Where can I go on vacation in December? It is not the best weather for a beach holiday in most of Europe at this time. You can visit Paris, Rome, London and other major cities. It may be also interesting trip. Those looking for a warm weather, warm sea and beaches can consider Thailand, Vietnam, India, or the Canary Islands.
This year December (2013) was scheduled out. No free time and no free money. Therefore, in my plans were only the Hermitage Theatrethe and on the day (or two) trips in Finland, New Year holidays at home city (Saint Petersburg). But one week of vacation was unused. Suddenly last minute tour in Thailand for 8 days was offered. I never planned to spend a vacation in Thailand, but in this case could not refuse this opportunity. Tickets to the theater were refused. I am looking for information, what places to visit in Pattaya. Most interesting for tourists places in Pattaya are marked on the map on this site.
Friday 20 December 2013. “Transaero” company charter flight St. Petersburg - Bangkok flew from St. Petersburg approximately at 22:20 (almost without delay). The flight took place on the Boeing 777 airplane. The flight lasted about 9 hours. Such long flight was a bit tedious. I watched two old movies with poor sound quality (video system was available at each place) during the flight. Twice during the flight passengers were fed, several times offered drinks. Airplane staff also handed out immigration cards that are needed at passport control in Thailand. Flight attendants helped fill out it. We arrived int the Bangkok airport at about 10:30 by local time.
(Thanks to the airline crew for the impeccable service.)
Thailand, Pattaya, one week in December
We quickly went through passport control in the airport, got baggage and passed to the exit near customs. Representatives of tour operators actively looked for their clients on the exit. Most representatives were from TEZ-TOUR. Our company (Biblioglobus) was also in place. They met tourists and distributed on buses. Trip from Bangkok to Pattaya by bus took about 2 hours (with one stop).
“Deeden resort Pattaya” hotel
“Deeden resort Pattaya” hotel (3 stars) is situated at a distance approximately 3 kilometers from the city center, on the street “Soi Kopai Thepprasit Road”, between the “South Road” and “Teprasit” streets.
The hotel has two buildings (one storey and three-storey). There is a courtyard (plenty of bushes in the yard) between buildings. The hotel has a swimming pool, restaurant, meeting room. Mototaxi is constantly on duty near the bar at the entrance to the hotel.
We settled in a spacious, clean room with good beds. The hotel rooms have a TV, refrigerator, safe, bathroom with shower. Shower is made a few primitive, but can be used. You can use wireless internet and a safe for free. Some staying in the hotel tourists were dissatisfied with shower: a primitive mixer and problems with warm water in the evenings.
The hotel's location is its main drawback. There no sidewalks on the “Soi Kopai” street, so move on foot along it should be cautious. To get to the city center need to go to “South Street” and catch a songthaew there (or walk). Road to Jomtien Beach is the same, but you need to go right to the “Teprasit” street. There is a free transport to the Jomtien beach from hotel three times a day.
Public transportation in Pattaya
The main form of public transport in Pattaya is songthaew (also known as Tuk Tuk, baht bus).
Songthaew is a pickup (small commercial vehicle based on the car), in which is installed in the back of two benches and a roof. Songthaew go through the main streets of the city (usually goes down the street, at the end of the street turned, go back again turned). You need to wave driver by hand to stop moving in right direction songthaew (in fact, they often react even to your gaze), to sit in Songthaew and ride to your destination. To get out of the car press the button located above your head where you want it, post money to the driver through the window (10 baht per person). In the evening and at night many tuk-tuks operate as a taxi.
On urban streets songthaew are blue. On longer routes (Sukhumvit) tuk-tuks are white, the fare is 20 baht. We also met a songthaew other colors. Perhaps they have other routes, and may be a different price.
The first day in Pattaya
We were very tired from a long trip on the first day in Pattaya. We walked to the “Tesco Lotus” shopping center after checking into the hotel. First impressions of Thailand and Pattaya were close to the shock. There is chaotic traffic on the streets. There are no sidewalks on many streets. Streets look uncomfortable, the food in the street cafes are prepared in unhygienic conditions. (But a few day later impressions have changed completely.)
