A Day in Pattaya
So Jensen and I decided to visit Pattaya and see what goes on in the big city there. We left early Saturday morning. Our first stop was the Outlet Mall to see if we could find some t-shirts. Even extra large here is a bit snug on me. No luck. My husband did find some items for himself. Apparently men’s sizes are a little bigger, although these men look quite delicate to me. Our next stop was the hotel to see if we could check in early. No problem there. Room was ready. We even found parking in the hotel. Guess not too many Thais travel by car. There seem to be hundreds of buses going through Mae Phim every day – religious Buddhist festival the entire month of February, so everyone is heading to the Watt on the hill to pay homage to Buddah.
We then headed for Mike’s Market – my kind of shopping – lots of stalls and lots of bargaining. I have learned to say, “A little bit expensive. Can you reduce the price?” in Thai and I actually now know my numbers, so I always get a giggle and a smile out of the Thais and, of course, a reduced price (a little reduced, that is). It’s the system: you have to bargain or the Thais have no respect for you – if you don‘t ask for a discount, you sure don‘t get one. JJ (my husband) landed a pair of Bermudas and another 2 or 3 “Boss” T-shirts. Then we headed for lunch – Thai food for me, of course. I had my Thai noodles with prawns and JJ decided on a Caesar Salad. Then on to the Central Festival Shopping Center – about 5 stories high, fully air-conditioned, escalators, and bathrooms on every floor (very important, although I don’t need to go to the bathroom much, we perspire so freely). Boring – no bargaining – fixed prices – quality merchandise. Oh well, JJ managed to snag another T-shirt, this time Lacoste. Who knows what brand it really is.
Back to the hotel to shower and change for dinner. In Thailand you don’t have to dress up, but I had found this really colorful skirt that I wanted to wear, so we dressed up. Marched to the waterfront and selected a seafood restaurant. It was JJ’s birthday on the 20th, so he decided we should have lobster. I have enclosed a couple of pictures of the restaurant. Needless to say, the food was divine. After our meal, we wandered the streets, along with hundreds of other tourists, street peddlers, portable restaurants, prostitutes (rather sad, actually), blaring music from all the nightclubs, bars and more restaurants, until we decided we really had to get out of there. As we meandered home, I spotted a couple of Thai men getting pancakes. So, the curious human that I am, I stopped and asked them what they were ordering. They said, pancakes filled with fresh mango. That sounded like a perfect dessert to compliment a scrumptious lobster dessert. So I asked them to order one for me, at the same price they were paying (of course). Next thing I know, a couple of Russians joined us and asked what I was getting. I explained and they asked me to order one for them as well. By then the two Thai men had had enough of these “falangs” and laughing and joking they moved on and left us to sort out our own pancake orders. So, I got to practice a little Thai again. Always works. The Thais love it when you try to speak their language. I am sure that I absolutely mangle the tones to those words (there are 5 tonal sounds and I can never remember which words have what sounds, but I just make up my own). Savored our pancakes, savored the day and headed for the hotel and a good night’s sleep.
I won’t ramble on, but the next day, we left fairly early and visited Foodland, a European style supermarket. Very spendy, no bargaining there. Then on to the Floating Markets just outside of Pattaya and got completely lost, so we wandered through the markets for a while before we found our way out and got back to the car.
One of our goals on this trip was to go to Nong Nouch Tropical Gardens, which we eventually found. I asked some Thai people what the best way was to see these gardens, as the place was HUGE. They suggested we take a bus, which we, thankfully, did. We also walked a bit, because we wanted to see the Italian and French gardens. Had a wonderful fruit smoothy and headed back to the car.
On the way home – to Laem Mae Phim, that is – JJ decided to check out the beaches in Rayong. So we detoured and found a fabulous seafood restaurant where we enjoyed prawns and steamed rice. We finally landed back at the apartment and spent the entire Monday recuperating. Which meant lounging by the pool, having a massage and going out to eat (again).
Now we are back to normal. And that’s it from Thailand for this .