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Displayed prices are for multiple nights. Check the site for price per night. I see hostels starting at 200b/day and hotels from 500b/day on agoda.

InternationalTraveler

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InternationalTraveler last won the day on February 16 2018

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About InternationalTraveler

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    Pattaya Thailand
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    Wine Women Song Football & Golf not necessarily in that order

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  1. For me, it started a few weeks ago when I was listening to the news on TV. Had Duterte just shut down Manila for a month, did I hear that right. Checked the internet and for sure 3-hours ago, 6-hours ago reports say it was true. It was way back in November, I had planned to get away from Songkran for nearly a month in the Philippines. (Songkran has now been cancelled) I had planned a bit of island hopping going to Coron, El Nido, Puerta Princesa and then 10-days in Sabang, Puerta Gallera to finish off, a place of last years Philippine report trip. On my morning walk took my Passport and stopped off at the Thai Air office at the top of Beach Road near the Dusit. The place was packed, could not even get to the ticket machine so I give it a miss and would try again in the afternoon. My first thought was... are all these guys going to Angeles. In the afternoon the office was empty so picked a number and walked straight up to the desk. Told I would get a full refund but wait for it, expect to wait 45-days. WTF Thai Air will probably go bust by then. I also have a July trip booked on BA to Heathrow. This could also be sliding away depending on events. Then came the warning of bar closures. It was Wednesday and I am always optimistic I would find a bar open. A walk down soi 6 confirmed the worst as all the bars were in darkness a few bars had the shutters half way down with girls sitting on the floor eating and talking. A walk up soi 7 and to my surprise, the bars were open but it felt just like the Kings Funeral with all the bars in semi darkness and no music, total silence. The girls were wondering what they were going to do and after a number of visits (warnings) by the police the bars on soi 7 closed at 12-midnight. On the Thursday there were guys wandering the streets looking for a saviour. I was one of them. Took the GF out to eat roast duck at the Leng kee restaurant on Pattaya Klang and consumed a number of large Chang from the promotion girl at their special price of 100 baht. With my Philippine trip down the pan and the bars all shut I needed a holiday and it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. That night packed my case and the following day set off in the direction of Hua Hin to my regular stop at the Tanawit hotel and spa. The beer bar area in the town was closed and the place looked deserted. Had my mandatory Hawaiian pizza in Roberto's Italian restaurant with large Leo's. Only one bar was open at the back of the Hilton Hotel near to the beach. It was full so went into one of the restaurants nearby on stilts overlooking the sea. No problem just ordering beer. Then went to check out the night market close to my hotel and it was kicking with the C.O. Bar doing good business. C.O Bar in the market After my morning walk down the beach, a croissant and a 7-Eleven coffee drove South down to Surat Thani to the Orchid Riverside Hotel where I have stayed before. On checking in, all the staff have masks and have the infra red temp gun zapped on my head to show 37 degrees. Around 200 yards away there is an exercise park on the island and next to it an excellent restaurant by the river called Crossroads, this time it was large Leo's shared between two. View from Crossroads Restaurant Surat Thani After a 7-Eleven coffee an early start by my standards to the Raja Ferry Port at Donsak which is around 45-minutes drive with very few cars on the road. Saw the Raja turn off sign too late as I was going too fast but from the Garmin GPS carried on the road another few clicks and found a PTT petrol station to tank up the car. Would expect gas more expensive on the island. (was 3-baht per litre more) Drive 5-minutes and passed the Seatran ferry port and then to the Raja ferry where the pre-check-in is another temperature check on your head and a stamp on the back of my hand. 520 baht is the price of the ticket for car and driver + 1 passenger to Koh Samui. The queue is short and 15-minutes later have parked on board and sat in the upper air con lounge. Queue is very short Only 6-passengers upstairs, a few with face masks. Others stay in their cars and pick ups. 90-minutes or so and we are docking. Road signs are pretty shit and I make two wrong turns before I see a sign for Lamai. Have been to Koh Samui twice in my 'party days' in 2003 and 2006 when it was ramming, staying on Chaweng Beach at the Coral Beach Resort but this time decided a little quiet time in Lamai was in order. Stopped