On Sunday, December 22 was the first full day of rest in Pattaya. At first was breakfast шт the hotel (included in price). It was a good breakfast for a 3-star hotel. The hotel tuk-tuk (songthaew) drove us to the Jomtien Beach. Then we walked along the promenade in the direction of the city center, turned to Pratamnak hill to the Big Buddha. We stopped at a small cafe in the market place on the way. Two servings of delicious fried rice with vegetables, cappuccino and fruit shake cost 140 baht. During lunch, locals on scooters drove to the cafe and bought "take-out" food. This means that the cafe is popular with the locals.
We can recommend visiting Big Buddha on Pratamnak hill for all tourists. The place is very beautiful. It is easy to walk there from the city center (see location on the map).
From the Buddha statues we walk to the city center on South Street, and by songthaew drove closer to the hotel.
Holidays in Pattaya continues
December, January and February are the best months to visit Thailand. It is not too hot and few rains fall at this time in Thailand. Very comfortable weather was during our stay in Pattaya. It was not hot, there were no rains, and it was a bit windy sometimes. Very warm weather was near our hotel late at night and early in the morning. Air conditioning in the room also helped to get pleasure from a holiday. What like is the weather at this time in the home country? I do not even want to think about it.
Million Years stones Park and Crocodiles show
We traveled to "Million Years stones Park" on Monday with our tour operator (Biblioglobus). The park is located outside of central Pattaya (see location map). The park contains the fossilized trunks of prehistoric trees and rocky boulders bizarre shape. But even without the stones, the park is a very beautiful example of landscape design. But that's not all.
A small zoo is situated in the park. There are elephants, giraffes, buffalo, fish and crocodiles breeding farm. Crocodile show performed several times a day in the park. The cost of visiting the show included in the park ticket price. Two men made a very beautiful show, accompanied by traditional music. If you have the opportunity, it should to see in Pattaya.
The cost of visiting the park in 2013 was 400 baht. This tour was worth less for us (thanks to the tour operator).
Latex and jewelry factories
We have delivered on latex factory after visiting the park. There we were offered to buy pillows, mattresses and blankets made of natural rubber. Then in the program was visiting of jewelry factory. You can see polishing gems and jewelry making in the factory. There is a large factory shop.
We were taken to the places of the city which we needed after visiting the factory (of course free of charge). We asked to take us to the embankment to the “Central Festival” shopping mall.
There is a large variety of different food on the ground floor of “Central Festival” shopping centre. You can find cuisine of different countries here, but the most profitable and interesting is the local cuisine. Here we had lunch and went in the direction of the famous “Walking street”.
“Big eye” show
On Tuesday evening we visited the erotic show “Big eye”. Visit erotic show is available in the program of the tour operator. The cost of the show is 600 baht. The bus picked us up from the hotel, drove to the show and brought back to the hotel.
What review to leave a about the erotic show? We have not seen nothing interesting there. In my opinion, you will not lose anything if you do not go there. With one exception. Two European appearance girls showed beautiful, great acrobatic show on poles. And no matter where they dressed or not during performing.
Tuesday we ordered a free shuttle to the duty free shop “King Power Duty Free”. The shop is located near Sukhumvit Road, just south of the “Cenral Pattaya Road” street. Car was sent for us in the hotel andh took us in the shop.
The store has the same items as in most such shops at airports in many cities. Also in the store are products that can be bought only in Thailand. Prices are a bit lower than in most Pattaya stores. Most bought in a shop goods will be delivered to the desired day in the airport, some you may take home.
We went to the central beach on Wednesday after breakfast. A lot of vacationers were on the central beach in Pattaya. Almost the entire length of the waterfront housed merchants of different goods. Sea water (as they say in the Internet) was a bit muddy really. Nevertheless, many were swimming on this beach.
There are small beaches on which are usually less tourists to the north of the main beach. There we sunbathe and swim. In the afternoon went to the “Mini Siam” park.
