So last weekend we skipped out of work early to make the two-hour bus trip to Pattaya. Public transportation in Thailand is surprisingly inexpensive and easy. We ran (well really walked) back to the hotel to change and grab our bags (of course the boys still had to pack) then jumped on the skytrain to go to the Ekkimai station that was conveniently located right next to the bus terminal. We were told by our Thai partners that the bus tickets didn’t need to be purchased in advance (which worried the planner in me), and when we showed up we were able to by a ticket for 120 baht ($4) for the bus that was leaving for Pattaya in 20 minutes. This was just the beginning of our unbelievable luck with transportation that weekend. So two hours later we arrived in Pattaya. We were also told by our Thai partners that it is difficult to get a taxi there and that instead there are “trucks that you can ride in the back of”. What we found were modified trucks with seats in the back, designed to hold around 10 people. They were pretty fun and inexpensive. Here is a picture I found because I didn’t take any of my own:
Pattaya is an interesting place to say the least, not quite what I was expecting for many reasons. The beach near where we were staying was pretty small and crowded, and early in the mornings companies cover the limited sand space with chairs and umbrellas for rent. On Saturday morning we started looking for a place to lay on the beach and swim. We were repeatedly bombarded by offers to jet ski or go to an island or a number of other beach things. Literally 30+ times. Luckily we ran into an old English man who told us about a cheap ferry to an island called Koh Larn. So for $5 we took an hour-long ferry ride to an island for the day. It was beautiful although the beach we were on was still a little crowded. The ocean was over 80 degrees and we spent hours in the salty water. We rented scooters for an hour and I rode in back of my friend Taylor. This allowed us to explore the island and check out the local village. We found other beaches that were much more secluded. The island also had wind turbines and a solar power facility so that was really cool to see. Below is first a picture of the view from the scooter ride, then a picture of Taylor and I on the scooter, followed by a view of the crowded beach we were on, then the wind turbines.
We then had an amazing boat ride back when the temperature was around 82 degrees and the sun was beginning to set. We were allowed to sit right up front on the boat and hang our feet over the edge. Here is a picture of us on the boat on the way to the island and a picture of us after we got back off the boat in Pattaya:
The next day was spent on a crazy adventure to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo which was absolutely incredible. But I will keep you in suspense about the details until my next blog post (Birthday Weekend Part 2).
Also I just want to say thank you for all of the birthday cards, posts, and wishes. I felt the birthday love half-a-world away!
I’ll blog again soon!
P.S. Just to remind anyone who is interested, if you want to find out more about my project or what my team is currently working on check out our website which has a blog specifically about our project work.