at the Best Resort which cost 900 baht a night with parking, a room overlooking the swimming pool with a/c no frills and book for 2-nights so I can get my bearings. Coconut bar and Bamboo restaurant on the beach does a big English breakfast for 100 baht. A SML is 70 and big bottles of Leo 100. Bamboo Restaurant Beach Grand father/ mother Rocks shaped like cock and pussy Walk one street back and all the bars are in full swing with customers. Some beer bars have girls but no music. The last time I was here, hired a motor bike and checked out Lamai but did not find all the beer bar areas and now it looks like there are more than Chaweng. Drive around to Chaweng beach and the road is half dug up. Reminds me of Beach Road in Pattaya. All the road dug up Drive into Central Festival to park. Have passport copied and temperature check before entering. This mall is open air and far too hot for walking around. Checked out the Coral Beach Resort which may have been taken over by Ark Bar where I stayed years ago. It was boarded up and closed. Coral Beach Resort may now be Ark Bar Closed no customers A bar in town is selling beer and is open till 10pm, the guy welcomes us to come in but it is far too early Bar area not a girl in sight In Lamai I find some restaurants have stopped selling beer, some are open till 6pm and some till 10pm. I guess it is who has connections or pays with brown envelopes. There are still foreigners on holiday out on the beach oblivious of flight cancellations. The night market may as well pack up as there are no customers. Why set a stall no fallang A day or so later all the bars in town closed and so did the night market. Bar Area closed Moved a few hundred yards down the road to the Coconut Beach Resort which has big rooms, English tv, swimming pool, gym and sun loungers on the beach, negotiated a deal for 1000 baht a night. Booked for 5-nights with the intention of staying longer depending on the situation. There are two Coconut beach resorts the other is called Coconut beach Lamai. Hotel. Pool. Beach sunbeds. Ideal location One man and his dog Bo Phut view of Koh Phangan (monthly moon party) Santiburi Golf Club very expensive A look on Booking.com and it was advertised at over 1800 baht a night but I think we are the only ones here. Restaurants on the beach are still selling food and booze. At breakfast, told by restaurant staff to wear a face mask when going out around town. Very few people are out now. Everyone in Tesco Lotus and Big C wearing masks, more temperature checks and sanitiser on entering. Less tourists are now left around the beach. Blue sky, lovely blue sea and fresh air (AQI under 20) To get rid of my Pattaya cough. My routine has now changed. No more staying out till midnight. A full English breakfast. A drive around the island to another beach. Sight seeing. A lounge on a sun bed and swim sea/pool. Out early doors for beers on the beach and then a meal. A few beers/Sam Song coke on the beach with the GF, I have a cool bag. Early night around 9 to 10pm Watch a movie for an hour or two. Always useful to have a cool bag with ice Book another three then another two more nights in this hotel as the place is ok. Phuket is going under a curfew, sounds like there already is one in Pattaya as everything is closed after 10pm. Will there be a lock-down, a lot of speculation. There needs to be a heads up. If I get stuck here for a month or two it would not be the end of the world. Have checked out some beach resorts for a long term stay, around 10,000 baht a month. Hear that the hotel next to the restaurant I am drinking in has 3-Russian tourists. They want to get rid of them as they want to close. Most hotels along the beach have closed with signs saying open in July. Is that really 2020 optimistic? As of today Samui has a population of around 70,000 locals. And there are only 3-confirmed cases on Samui, Two are French guys, one coming back from France and the other from the Philippines. The other is a Thai doctor. Koh Phangnan the moon party island has zero cases. Pattaya has a population of 320,000 / Chonburi 1.5 million population with 38 cases including 2-Brits. I keep distance, wear a mask in shops and think on the whole it is safer to be down here for the time being. I did try to buy the malaria tablets chloroquine and Azilthromycin at a chemist but the doctor told me the hospital has taken full control of these drugs. The ironic thing is a few years ago I cleaned out my medicine cabinet and threw away these pills (I used them in my Africa days) I still have a supply of Lariam which was considered a substitute. It is like a delaying tactic but sure as hell the same rules are regulations are working their way down to Samui. (Surat Thani Province) Still serve beer on the beach till 6pm but now only do take-aways. All right for the GF as the food carts are her staple diet. Time to call it a day and go home tomorrow. Time to go home Got there in time for the 8am ferry but looks like schedules have changed as it sailed after 9am then spent 30-minutes waiting for a berth at the Donsak mainland. 