When visiting Pattaya, most people see only a paradise beach resort. Beautiful women, flowing booze and music that will make you undulate your body right into the bar are everywhere. The beach is only a few minutes away and the weather is always beach weather.
Not many people think about the fact that the city harvests souls daily. Many people get here and never make it back home. The city is a ferocious monster of a maze with many dark alleys that could see you going home in a box instead of that pricey first-class seat.
Because the list is so extensive, it would take far too long to list off every single way that you could lose your life in the city. In no particular order here are a few of the ways people have met their tragic end in the City of Sin:
Running Police Checkpoints:
We aren’t sure about back home, but in Thailand, it is highly advisable to NOT try and outrun the police checkpoints. Often times these routine stops are nothing more than checking your driver’s license and insurance and take no more than 2 minutes of your time if you have the right documentation.
There have been several instances where individuals thought they were faster than the cops and end up either drop-kicked off of their motorcycle, chased through the city streets at a high speed (which is dangerous in and of itself), or shot.
Whether you want to openly admit it or not, alcohol is a poison. It is a well-known fact that once you arrive in Pattaya, you get THIRSTY! (Ok, maybe not a fact, but it sure seems that way) People who are here on holiday tend to take things overboard for the majority of their trips. They come here knowing that it will be a party and many people who are not normally heavy drinkers become Johnnie Walker. In the madness that is their blurry holiday some people take it too far and end up with severe alcohol poisoning. It is not uncommon for people who move here but are unable to break away from the party scene to end up with some kind of debilitating alcohol-related illness down the line either.
One of the first thing that people want to do when they get to town is hopping on a rental bike and take off. For some awkward reason, the act of renting a motorbike makes everyone believe that they are speed racer. Even if 90% of the individuals on the road had not been in the bar drinking all day (and that is a far cry from what it really is I’m sure) it would still be extremely dangerous due to the absolute gaggle of different people that holiday here.
Everyone comes from different countries, therefore they all have different driving abilities and each drives according to different laws and regulations. Once they get here, all of them forget everything and half are turning the blinker on to the right to make a left-hand turn. If you drive here, you WILL have an accident eventually. It’s just a simple fact of life around these parts. The news is awash constantly with stories of people who end up biting the dust (and a fender) in vehicle accidents.
Balcony Base-Jumping Without Parachute:
Though “professionals” will offer various explanations as to “why” people come to Pattaya and decide to try their luck in a duel against gravity whilst jumping off their condo balconies, the top floor of the mall and basically any other high ledge they can get to nobody really knows why. Every other week there is a story of some poor bastard who either jumped or “fell” from their balconies.
It is true that several of the buildings around town have balconies that were built for the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz. Some only come up to just above knee-level on many average-sized foreigners. All it takes is getting a little bit tipsy and a wobbly moment and it is very easy to see how some of the incidents you hear about could be accidents where people have fallen.
This one typically happens to the older gentlemen when they get here and their start feeling younger than their body is. Some experiences that you go through here are intense and can see the blood pressure elevated very quickly (especially once you get into the threesomes, foursomes and moresomes). Pattaya almost needs to have one of those warning labels that they put on treadmills. “Please consult your physician if you have had a history of heart-related irregularities or illnesses to find out if Pattaya is right for you”.
The Jealous Thai Boyfriend:
So you met a gal that you think is really swell. You just met 30 minutes ago but you feel like you have known her forever and that she may be the one. It is a wise idea to make sure that she doesn’t have someone else that also thinks she is a swell gal that will come looking for her. A jealous Thai boyfriend or husband is a dangerous thing sometimes.
There are plenty of stories to back up this one. It wasn’t long ago that a Thai soldier left his Lopburi military barracks to search for his estranged girlfriend. Unfortunately, he found her on Pattaya’s Walking Street and stabbed her repeatedly and slashed her throat in front of the 7/11 convenience store where she lost her life and several foreigners were injured while trying to fight him off.
While most street drugs are highly illegal in Thailand, there still seems to be ways that people get them or we wouldn’t have so many people getting locked up for meth. If you are travelling here and absolutely must have a drug it is far better to stick with that over the counter stuff called alcohol.
You absolutely have no idea what people around you are cutting their drugs with or if these substances are even what the street guy says they are. Imagine going to buy a tiny bag of nose candy and ending up with a tiny bag of ground-up meth. That is one way to snort yourself off the face of the earth for sure. It is far better to stay away from the drugs that will kill you, aside from the legal ones of course.
Pattaya doesn’t exactly have the most organized power line grid in the world. Looking at the massive heaps of twisted and tangled cabling, it is surprising that anyone knows what cable powers what but somehow they work it out.
Understand, it is not normally the trained electric worker that ends up frying themselves, it is the unsuspecting tourist, or the people who live here (Thais included). If you look up random deaths by electrocution in Thailand it will surely be up there on the top 5 list of ways that people die.
From stepping out of the ocean water and grabbing hold of anything metal to accidentally stepping on frayed wires near the lean-to style Thai markets, everything can be considered to be electrically hazardous to your health and well-being. Sometimes even a faulty electric shower hot water heater will get you, you just never know in Thailand.
Most buildings in Thailand are not properly grounded either. People that live here have all had an electrical appliance or two reach out and touch them from time to time.
Depending on the class and amount of drugs that you get caught with, you could be looking at life imprisonment or even the death penalty in Thailand. While some would say that it doesn’t technically count as “dying” if you are simply locked up forever, they clearly have not seen the state of the inside of a Thai prison. It is no life that any normal living person would hope to have, so you may as well be dead if you are stuck there forever. You are here having a good time, why risk it with either a trip to the Bangkok Hilton or the temple crematorium?
