When friends heard I was planning a trip to Thailand, firstly they all warned me about the protests. But knowing me, they realised I would never listen. Secondly, most of them told me to head to one of the islands instead of going to Pattaya. One said ‘it’s horrible’ while the other ‘it’s so crowded’. Well yes, considering it has beaches and is a tourist friendly area closest to Bangkok, do you expect to not find tourists?
I spent three days in Pattaya and let me tell you, I enjoyed myself crazy. I like to party but I enjoy my peace more. I would prefer to laze around on the beach, swim till I’m tired to move my arms and then drink coconut water all day long. If you’re looking for a good beach holiday, follow my tips and head to Pattaya. You won’t be disappointed.
Stay on Jomtein beach, away from South Pattaya
It’s only about 10 minutes away but the difference is astounding. On one hand you have tourists spilling out of bars with loud music blaring and on the other, less people and almost-empty streets. Sure there are tourists and if you walk up to the Night Market there will be music and a young crowd but overall the place is peaceful. I stayed in a little guesthouse about two minutes away from the beach. Let me tell you, the rooms are fantastic, clean and spacious.
Early morning swims
Set your alarm for about 6am. Wake up, slip into your bikini/trunks and head straight for the water. It’s absolutely divine. You’ll have the whole beach to yourself, so swim to your heart’s content or sunbathe in the morning rays. For the non-swimmers, take one of the beach chairs or spread the towel on the sand and read, listen to music or sleep. No one will disturb you.
Visit Koh Larn
The nearest island near Pattaya has six beaches. I headed to Samae which is on the other side of the pier thanks to tuk tuks plying regularly. Called the Coral Islands, one can try adventure sports or just simply laze around drinking coconut water or a beer or two. The journey into the pale blue waters will be rocky so be careful but once inside, the sea is warm. Eat fresh seafood after a tiring swim and sleep. There’s nothing better than a lazy getaway.
Gorge on street food
Thailand has great food. In Pattaya, instead of heading to a restaurant or pub, why don’t you try the scrumptious delights the street vendors or roadside eateries have to offer? From Thai green curry to squid to fiery hot Tom Yum soup, there’s something for everyone. Try plenty of fruits which are sold almost at every nook and corner and for dessert, have a freshly-made crisp crepe smeared with Nutella!
Don’t leave without a foot massage
After long tiring days of walking on the sand, lazing in the sun and eating like its Christmas, why don’t you end the relaxed getaway with a foot massage? About an hour long and costing 150-200 Baht, its so so relaxing that I often dozed off! With oils and magic hands, hot stones and scrubs, the foot massage sessions are worth every baht!