First Impressions of Pattaya
I've been in Pattaya for a few days now and it's been tiring, compared to Chiang Mai it's not as hot but it's been overcast. Haven't even had a chance to really explore any of the nightlife as yet as my girlfriend had by chance some family that came down for a short holiday so we went to their hotel which is much nicer than ours (5 star) called LK Empress. Really nice place but way out of my budget at over 2000 baht a night.
We hired a bike and went exploring for apartments geez there are like a billion of them didn't have to go far found a place called Honey for 5500 and 4000 deposit but you have to stay for 6 months it was in a soi full of curtain hotels and not really somewhere I wanted to stay. In the end found a place 10 minute walk to walking street for 7000 a month with a 3000 baht deposit and you can stay month by month. The place is very shady and quiet and while it well above my said budget it's really nice and close by and will do for a month and give me a chance to explore more before settling in.
So first impression of Pattaya is there seems to be more Russians here than ever before. When people have said this to me there seems to be a tone in their voice like they aren't happy about it or don't like Russians. Honestly I don't know any Russians actually never really met any before but I don't see it as a bad thing at all. Thing I noticed the most is the younger Russian chicks are way better looking than the Thai girls in the area (from what I've seen so far). Honestly seeing all those Russian girls makes me want to learn Russian, wonder if it's a hard language to learn, anyone speak Russian?
Regarding the Russians in Pattaya it actually makes sense why they are here it's easy for them to get a visa, and think about it, Moscow to Bangkok is only 8 hours same for Australians who come here in droves as well but tend to go to Phuket and Chiang Mai more. It's bloody cold in Russia and if you were going to come to Thailand why not come stay in Pattaya since there is so much help around for Russians. For my first impression in Pattaya I'd say the Russian girls sure beat looking at the drab hairy arm pit hippy style western chicks that go to Chiang Mai.
First meal I had in Pattaya was larb som tum bala and gai yarng. The servings are huge and the same price as Chiang Mai. This I'm super surprised about even looking at the western meals around Pattaya are much cheaper than Chiang Mai too. Must be something to do with the amount of competition here. One thing that is first noticeable about the food in Pattaya is it tastes way better than what you get up North. This is probably because it's either Isaan food and central food and I'm in the right place for that. Another reason is probably because Chiang Mai people admit they are terrible cooks. Since I'm a big foody I'm already thinking this is a good move.
Pattaya is a very small place, well it's not exactly small but it's not that big. Chiang Mai is a much larger place and it spread out over a much wider area. Pattaya is more concentrated making it easier to get around. Traffic isn't as bad as people say though there are way more hoons here which is expected. Most of the hoons are either motorbike taxis or tourists joyriding. I hate driving in Thailand but it's a must if you want to cover more ground quickly and save money and hassles getting taxis. A lot of people walk in Pattaya compared to Chiang Mai.
We went to Jomtien beach today and went for a swim, probably won't do that again, water was kinda nasty and left me more than a little itchy then had to pay to use some nasty shower at a guest house there you'd think they provide public showers since the beach water is so bad. My girlfriend left her hand bag on the damn Blue bus when we got there I was pissed because stupid me had left my passport in her handbag. Doh! When we got back to her aunts hotel we walked to the police station made a report then went back to our hotel. Within 10 minutes of getting back to our room the guest house we're staying at got a call from the driver who had our bag, got lost trying to find their house but finally got our bag back. I left her a 500 baht tip for being so nice. They told me they rent the blue bus off a company and have to pay for gas and the rent before they make any money. Since returning my girlfriends handbag I say they had a great day. People said to be careful in Pattaya but you can't stop a young girls stupidity and unexpected was the blue bus driver handing back the bag. I couldn't get angry at my girl when my first day in Thailand I left my laptop in the taxi from the hotel, he also brought back bag!
About the blue buses in Pattaya, they are so cheap and much cleaner than the ones in Chiang Mai. Actually I'm more than sure that the Chiang Mai red buses are the worst in Thailand having been to many big cities in Thailand they are terrible. The blue buses in Pattaya are more open allow more air through are much cleaner than those up north and for 10 baht i get pretty much everywhere. When you get on them though don't ask them how much tell them how much is a better deal if you are going away from the loop.
While you don't see half as many good looking girls in Pattaya like you do in Chiang Mai they are around and I've been turning my head more than a few times I'm sure they are around just need to do more exploring to find them. We'll see what happens in the next few days as I start getting my feat wet. The difference I suppose is Chiang Mai is a city of Universities and has literally over 150,000 university students living in Chiang Mai this must be more than the total girls actually working the bars in Pattaya city.
Finally my impression of Pattaya is really good, going around asking about apartments I got to see how friendly people are here and their attitude. Do the same in Chiang Mai which I did just before I left for a friend and you'll see the difference, Northern Thai's can be quite rude and fairly stuck up. Pattaya for the first timer could be quite intimidating but I've found first few days to be nothing but.