When Good Guys Go to Pattaya

A view of Pattaya
Formerly a peaceful fishing village, Pattaya is now a vibrant seaside town with abundant facilities thanks to its sex tourism. Situated only about 100 kilometers from Bangkok, this town is commonly listed as an excursion of Bangkok tour packages, just like the exclusive tour offered by TRAVELdonk this time. The one-day visit to Pattaya was our agenda in the second day of the tour (for the first day record, click here).

We went to Pattaya by government bus from Ekkamai Terminal. This approximately-2-hour-trip was considered the cheapest and the most convenient way. One-way ticket cost 108 Baht only per person. The bus terminated at a bus station located on North Pattaya Road. Once we alighted there, we ignored the songthaew touts and walked out the station. Just few steps east of the terminal, we found a place like tourist information center where we could ask any questions about Pattaya and get a free map. Then, we kept walking east a little bit more till we found a T-junction with traffic lights. We crossed the road and took a white songthaew running along Sukhumvit Road to the south toward Pattaya Floating Market.

Songthaew, a typical Thai open mini truck, hold the key for public transportation in Pattaya. To use this mode of transport, however, is not as simple as it seems so passengers are adviced to learn first how the things work. Consider not to take any songthaew at a bus terminal, the fare would most likely be overpriced-sometimes as costly as Bangkok-Pattaya bus ticket! The best way to deal with this is to stop a passing-by songthaew with passengers inside. The fare is 10 Baht flat for normal songthaews and 20 Baht for the white ones. Bear in mind, if you stop an empty running songthaew, it may be considered that you charter the whole vehicle and so the fare will be expensive. Ridiculously, other passengers can still get on along our destination route. Now it sounds quite complicated isn't it? But don't bother looking for an alternative public transport. The local government once released city buses in order to provide better public transport, but soon the existence of the buses left unheard. Songthaew as the sole public transport in Pattaya seems to be forever.
Songhthaew di Pattaya
During our trip down the Sukhumvit Road, people hop on and off the open truck. Exposed by sunlight and poured by dust, we didn't miss seeing a big billboard with explicit sex content. Let's think of this; the billboard was on the main roadside, everyone could see it day and night. Hell yeah, this is Pattaya! The picture of an almost naked woman on the billboard was nothing actually to describe the whole picture about Pattaya. As the sky got darker later in the evening, there would be many more shocking naughty things. So, here the saying got its words; "Good guys go to heaven, bad guys go to Pattaya."

The government claimed that some efforts had been done to change the bad image of Pattaya by developing more family friendly attractions-so good guys like us also have reasons to visit Pattaya ^^. The first place we aimed was the Pattaya Floating Market, but it was quite disappointing when we got there. Tickets were required to enter and they're not considerably cheap. Refer to its floating market label, we thought of a market where people could get in and out freely, even merely for window shopping. In fact, this place was not a popular local market visited by many people then later turned into a tourist attraction. It was rather an unauthentic floating market designed purely for tourists. It violated our value of traveling that always want to experience authentic things. Regarding this, we spent only a little time within the outer area accessed without any tickets.
In front of Pattaya Floating Market ticket check counter
Some tourists were lining up for getting on the boat
Just across the Sukumvit Road from Pattaya Floating Market, there was another tourist attraction; Thunder Rock Dinosaur Park. We crossed the main steet but we didn't come into the park-due to its poor rating in the internet- but instead we entered an alley nearby to refill our stomach at a local foodstall as well as refill our drinking bottle at a water refill machine. Eating at simple foodstall and refilling drinking water become vital strategies to support budget travelers like us.

After lunch, we kept walking along the alley about 1 km till we found Jomtien Beach. The beach is well-known for its better cleanliness compared to Pattaya Beach whose quality had been degradated in recent years due to bad management in the past. Strolling along the 6-km-long Jomtien Beach on foot is actually possible. But the sun was still so intense at that time so that we decided to hop on a passing by songthaew. On board, we really enjoyed viewing the white sand beach.
Cheerful again when arriving Jomtien Beach
Not really attracting Pattaya Beach
We were dropped off at the hill foot of Pratumnak-a hill separating between Jomtien and Pattaya-. Walking uphill to the top just like we did was not impossible at all because the distance is not very far. It's not steep either. But pedestrians have to be careful of cars since mostly there is no special walking lane. Uphill the most famous religious attraction in Pattaya is to be found. This temple with big Buddha makes the hill sometimes also called as Big Buddha Hill. Before getting there, we came by a Chinese temple nearby to make use of its toilet. Unlike in Big Buddha temple, the toilet here was free of charge.

Wat Phra Khao Yai, the official name of the temple, also contains other Buddha statues other than the Big Buddha. The most prominent ones are the fat Buddha with hollow stomach. The temple visitors come and throw coins into the hole. Also there is an exteremely thin Buddha looks very hungry. Beside the statues, here visitors can also see aerial view. But apparently, the best spot to see the city view isn't from here, but from Pattaya Viewpoint. From Wat Phra Khao Yai, we just need to walk back down a little bit, cross the road, then climb up steeply. It's not difficult to find the way, especially before sunset, because there will always be tourists buses parking near the area coming to this place. The picture in the beginning of this post was taken from Pattaya Viewpoint
A garden in a Chinese temple next to Wat Phra Khao Yai
was somewhat refereshing in the middle of hot and humid temperature.
The Big Buddha at Wat Phra Khao Yai is the largest in the region.
The tour attendant was getting explanation about the temple.
The carved Buddha statues at the lower ground of the temple looked not fully done.
Buddha footprint also becomes an attraction at Wat Phra Khao Yai.
Visitors put and erect coins on the cracks.
With the town view background.
Unfortunately, the sunset that day was not very spectacular as the sky covered by clouds. We walked down the Pratumnak Hill through the other side. We kept walking downhill till we found the Walking Street. The so-called street is only open for pedestrians when dark. Here is the center of Pattaya wickedness. The pious would always say OMG when being here. Vulgar images and words are common decoration here.

When we were there, the day was just getting dark, so most of the night clubs just opened. We saw the workers had silent time praying devotedly so the business tonight would run smoothly. The sexy girls were getting ready, some of them were not really girls though. Some clubs were closed indoor so it's impossible to peek inside without getting inside. Don't ever think of taking pictures inside. That's prohibited and the consequence is fatal for those who violate the rule.
Taking picture in front of a bar at Walking Street performing Thai Boxing
While admiring the atmosphere of Walking Street, a man suddenly came over me. He offered me a massage service which most likely to be a prostitution in disguise. I declined easily saying that I came here with my wife. Before the night getting later and life here getting wilder, we got out of there. But even outside the Walking Street, we still found such wicked stuff. Well, somehow it's still in Pattaya. We witnessed with our own eyes that sex toys were openly sold along the beach road. OMG! Bad boys must like this place...

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