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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 impressions of Pattaya

My girlfriend Pat, her first time in a 2 piece!

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.

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

21 Responses to First Impressions of Pattaya

  1. American March 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    when you say “blue bus” I believe you are talking about the “baht buses” or otherwise called “Song Tao”. Essentially these are toyota 2×4 trucks with a stainless steel canopy. It is my understanding that from Chayapruk (about Soi 14.5 in Jomtien) all the way to Pattaya Tai (near walking street) is 10b. Then another 10b will take you all the way to the Pattaya Nuea (the roundabout with the dolphin fountain). Then the same going south but on beach road for Pattaya.

    Jomtien beaches are somewhat cleaner than Pattaya but I would rarely go in the water as we have a pool and if I did I’d shower off quickly at the pool area.

    You might think about staying near Chayapruk. I believe at about Chayapruk Soi 3 (a bit past) is a large amount of lowrise condos. I think they are around 7k baht for a studio. Their guards seem more attentive than most. A friend has a room that he rents and it is very quiet. You can scooter up the road a bit and get a baht bus if you plan to go to pattaya and drink or take 2nd road all the way to pattaya which is a pretty quick jaunt. From Chayapruk it would take me around 15 minutes to get all the way to Soi 6 in Pattaya. I’d go there quite often because there is a McDonalds there. yeah right;)

    This is low season so you should be able to get good rents but beware, some landlords will raise the rent in high season or otherwise just rent it out from under you with little notice (like a couple weeks maybe). Not that a lease holds a much water.

  2. Rish March 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    I agree with your impressions – have been living here in Pattaya for almost a year, and when my thai gf and I travel (ko samui, udon thani, etc) we are so happy to come back since the people are very nice here, and life is easy. I expected them to be a bit more jaded given all the tourists, but that is not really the case. And you are right, the thai food is excellent and cheap – we often grab dinner from the thai food market on pattaya tai road for less than 100 baht – and my girl can get her issan food fix 24 hours a day. Welcome!

  3. Don B. March 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Congrats on the successful move. I am glad that you were able to find a place fairly quickly, even if it may only be short term. Gives you a chance to scout the place out more.

    I finally get a chance to see Pat. If her personality matches her looks, then you did good! How did you get her in to a 2 piece? I can count the number of times that I have seen Thai women in a bikini on one hand. Usually I just see sunburned size 14 tourists overflowing their size 4 suits. I am no Robert Redford, but at least I know enough not to run around in a Speedo. If you happen to run into any farang teachers down there, let me know what the job market is like. Have fun!

  4. Peter Morgan March 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Pattaya is S””T. Like most Farang I started my holiday life there but after 4-5 years realized that there are way better places to be. Pattaya has the worst beaches, sex in your face 24/7 and the worst rate if HIV in the whole of Thailand. It accounts for the fact that property is so cheap to buy there and generally food and drink are very cheap. Koh Samui is class. It is still a honeymoon Island and has the best beaches of all. If you are looking for a girl you will find one easily but it is not in your face. The property prices are generally double what you pay in Pattaya reflecting its status as a place to be. You could’nt drag me screaming ever again to Pattaya but everyone to their own.

    • Chris March 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

      If Pattaya is so bad why did you stay her for so many years? Guess that’s what i’ve come here is to find out.

      • Peter Morgan March 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

        I stayed there on holiday for a total of 8-10 weeks over a 5 year period. After 4 years I met a girl who travelled up from Samui to BKK to meet me and we travelled to Pattaya for a holiday. It took her over 10 hours travelling on a bus to be there. I said that next time I would come direct to Samui which I did. The following year I bought a Condo in Samui and have now retired here and love it. I would at the time fly in to BKK from London and go through transit (missing the biggest car park in the world which is Bangkok). I do not and never will miss Pattaya again. Funnily I am planning a few days in Chiang Mai later in the year. I have been to Phuket (same but smaller than Pattaya) around the Patong Beach area and Hui Hin (A bit boring), I hope to see a bit more of the country over the next few years.

      • Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

        Chis There are some babes here, but not like Sukhamvit in BKK. Drop dead gorgeous! Its the place to be if you are a hot girl in TH. I got spoiled and thought the whole country was like that. Plenty of pretty country girls in CM. Pattaya has a bad reputation I think for desperate women. The first beauty I met in BKK said she would never come here, its dirty in many ways.

        I think you should go back to Soi Nana and Soi Cowboy, and tell people what the real action is in Thailand, this place has a serious future because it doesn’t flood, but not yet!!

  5. Khun Dee (Dennis) March 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Welcome Chris to Pattaya, glad you are getting settled in, and enjoying the food and the Thai attitudes here. I think the same thing when I first came here 4 years ago. This is my first tour of 6 months in Thailand, end of April I do my 6 months in USA, making money, and dreaming of Thailand. Not bad considering
    that I live in Los Angeles, which is also a beautiful place to live, weather wise, and making money wise.
    Offer still stands for a few beers, Soi 8/7 and beach road always good place for drinking and people watching.
    Up to you when,just send an email…
    Khun Dee ( dennis)

    • jason March 22, 2012 at 9:48 am #

      hey dennis so u too go back and forth to the states to make money to stay here im jessie i live in south carolina but was raised in your area went to south central lol yes it was ruff then and ohhhhh i still have three sisters on cali side but i got stuck on other coast i love pattaya it just dont seen as hot there i build custom cars bikes and boats and business in us for high end toys not to good right now so whats it like in la i got one sister in holly wood one in santa monaca and one somewheres around san francisco where can i find a good safe room that is year around in pattaya that dont cost to much thank you jessie

      • Khun Dee (Dennis) March 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        @ Jessie, How are you, yes going to LA and making a living, then coming to Pattaya to enjoy the life. I thought about just moving here, but I think I can do better working in LA working 6 months then to have a full time job here all year around. I have a condo that I rent from another american who owns about 8 condos here, so I call him when ready to come to see what he has available. The fees range from 18,000 per month to 25,000. I could live on less of a cost unit, but I like the nicer places. And I can afford it.
        I live in the Hollywood Hills area, I sold my house there several years ago, not sure I’m going to buy back into the market there till next year, and buying a house or condo here is not worth it to me. But you never know, someday I will buy a nice place maybe in Rayong area, which has nice beaches, and a quite life style. But for now its Pattaya all the way.

        • Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

          They are building condos so fast here, a cheap one might make sense if you need it, but the high end ones are for gamblers with money they can afford to lose. If you like it, then so what what its worth?

        • Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

          The Condo ad with the hot imprisoned model bouncing her hot tits is precious!

  6. Jay March 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Hey good commentary and look forward to your astute observations and comparisons.
    I first went to Pattaya in the late’80s with my Dad and about 5 more times since then;(Chiang mai in 1994).I think the Russians started about 1998/99.
    Big changes,mainly due to larger influx of tourist/money. Baht buses i don’t remember in the’80’s But they always seem to have been 10Thb !

  7. Johnnie Walker March 21, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    I’ve been wondering how you were getting on.
    Blue buses? Had to think about that for a while. Usually called Baht bus or Songthaew as American pointed out.

    Re Peter Morgan’s comment: Yes Koh Samui is very nice. Do be careful if you ride a motorbike there – the farang accidents statistics are dreadful. Pattaya is all things to all people. I’ve come accross guys who used to stay in Phuket, checked out Pattaya & will never return to Phuket.

    Chris did you look for accommodation where I suggested just off Pattaya Klang? I noticed in the thread where I mentioned it (Moving to Pattaya) you commented on almost every other person’s post except mine so I do wonder if you read it?

    For cheap farang food with a big menu try Crazy Dave’s less than half way down Soi Chaiyapoon on the left. (off Soi Buakhao)

    I don’t recall there being many Russians about when I first used to go to Pattaya in 2004.

    • Chris March 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

      Blue busses, well in Chiang Mai they’re called red buses and since they are the same why not blue bus, if you were speaking Thai it would make sense, that’s what I don’t get who made up the stupid baht bus name, I mean it’s 10 baht not 1 baht. I should have said the blue song tao.

