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Published: July 23rd 2012
Where neon comes to die. Even puts Bangkok's red-light districts (all combined!) to shame, with an almost unending plethora of girlie bars, clubs and "sexy show" touts in the midst of restaurants, shops, street vendors and buskers.
After the peaceful but poignant mountains of Kanchanaburi, my next stop would prove to be a harsh contrast. A quick overnight transit back in Bangkok later, and I next headed to Pattaya, the simultaneously luxurious and kitszchy/ sleazy beach resort town some two hours south of Bangkok, where I met up with two other friends who also made the trip. I understand Pattaya's development traces back to the sixties when it started out as an R&R spot for the American GIs fighting the Vietnam War. It has since absolutely boomed into a kaleidoscopic mix of fancy beachfront hotels, shopping malls and restaurants, and redlight girlie bars and nightclubs, all with tourist-oriented prices to match. Pattaya Beach itself has suffered severe coastal erosion over the past few decades, so what remains today is at best a 10-metre wide beach at normal tide (and much narrower at high tide!), nevertheless jam-packed with deck chairs, incessant touts and (unfortunately) the usual beach rubbish. The city is certainly not for the most conservative-minded people, as retired falang
(Caucasians) hand-in-hand with their younger Thai femmes is the most common sight, somewhat bizarrely alongside unsuspecting holidaying families with children!
I spent most of the time really just
chilling over meals, lazing around (we had a pool at the hotel!) and doing the pub/ club crawl with the mates at night, so I'm sorry to report I don't have many particularly cultural/ scenic photos for you. Not that Pattaya has that many of such sights to begin with, but I'll throw in a few that I'd taken from a previous visit just to give you a more complete picture.
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