Pattaya and Trip Overview

Well I am back in Japan. I didn’t have a chance to talk about Pattaya when I was there as it was just too crazy, but I am going to sumarize it right here.

In short, Pattaya is crazy. The beach there is very nice to just sit around and chill and the nightlife is almost surreal. The first day we got to Pattaya we took a cab from our hostel in Bangkok to Pattaya that cost about 1800 baht. Once there we checked into our hotel. The hotel in Pattaya was something else. King sized bed, fully stocked kitchen, emaculate bathroom… by far the best hotel I have ever stayed at.

After we checked in we just ate at this local restaraunt (which we ended up eating at for the next three days) and then proceeded to walk around. Pattaya is crazy in the sense that so many “ladies of the night” will just be out in the open trying to get you to go to their bar. Just walking down the sea street you have to be careful. There are many shops in Pattaya along the sea and you can find some pretty decent souveniers.

The next day we decided to go jetsking. After taking the free hotel taxi to the beach we decided to shop around. Eventually we found a place that offered jetsking for 650 baht per half hour. It was really dun and the jetskis went very very fast. Afterwards we all just sat by the beach and had a beer. Many people came by selling stuff and we even had a cheap massage. That night again we walked around quite a bit enjoying the night life before going back to the hotel.

The last day was pretty uneventful. We went to the mall to look around (I tried to find shoes my size, but couldn’t), and then just walked around Pattaya again. We went to a amateur Thai boxing match which was really fun. A few American stepped in the ring to challenge the Thai guy and everyone had a good time.

The next day we caught an early cab back to Bangkok, hung out with our friends from before for a while, and then went to the airport. We had to wait about 7 hours for our plane and just walked around the airport. After passing out on the flight we went straight from the airport in Japan to Atsugi via bus and the straight to work via cab. All in all the trip was very fun but I am glad to get back to Japan. Thailand is a great country but nowhere near as developed as Japan or the US. I would definitely recommend anyone to go.

Picture Highlights:

It Started When:

Our first day in Thailand eating at some random restaraunt.

Defining Moment:

Relaxing by the beach.

Most Fun:

Me before jetsking.

Most Embarrassing Thing I Will Admit:

Picture of me with a ladyboy.

It Was Over When:

Sitting at the bus terminal at Nari

Facebook Albums:

Thailand Part 2 – Weekend Market, MBK, and more Nightlife

Well today was a very interesting day. Juan and I woke up around nine or so and took a quick shower. After that we had breakfast at the hostel which proved to be very disappointing. We had a croissant, toast, and a boiled egg. I don’t know how you mess up a boiled egg, but somehow they did. It also came with tea and coffee which was pretty decent, although it came with a shot glass of what I thought was milk but turned out to be cream (I learned the hard way).

After breakfast we went to the station and took the sky to meet two of Juan’s friends that he had met online. The friends turned out to be very nice and one spoke very good English. We proceeded to go to the weekend market which was a few stations and one transfer down. At the weekend market we had some more “dirty” food which was delicious. We had some crab stir fry, some Thai fried chicken, and some other spicy Thai noodle.

After we ate we just walked around the market and bought random things. The market was all outdoors and was huge. There were so many things to buy and you could always bargain down the price. The first thing I got was this VERY nice bag that I paid 800 baht for. In the US, that bag would be well over $100. I bought a Ralph Lauren (probably fake) polo that looked very nice for about 300 baht. I also bought a pair of shorts that were pretty decent. We walked around the market some more and evenutally had coffee at a cafe in a department store.

After the market we met Pui and again and went for some more shopping at a huge department store called MBK. It was a little bit closer to a mall and a lot more legitimate. I bought a Thai reggae CD and a few nick-nacks. I also bought a Thai beer T-Shirt for a souvenier.

At one point we walked through this huge electronics section. In the electronics section there were tons of bootleg DVD, CDs, and a lot of signs advertising unlocked iPhones. The prices seemed a little cheaper than the US and even Akihabara.

Afterwards we said our farewells to Pui and met the girls that we has met earlier. Juan and I went to the hostel to drop off our loot and then took a cab straight to the university where we met the girls. It was a very nice location, seemed to be a lot of Thai college students. The bar we went to had a very nice atmosphere. We were the only westerners there but everyone was very nice and drinks were cheap. There was Thai rap music blasting out the speakers and a soccer game on the big screen.

After a few hours we went outside and walked around for a while before catching a cab to the hostel. At the hostel we met a few other foreigners sitting outside. One was from the USA, one from Switzerland, and one from Australia. After talking a little we all decided to go to this notorious go-go girl bar. According to Trevor (the American), EVERY girl there was a prostitute. We just went there to mess around and I had absolutely no intention of actually going home with a girl. It was really neat though, however once you made eye contact with a girl god help you. They come over and really try to get you to go home. After a couple of hours we all left the bar to find something to eat. We eventually just got some dirty food from a street vendor. It was some type of kabob which was very tasty.

