baht ($1.62) to access the viewpoint via horse and buggy instead. It was worth it!

Horse and Buggy to The Sanctuary of Truth

The Pattaya Floating Market

 

The only thing I’d been looking forward to in Pattaya was this floating market, so there were high expectations. It was kind of a disappointment. It was actually just a manmade tourist attraction. It seemed like it might have been cool at some point, but now it’s pretty cookie cutter. You’ve got a manmade lake with a maze of shops and stands sitting on stakes about a foot above the water level.

Plenty of people were doing their ‘shopping’ via boat, and lots of the vendors were in boats as well, but it was just another Thai market. I’m glad we went though.

It cost us 300 baht to get there, and only 60 baht to get back. We’re slowly getting the hang of finding the cheapest ways around. Thailand certainly doesn’t make it easy for you! We’d spent about a week and a half in Thailand, and here at the market was the first time Thai teens asked for pictures with us – well, 1 time with me, and 2 times with Zac. I’d gotten used to it after India, but I think Zac was enjoying the attention from his new 12-year-old girlfriends. Best picture of the day! The one in mustard said he was so handsome.

Zac's Thai Fan Club

Hopf Brew Mart

 

Everytime we get to a city, we scour the web and the hostel’s Lonely Planet Guides for a few tips, and this Hopf Brew Mart came highly recommended for beer lovers. It just so happened to be on our way back from the Floating Market, so we stopped in for lunch before catching our minibus to Bangkok. Though the place was by no means comparable to San Diego’s craft beer spots, it was great to have a glass of delicious beer. The cheap and local brews are not bad, but it’s all pilsners and light lagers around these parts. The Hopf Wheat was a lovely change, and I’m glad we made the pit stop!

The Unforgettable Minibus Ride

You’re probably sick of hearing about the adventures of getting from place to place, but let me tell you, this was epic. We found this sweet deal to get to Bangkok via minibus. It was 100 baht ($3.25) each to travel the 2 hours from Pattaya to Bangkok. A great deal – it cost us 100 baht to catch a taxi from our hotel to the station, a 15-minute ride, so we couldn’t pass this up!

A minibus leaves every 15 minutes. It was the bumpiest, smelliest, most cramped car ride I’ve ever had. And if you’ve taken road trips with the Self-family, that’s really saying something. It was about the size of your average van, but it was like a clown car. It “fit” 15 people, with no luggage storage, and no foot room. The guy in front of us selfishly took up two seats, and smelled like a diaper filled with Indian food.

Whatever, we’re budget travelers, so I guess it was worth it! Well, see you all in Bangkok!

*NSFW = Not Safe For Work

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Categories: Thailand, Travel | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Pattaya – NSFW

  1. Paula Tulley

    Caitlin, thank you for the up date and pictures but mostly thank you for keeping Zac safe from the ladyboys!
    Much love to you both, safe travels.

  2. Don

    Building of the “Sanctuary of Truth” is like me building my house.

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