Go-go bars restaurants walking street Pattaya Thailand

Thailand 2012: Arriving in Pattaya

Date: 15th November 2012

Here I go again. My third official trip to Thailand (fourth according to my passport). This time though, I wasn’t going to be alone. Ramesh, a friend I have travelled extensively with, was going to join me this time. But since he is working, he could only take a week off. Whereas I would be in Thailand for nearly two weeks.

I’ve been meaning to return to Thailand ever since my disappointment of 2010, when I first tried to capture the Yi Peng Lanna festival. I was still bitter about missing the big lantern release and vowed I would go back to do it right.

So it was good fortune when I landed a return ticket from Bangalore to Bangkok on Thai Airways for just Rs.14,558 ($266/€204)! How? Well, Cleartrip to the rescue again! I have been keeping a check on prices since January. For the first few months of 2012, the price was around Rs. 25k! Same airline and about the same travel period. Which was quite shocking, considering I paid Rs. 15k and Rs. 16k in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Then in early September, I was served an ad banner from Cleartrip promoting a discount coupon where by I could save some money on international flights.

This time the same Thai Airways flight cost Rs. 16k, a far more reasonable fare. I used the coupon code and got a further Rs.1600 discount. At Rs.14,558, this was the lowest I had ever paid for a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. I immediately told Ramesh and he booked his ticket as well.

Bangalore International Airport extension
My flight left Bangalore without delay
Thai Airways inflight meal Bangalore
Thai Airways chicken curry meal – 4/5

Ramesh would only arrive in Bangkok two days after I did, so I decided to spend my first two nights in Pattaya since I had seen enough of Bangkok.

Arriving at Suvarnabhumi dawn
I arrived at dawn

After clearing all the procedures, I went down to the ground floor where you normally avail taxis. There are buses to Pattaya on a frequent basis, and I got a seat booked (฿134) for the 8:45am one. I roamed around the airport to pass time.

Suvarnabhumi airport escalators
These escalators are very annoying to use. Some of them skip a floor, so getting on the wrong one means a lot of frustration.

The bus set off at around 9am and with the morning sun hitting my face, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was already in Pattaya and it was well past 11am. I got down at an intersection and hired a bike taxi to take me to where I would be staying the next two nights.

Chaba Hut resort room Pattaya
This was my room at Chaba Hut Resort, 1000 baht per night incl. breakfast

Check-in was a breeze. The place looked good in the photos and it ended up being alright in person. The plan was to take a shower, rest for some time, have lunch and then go to the Sanctuary of Truth.

I overslept.

I guess the lack of sleep in the plane and then the air conditioning in the room set my tired body to rest. By the time I got up and out of the room, it was nearing 4pm. I was still sleepy, but I was hungry as hell. I walked around the area and wondered what to eat. I ended up walking to Central Festival mall which was pretty close to where I was staying.

Carls jr fries burger
I ended up at Carls Jr. to munch on a good beef burger meal (฿205)
Pattaya beach road panorama from Central
It was finally time to take out my DSLR and start clicking. Pattaya’s Beach Road from Central Festival.
Central Festival mall Christmas tree
Christmas was a month away
Pattaya sunset from Central Festival
The sun was about to set
Hilton Pattaya hotel Thailand
This is the Hilton Pattaya
Hilton Pattaya exterior
I love the exterior work on this hotel
Pattaya beach walk Thailand
I took a stroll on Pattaya beach
Pattaya beach umbrella benches
Pattaya beach, where you can lie under an umbrella… because there is barely any space for you to actually walk on the sand!
Natural beach hotel Indian restaurant Pattaya
As you walk towards Walking Street, you start to get more and more restaurants serving Indian food
Pattaya Walking Street in evening
Walking Street was pretty dead as this place only opens up late
Pattaya Walking Street Simon
It was still nice to walk through Walking Street without much of the blaring noise
Pattaya Lebanese restaurant
I took a detour and found a street filled with businesses catering to Arabs
Arab restaurant hotel Pattaya
Plenty of Middle Eastern cuisine and hookah joints on offer here
Pattaya Boyz Town gay area
I didn’t bother going here

Ripley's Believe It or Not PattayaI walked back to my room and spent some time online to chat with friends and family.

Pot Pie baked beans Pattaya
For dinner, I sat at a English pub across the hotel and had a beef mince pie with some beer. Being British, it obviously had to come with canned baked beans and HP Sauce! (Meal came to ฿249)

I called it an early night as I wanted to feel completely fresh for tomorrow. I had just one full day to go around Pattaya.

Other posts in this series:

Loy Krathong 2012: Yeepeng Lanna in Chiang Mai – A second chance to do it right

SM Town World Tour III – Live in Bangkok: An Indian SONE’s experience!

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