Pattaya

Heritage at Pattaya Floating Market (2)

The existence of floating markets in the old days throughout Thailand life was centred on the river, canals and people lived at the banks, so merchants with their products in small boats came floating to their customers. The whole idea of recreating this floating market is an initiative to bring the four areas of Thailand together, displaying their traditional culture and produce. The heritage buildings are built as a representation according to the various styles of homes in the North, East, South and West of Thailand.Entrance is free, you can just wander around the shops and eat. That is actually the best part, sampling food items without too much travelling and if that makes you tired you can take a relaxing foot- or Thai body massage or just sit at the many benches to relax.

Entrance is free, you can just wander around the shops and eat. That is actually the best part, sampling food items without too much travelling and if that makes you tired you can take a relaxing foot- or Thai body massage or just sit at the many benches to relax.

While visiting bus loads of tourists were being dropped straight from Bangkok or coming from Pattaya centre, the whole park is largely setup functioning as an escape from the congested cities. We were better off than the tourist group excursions their visit was timed, with intervals regular announcements filled the air calling the visitors to rush back into the bus for the next attraction.

We spontaneously decided to extend our visit, enjoyed a fantastic lunch and due to the rain we willingly seated ourselves in the reclining chairs for a foot-massage closing our eyes comfortably swaying slightly due to the waves of the lake and boats.

Actually, I would dare to say that it’s much more fun to visit the Floating Market at South Pattaya than the Damneun Saduak in Bangkok, which receives much criticism these days due to the dilapidated state it is in now. Which is why the tourist buses are heading this way to get a glimpse of Thailand heritage.

Click on the official Thai webpage Pattaya floating market for information. Open daily from 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Floating Market new attraction south of Pattay (1)

Most probably you have heard of Pattaya being mentioned as a night-life City, well that was true in the past. If you are willing to pass the label there’s more to discover, in fact, there are actually sightseeing places and activities absolutely worth the visit which will capture and hold your attention. In an earlier post about Dongtan and Nongmaii Beach Pattaya, I had made reference to Pattaya’s administration working hard on a better image and it’s best to promote the City as a family destination.

One of the projects we basically have watched being built from a distance, an artificial lake just south of Pattaya on Sukhumvit Road. This has now become one of the largest attraction is known as Pattaya Floating Market. Since its opening, two years earlier we actually entered the premises for the first time bringing guests along. According to our local friends the buildings have weathered down due to monsoons, humidity and being fully operational it has acquired now an even more authentic look. As for our company as first timers, they liked the introduction very much as genuine with traditional and cultural shows, products, boats and all other shops with wares and fares on display for sale.

For a glimpse, just click on the images for a larger view and if it draws your attention to read and see more click on the link “Heritage at Pattaya Floating Market“.

Thepprasit Market hawkerfood (3)

Thepprasit is the largest Night Market in Pattaya, only open from Friday till Sunday starting from 17.00 till 23.00. Besides cheap products attracting a lot of shoppers local and tourists.  it is also very popular for its wide variety of hawker food stalls in the food court section serving food styles of the four regions all at one place. Here is just a small glimpse of regular hawkers food items.

Thailand in particular sells edible bugs as delicacy’s, how about deep fried grasshopper, I’ve been told they taste like shrimps or non mai’s a wood wurms these  turn very crispy on the outside after being fried. There’s more to learn here in this link Popular Snack food in ThailandThese crunchy snacks are high in protein, calcium and cholesterol are actually very nutrious. For the daredevils among us who believe that entomophagy is the future, as in Insects are food a link with recipes to experiment.

Road stall hideaway hawker food (2)

On our previous holidays in Pattaya we would book family-suite hotel rooms/apartments located at Jomtien Beach road, where you couldn’t get passed this hawker food place. Easy to drop in for a quick bite, lunch or dinner, just great dishes with lots of taste on top of that these hawker stalls fit in any budget. Always jam-packed with tourists and locals, can’t go wrong with the stir-fried food in here, the dishes are prepared in woks literally dancing on fiery flames. Make no mistake, we have burned our lips more than once thinking it wasn’t that hot on more than chillies only.

The hawker food place in the pictures is the one where the 7-11 shop entrance is practically build inside this road stall, also recognizable with the salt-crusted barbecue fish on street-side display.

The Som Tam food stall is located at Dongtan Beach in White House, almost next door to Nongmaii Beach Cafe. This is also the only stall where I would order the Som Tam Puma, Papaya Salad with the local delicacy of salted black mini-crabs without having any after trouble. The trick of a good prepared Som Tam is besides fresh ingredients, the pounding and scraping without making it in a mush but just soft enough retaining a crunch with a tangy-sweet-hot dressing perfectly clinging on.

 

Or-ah-harn Thai restaurant

OR-AH-HARN-THAI Restaurant is one of our favorite authentic Thai food restaurants we patronage every visit to Pattaya. We highly recommend this place to enjoy your dinner inside while watching the cooks prepare meals from the tables just behind or walk up to the first floor air-conditioned room. The Thai seafood dishes are amazing, a Must-Eat is the whole fish in Lemon sauce absolutely fantastic! Worth to mention Must-Try to keep in line with all must superlatives.

