116-120 Pattaya, Bangkok to Home

See trip index here, Northern Thailand index here and more photos from Northern Thailand here

For a couple of chilled days we decided to head to Pattaya which is probably not one of the best places in Thailand!  One guidebook quotes it as the place where all the Western and Russian Scum washes up…  But, it is close to Bangkok, has a beach and an island or two, and should be bearable and fun for a couple of days.

The trip from Ayutthaya to Pattaya was interesting… TukTuk to minibus station; minibus to Future Park; then forwarded by 5 people to the right man to give us a seat on a minibus to Pattaya, then as it was so hot we hired our own songthaew to take us to our hotel.  Quite a fun and friendly trip if a little confusing.  Our hotel was rather good, a nice little suite, but probably not in a family area!  Far too many old/grey westerners with young Thai partners everywhere.  It is a very male dominated place, though a lot of the males are at least as feminine as Mel, and many of the women probably weren’t born that way.  Of the genuine females, as many were Russians a fair few were more masculine than me!

Pattaya Walking Street is a usual interesting road, lots of ping pong and lady boy dancing and touts, but a fun place to be.  Getting around Pattaya is easy and cheap using the songthaews – something we’ll miss when we return – hanging off the back of a pickup truck through traffic…

We did manage to have one of our most expensive meals for tea though – a huge and good Fish n Chips, with ketchup salt and vinegar!  Okay – yeah – we’re almost home…. 

To be fair we’d probably not recommend Pattaya to anyone, but it is suiting our need to see the sea before we return.  We did plan to visit Laan island but the weather was so hot we thought we’d just be hiding in the shade all day.  There is just about enough to do wandering around and people watching, but even so the lack of photos we took does suggest its not the prettiest of places.

Our return to Bangkok was quite simple – bus to the Airport and then the sky train to the city, and then public bus to the hotel.  Imagine that at Heathrow!  Our hotel was a bit of a luxury for us – a rather large suite for the princely sum of £28 a night.  A bit pricy for us, but a bit of a final treat.  We wondered how Bangkok would fair now our Asian experience has increased, but really it is still a fun and mental place to be.  We were still very close to Khaosan Road and the busy and bustling atmosphere, and we were also close to one of the canals enabling us to take a boat into the main city.  We expected a slow canal boat, but these were mini racers and how it didn’t tip up we’ll never know.

After a couple of days of wandering round we had our last supper in a very nice place, but with plenty of wine and pricier food it has got us back into the UK mentality!  After the last restaurant bill we should now be more ready for the UK… 

And so.  That’s it.  The end to an absolutely amazing trip, far different to any other trip we’ve undertaken.  We’re going to be very sad leave Asia, and no doubt we will return…

See costs and review of Southern Thailand here

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