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Well, what a place. I've been there three times now for at least 3 weeks each time and I'm planning to go back again. I'm not the sort of tourist you might associate with Pattaya - in other words, I'm not a 70 year old man wearing socks and sandals, travelling to Thailand for nothing but sex. Its a great value holiday destination and fun for all the family.
Why fork out such ridiculous sums of money on Spanish package holidays and then be ripped off even more when you get there with food and drink when Thailand (and Pattaya in particular) is cheap to get to and very cheap to live in.
Driving time, Pattaya is approximately 2 hours from Bangkok and the cost of a taxi varies, though you'll have no problem picking one up for 800THB (about £12.00).
The sex-capital of Thailand isn't all about sex and prostitutes though. There is plenty here to see and do, whether you want to be part of the action or not. The huge Buddha is an amazing sight, constantly surronded by monks, wearing their orange robes (if thats what you call them?). Alternatively, Pattaya Park is the huge outdoor water park and small theme park. For just a pound or two, you can spend all day in the park, using the various pools and flumes that it has to offer. Its also right on the beach, just in case you want a change.
Beach Road and Walking Street in Pattaya is the place to be of a night-time. Whether you are wanting to pick up a girl or do some shopping, there is nowhere better to be. Any man or any age will be constantly grabbed by girls who loiter the many bars in the city. Saying no can sometimes be tough, but if you're with a family, they'll back off and leave you to it.
Pattaya is a shopper's paradise, too. Thousands of stalls and shops sell everything from local crafts to fake designer bags and clothes to fake CDs and DVDs. And whatever you buy, you'll always get a bargain. The sellers price their stock high, knowing that you'll knock them right down. Its amazing just how much fun you can have in an evening. But be careful, you'll probably not fit it all in your suitcase!
Transport around the city is also very cheap, using the Baht Buses. They are the dark blue Jeep pickup trucks with a metal canope and seats in the back. A private jeep will cost no more than a couple of quid to get you from A to B. Jump on one that is en-route from one place to another and you can use it for a few pence each. Driving your own vehicle in Pattaya is something I wouldn't recommend. The drivers over there are lunatics!
When eating out, you can choose the street vendors who have bits of squid tied to the side of a motorbike or something a little classier. But don't be put off by the fancy restaurants all over the city. Big C has some big chains in its shopping centre, steak houses, Asian cuisine, Pizza etc. And prices for everything is considerably cheaper than at home. We paid about £11 for a huge meal at Pizza Hut with drinks and left feeling very stuffed. But in order to sample Thai cuisine on a shoestring, take a trip to the Topp's supermarket, where you can one of about eight or nine different kitchens, serving up main meals for less than a pound!
Its a great place, its very cheap, the people are brilliant and the weather is great all year round!