for fellow travellers

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pattaya, Thailand

We planned to attend the ASPIRE (Asia Pacific initiative on Reproduction) this year in Bangkok. At the last moment i.e. just three days before the conference the venue had to be changed to Pattaya because of the agitation caused by the red shirts.

Our initial plan of spending two days at Pattaya and then three days at Bangkok was canceled to all 5 days in Pattaya.
We reached Pattaya from the Suvarnabhoomi Airport on the 7th of April.  For the visa on arrival we had to pay a fees of 1000 Baht ( Rs. 1.4 = Baht 1) and needed one passport size photograph. Visa on arrival was a smooth process took hardly 20mins including immigration. Then we searched for the Aspire help desk at the airport. We found it easily and there was a shuttle taking us to Pattaya in half an hour.
 We bought a sim card from the airport for 99 Baht which was valid for 40 days only and had a talk value of 39 Baht. Later in the city we got another sim card from a Family Mart store for just 49 Bahts having a talk value of 15 Baht and one year validity. Later on we could top up these cards by buying top up value cards. To call India we had to add 009 before country code and phone number otherwise the talk value would disappear in one phone call to India. But adding 009 to the phone number led to a lag in the conversation while talking to India. Adding 009 before the country code made the sim card much more economical when calling India.
It took us around one and half hours to reach Pattaya the road was excellent, but once on reaching there, the driver could not locate our hotel Siam Bay-view. He took us around 2 to 3 times before finding it. Once inside the hotel we were served a welcome drink and wet cool perfumed napkins, which felt great in the heat. In the hotel we got the bay facing rooms. The view was great. The bathrooms were exceptionally small and so was the balcony.
 After resting we ventured out. Pattaya has a beach road along the beach and across the road are all the hotels. parallel to the beach road are road 2 and road 3 and then Sukhumvit road (the Highway). Beach road is a one way road from north to south, or towards the Walking street at one side. Many small roads connect these main parallel roads. Road 2 is one way to the other side.
We went for a walk on the the Walking street. It was amazingly crowded and bustling.


We decided to go to the Tiffany Show and walked down. It was a long walk. The Tiffany show cost us 800 Baht per person. The show was nothing great, except for the dresses. Neither the content nor the sets were anything great.

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