“Mini Siam” park is located near Sukhumvit Road, near the junction it with “North Street”. You need ride by songthaew along North Street to Sukhumvit Road (Highway bypass in Pattaya) and a little walk to the north to get to the park.
“Mini Siam” park consists of two parts. Copies of the famous landmarks from around the world are in one part of the park (St. Basil's Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral, Tower Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and others). Copies of the interesting sights of Thailand are located on the other half of the park.
Entrance fee to the Mini Siam Park was 300 baht (2013). The location of the park is marked on the map of Pattaya.
We went to the gift shop “Lukdod” after a visit to Mini Siam. The store has a large selection of souvenirs and other goods. Prices are about the same as in other stores (something a bit more expensive, something cheaper). If you want to buy a few souvenirs, then it can be done in many places in the city center.
Thursday we decided to go to the “Koh Lan” island. In the morning, we drove to the city center and along the Walking Street went to the pier. We went to the ship after paying 30 baht per person. The trip to the island took about 40 minutes. The island is small, so you can go to the beach by foot. We get to the Tawaen beach on the opposite bank of the island afer about 30 minutes walking. Tawaen Beach is a good beach with fine sand and gently sloping bottom. The water was clear and warm. Perhaps this is the best beach on the island. The last ship to the island leaves about 18:00, so it is better to go to the pier in advance.
Be careful on the streets of Pattaya
There is fairly intensive traffic on the streets of Pattaya. A large number of scooters and vehicles moves on the streets (bicycles are few). There are only a few traffic lights in the central part of the city. In the first days traffic on the streets (probably also in other cities of Thailand) resembles chaos. But, gradually, you will notice that there is a kind of order in traffic.
If some cars (motor scooter) need to cross the road with heavy flow, it certainly allows drive. You need to wait for a gap in the traffic and go on the road only. In this case, no one is nervous, no beeps impatiently. If a pedestrian starts to cross the road traffic certainly slows down. Mutual respect and a culture of movement help to avoid unpleasant incidents.
For a week in Pattaya, we saw only one traffic accident. Two scooters collided. Behind the one wheel was a man of European appearance, the second was riding a local girl. The girl fell.
When the man came up to her, she showed signs that everything is ok and both went each in his own direction.
I see an accident on the streets every day on the way to work or home. Is roads in Pattaya safer?
Be careful crossing the street. There is the left-hand traffic in Thailand. At first look to the right and then left crossing a road.
There are no problems with where to eat in Pattaya. You will not be hungry. There are many cafes on the streets. You can also buy food from street vendors. In the photo is menu version in the “Tesco Lotus” shopping mall cafe.
Prices for food in the cafes in Pattaya are mostly much lower than in European countries. Exotic dishes (like Russian cuisine) are more expensive, local food is cheaper.
There is also cafes on the ground floor of the shopping center “Central Festival”, in supermarkets “Tesco Lotus” and “Big C”. You can also buy ready-made meals at low prices in supermarkets.
The photograph depicts a menu option in the café in shopping mall “Tesco Lotus”. Prices are in Baht (2013).
Wat Yansangwararam, Wihan Sian and Buddha on the rock
Another one trip was planned on the last day of our holiday in Pattaya. The Wat Yansangwararam temple complex was visited at first. There are many interesting buildings on campus, including the beautiful Buddhist temples. The most notable temple complex is shown in the photo.
There is also the Museum of Chinese and Thai culture “Wihan Sian”. The museum has a lot of interesting things for those who are interested in China. Here are several figures of the famous Terracotta Army soldiers.
Famous Buddha image on a rock is located nearby also. Buddha is depicted on the rock slope. Allegedly, this is the tallest Buddha image in the world. The height of the figure of more than 100 meters.
We also visited the so-called village of long-necked women and floating market during the tour.
Thanks to staff of companies Ambassador Travel, Biblioglobus / SAYAMA Travel, Transaero and Deeden resort for organizing our holidays.