While it seems like a “no brainer” to most that if you cannot swim, you don’t go in the water, there are tons of people that die yearly by drowning. What makes it even more ridiculous is that there are no big waves on Pattaya beaches. Pattaya is a paradise, but it is far from the finest surfing destination in the world because it is located on much calmer Gulf waters.
Perhaps there are sirens or mermaids in the waters off of Pattaya that are attracted to drunk individuals on the beach. It can sometimes be a little ridiculous how many bodies wash up on a beach throughout the year. More often times than not alcohol is involved, but there could be mermaids too I suppose.
We have all seen the funny little videos of tourists during the flood season playing on inner-tubes and riding the flood water wakes generated by passing vehicles. While it all looks like fun, the street water in Thailand is FAR from the cleanliness of Pattaya’s various waterparks.
Any little cut on your body could instantly become infected and lead to an extended stay in one of the city’s fine medical establishments. Staph infection, when untreated, can cause blood infection and even death. Think about the risks the next time you decide to body surf a wave of faecal matter and disgust during the rainy season.
Sudden Urges To Cut Your Own Throat:
Yes, it is insane and you would have to be a hardcore individual to do it, but there have been several stories of suicide in Thailand where the individuals perished by taking a knife to their own throat. It is never a good idea to let depression get the better of you. It is a selfish thing to take your own life. No matter who you are, someone out there gives a damn about you.
That being said, if we were to decide that it was time for the final adventure, we damn sure wouldn’t go about it in such a painful or horrifying way! There are also some people believe that it is impossible to cut your own throat and that the cases never should have been closed, but, alas, it is what it is.
While the people in the following example didn’t perish, according to the reports, anyone with eyes who sees the story can imagine how things could have gone a little bit differently.
Apparently, back in 2015 things went a little off-kilter for a couple of kite surfers on Jomtien beach when they were suddenly lifted 200 meters into the air by a gale-force wind and dropped on the top (The roof is equivalent to the 40th story) of Ambassador City Hotel in Jomtien. The pair were assisted by hotel staff and suffered scrapes and bruises for the most part. It doesn’t get much more randomly terrifying than being ground level one second and 200 meters up in the air floating around the next minute.
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever:
While most deaths occur in children, that is not to say ALL of them do. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a syndrome of the dengue virus that you get when bitten by a mosquito carrying it. Not every case of dengue will lead to DHF and death but people who have had dengue fever before will tell you, it’s not also known as “Breakbone Fever” without cause and some things are worse than death.
Like every country and city in the world, Thailand and Pattaya have their fair share of unexplained deaths that happen from time to time. Occasionally there are also bad people who choose murder as a hobby and sometimes you can end up on the wrong end of it if the cards aren’t in your favour (or you are a dumbass).
Whether people openly admit it or not, Pattaya is still very much a hotbed of “mafia” and “family” activity. It is much better to be on your best behaviour with a pocketful of smiles to pass out while you are here. The problem with making enemies in Pattaya is that you never know who is who in the crazy zoo until you have been around for a while.
Trampled By Elephants:
In Thailand, it is perfectly okay to watch elephants that are performing a show. Sometimes the trainers will even tell you that it is okay to come close to the elephant as they have been trained to interact with people. Not every elephant out there is “Dumbo” Disney friendly, so when a trainer or owner tells you that you should stay away from a particular elephant, they are doing so with your safety in mind.
One only need to do a google search to find out how many “Elephant Related Incidents” there are in Thailand to see that it is a risk worth listing. Some people are lucky enough to survive to tell the tale, as is the case with Mr Hans Dieter Sherding, who decided to stop and watch the elephants while he was out cycling. According to the staff for the Elephant Village Park, Mr Sherding was warned not to mess about with the elephants on several occasions and decided not to heed their warning.
Death By Snake:
Thailand is a very temperate and tropical climate. It also just so happens to be the perfect climate for a damn terrarium. You can find stories about snakes hiding just about anywhere from your shoes to your toilet (yes, the toilet) and everything in-between.
It is very important to shake out your shoes to check for any unwanted guests in the morning. It is also a good idea to make sure you turn on that bathroom light for anything that may be lurking below the waterline in your commode (the toilet is a common hiding spot for them here.)
Songkran & New Year’s Madness:
Songkran and New Year are the most dangerous times to be driving around in Thailand. The roads are already chaotic enough here. When you start adding thousands of people riding around dodging 5-gallon buckets of water on Songkran or thousands of people that have just been out at the tavern ringing in the New Year, you see a significant increase in road and holiday-related deaths.
The numbers have decreased year after year for road deaths during the holidays’ thanks to the Pattaya Police staying on top of their roadblocks and DUI checkpoints but this is Thailand, there are 69.4 million people (not counting tourists) that call a land-mass the size of Texas home. It is highly unlikely we will ever rid Pattaya or Thailand of all of the road incidents, like ever.
Going Down With The Ship…
Some people will argue that this should be added to the “Freak Accidents” category, but the truth is, there have been far too many ferry boats sink in Thailand for it to be tossed in with the random accidents category.
Back in 2018, a tourist boat dubbed “The Phoenix” sank, killing 47 Chinese nationals on their way to Phuket in one of the greatest maritime disasters in Thailand’s history. Reasons for boats going down in the Gulf of Thailand range from technical issues with the boat itself to navigation errors and/or being filled beyond tourist capacity. If you have a plan to travel via boat, best to wear your life preserver.
As you can clearly see, sh*t happens sometimes that we are not in control of and it could mean “Game Over” for you if you aren’t careful and sometimes a little bit lucky. These are just a few examples of some of the ways that people have lost their lives. Every country and city in the world has ways for you to die, it’s not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.