Pattaya - Thailand
A picture tells a thousand words, but a video tells a million words. Have a look at our video showing off Pattaya.
For the winter school break this year we decided to go far east to escape the cold weather in Europe. We chose Thailand for our destination.
To get there, we found cheap airfare using Fly Dubai. Their tickets included 20kg baggage, but without any amenities such as an actual meal on board. We were slightly disappointed by their services. We were aware that we’re not purchasing the meal / entertainment package when we signed in, but it’s the other things that get you down. For starters, the seats rows are so close to each other, it is impossible to lean forward. We are not tall people, and our legs barely fit. I can’t image how someone with bigger legs would even fit in that slot.
That also made sleeping onboard is very difficult, considering the lack of space.
You could buy the add-on entertainment package, as well as food, snacks and drinks at any time onboard. Some people were complaining that they could not watch movies, even though they paid as their units were defective.
On the Dubai to Bangkok flight they gave us totally random seats on a full plane. We talked to the air attendants onboard and barely managed to switch so Luka will be seating with his dad, while Matej and I kept the given ones. I don’t understand how this could have happened, FlyDubai placing a 7 year old child on a seat next to a complete stranger, with his parents being 5 rows behind in totally random seats. We tried to do online checkin 24 hours prior to the flight and select our seats, but their system would not let me do that.
The transfer terminal in Dubai is a small terminal with a lot of passengers. Although the service staff were trying to keep the place clean the toilets were dirty both times we tried to use them. It’s also packed with people traveling to exotic destinations so you are very glad once you’re actually in the plane.
This is how much space there was between my knees and the seat
Getting to Pattaya from Bangkok
Traveling from cold to hot is a bit tricky, especially when you arrive on the destination. Keep some space in the suitcase so you can store the jackets on arrival and have free hands. You will need all hands, especially if you’ve got luggage and kids. We booked a taxi / limo service online through http://www.pattaya-express.com/ and they waited for us at the airport to take us straight to Pattaya. We also booked them for the transfer from Pattaya to Bangkok and from Bangkok to the airport and every time they were on time, professional and with good AC cars. The prices are quite reasonable. Thailand has really good road infrastructure, no bumps and very few turns, so after about 2 hours on the road, we reached Pattaya.
Staying in Pattaya
We had two apartments booked in Pattaya Airbnb for very good prices.
The first one was a small condo in the centre of Pattaya with an infinity pool on the top floor, gym, a viewpoint room etc. The nice things about this one was that you’re in the middle of all the action. You just exist the complex and you’re in the middle of all the restaurants, pubs, bars, massage parlors, you name it.
The second one was close to Jomtien beach where we had a bigger apartment, surrounded with a forest and an water park, which included a large pool with lot of slides that Luka loved very much. The pool was not deep, there’s lots of props for the kids to play with, like a waterfall, a pirate boat replica, slides, a bridge and several jakuzi’s. In short, he did not want to leave the pool.
Pattaya in general
Pattaya is very popular with Russian tourists, so much that most of the signs in the shops and even the menus are written Russian / Cyrillic. There are even Russian restaurants, with Russian cuisine, to make these guys feel right at home. Chinese tourists are also very present.
Pattaya is mostly tourist oriented. The center of the city is very vibrant with a lot of going on. Karaoke, loud music all night, lots of street food carts, massage centers on every corner, restaurants with different food.
There’s lots of big supermarkets to choose from. There is a 7/11 on every corner, as well as a Tesco.
Pattaya is easily walkable, but if you get tired, there is also tuc tuc and taxi available.
Ko Lan island
Although Pattaya has some beaches along the walkway, but the best beaches are on the nearby Koh Larn island.
We went to the Koh Larn (Ko Lan) island on a day trip.
You can get there two ways:
– The more expensive but quicker option is to board a speed boat and be there in 15 minutes for 400 baht.
– Or you can take the cheaper option, by using the ferry and be there in 40-45 minutes for 30 baht for a one way ticket.
There is an official schedule for the ferry, but we found that there are ferry boats all the time, and once one is full, it would depart, and the next one would line up on the pier. It is a pleasant and safe ride to the island.
Ko Lan Ferry
Other tiny islands
Ko Lan Pier
Tawaen Beach Pier
Ko Lan beaches – Tien Beach
Koh Larn has several beaches, but we chose the Tien beach as more private and not so crowded. From the ferry pier there is a short walk to the tuc tuc taxis who can get you on any beach you want.
Tien beach was lovely. We rented beach chairs, and ordered lunch with drinks to be brought on the spot. Nice white sand and crystal water, although a little bit colder for our taste. Considering we were there in the winter season, it’s to be expected.
Lots of stray dogs at the beach, and they would be very happy for any food scraps you can provide. The dog with the 5 puppies was a nice addition to the experience. Kids played with the puppies, which were the main attraction on the beach.
For the more adventurous types, you can rent water jet skies, go parasailing, or just sit down and get drunk in one of the local pubs. There’s also boats taking you to the other islands as well as taking you to the other beaches.
Pattaya wouldn’t be complete without a walk trough Walking street. With a length of 1 km, it’s full of many beer bars, go go bars, restaurants and street food. There were similar streets in Pattaya in the center of the city, where people party all night long. We didn’t enter any of them, understandably with the kids present, but we walked and looked around.
There’s an overwhelming amount of things to see, a lot of light shows, strip shows, some kick box arenas with actual kick boxing fights happening as you drink your beer. For a family, use the simple rule, if there is a strip pole inside it is not a suitable place for the family.
We saw a lot of entertainment girls or maybe boys, who knows, but they were all minding their own business. Matej was a bit ashamed because he understood what was going on, but he took it gracefully.
The best adventure we had in Pattaya was the elephant sanctuary.
After a bit of googling, we chose https://www.elephantjunglesanctuary.com/ to see and play with elephants. We are strongly against riding elephants and this sanctuary didn’t offer this. During our half a day tour we had the opportunity to feed the elephants, play with them in the mud, clean them from the mud, and see how they use elephant dong (elephant poop) to make paper!
Their team walk you through the process or using raw elephant dong and turning it in to paper. You get to try for yourself to make paper from scratch, decorate it, which turns out is a super fun activity for the kids. As you get hungry, they provide you with local Thai food, an open buffet.
The staff were very friendly, the elephants playful so overall it was a very pleasant experience. In the end, they provide you with gifts, the local Thai shirts we wore, as well as some small hand made bags.
Of course they have a shower facility, so you can clean from the mud off of you before leaving.