A to-do for foodies, put it on your list To-Visit secrets in Pattaya or 1000 Places must-see in Thailand before you travel on.

Across the street you’ll find the only electronic building Tuk Com IT Center  located in Pattaya for repair, gadgets, PC and mobile hardware and software. We brought our Laptop to clean & check paid 500Bht done within a few hours. If you like to wait, enough time for a foot massage, lunch or dinner with food stalls and shops a-plenty in this neighborhood.

image

image

image

image

Alcazar Cabaret Show

Night-life entertainment in Pattaya, Alcazar Cabaret Show is a legend in Asia and worth to visit. It is been said or compared to Crazy Horse Cabaret although the dancers in Alcazar and Tiffany’s only exist of Katoi’s or Lady-boys as performers. Never been to Crazy Horse or any other saloon, can’t confirm whether it is or is not, but the show is entertaining and delivered in American musical-style. Drag queen extravaganza with transvestites, but in Thai culture Katoi is seen as a third gender in transition.

But before entering the Theatre we had to grab a bite first and further down the road I remembered a section to have hawker-food stalls. We walked a bit and were nicely surprised, this section is modernised and covered. Now the next difficult thing was, choosing what we were going to order for our dinner.

Hereunder just an impression of the Cabaret show, you can buy tickets through a ticketing shop, travel agent, on-line or purchase directly at the cashier as we did. We were just lucky to get tickets and still reasonable seats with good view.

Opening act

Full stage, good sound quality

Boon Guer eatery Al Fresco

While relaxing your days at the beach or sightseeing you might consider to visit the local Thepprasit Night Market, just hop on one of the local transport Songtel bus-taxi (song=two and tel=benches). They will drive and drop at the intersection where the street begins for transfer. From this corner (near bus station & Foodland Market) it is still a long stretch so this is where you switch over to another Songtel, or if you like the exercise it’s about 5km walk (could easily be more).

However on the left side about 30mtrs from the corner is “Boon Guer” a very good local casual food place located with a garden/al fresco kind of dining, as soon as you sit down they will bring over fans to cool you down. Instead of me pronouncing it wrongly, thought it might be best to post a picture of their neon street signboard easy to find and use.

Authentic Thai food restaurant

 
We’ve frequently enjoyed our dinners here it still services the same quality as our very first visit. We brought company along friends who decided to join us on this trip to get up close and personal encountering Thai flavours and hospitality. Alas too much chilli and not yet settled, they took it down a notch however Thai food is not always spicy, so we ordered different dishes easy on the palate and tummy. The menu; stir-fried Chicken with Cashew, minced meat with Thai fragrant basil, Dou-Fu soup with glass noodle, stir-fried greens with oyster sauce and we were waiting for our steamed Fish in Lemon Sauce. It is their dedicated fish and seafood preparation where they have build a solid reputation on, loyal customers even us holiday visitors keep coming back for more.

Thai-style stir-fried dishes and dou-fu soup

 
Well this picture doesn’t need any under-script, another “Happy Meal” with cheerful dinners!

Enjoying another Thai dinner

Nongmaii beach Pattaya

Nongmaii Beach Cafe

Pattaya Bay is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. Pattaya an ordinary small fishing village, it all changed during the 60’s when American servicemen arrived during the Vietnamese War for rest and relaxation, changing life forever as in sin-city. While wiki pages states it developed into a family-orientated seaside destination it wasn’t until some legal action was undertaken to enforce changes in the sex industry and child prostitution. The Government is now re-branding Pattaya with a master plan as mentioned in the  NewYork Times post in 2010 A Thai City of Sleaze Tries to Clean Up by Thomas Fuller. The sex industry is still at large but with the growing wider exposure of foreigners and locals exposed in illicit affairs, the government is undertaking action to make changes for the better.

As a visitor I do share a critical view of sex tourism in Thailand, will write post in a separate entry. For now I’d like to share my positive observations visiting friends and places we have patronized over the years and still experiencing unwavering Thai hospitality. This and following posts will be about vacation in Pattaya as we have come to known and like it.

Pattaya Boulevard is located central with a very popular small stretch of Beach with at one end the infamous Walking Street. On the very opposite side south of the Bay you will find Jomtien Beach both well known spots, with Dongtan Beach centred in the middle being closed off for cars. Ideal for joggers along the beach or on the pavement visited by beach guests, strollers and bicyclists. Away from the noisy centre it’s not as crazy over crowded like popular tourist spots can be.

While still being popular it is quiet, last few years coastal area business has seen quite a dip due to environmental problems, political and economical unrest. Pattaya’s view changed too by rapidly build constructions, condo’s and many high-rise towers all along coastal line. Without increase of sales potential, lack of tenants or buyers most housing remain unoccupied instead becoming concrete walls of what once was lush greens.

Nongmaii beach residents

But some things and spots remain the same, such as Nongmaii Beach Cafe. Introduced by friends more than a decade ago we keep coming back for outstanding service, the warm hospitality by the proprietor Mrs. Latana’s family and her helpfull staff. This is a great place to relax, chat, occasionally keep beach office as I like to do while observing local wildlife big and small. These chipmunks have been entertaing us during our Autumn stay just before high season starts here.

Office at Dongtan Beach