The first thing on everyone’s mind when they think about Pattaya seems to be the limitless supply of booze and women. While that may be the icing on the cake, there is so much more that I think about when I think about that magical city. Here are 7 reasons why I love Pattaya:
#1 The People
When I say I love the people, I am not referring to the swathes of tour buses and other tourists that flock to the city year-round. I love the Thai people. It doesn’t matter which city I was to live in, they would be what I thought about first and foremost.
Thai people are the most welcoming people in the world when you are actually worthy of being welcomed. I have made so many Thai friends since I moved here that the only real foreigner interaction that I have is via social media.
Once you have established a circle of Thai friends or been accepted into a Thai family, you will never want for anything (especially food). Those that have groups of Thai friends and family like I am speaking know that you will be asked 100x per day what you have eaten and if you are hungry or want to share their food.
I could list a million different examples of how generous and welcoming the Thai folks are, but really, if you know, you know and if not, hopefully, one day you will.
#2 Holidays, Festivals and Events
Personally, I am one of those people that is obsessed with Songkran. It has taken the spot of “favourite holiday” over Halloween since I experienced my first one. Thailand has so many unique and important holidays that you can participate in and feel completely welcome doing so.
Once you have been here long enough you may even find yourself wanting to participate in the Buddha day events and/or temple services. Thais do not exclude foreigners from anything really (except some of those late-night Thai-only drink venues).
Songkran is only one example of Thailand’s awesome events. There are many more that you can look up like Loy Krathong, the Chonburi buffalo races, the annual jet ski world cup, the annual international fireworks festival and many others if you start looking in other provinces like the Lopburi monkey festival. Thailand is full of things to do that don’t include sitting around getting gone as you can get in some bar.
#3 The Slow Life
Part of the reason that I moved to Pattaya was to slow life down a little bit. Anyone who has been around long enough or had any kind of business dealings with the Thais will tell you, they aren’t exactly the most punctual of people.
Thai-time is a real thing and it basically just means you should expect them to be late to appointments or sometimes shockingly enough, early. It is totally up to them and how their day is going whether or not they will be on time. In Thailand, it is not something that is frowned upon by anyone besides foreigners for the most part.
Who doesn’t want a life where, when you are done working, you can drive 5 minutes to the beach or to any number of relaxing spots and just let time slowly tick by while you read a book or think about what you may or may not do tomorrow?
#4 The Options
I chose Pattaya out of the other cities because there are fewer people than Bangkok (I’m not really a crowds type of guy) and because there are just as many food options available. If you want Thai, they have Thai. If you want Indian, they have Indian. Pretty much whatever you happen to be craving at the moment can be found in central Pattaya (or now delivered by Grab).
I am a fan of Thai food, but sometimes you just need the fat kid comfort food of your home country. Sometimes nothing puts the morning right like a sausage McMuffin from McDonald’s (as shameful as that is to admit).
#5 Easy Transportation
No matter where you need to get to in Pattaya, everything is central for the most part. It makes it very easy to put them size 12 Goodyears to the pavement and get to where you need to go. If you are like me, however, you probably are thinking “walk? who walks?”.
The good thing is that there are a ton of other transportation options available to you. Motorbike taxis for cheap as chips, yellow taxis that cost a bit more (but are still reliable), minibuses to do your visa runs, and full-on public transportation buses and trains if you have a destination in mind that is a little off the beaten path.
If you get lost in Pattaya, you may want to take some sort of navigation courses.
# 6 Affordable Dental Services
Not everyone is aware of it, but Thailand has some phenomenal dentistry practices. Many of the dentists that set up their own clinics here have been formally trained outside of Thailand and returned to start their own practice as opposed for working for other people and to bring quality dentistry to the Land of Smiles
No dental insurance? Even without it, most dental services in Pattaya will only cost you a fraction of what you pay back home WITH insurance. If you have issues with your teeth, get them sorted while you are here, or at least ask around and get some quotes, you’ll be surprised what you will find.
# 7 Historical Events
While I didn’t take this part into account when I moved to Thailand (because you can’t really predict when something historical is going to take place sometimes), being here for the passing of his Royal Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej and for the coronation and ascension of his son his Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn have been once in a lifetime opportunities that I am thankful to have been present for.
Being present for historical happenings anywhere is always something special and only the people that were here in Thailand at the time got to witness the effect that King Bhumibol’s passing had on the land. Spending an entire year wearing black and mourning the loss of Thailand’s great King and the longest-ruling monarch in history was a truly humbling experience that I am honoured to have been a part of.
The Wrap Up
I am sure that I can sit here and think of other reasons why Pattaya is the place that I selected and ultimately ended up calling home but these are the main ones. It is a very shallow way of thinking to ONLY focus on the bars and beautiful women when there is so much more to be appreciative as well in my opinion.
Some people have lost their love of Thailand after a bad experience or two and now they live their lives trying to destroy the reputation and image of Pattaya. Negativity breeds negativity they say, so it is probably best to stay away from the whiners and find out if Pattaya is right for you on your own.