We got back to the hostel around 3 am and after checking my mail I went to sleep. We are going to catch a cab to Pattaya beach today. So far Thailand has been a blast and I have had a ton of fun.

Thailand Part 1 – Grand Palace, Wat Pho, and Bangkok Nightlife

Well the first day went pretty well. We woke up around nine, took a nice shower and were on our way. Just walking around Bangkok in the morning really brought to reality that I was in another country.

In Thailand there are not pedestrian street lights, you more or less just have to use your best judgement when to go.

Anyways we walked around a while and then ate breakfast at some western cafe. I just had a beef/pastrami sandwich and some water (bottled, tap water is not safe). After that we just walked around a little and made our way to a station. On the streets of Bangkok there are a lot of street carts that sell various food such as fruits, fried food, and traditional Thai food. The street food is a little bit more down the earth, and we called it “dirty food”. It is really really good, but just very modestly made.

We made our way to the sky train station and bought a ticket to the Central Station. From the central station we bought a boat ticket to the Grand Palace pier. In Bangkok it seems that everyone is out to get your money. You can’t let your guard down. While finding out the right boat to take we were approached by at least four “private” boat owners that wanted to charge us 150 baht for the same service. The official boat that we took ended up being 17 baht.

The boat ride was pretty enjoyable. We managed to get a seat near the front. The river looked pretty dirty though and I would hate to fall in, but seeing Bangkok from the riverside was pretty cool.

Once we got to the Palace pier we actually had to walk to the Grand Palace. Coming out of the pier there were a ton of dirty food stands with delicious looking fruit and interesting looking food. We walked down the road ignoring all the offers we got for taxis and made our way to the grand palace within ten minutes. The grand palace was beautiful. All the architecture looked very traditional and the colors were very vibrant. We had to have pants on (which I did), and there were a ton of foreigners there. At one point I had to take off my shoes to go in and look at the temple. It was very very pretty, but I was not able to take any picutres as photography was prohibited.

After the Grand Palace we made our way to What Pho. Wat Pho is famous for the traditiona Thai massages. Again we were more or less harrased by the taxi drivers as we made our five minute walk. Wat Pho is also famous for the reclining Buddha, a huge statute of a Buddha laying down. We had to take our shoes off again for this but it was really a sight. The statue was HUGE and you had to wonder how it was made.

We asked the guy working at the Reclining Buddha where the massages were. He took us outside to a shady looking establishment, so knowing that it was a scam, we went back to the temple and found the official massage place.

We decided to both get one hour massages with “herb” treatment. It came out to about 400 baht and was well worth it. First we went to a changing room where I put on some massage pants. Next I went to the massage bed and the massage began. I had never had a professional massage but it was really nice. I got a full body massage by a true professional. The massage girl pressed hard on a bunch of muscles and pressure points and I left feeling very relaxed and refreshed. As I left we were also handed a drink that seemed like water, tea, and milk. It was very nice.

After the massage we were both hungry so we looked for a dirty food place. We found a pretty decent one that served this spicy udon-looking soup. I bought a coke and Juan bought a water and we ate. It was very good and it only came out to about 30 baht.

After the food we just walked around the street vendors and looked at all the different goods. Tomorrow we are going to the weekend market, so we didn’t want to get too crazy. Eventually we made our way back to the pier. At the pier we were approached by 3 Thai university students that had to do an assignment for their college. It consisted of them asking us different things in English like why we came to Thailand, where we wanted to go, etc. They seemed pretty nice and we took a few pictures with them. They even helped us get on the right boat.

Next wek took the boat to the central station and then the sky tram to the station by our hostel. We just chilled at the hostel for a couple of hours, took a shower to clean off the abnormal amount of sweat, and then headed out to meet one of Juan’s friends at the station.

Juan’s friend (who he just told me he is in love with), Pui, met us at that station. She was really kind and spoke English very well. We all took a cab from the station to this authentic Thai restaraunt. It should be noted that since Pui spoke fluent Thai, we were charged about 10% for the cab of what we normally would be charged. 🙂

Anyways, the restaraunt’s food was really delicious. We ordered three entrees and also had a couple of Heinikens. For the first entree we had this sort of seafood curry that had a very distinct Thai spice taste. The second entree was crab with shredded mango, and the last dish was catfish with this very very flavorful spice. Did I mention that I love Thai food?

After the restaraunt we went to this Irish pub together. I just had a pint of Guinness (which was delicious), and a Long Island Ice Tea. It was a pretty nice bar and there was a nice band playing that performed western songs (such as No Woman No Cry). After the pub we bid our farewells to Pui and Juan and I decided to walk around the market/bar area of Bangkok.

