To Party-ya or Not
Arguably Thailand’s number one resort, the one which we see on the holiday brochures, then read about in the papers, Thailand’s very own version of Benidorm. That fact that Benidorm has also cleaned up its act over the past 20 years and it never really had a sex trade so to speak of, is as close as you’re going to get to compare to a European holiday.
Love it or hate the place has plenty to offer the would-be visitor regarding of intentions and taste. It has its reputation of a sex resort, but then it’s not alone… however it’s the one being targeted by the sensitive authorities, who did not take to kindly to the European press giving the title ” Sex capitol of the world!”… it is a reputation well earned, but places like Amsterdam and Hamburg could have claimed that title in the past, maybe Pattaya is just topical at the moment?
Floozy Road… aka Walking Street, is what it is, no revamping, face changing or police raids is going to change it… you get what you see. and maybe a bit more! I guess what hurts is the image problem it creates, whilst all the top voices are bigging up the other attractions / variety that Thailand has to offer, and in all fairness, it can offer up some amazing entertainment from a cultural rich society. The down and dirty part of Pattaya is also a deep in set part of the culture. Cleaning it up is going to rattle cages off a few powerful people too.
Here lies the problem…. Thailand is maybe going through an identity crisis, it wants to be something different to what it was, or has been. It has some very big winners, in culture, food, beaches, mountains, and some quite interesting history, but it also has its darker side. Maybe its right to call it an emerging nation, bit like a child going through puberty, it has an idea what it wants to be, but could be seen to be going through that ugly duckling phase that we have all experienced as teenagers as we grow up.
Pattaya…. it has it all from holidays for families, to Stag / Hen parties for those that want to party or “rip it up”… its got something for the twin set and pearls or those looking to get a good run for their money out of their pension, it has those places of interest and all the scams to go with it. Just a short hop from Bangkok its a weekend break away from the Big Mango, some cleaner air, a bit of sand, wide variety of places to eat and some sea water (not that I’d venture in ) if the dubious water quality don’t get me then one of the jest ski’s or speed boats will.
Let’s face fact’s…. it pulls in visitors, maybe not 100% of the ones that are wanted, but then it was made much to easy in the past and many a blind eye was turned, just now times have changed, maybe the Pattaya of old has to do what all successful movie stars do and re-invent itself, maybe they are trying, and you can’t say the incumbents are not doing something about it, they sure are, they are very active… we’ve seen the Europeans ( French, German and Brits ) then the Russian campaigns ( currently on a 3rd revival ) I wonder if they see it as a Crusade? Just like we used to on the Holy Land, then to the brief Chinese invasion, which really ended before it began… those of deep pockets and short arms, with reluctance to spend a single shekel over and above what they paid for in their 1 baht package tours… Now the drive is up-market…. one could say ” Dream On”… but we see a more Scandinavian influence, not just in Pattaya, but in Thailand as a whole, and we all know our Nordic relations are very good on quality.
About The Author