Thailand - Bangkok & Pattaya

Richard Harbourne 01 January 2008
Thailand is a country I have had the pleasure to visit 13 times and I could still go back again and again as I haven't visited the whole country yet. It is one of my favourite destinations.

The Thai people are amongst the friendliest in the world and are very accommodating. I lived in a town called Pattaya for 4 months around 10 years when I decided to go travelling and see Asia. I got settled very quickly and fell in love with the place.

Pattaya is around a 2 hour drive from the capital Bangkok and getting around is very cheap. A taxi will cost no more than €20 for the 2 hour journey. Cost of living is very cheap and you can live like a king. There is so much to see in Pattaya including the crocodile park, Pattaya Zoo and Wildlife Park, Numnok Safari Park and many outdoor adventures. You can even go elephant trekking which I highly recommend. Pattaya is also the capital of Thailand for nightlife. There are literally thousands of bars and nightclubs to choose from and the place comes to life at night and can be very busy all year round. Even during monsoon season it is just as busy. I would recommend Pattaya for groups and singles but not for families.

On my last visit I flew into Bangkok and stayed in a 3 star hotel called the Bellaire Princess which was centrally located near Bangkok's main commercial and shopping district of Sukhumvit Road. The transfer from Bangkok airport took about 30 minutes. Bustling Bangkok is one of Asia's most intoxicating capitals, full of street bustle and wonderful food, with its mix of ancient and modern, plus great shopping and sightseeing at ridiculously cheap prices. I took a boat trip through the Floating Market, picture-perfect temples and also visited the Night Bazaar. If you are staying longer in Bangkok more than 3 nights you could take a trip to see the bridge over the river Kwai. In recent visits I have also stayed at the Asia hotel in Bangkok which is a very good 4 star hotel and centrally located. But there is a massive choice of hotels to suit your budget.

I have also visited Phuket in recent trips which is Thailands largest Island and sits in the deep blue waters of Anadaman Sea. Phuket has some of the best diving in the world in the crystal clear waters and unspoilt beaches and also has vibrant nightlife but not so much as Pattaya.

Phuket provides a great base for exploring the underwater world but you could also visit the other islands such as Krabi and Koh Samui. These places are also very popular for tourists and will appear more to couples and honeymooners.