Pattaya nightlife, beach fun, long walks, street food, movies, live music, boat rides and more, oh m

LK Empress sits gracefully in it’s plantation era style at Pattaya Beach Road and Soi 12. Painted in sedate cream toned hues with marble accents, it felt luxurious after our ride from Bangkok. Sun was setting across the street over the waters of the Gulf of Thailand as we settled into our room. The balcony overlooked the speed boat dotted waters and was adorned with gold wrought iron table and chairs. (Pleasing to the eye but not exactly comfortable.) The room itself was impressive with king sized bed, dresser, armoire and easy chair with foot rest. Our quarters were equipped with pantry area complete with dining sets and silverware, microwave, refrigerator, sink and electric tea kettle.The bathroom was spacious with walk in shower and jacuzzi tub as well as a large sink and vanity area. Sadly the room lacked a full length or second mirror of any kind. A bedside electronic panel allowed easy access to adjust lighting and air. Air was not always easily managed between not being cool enough and a loud clanking that resulted with any attempt to increase the fan speed. In room iron, hair dryer and flat screen TV completed the amenities. Colors of tan and brown with gold accents were pleasing to the eye and created an ornate yet relaxed atmosphere for our residence in Pattaya.

Just steps from our room was the hotel 3rd floor pool patio. The length and width of the pool were surrounded by a pebble bed allowing the infinity pool to flow at will. A marble shower sat poolside for rinsing before diving in to the sun warmed water. Dark and light colored ceramic planters along the rock bed edge held an array of exotic greenery and tropical flowering plants. Topiary trees standing at attention in 4 foot stoneware pots were interspersed along the wrought iron rail overlooking the Soi. Cushioned wood lounge chairs and side tables lined the pool deck. Umbrellas were scattered here and there for those who chose shade over sun. A planter wall graced one end of the pool, helping to hide the mildew stained building next door. Black and gold iron furnishings finished the pool area decor. Lying in the sun, senses were inundated with the vroom of assorted passing vehicles, powered construction tools, the hotel HVAC system, tropical birds and ocean breezes. Tantalizing smells from street vendor carts and nearby eateries wafted in the air. Just down the 7 marble stairs exiting the pool area were the towel check out counter, restrooms and the gym fit with free weights, treadmills and cycling machines. A missing amenity was poolside beverage service. BYOB 😉

Morning sustenance was included in the economical price point we booked this room at. This brunch style meal was a spread fit for a king. Silver roll top chafing dishes held poultry, beef, seafood, rice, noodles, potatoes, vegetables, pancakes or french toast, and soups each tastily prepared in a variety of ways over our 8 day stay. Cooked to order omelette station, fresh and dried exotic native fruits, freshly squeezed juices, cold cereals, freshly baked breakfast breads, brewed espresso and fresh coffee finished the large list of satisfaction served with a view of the sunlit bay through the floor to ceiling glass enclosed or outdoor patio dining area.

If peaceful, quiet solitude is what you seek, Pattaya should not be your destination of choice. The beach city bustles from dawn until 2am or later. 24 hour restaurants are found here and there as well. A destination of notoriety is Pattaya Walking Street, renowned for being a red light district but including seaside restaurants, bars and nightclubs as well as 3D reality experiences, Thai boxing, Turkish Ice Cream making and snake handlers. There is no lack of entertainment in this stretch of cityscape. People watching is supreme in this area running several blocks and ending at Bali Hai Pier. Although the web articles lead you to believe this is THE nightlife hotspot of Thailand, we tend to feel the wide open on street entertainment is far more prevalent in Patong where we visited last year. Heading in the opposite direction on Beach Road, enjoying the seaside stroll is not exactly typical after dark as the working girls line the sidewalk showing themselves off and negotiating with anyone interested. On the opposite side of the street, vendors and bars line the area and meld into the entry of the Central Festival Mall standing six stories tall. We’re not mall shoppers but this facility is first rate. We did go to the cinema one evening which is a multi screen luxury facility with a low ticket price of less then $5 American per person. Snacks of fresh caramel corn, fruit mentos, bottled water and Perrier came in under $6 as well. Great value, enjoyable, comfortable experience all around with several movie options shown in English. We also dined in one of the many mall housed international flare restaurants which was an all you can eat Tempura, sushi and shabu shabu restaurant for $12 per person. Crazy good value. Another entrepreneurial idea possibly in the making down the road some day. The set up in the facility was amazing with both counter and table seating with personal hot pot stations in each area with conveyor belt style small plates of meats, veggies and noodles to add to the broth to please your palate. It was a fun dining experience for sure. Another mall in town is known as the Central Marina. The Big C is a first rate grocery store which easily provided us with staples for our in room snacking and drinking.The exterior food court is clean and offers many options. We enjoyed baby back ribs and onion rings on one of our afternoon walks for about 100 baht at this food park.

As we arrived in the city my hubby (with his keen eye for fun;-) spotted posters advertising the Maya Music Festival. Featuring headliners Zed and Tiesto. We knew we were interested in the spectacle but weren’t positive we could get in. The website for the two day event was showing as sold out or “not yet on sale”. The billboards advertised 7-11 as a ticket outlet. I inquired at a store location in those days proceeding the event with no luck at getting past the language barrier. Two days of EDM was not exactly what we were after but we sure did desire to experience some of it. We let Friday pass without pursuing attendance but then Saturday found us on a songtahew headed towards Naklua and therefore the direction of the event. We were at the end of the line when we arrived at the Naklua Walking Street (not the same model as Pattaya, this one a street farmers type market). We strode through the area on foot at a fairly rapid pace, knowing only that we were headed in the right direction. Between the humidity, the blocks and blocks of vendor Thai food and goods, and the exhilaration of uncharted locale my head was spinning a bit. We exited the area and consulted MapQuest again only to realize we still had quite some distance to go and we had dead ended at a coast side banquet. Our path was interrupted by served with trays of food. The call of “taxi?” at this time was music to our ears and after a bit of negotiation we were headed off to the festival sight in the back end of a mini truck. We made comment to one another about how many friends and family would find us a bit looney for this blind trust. We arrived safely and were pleased to find tickets on sale outside the venue. A female barker called out directions to attendees. The area was quite calm. The ticket price (only available as a two day event) was a bit spendy for music out of our preferred rock geared genres but when in Thailand…jump at opportunity! And so we did. The hard ticket we were presented was truly that with more of a hotel key card appearance; it was plastic. We decided to wander the vicinity instead of entering immediately since our interest was mainly in the headliner and our age may have dictated we wouldn’t make it if we tried to last the entire show on our feet with our GA admittance. We headed towards a sign advertising