      I pretty much drove all over Pattaya stopping at places that looked ok. Pattaya glang was kinda far away so I stayed closer.

      I’ll check out crazy daves in a few days.

  8. Mike 1 March 22, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Hi Chris,
    Good to hear that u are enjoying yourselves already in Pattaya.
    Blue buses? sounds like they need to show movies! that would b interesting. I hope u keep away from those pretty Russian girls as I can imagine them belonging to some heavy Russian dudes and I would hate to hear of another farang jumping from a ten story unit especially as he was living on the ground floor.
    I have noticed in one of your threads that u have another Mike commenting so have added a 1 after mine to save on confusion, hate to get any compliments from something I didn’t write. Keep up the good work I look forward to reading more of your entries in future.
    I think that 2 piece looks good and would qualify as a “bikini”.

    • Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

      Jing jing on this! The Russians are clearly “organized” if you know what I mean. And those ain’t Thai girls you are eyeballing!

      I almost went to Russia a few years back, and hell yeah! They are cute. Only slightly less expensive than CA women, and far more cunning. CA women use CA law (does not apply in TH) Russian women use their cunning. My friend Sveta back in Sacramento CA accidentally admitted she only married her husband to get to the USA (they drink, and she had his kid, %20 income for child support in CA) She totally spied on her ex when he went back to Russia, she told me which city he was in and what girls he was with!!!!! She wanted me to pose as some figure (forget exactly, i don’t pull that kind of shit!) to mess with his head! Komissar Sveta, she is on my FB, she is allright. If you think Thai women lie, meet the master bitches!

      You aren’t loaded, so you are not much of a target! You might get a pity f***! If they like you.

      Russian is easier to learn than thai, because most letters are the same. Except they have like 6 extra Greek letters.

      The problem is Russians are warriors, and territorial. Never mention Gorbachev, he is a traitor, and they long for Stalin, who killed 3x as many as Hitler in death camps. They love vodka, especilly cold. Better study Russian if you plan to stay here, at 1.3 million visitors, they matched all others combined. They are a new force, and are exerting their territorial muscle. As I said before, 14 got arrested three weeks ago for filming people’s pin#s, the cops told me it happens all the time.

      Dosedanya, Comrade!

      Please don’t print this, I am living here! lololol!

  9. Khun Dee (Dennis) March 22, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    @ jessie, I think there is a condo, that is really nice for not to much, studio 37 SM, at a building called Maxxcentral on 3rd road. the website looks nice, and I thinks its around 10,000 baht per month you may want to look it up for website. Can rent by the month, but have to do in advance, as in the high season they didn’t have anything for a friend of mine.

  10. Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Quick thought about the water: The current flow is from west to east, about 3km per hour. What this means is, is that the water is cleaner to the west. I went to the far of east Jomtien once and woke up with a scourge on my face.

    As a civil engineer, I could give the Thais some easy ideas on how to fix this (like mabe toilets at the beach, huh?) but I don’t know who to contact, or who would care. There are a few 5 baht toilets, but they are spaced far apart, and close early. Um, how about free? Ok, Chris? hehehehe!

    If you want to swim in this sea, look around N. Pattaya, and the further you get from shore, the better. The Islands are very clean for a 150 baht boat ride.

  11. Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    The best place for good Thai seafood I found is at the south east end of Jomtien beach. (Wayy at the end) The muscle meat was almost as big as the shells.

  12. Brian Sumpter March 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    There is something called a “Groovy Map” here, I found one at the Chinese market on S. Pattaya Rd. Give you a leg up on this place, maybe? With your Thai I’m sure you can learn fast.

    I can get western food at that market for a great price, (and the next door freezer market) and also Foodland on Central Pattaya road. Better than Bkk or CM.

    My fav all time is the Gekko Bar in CM. 160 baht for a big steak on Saturday, and 180 for 3 lg Chang or 40 for a B-52, everyday.

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