11:30 and we disembark with half the day gone. The drive back is pleasing with no traffic, one checkpoint asking where we go, the next is a pull over and a temperature check. The GF wants to visit her home in Isaan but driving today I have only seen one empty bus and one taxi in 6-hours. It is after 5:30pm and I have had enough so pull into Prachaup Kiri Khan which is only around 10-minutes off the main drag. Stayed here before at the Beach hotel and dinned upstairs in a small restaurant overlooking the sea obviously this time it was closed. Decide to try the Prachaup Grand which was a walk in rate of 1400 baht with breakfast. Only one other car in the parking lot. The Agoda rate is only 10 baht less so will not be running around to pay at a 7-Eleven. Nice room, restaurant open, we are the only ones here. Only around 10 things on the menu but the Pad Se Ew Chicken was excellent washed down with 3-Leo's at 60 baht each. After breakfast set off with the drive to Pattaya expecting more checkpoints as I read Pattaya is going to be locked down. The drive around the coast is quiet with only a build up of traffic around Bangkok and over the Chao Phraya River bridge. Eventually arrive Pattaya without one temperature check. A few checkpoints but just waved through mostly stopping pick up trucks. Take from this trip: I felt like I was a storm chaser but chasing beer and food with the rules and regulations changing by the day. I have experienced a beach holiday for the first time in years and it was a pleasant change. Blue sky, blue sea and clean air. All roads are well back from the beach with very little traffic. It has given me another option from my regular trips to Hua Hin and Koh Chang which are just over 4-hours. For me, this trip needs a day stop over as it is a tad over 800 kilometers. Now I am back in Pattaya I can still walk down the beach, it is not closed. (there were quite a few girls yesterday afternoon) and swim in the pool but I am now going to be oblivious to the passing of time. I used to know what day it was by what I was going to eat and now the weekends have no sport, one day is just the same as any other. One thing I know for sure is I would still rather be here than the UK. There are many food carts on soi Buakhao, I picked up a white grilled fish today, yesterday was ribs from Big C. Cheap Charlies and The Hungry Monkey look like they are doing take away so I will not go short. And as for drinking at home, maybe it is time to cut down on the beer and loose a few kilo.
  2. The first time I visited this mall I was impressed with the set up of the London, Paris, Italy, San Francisco, and Tokyo locations. However saying that there is absolutely nothing in there that I would buy. I have been there a few times now for an air conditioned walk after I have had my lunchtime meal to burn off a few cals. The toilets are hiso with automatic spray speeds and a heater to dry up your ass. Just a novelty ...Give me a squirter on a hosepipe any time.
  3. Before I moved to Pattaya, drove up there with the GF on motorbike and took it over on the ferry. Stayed at the Sichang Palace Hotel on the Island close to the dock and restaurants. It did have a pool. Drove around the island and it looked to be the best Hotel at the time. Others around the island on secluded beaches were more like wooden beach chalets. Also stayed in Sriracha in the Seaview hotel and had a night out in the bars. This has a view to the jetty and also to the Koh Loy Island Park which is worth a visit where I have eaten out many times (Thai food) My Island visit was 7-years ago and there was very little tourism at the time. It is probably more commercialized now with better facilities. And probably overrun with Chinese. View of Koh Loy Park from Sriracha Seaview Hotel View of jetty from Sriracha Loading the motorbike on the boat Good seaworthy vessel lol
  4. You could call me a bit of an expert on the matter or a bloody idiot whatever. In November took the car on another road trip up to Vientiane in Laos and then Chiang Rai/Golden Triangle/Chiang Mai and stopped off at a number of other places on route. Just a note that I have a heavy right foot on the gas. Speeding tickets started to arrive a day or two after I got back to my house. One on the way up from Korat to Udon Thani on the 11th Nov and four on the road back from Sukhothai to Bangkok within a 2-hour period. 11th Nov Time 12:22 Speed 120km/hr 25th Nov Time 08:47 Speed 144km/hr 25th Nov Time 09:22 Speed 128km/hr 25th Nov Time 0930 Speed 129km/hr arrived in post 20th Feb 2018 that is 3-months later 25th Nov Time 09:51 Speed 128km/hr These were paid at the Krungthai Bank (Pattaya Klang) 500 baht + 20 baht charge. Take your Passport. They have a bar code and can be scanned. All in all the road trip cost me an extra 2600 baht.
  5. Was wandering around the Harbor Shopping Mall yesterday, the place was almost empty. This did make me lol Would bet my house on it that it was a lady driver.
  6. Yesterday sat across from the GASC in Jolly's having my eat all you can Sunday roast for 259 baht. See that the lights are out and again today as I past.
