Pattaya (Sin City of Thailand!) with My Mum and My Sister Jess
Well, I’m quite behind with the old blog at the moment so forgive me for things being a little out of kilter. From Mumbai we flew to Bangkok and as we’re still here (it is a great city) I’m not ready to do that post yet, so, a little out of order I know but this post is about Pattaya.
It was wonderful to see my mum and Jess after so long and I turned up at their hotel door surprising them on the first night they were there. We had a lot to catch up on as Henry and I had been on our adventure for more than 6 months by then so we spent our days together mostly soaking up the sunshine at their very posh hotel, the Dulsit Thani. It is definitely the most upmarket hotel I have ever visited. The grounds were beautifully manicured with topiary trimmed very exactly with spirit levels and the inside was always immaculate.
There was an indoor garden with a waterfall(!) to greet you in the entrance along with staff who opened the doors for you and bowed at you when you passed them in the corridor!
The pools were also immaculate and had pool boys to bring you fresh towels, adjust your umbrella and even bring glasses of iced water to cool you down. It was quite different from any of the hotels Henry and I have stayed in on this trip. We read, swam, chatted and dozed the days away in absolute luxury.
Bangkok Day Trip 1
Jess and I went for a 24hr trip to Bangkok to meet up with Henry and an old friend of hers, Dom, who was out here with his work. The plan was to get sloshed but with Henry and I being so out of practise it was in the end a good tour of some bars with great company and some lovely cocktails. I’ve decided my cocktail of choice is a Cosmopolitan, wine is not readily available out here for a reasonable price so Cosmos are the way forward! Henry and I bowed out about 1am leaving Jess and Dom to carry on the drinking. Our tolerance levels are so low nowadays pretty much anyone could drink us under the table I reckon!
Dom had the weekend off work so he returned with us to Pattaya for some sunshine time. Despite being always very warm Bangkok does not get much direct sun, probably due to the pollution. After a day of relaxing we went in search of food and Internet recommendations took us to a place in the south of the city, right on the water. I discovered how delicious coffee with Baileys is, Jess had a couple of Mai Tais and mum enjoyed a few glasses of wine which, along with the presence of Dom, I think gave her the confidence to explore the most famous attraction in Pattaya: Walking Street.
Wikipedia defines walking street as: “part of the city of Pattaya, Thailand. It is a tourist attraction that draws foreigners and Thai nationals, primarily for the night life. It is a red-light district with many go-go bars and brothels.”
Bangkok Day Trip 2: The Grand Palace and MBK shopping centre
We took another day trip to Bangkok later in the week, this time with mum. The Grand Palace is very grand indeed. It used to be the residence of the kings and is still used for some official events. Also, it is not one building but a complex of many large temples etc that covers an enormous area.
Although we had left Pattaya nice and early, by the time we had reached Bangkok, taken the sky train (BTS) to the river and then taken the river ferry upto the Palace it was very hot. We saw a lot of the palace from under the shade of our umbrellas as it is nearly all outside. We may have missed some bits as we were only there for a few hours and we were getting so hot and bothered that we had to leave to find some shade and a sit down.
It was impressive and worth the trip for mum to see this bit of history (she loves a bit of history.) Here are some more pics but I’ll add more to the Thailand gallery as I took quite a few.
(A short explanation on the socks and sandals combo: “polite dress” is required for entry into the palace and we duly followed the rules of covering most of our legs, our shoulders and our feet, however, we saw loads of people in flip flops so the amusing sock and sandals look did not last for the whole of the visit)
The MBK shopping centre in Bangkok is another enormous place. It more than 2000 stores inside, over 8 floors and used to one of the biggest in Asia (there are now bigger malls just up the road). MBK is the mall known to be the place for knock off everything at reasonable prices, I don’t know how it works legally as there is nothing underhand about the place, everything is on show to buy and not ‘under the counter’. Henry and I had been there a few times before so we knew our way around but the handbag hunt was a whole new game for all of us.
Fortunately, there were some shops all very close together so we were able to view a few bags, do some haggling and end up with a great quality, very reasonably priced replica (sorry for letting the secret out mum!)
We ate in one of the food courts there where Jess could finally try some proper Thai food (her dish was very hot) and then we said our goodbyes to Henry, made our way back to the bus station and caught the bus back.
A Thai Massage
Well, one evening near the end of our stay we finally got round to having a massage. We chose a nice looking place and each chose a different treatment. Mum went for a reflexology foot massage, Jess for a back neck and shoulders and me for a Thai foot massage. The lady promoting the place tried to put me off the Thai foot massage telling me it was painful and used a stick (I think she wanted me to go for a more expensive treatment) but as I had never had a massage with a stick before I was not to be put off at all.
We all really thoroughly enjoyed the treatments and were so relaxed the thought of taking photos did not even enter our heads. Jess had been quite thrown around whilst wearing pyjamas in a private room and felt taller and generally more elongated and defiantly more relaxed. My feet had been thoroughly poked, stroked and rubbed with a stick and with hands and felt wonderful (there were only a few painful moments in the end) and mum was thrilled with her more gentle foot treatment. I resolved to get another massage with Henry as soon as possible.
All too soon it was time for them to leave and head back home. I think they both enjoyed the break, the experience of Thailand and seeing us, of course. I’m already looking forward to seeing them again in a few months.
Pattaya 16th – 24th May 2012