Trip Start Jan 16, 2010
56Trip End Oct 19, 2010
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Where I stayed
Pingthong Guesthouse Rating:4 stars
Today we left for Pattaya after saying goodbye to Borja (our Spanish amigo) and boarded the coach at Bangkok bus station,it was a Roong Reuang coach,Very cramped and quite sweaty so if you happen to be in Bangkok try to avoid this particular one. After 2 hours we arrived at Pattaya station ready to continue our travels.
We set up Base at a guesthouse in Jomtiem (just outside Pattaya city) called Pingthong, immediately we fell in love with huge double bed, you could fit a whole family in it!! After a long day of travelling across the country, we quickly visited the beach...beautiful scenery!! We then went onto have something to eat, and prepared ourselves for the bright lights and debauchery of 'Walking Street'.
This place is shocking at first but slowly you begin to realise this is the usual social atmosphere of Thailands young and vibrant nightlife
One bar had mini bars inside with poles of dancing girls in the centre of them- the idea was for the customer to walk down the strip in the middle so the girls could have a competition to entice the customer to their bar as they walk down. Some bars had ladies dancing in windows to advertise themselves for sale and was quite shocking to see how skinny some thais were and how little clothing they had on whilst walking the street. A weird atmosphere that Anna certainly wasn't used to...a not so nice sight was the begging kids made to perform and beg all through the night for money- some of them however more than knew how to look after themselves punching men in the balls for laughs.It was certainly a scene that was not expected before visiting Thailand- quite vulgar! However we finished the evening off nicely with a dance in one of the local clubs and Liam tried his first piece of off the road side cooked 'chicken...??!!'
21st January 2010
A nice long walk along Pattaya beach- a lovely enough beach but not picture perfect-still searching
In the evening we went onto a great view point of Pattaya lit up at night and also lit some spark packs the Thai's buy which set off like fireworks/ gunpowder- sparks and a lot of noise! We went onto a thai buffet restaurant all you can eat where you have a silver hot pot in the centre and you load your plates with raw meat and fish and cook it yourselves. We had prawns, squid and Liam had the most meat- not quite sure what it was though- liver, heart, chicken, beef...Anna had a lovely grilled fresh fish. We then had the broth as soup - another normal thing here. On for drinks at Lovejoys home for early night.
22nd January 2010
Today we had planned to visit an island off the shore of Pattaya,however it was quite overcast and not ideal for sunbathing. Instead we decided to go to Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens, a 30 minute journey on the back of an open air truck
We arrived greeted by a vast array of farm animals, not penned or in cages but literally opening the gates for us. There were goats, donkeys and deer, all pushing past to try and escape their very 'open' enclosures. Further in there were Parrots with clipped wings, slightly sad as they were stuck on their perch trying to get down by using their beaks and clambering over each other. The trail led us onto a butterfly farm, not many inside,probably due to holes in the net keeping them in, a few rare and beautiful ones remained which were good to see!!
We felt quite hungry as it was lunch time, so after stopping for some yummy and very cheap Thai food, looking at the fish in the dinner hall fish tanks, we moved onto the Gibbons which were howling as loud as they could to grab attention from visitors. One of them was very cute which hung down from his perch (which he was chained to) to hold anybodies hand who presented it to him, his hands were very soft and he seemed like a young mischevious little soul...anna couldnt leave him and wanted to take him away with us!!!
After roaming around observing other animals like Tropical birds, Turtles, and one very large Tiger called Euro we stumbled across the Elephants. This was our first experience with the 'largest Land Animal' in the world and was not to be forgotten..They really are Huge and Beautiful, there eyes are full of character and personality, you get the feel that each one is different in some kind of way
We walked around the main attraction of the venue...the Botanical gardens. Filled with millions of flowers, bushes and trees. It was an awe inspiring sight! Aswell as this the sights were filled with small temples and long skywalks to capture a birds eye view of the french gardens. The next stop was at the cacti gardens where we became trapped via an immense tropic downpour. As soon as this finished we rushed over to view the Thai Culture show and elephant performance, the latter was better than the first as we have never seen this type of show before, well worth visiting!!!
23rd January 2010
Not done much today as it was very sunny, so we decided to sunbathe all day. The sun eventually dissappeared and we slowly cooled off to prepare for zipwiring off the Pattaya Park Beach Hotel. Standing at 240m high its the tallest building in the region. As soon as we got up there the thai's literally pushed us off after being harnessed up and safety checked (barely) as it closed at 7pm. Quite an adrenaline rush and very scenic view on the way down. Evening was enjoyable and relaxing, Anna and I went for a seaside view meal at 'Surf Bar' and finished off evening with chocolate and banana crepes on the beach at midnight
24th January 2010
Went for a lovely day at Koh Larn island, 7km off the coast, catching the boat at 9.30am. Once arriving we found a nice spot for sunbathing and settled down for the day. We went swimming in the sea and had some lunch in one of the huts. Liam and I then went on for some sea creature spotting in the rockeries where we found- some nice rocks and shells, urchins, crabs, fish, some big (huge) ugly slugs- about 1/2m, and some spikey moving things- I forget the name. I then wanted to explore a bit further so whilst the others waited for the boat I went over the large rocks onto some slate and round the corner to find some caves. Lovely day but waiting to find a perfect deserted island yet. Getting onto the small boat to take us to the larger boat was a bit of a nightmare- like bulls in a herd! The day finished with some heavy rain on the boat on the way home and we had a club sandwich before heading for another early night- think the heat is getting to us and its only been a week!