This proved to be a very interesting experience. I don’t think I’ve ever been aproached so much (even in Shinjuku) to go to strip clubs/hostess bars. Almost all bars that we passed by had bikini clad girls dancing. We went down this very interesting “Japanese” street also. All the signs were in katakana which through us off, and during this time Juan and I only spoke in Japanese.

At the end of the Japanese street we walked down another main road a little bit and then turned down a market road. There were tons of street vendors on this road selling everything from sunglasses to tasers. At one point Juan was in an engaging converstation to one of the vendors about buying some sunglasses, but after about five minutes we just left without buying anything (they were overpriced). If I am dead tomorrow please send condolences to my family. (joking)

At this point we had a little bit of liqour in us. We passed through this “gay” street which was just screaming “gay” and “ladyboy”. Being a little bit buzzed we decided to go on this street. Let me assure you, Juan and I are 100% straight and love women, but it was hilarious going down this street and having tons and tons of guys trying to usher you to go to their lady boy club. At one point we even got a picture with a few of the bouncers that I will post later.

At the end of this street there was very chill bar which Juan and I got a beer and a tequilla shot. It was really relaxed and not crowded at all. Behind the bar was a ladyboy club with a few ladyboys out front (which I couldn’t help but periodically stare at), but the bar was pretty nice relatively inexpensive. Aftwards we decided to head back to the hostel. We passed through the Japanese road again (and again we spoke in Japanese). After passing through another market road and dodging some cars at intersections we got to the hostel and I imediately got on the internet where I am writing this message now.

Tomorrow is our main shopping day in Bangkok. I want to buy a nice bag and perhaps some sandals. I bought some postcards at Wat Pho for family and friends, but I really want to buy something unique. Anyways, the first full day in Thailand was amazing and I am eager to write about new experiences.

Arrival in Thailand

Well I have arrived in Thailand. I am writing this post from the free internet in the hostel that I am staying at.

We caught the plane just in time. We took the wrong train from Niigata and ended up in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE in Japan, but somehow managed to get to Narita Airport just in time to get on our plane (we had to go through the staff security checkpoint because we were late). We took a taxi from Narita station to the airport, but unfortunately we were dropped off at Terminal 1. We departed from Terminal 2. At this time it was mass chaos as we more or less ran to catch the bus to Terminal 2.

The flight itself was pretty uneventful. I sat in the back row far away from Juan and watched Ironman and the new Indiana Jones. Towards the end I talked in Japanese to the guy sitting next to me and we talked about Thailand. He seems to work for a civil engineering firm and said that Thailand is actually pretty safe for foreigners. Whenever they made an announcement on the PA they said it in Japanese, English, and Thai. I don’t know any Thai.

I have the weirdest habit in Thailand also. I tend to try to speak in Japanese. I suppose it is the fact that I have never been to a foreign country other than Japan, so my default foreign language is Japanese, but I can only say “Hello” in Thai. Juan and I have something going where if we are saying something that we don’t want anyone around us to understand, we speak in Japanese. That way the only people that would understand us are Japanese people (it is very rare for a Thai person to speak Japanese).

Anyways, after we arrived we passed through customs with no problems and then proceded to exchange currency. I only traded 20000 yen at the airport (63000 baht) and will probably trade the rest in as I go along. We went out to the Taxi line and Juan showed the driver the hostel that we were staying at. At first, the Taxi driver tried to rip us off. He said 500 baht, which is way more than it should be. Juan, being attentive as ever, said just to use the meter. After about a 20 minute drive during which we saw a nice view of the Bangkok skyline, we arrived at the hostel. Again, the Taxi driver tried to charge us significantly more than what the meter said, but we were able to bargain it down to 385 baht.

The hostel is really nice. The AC is huge and Juan and I share our own rooms (bunk beds). The bathrooms/showers are also suspiciously clean. Well worth the $10 a night we paid.

Anyways Juan and I decided to go out to eat. We walked around a little while and then it started pouring rain. After a while we made our way to a 7-11 where we both bought an umbrella for 99 baht. You see some pretty interesting stuff on the street. There were a lot of beggars, suspiciously looking “massage” parlors, and even an elephant on the street next to the swanky looking hotel.

After walking around a little bit we decided to eat at this upscale looking restaurant called “Sillom Village”. It was a little bit more expensive than Juan wanted, but in the end we spend about 800 baht total for both of us (1 entree and 2 beers each). I had this very spicy Thai beef and Juan had this Duck curry. We shared our food and it was really good. The beef definitely had authentic Thai spice.

Anyways that leaves me where I am now. Going to go to sleep soon so I can rest up for tomorrow. I will definitely keep this blog updated though.