My mother and I arrived in Pattaya on our double decker bus much later than I had anticipated. The original plan was to arrive in Pattaya before sunset and go to the night market after checking in to our hotel. However, you know what they say about the best laid plans. The bus dropped us off in the north part of Pattaya and our hotel was more in the southern part of Pattaya. Fortunately for us we were able to easily catch a reasonably priced taxi to our hotel, which was purple.
I had passed this hotel a few times while in Pattaya and upon further research found out it had purple accents to everything. Naturally we had to stay there. Since we arrived so late, we did not get a chance to go to the night market that night. We received a room upgrade, so our room had a door which led directly out on to the pool deck. I enjoyed our room, not only because it was purple, but the beds were the perfect combination of hard and soft.
April 9 was our first full day in Pattaya. We started off with breakfast at the hotel. It was rather subpar and we decided we weren’t going to order breakfast there again. Our first stop of the day was the Big Buddha up on the hill. We could see it from our hotel, it was just a matter of getting there. I introduced my mother to the joys of catching a songtaew. You grab one that is going in your direction and hop off when it’s no longer in your direction.
We saw the Big Buddha. I had been told it was one of those things you can see once and cross it off your list. They were right. It was big and impressive but I don’t feel the need to see it again. After that we went looking for the Pattaya City sign, instead we found a viewpoint. It was certainly a lovely view of the city.
We hiked down the hill and caught another songtheaw to the Sanctuary of Truth. It didn’t actually take us there but it dropped us off on the road and we walked the rest of the way. As we were walking, a man stopped on his motorbike and asked us if we were going to the Sanctuary of Truth. We said yes. He said if we have him 200 baht then he would give us a voucher for a 300 baht discount and we would save 100 baht. I gave him the money so he would go away. Turns out the voucher was legit and we did save money on admissions.
I had been to the Sanctuary of Truth before but never blogged about it because I don’t know how to go about describing it. It’s a fairly new temple, and it’s entirely wood carvings. The carvings depict scenes from Buddhist and Hindu mythology. Every surface is completely covered with these wood statues and carvings. It is currently under restoration because the wood has not been wearing well.
After that we went to see Beauty and the Beast in the theater. Before movies in Thailand you have to stand for the King’s anthem to pay respect to the King. We missed the sunset since we were in the theater so we went to the night market instead. My mother really enjoyed the fresh fruit shakes we had in Thailand. We had a snack of fried potato on a stick and we tried durian. It smelled and it wasn’t the best. We both agreed we could say we had tried it and then we don’t have to eat it again.
April 10 we skipped breakfast at the hotel and went down the street for breakfast instead. It was so much better (and a little cheaper too). I asked the front desk at the hotel if they could call a taxi to take us to Regents school. They said they only do taxis to the airport. I don’t know if they understood what I was asking but we quickly caught a taxi outside. I gave my mother a tour of the school and she was quite impressed with it all. We also packed a suitcase with things for her to take home so I wouldn’t have as much stuff to bring home in the end.
After the school visit we went for a Thai massage. I warned my mother it was like guided stretching and very unlike other massages. She loved it! After a Thai massage you feel awake and your muscles feel limber whereas after an oil massage you feel tired and your muscles feel relaxed. It just hurts so good. I had a little laugh with the woman doing my massage because she said we were the same color (since I got so tan working outside at the swimming pool all the time).
We had a lovely seafood dinner after our massage. The owner of the restaurant mistook us for Russian which happens to me more frequently than you would imagine. My mother found this quite surprising but I explained they get more Russian tourists than American tourists.
After dinner we changed into nicer clothes and went to the Hilton Horizon bar for drinks and the sunset. Every day from 5-7, the rooftop bar at the Hilton hotel has a sunset happy hour where cocktails are buy one get one free. I’ve been told it is also the best place to watch the sunset and I would agree. We had a prime seat for watching the sunset with our mojitos. It was a relaxing evening. I will miss the affordable luxury Thailand has to offer.
April 11 we went back to the place we had breakfast the day before. We ran in to two of my students there with their parents. When we checked out of the hotel, they almost charged us for a missing soap dispenser in our shower. We told them there was no soap dispenser in the shower when we arrived so they didn’t charge us for it. I enjoyed the purple part of the hotel but it was lacking in other parts. We navigated a series of songthaews to the bus station and we’re off to Bangkok!