  7. Yes, another 5-hours of my life but it is one of those chores you have to do. I did take my ear phones to listen to some music and was also busy taking some notes and pics. Foreigners queue at 07:30 Waiting for my number at desk 11 Doing the brake and colour test Mini TV Monitor Desk numbers 1 & 2
  8. Yesterday went to the LRO near Regents School to renew my car and motorbike licences. Time Line. 07:00 drive to centre and park up. 07:30 join the queue in front of main doors on the left-hand side for foreigners. At least 18-people in front of me. 08:05 Guy comes outside and gives a speech in Thai. Lets in the Thais first on the right-hand side and then foreigners. 08:10 Given a White ticket number 13 and sit down inside (ground floor) and wait for my number on the board. 08:50 Go upstairs for paperwork to be checked. 08:55 Given Red Ticket number 48 which says wait in training room 1. 09:10 Taken outside training room to cubicle to do reaction test, accelerator green lights and brake. And to do colour test red, green, yellow circles. Hand in ticket 48 to tester. I have passed the test. 09:30 Back to training room 1 to watch the video, the out-takes and re-run of video. 10:35: Basket of paperwork brought into training room and Thai numbers called first then foreigners with Passports and old driving licences. (Remember your number to collect Passport) 10:50 Join queue outside for desk number 15 to hand in paperwork and pay 555 baht car and 305 baht for motorbike licence. 11:00 Given Green ticket number 134 and wait to be called. 11:25 Go to desk number 2 to have photo taken and give paperwork to desk number 1. Then sit down and wait to be called. 11:40 Name is called and back to desk number 1 to pick up licences and receipts. 12:15 Arive back in Pattaya. Documents required: Passport. Car and Motorbike Licences. Copy of licences front and back. Residence Cert from Immigration. Copy of residence Cert. (one each for car and motorbike) Passport face page 2-off TM 6 Card 2-off Did not need: Copies of Visa. Old Passport or copy of old Passport (number on old licence) Other info: Grease up with mosquito cream/spray as it is infested at the test centre both inside and outside the building. Capacity of training room 1 is only 60-people so I guess you would have to wait for the second sitting if the number was over 60. When waiting to get photo the second sitting was in the cubicle doing the reaction test. Noted there was only around 15-people. I was in row number 4 in the training room and could just make out the English sub titles from the video. You also need to be a fast reader. Sub titles were in white and when there was a white background even more so. The TV was 40-inch max so if you were seated in the back-row number 10 you would have needed binoculars. No joke. To be honest the video was only informative on speed limits and fines and/or imprisonment for drunk driving. The road crash scenes with blood and guts was also worth watching. Most Thais attention span lasted around 15-minutes before they were asleep or playing with their mobile phones. Useful to take photo of your red ticket number. Told by the document checker that the renewal period was 1-month before and up to 3-months after the expiry date. If you get stopped by the Police, then there could be a problem. If you go a couple of days after your birthday (expiry date) then you will get almost 6-years validity. Hope this info is useful.
  9. A couple of photos from my walk yesterday on the way down to PBG. I have seen it much worse than that were you could almost walk on the floating debris and after rain the sea was black. Saw what looked like a Russian lady in the sea with a baby. Personally I would not dip my big toe in there.
  10. Yes the New Thai passport office is open on the top floor of the Avenue, one floor above the Robin Hood Bar. I was planning another trip to Laos so took the GF in there yesterday at 16:05 and came out 16:25. Closes 16:30. I counted 7- cubicles with fingerprint reader and digital cameras all set up. Only one other Thai person in there. 20-minutes and all the paperwork was done and paid for. Thai Passport in the post next week. 1040 baht. Very efficient.
  11. Last week found myself eating in Retox. Whilst everyone was having the baht busting breakfast I tried the Wednesday special which was the chicken tikka masala. The pompadoms were a little oily but otherwise not bad for 149 baht that's including a SML beer. Offer open for the month of July I did not realize Robin Hood in the Avenue and Naandos are all part of the same group. Photo taken outside the Avenue.
  12. I have re-named Chayapoom as 'Soi Pot-hole' Someone once told me that the road was owned by Toyota...not sure if that is true but possibly why it has never been fixed.
  13. Yes it was 3,000 baht, apparently Somchai used the credit card online but Barclays Bank UK flagged this up and blocked the card after around 11,000 baht of purchases. Made me laugh that he had to raid his 2-year old kids account at the ATM as he had run out of cash. The thieves must have been working in pairs as he was distracted with someone putting paste on his face whilst the other was rifling his pocket. Misdirection.
  14. Been here nearly 6-years now. Originally came with the intention to buy. Rented first apartment on the Darkside with tennants above and either side. Too noisy and too far from town 5Km. Now rent a house in the centre only 10-minutes walk from the beach and bars, yes location is paramount. I like the freedom that I can move anytime and if the shit does hit the fan for any reason I can open the safe, grab my passport and get the fcuk of here.
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