Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pattaya City

Pattaya was a sleeping fishing village. Pattaya's first big break came on 29th June 1959 when a reported five US Military transport trucks laden with GIs arrived in the city from their base in Nakhon Ratchasima. The word spread among other American soldiers stationed in the region and Pattaya quickly became a hot alternative to Bangkok.  -- Wikipedia

In Pattaya, there are many cars but very little honking and pedestrians are not considered moving targets. There are pedestrian crosswalks where cars actually stop, allowing you to cross the street without fear. It is an eerie sensation and a major contrast to my last six months of life in Dhaka where honking your car horn is the national sport and you must always look both ways before crossing. Not doing so could result in tragic circumstance because cars will be driving the wrong way on a street at any given time. It really is stupid what you get accustomed to and accept as the norm.  Now, onto better things.  Here I was in Pattaya, a city with a torrid past. I had time and money to spend. What could possibly go wrong? Alcohol, tattoo??

I felt like the Omega Man
Streets start to look the same Korean Soul Food? Really?
Oh look! Street food cart.
OK, this isn't so bad

Pattaya has quite an infamous history.. This town was the original Sin City. It was all about drinking, sex, massage parlors, bar girls, freelancers, wild times and zero restrictions. It was carnal pleasure central. If you talk to any Expat who has been here a while things started to change about 8 years ago. The “powers that be” decided to start catering to the massive influx of Chinese tourists and thought making Pattaya family friendly was the way to go. Now, Pattaya is just a shell of its former debaucherous self. I was sitting eating lunch in the market yesterday and beside me were a few younger local lovelies. They were speaking English and the conversation was mostly about how they cannot make any money and would have to move to Bangkok. It did not take a genius to figure out these were very unhappy bar girls. The one line that one girl said which made them all laugh in unison..."Pattaya is now where old white foreign men come to die".  BOOM! Mike Drop!

Now, was the off-season that much was obvious. Desperate and bored bar girls wobbling on five inch spiked heels, warbling "hey handsome, come on in" through layers of lip-gloss and looking past you with distant eyes. So what was I to do? I went it.😊.  The routine was the same at every bar. Upon entry, girls of all shapes and sizes swarm you. Buy yourself a beer for 60 Baht then buy them the same beer but it costs 180 Baht. No worries, it is fun for a short time. Your ego gets a huge boost with the constant barrage of compliments and sexual innuendo. Is this the sex capital of Thailand? YES. Is it the HIV capital of Thailand, also YES. Therefore, after a few games of pool, harmless fun and overpriced beer I wandered off into the sadness that is Pattaya. 

Walking Street, where sin begins
Not going in here
This guy called out to see if I would get in the right with him She was actually nicer and really funny. The photo does no justice
Russian Mob Advertisement Mom, Dad. I am going to Pattaya to earn some money. Don't worry.

With the sun setting there was only one place to go, Walking StreetThe red light district of Pattaya. With all the advertising for "Crazy Russian Girls it gave some credibility to the stories of this part of the city being controlled by the Russian Mafia. With girls, beer, kabobs and Thai boxing at my disposal I did what any normal guy would do. I went for a foot and leg message.

I have walked or ran into enough "red light districts" in my day. This would have been incredible if it was not so pathetic. Each bar had 10 to 12 scantily clad girls out front trying to lure customers inside. They were cute and I have to believe that most came from the countryside, doing whatever it took to make a few Baht. I walked up and down the street twice to take it all in. There was trouble to be had that is for sure. I would think that in the Vietnam War era this place was madness. Now it is all Chinese tourists with lots of money to spend. So be it. They were having fun and everyone was making money.

3Nothing wrong with this start to my day
4Heading home after a long night
Tourist Shot I wonder what does on here?

I relaxed for 3 nights at the Chill Inn. I liked the play on words in the name. I was far enough away from the Helter Skelter of it all but close enough to anything I wanted. The hotel had a great restaurant and pints of beer were cold and cheap enough. I spent quite a bit of time there with a few good books. The Book of Negros and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Light reading for the surroundings. 😎.

I score Pattaya 6 out of 10, if only because I learned to dive here. Perhaps at one time, but now, this town has no soul. "Pattaya is now where old white foreign men come to die". I could not agree more. It was time to get out of here. On to Bangkok.

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