On that Sunday morning, I willed my lazy body to wake up early. I arrived at the airport (NAIA Terminal 2) less than two hours before my flight. I met Kimchi Man there and together we headed to Philippine Airlines booth to check-in our luggage. The agent behind the counter had an unpleasing attitude for that fine morning, but we simply brushed it off. No one could ruin the start of my perfect holiday vacation. 🙂
There’s nothing worth mentioning about my flight to Thailand except that both Kimchi Man and I were disappointed with PAL’s complimentary hot meals. After cruising in 37 000 feet for more than three hours, we finally landed to Bangkok.
SUVARNABHUMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Welcome to Thailand!
Looking like a baggage while waiting for Kimchi Man’s luggage in the carousel
I find it an interesting hobby to read the back of a toilet’s door. This one only proves I was somewhere far from my home. LOL
My first thought that came to mind was, “Wow, it’s huge!” My last international flight was almost four years ago and I was surprised as to how I got used to my country’s very cute airports. Anyway, I also observed that there were too many tourists in the airport, mostly Westerners! Kimchi Man and I looked like kids among the giant whites. 🙂 If the length of the queues in the immigration area is not an indication of the number of tourists in Thailand, I don’t know what is.
After a little over an hour waiting in the ground floor of the airport, we took a private bus then a van to our destination, Pattaya. We used Bell Travel Service for the transfer, just in case you want to know.
Tips: Your booking confirmation is not your final ticket. Better go to Bell Travel Service counter in the ground floor and show your printed voucher. An agent will then give you your tickets and cute “I am a tourist” sticker to be place in your shirt at all times. Somewhat kidding. Not applicable to Kimchi Man though. He’d been to Thailand more than six times already. What a killjoy. ^_^
PATTAYA – GREEN PARK HOTEL AND RESORT
In an hour and a half, we were dropped off by our friendly, non-English speaking driver at our resort. “Welcome to Green Park Resort,” he exclaimed in his broken, weird and funny Thai accent.
We were warmly welcomed by the staff who assisted us with our luggage. Kimchi Man immediately proceeded to confirm our booking, while I was being served with refreshments. Yes, life is sometimes unfair. 🙂 When I reached the room, I was pleased.
The view was beautiful! If you wish to know more about Green Park Hotel and Resort, you can go to their website here. I forgot the exact rate we got, but I think it was somewhere around US$150/night. Affordable!
Eager to go sight-seeing, I freshened up quickly. We must beat the sunset!
A few minutes’ walk from the resort, I found myself staring into a beach beholding the beautiful setting of the sun. Kimchi Man told me it was the Pattaya beach where many tourists flock to go sunbathing. I internally flinched with the last word as I didn’t need any sunbathing – I have a perfect, well-cooked tan already! Kidding aside, sunbathing still caught my attention. Only sunbathing? Getting close to the waters confirmed what I have read in my research.
According to Wikipedia, the Pattaya Bay area is one of Asia’s largest and second-most visited city in Thailand. It has a long stretch of beaches, but Pattaya beach had become dirty over time. However, tourists still love to go here to “cook” and turn themselves into fried lobsters. Nearby islands e.g., Coral Island, sufficed the need for healthy swimming though.
After a lazy walk along Pattaya beach, Kimchi Man surprised me on how we would go to our next destination. It was my first time to ride Thailand’s short but spacious jeepney – a safer and more comfortable version of what we have back in my country. Interestingly, the jeepney was all occupied by tourists who were very excited to stand in the back of the moving vehicle. Funny.
Alighting one of Thailand’s unique mode of transportation, we walked one block before arriving to Walking Street. If you have read my post on A Vacation You Would Like to Take, you would have seen Walking Street being included there.
I am not a green girl if that’s what you’re thinking; I am simply curious about what goes on in this so-called “red light district” of Thailand where one can see a lot of go-go bars.
TANKAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
To have my first authentic Thai food, we dined at Tankay Seafood Restaurant, an open-air, close to the sea diner located in Walking Street. Huge, fresh lobsters and other seafood I am too lazy to write here were displayed in the entrance, which, of course, easily enticed Kimchi Man. We were ushered to a table closest to the sea and I could see the black water blinking back at me. Gratefully my stomach brought me to reality and made me order these:
BE A HAPPY TOURIST
Filled with fresh, yummy goodness, we strolled along clubs and go-go bars before a thought came to Kimchi Man: We needed to be connected as always! Finding the nearest Family Mart, he purchased this for me:
For as low as 300 THB, I stayed connected to my family, friends, and blogger fans through the entire trip. All thanks to DTAC’s 7-day unlimited 4G mobile Internet, I didn’t miss my slow and problematic unlimited data connection at home.
WALKING STREET’S STREET FOOD
I just love word play, sorry. No more words here.
ALCAZAR SHOW – THE GREATEST SHOW IN ASIA
Kimchi Man really paid attention when I answered his questions on what I wanted to do in my dream vacation. “I want to see lady boys,” I replied. I didn’t imagine he would remember that and put it in our itinerary.
As mentioned in my Thailand Travel Tips, using one’s smartphone apps like Google Maps and Navigation will surely help you a long way. Kimchi Man’s got us lost though. Alcazar’s indicator in his Google Maps was wrong so we believed that it was near Walking Street. Always checking-in to Foursquare, I found the location of Alcazar near our hotel resort! Quickly hailing down a cab, we arrived in our destination two minutes before the start of the show.
Tips: If you are interested to watch Alcazar Cabaret Show, it is highly recommended to book tickets in advance as seats get easily full. Also, don’t be late. Normal seat rates around 500 THB (US$15)
Seated, there came a booming voice of the anchor telling the audience that the show was about to start (which made everyone excited) and cameras, phones, and video recorders were not allowed to use inside the theater (which everyone ignored). Soon enough, the curtains were raised and I waited for the legendary performance in this side of Thailand.
Kimchi Man is not a fan of lady boys, but all the performers in the show were all previously male. I was worried at first that he would not enjoy, but the allure of these pretty and sexy female impersonators performing cultural to pop numbers in their glittering costumes made him feel at ease, somehow. They showcased songs and dances from Asian countries and the West, though I observed Korea had four sets in their entire show, with Gangnam Style rocking the entire theater. With great music, performance, backdrops, and costumes, it was a very entertaining way to end my first night in Thailand!
Eager to know more? Stay tuned for Day 2 of my Thailand Travel Diary! Want no hassle? Subscribe to my blog via email to get the latest post straight to your email address. Widget in the upper right corner.