Sunday, 12 May 2013


Pattaya is one of the most frequented place by tourists to Thailand. Much like other places in Thailand, Pattaya offers you shopping, beautiful islands and fair share of risque-entertainment options.

Our visit to Thailand this year started with a visit to Pattaya. We took a taxi straight from Bangkok airport. Pattaya is a  2 hrs drive from Bangkok.Taxis are available from the airport. They charge 1500 Bhat, which is not a bad deal given the comfort of the ride. Other option is to take a bus to Mochit and then take the taxi from there to Pattaya. 

There are a lot of attractions in Pattaya like Mini Siam,Floating market,Coral island,Ripley's believe it or not museum and the famous walking street

Our visit to Pattaya started with tour of Coral Island.

Coral Island Tour

 There are many options available for the Coral Island tour. We booked a tour to Coral island which included pick up and drop to the hotel,transfer by boat to the island and an Indian lunch,excluding the water sports.
Pattaya Beach
All set for the beach!!
It takes around 45 min by the speed boat to reach Koh Larn commonly known as Coral island.The first stop  was for para sailing,for 400 bhat they take you for a big round.
Para sailing.
 The next stop was for sea bed walking,where you are taken to the bed of the sea some 10 feet down with a device similar to self-contained underwater breathing apparatus(SCUBA). You are supposed to feed the fishes with food so you would be surrounded by fishes when they see the food in your hand. It can be enjoyed even by those who do not know how to swim.This was for 1200 Baht per person.

Once these activities are done you head straight to the crystal clear waters of Coral Island It was a bright and sunny day and we enjoyed  swimming,sunbathing and clicking pictures. 

Our half day tour culminated with a sumptuous meal which was part of the package. We headed back to our hotels for a nap to recharge our batteries. 

Recommended: Spare at least half a day to stroll the streets of Pattaya. The beach side roads are picturesque and lively. 

Along the beach

In the evening we headed out to the street with no specific plans. No matter how much research you do,there are  always a few things which you have to explore on your own. The walk along the lively beach side road were loads of fun. 
Sunset at Pattaya beach

There are a lot of cafes and restaurants along the beach. The one which caught our attention was Au Bon Pain.The interiors seemed  classy.They have outdoor and indoor sitting overlooking the sea.We enjoyed  our coffees ( Caramel mocha ),brownie , some sandwiches and  salads.

We loved the ambiance,the coffee and the food. The food is reasonably priced.Coffee are priced from 100-150 Baht and the sandwiches from 150-200 baht  You can make your own sandwiches too.We got a veg sandwich made for ourselves.Impressed with the place,we decided to come here again for breakfast the next day too.
Bagel with egg and veg sandwich
Au bon pain
With our tummies happy and energy meter showing full ,we shopped as we walked down the road.The next stop was Central festival. 3 years back when  had visited Pattaya she had seen a fish spa in the mall,so we just hoped it still existed as we walked towards the mall.
Well as you can see in the picture the spa was still there and we indulged in some well deserved  fish therapy.The Fish spa is always fun,priced at 250 baht for a couple for 45 min.
The mall is huge and houses a lot of  international brands.We explored the mall,did some shopping and then it was time for dinner.The top floor has the restaurants.There are very few in fact almost no options for veggies.We had our dinner at this Italian place.The pizza was nice authentic wood fired pizza with some garlic breads.
Our only vegetarian Option!!!

The Night life-

If you are on the streets through the evening you can see the transformation of the place into  what it is so famous for ;). All roads now lead to the Walking street.
The walking street is just next to the south end of the  Pattaya beach.It has around 100 beer bars,30 go-go bars,discos,cabaret shows etc.The street is free form vehicles from 6.00 PM to 2.00 AM. You have to see for yourself the traffic outside the street at midnight.

The Famous Walking Street 

The place buzzes with energy in the night.Open Bars with pole dancers to live sex shows,everything happens here.There is Police to handle any sort of mishap .You have to be a bit careful if you want to enter a bar,do a little research.

TIP: If you are escorted to these places by the guys who are on the street luring you in, you might end up paying extra.  

The best thing to do after walking for hours together is to take a relaxing Thai foot massage. You would have ample options to take one. The services range from Foot, shoulder and full body massage. The good part is that these places are open till 1 AM. We had to wait for 15 min for the massage as the massage parlor was full 11 in the night :).

1. Give yourself ample time to sample all that Pattaya has to offer. It is unfair to the place to come here only for the beach or the fun at walking street. Spend a day and do it all.

2. You can travel from Pattaya to Bangkok through a taxi or bus. Buses run on these routes at intervals of 90 minutes,  so make sure you reach the bus stand accordingly. Also,book you tickets in advance or you risk waiting a long time for the next available seat.

3. Bangkok traffic is notorious. Best thing to do is to reach the outskirts of Bangkok where you can get a Skytrain. Ditch the road and you can reach the heart of Bangkok faster.
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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Elephant Village!!

Tour With Tong  - Elephant Village
Tour to the elephant village is available as part of many exclusive and combo tours. Our visit to this place was clubbed with our tour of Tiger Temple.

After the Tiger Temple (check out the blog),we were taken to this lovely Elephant village which is spread along the River Kwai Noi in Kanchanaburi province.

To start with you are warned by your tour guide that its time to get wet and our friend, who would do the honors, need to be bribed with bananas. Its a deal; you feed me well and i would treat you well :). 

Elephants are indeed intelligent creatures. It was funny to see how our elephant started eating the bananas quickly on seeing other elephant approaching :) 

You start by scrubbing the elephant sitting on its back while it splashes water on you.Some for the cleaning ,some for you.

Enjoy the moment,let yourself free
Once you are done giving elephant a bath (or rather getting yourself one :P), you play rodeo. Yes you heard right; the elephant will try to shake you off its body and you have to hold on to it. The play here is that elephant will literally drown you side to side till you are off her back (our's was a she)
Holding on Tight. As if that was going to help!!!
And in you go!!!
Well,you can see who won.But we did not give up.We took up the challenge individually now.

Well let's say the elephant had a laugh.Somebody gave a good fight though.
 This was FUN!!!!  You also get to ride on the trunk. 
Not making it look pretty :P
More at ease!!
Playing around
The balancing act
Time for a ride back

On our way back from the tour we stopped by to see the other end of the death bridge, from where our journey ended.

TIP : Many version of the tours exist with different combinations of the places and the duration. Run through the tours offered by Tong to see what fits your schedule. The tours are well explained in the website to get a fair idea of what to expect.

Recommendation. Do take a VIP tour to tiger temple and elephant village. You would have an unforgettable experience. For other places like fish market and the temple etc, spare another day. 

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