“It’s time to reset your time!”
Those were the final words I heard from a cabin crew of Indigo 6E 75. And then, everything that happened appears in my dreams to this day. Dreams that turned into reality after a year-long preparation and saving. Thailand makes dreams come true.
I can still feel the splashes of blue waves touching the shores of Koh Larn – the closest island to the Pattaya beach. I keep having in my mind the aerial view of Pattaya beach road along the coastline that I experienced during my first tryst with parasailing. And, a bunch of adventurous water sports – snorkelling, deep sea diving, water-skiing, jet skis – everything that I enjoyed to my fullest, some for the first time in my life. The ostentatious performances of Pattaya’s charming drag queens in Alcazar Cabaret show, their colourful dances with an amazing combination of light, music and costumes made me visualize the extravaganza of the Las Vegas nightlife that I had once read on a travelogue.
Pattaya, a fishing village until the 1960s, has now turned into the resort city of Thailand. The city is around 200 km from Bangkok, which is around three hours by road from the Suvarnabhumi airport.
Why did I choose Pattaya for a family trip?
Why not a beach destination in India? Now when I look back, I know how this city of authentic international beach resorts is different to all others I have been to.
Life rests in peace here! Not because the nation is still mourning the recent demise of their beloved king. Souls and minds rejuvenate here! Not because, the city has some great coral islands, pristine beaches and world famous nightlife amusements. The sky always remains blue here! Not because its geography is blessed with majestic Gulf of Thailand, the coral islands and the golden beaches washed by tranquil water.
It is the honesty, integrity and the pleasant smiles of the locals that overwhelm you. I could literally breathe fresh air amidst the people empowered by Lord Buddha. As a guest in Pattaya, I could actually sense its depth. Right from airport transfer to hotel arrangements to fine dining, amusements and beach activities, I felt the warmth of love, care, and trust everywhere. The serene sea, the world standard tourism practices, the goodness of Thai people, their respect towards the nation, citizen and the king, the eco-friendly culture and environment – all these make Pattaya an ideal destination for the tourists from around the world.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Under Water World, Sriracha Tiger Zoo, Crocodile farm, Snake farm, Elephant village – there are so many delights waiting for you. I wish I could have only Pattaya in my tour itinerary.
By the way, Pattaya is a gourmand’s paradise as well! The city celebrates food fiestas regularly. If you want to taste local Thai cuisines, there are ample options at budget price. For Indian cuisines, you have Punjabi dhabas you can locate on GPS or just by asking around.
Finally, don’t forget to experience the ‘Thai massage’ after a long day of sightseeing. It starts from as low as THB 200 (INR 385) per hour, which is cheaper and better than you can expect even in an upscale massage parlour back home.
My Nikon Coolpix P530 is full of sights and sounds from Pattaya, my mind is fuller. I highly recommend this pristine island to anyone ready to make a voyage to nature’s endless marvels.
Useful Tips for Pattaya Tour
- Subscribe for package tour through travel organizers. Don’t execute it all on your own, unless you have been there a few times.
- Carry cash either in Thai Baht or US Dollar. Credit cards and travel cards are fine but they may cost you some overheads. Cash is for anywhere, anytime use.
- Having a good English speaking guide while sightseeing is a must. Language is indeed a barrier.
- If you’re ordering seafood, ensure that they are properly cleaned and baked/fried when eating at a roadside joint.
- Inform your guide in advance if you prefer an Indian meal during the coral island tour.