From Bangkok to Pattaya

    

The two cities I had heard about the most in Thailand were Bangkok and Pattaya. So, a trip to Pattaya was unavoidable. If you are living in Khao San Road, you have will find several travel agencies all over the place offering you the various travel destinations in Thailand. I booked a Mini bus (small bus for 12 people) for 300 Bath that included a pick up from my hotel reception. There was someone at the hotel reception at 9 to pick me up on a scooter (yeah yeah yippee) and I was taken to a nearby stop where a car was already waiting for us. I hadn’t remarked until now how Thailand is full of just Toyotas and Hondas. It is almost rare to find other cars in the city. Every taxi/cab in Bangkok is a Toyota Corolla. Anyways, the car took a few more tourists and me to a central station and from there we were stuffed into the mini bus. A fun 2 hours ride and I was already in Pattaya.

 

From the minibus you would usually be dropped not to so far form the beach. I had just a day in Pattaya and had to make the most of it. Going by what I had heard and read, Pattaya has already been completely exploited by the tourists but the Virgin Islands nearby were still full of natural beauty and clean waters. My first task was to figure out how to get on to one of the islands. I knew it wasn’t going to be so hard with the few number of tourists that were in Pattaya at this point in time.

 

There is one long road that runs parallel to the beach and is full of restaurants, pubs, go go bard, massage parlours, hotel, theme restaurants, food joints, souvenir shops and tailors. This absolutely needs to be mentioned here, I still could not figure out what I would find a tailor almost everywhere in Thailand, right in better all the bars and restaurants right in the middle of all the tourist places. If you figure out, please let me know too. Walking straight on this street, I was at the port in about half an hour. Lots of luxury hotels and the famous ‘Pattaya City’ icon on the small hills gave the place a scenic beauty, absolutely lacking in Bangkok.

 

A boat ride to the most famous Coral island cost me a meagre 30 Bath. I was transported to a small island with quiet a few tourists and a lot of guides eager to take you to different parts of the island on their scooters. I happily paid a guide and got onto his scooter for a ride. I cant really the name of the part of the island I was taken to but the beach there, must admit, was the most beautiful beach I have seen in all my life. I could have spent weeks and weeks on the beach if only I had the time to. Alas. Lack of time pushed me into exploring other parts and leaving this amazingly beautiful beach behind. The other parts of the beach had a few more tourists enjoying jet skis, under water walking, sipping a drink lying on the beds or just swimming in the clear waters. I just so regret not having more time to spend out there. I took a scooter ride back to the port and was all sweaty and smelling because of the extremely humid weather. I guess this is what keeps a lot of tourist from flocking the island during this weather. The same boat ride back to Pattaya took no more than 45 minutes.

 

Once back in Pattaya I had some nice 3-4 hours before I could get onto the last bus to Bangkok. Getting back was in any case the last thing on my mind then. I walked back on the same street that has become much more lively by now. If you are traveling alone, you are sure to be bugged by the numerous touts offering you Boom-Boom, Massages and Ping Pong Shows. I wasn’t really interest in that so let it go for then. Hunger had started taking its tool but not having has such a nice experience with the Thai food I decided to satisfy my hunger with a nice Turkish kebab. No matter what part of the world I am in, the kebabs are and will always be my most preferred street food. Having walked enough on the street I stopped to ask a policeman the way to the Bus station to Bangkok who told me it was almost 3-4 Kms away. Fortunately, he also offered me a ride on his bike, which I gladly accepted. So the next 20 minutes were nicely spent behind the Thai policeman’s’ scooter getting a good view of the city. His English skills also allowed me to get answers to almost a quarter of the questions I had for him. Pattaya gets complete thumbs up from me if you really have some time to spend in the city.

The bus service from Pattaya to Bangkok is frequent and comfortable. It costs just a 150 Bath and the buses are air-conditioned and staff friendly. The bus goes right up to the eastern end of the City, Ekkamai, but if you living on the Khao San road or in the city centre you would probably like to get down a lot before the last stop. I wanted to see till the end so got up at the last stop, called a cab, got back home and crashed straight into my bed. On the way back to the hotel I did manage to get a quick glimpse of a few travellers who were seemingly troubled by the irritating hear and humidity and could not even close the doors of their rooms. Suggestion: do pay little extra and take an air conditioned room.

 

 

 

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