Monday, May 13, 2013

Pattaya, Thailand

On our last day in Bangkok, we headed down to Pattaya, a city on the coast, to visit a former colleague of Doug;s who lives there. It's definitely a beach town, and is a popular tourist destination. The beach was packed when we drove past. 

We went up to the top of a hill to see a lovely view of the city.

There was also a large Buddha at the top of the hill.

This seven-headed serpent is Naga, whom I believe is a protector of Buddha. It's pictured here coming out of the mouth of a dragon. 

Doug's colleague took us to lunch at a famous local spot called Cabbages and Condoms.

The decor was fairly quirky! Yes, all of these outfits are made entirely of condoms! Carter found it all rather interesting.

Check out her skirt and her hat. Yes, all condoms.

This snazzy number was made out of packets of birth control pills.

The skirt is actually kind of cute. Yes, also made of condoms.

Hey, look! It's Santa! Even his beard is... yes, made of condoms.

After lunch, we went to a local zoo. It's the sort of thing that is very typical in this part of the world, where the animals aren't treated very well. There were tigers that were drugged so that you could sit next to them and take a photograph, for example.

This crocodile show was pretty interesting. 

The place was mainly a crocodile farm, and there were quite a few mutant crocodiles, like this one. There were others with no tails and other sorts of deformities. I assume they've been massively inbred. 

We spent some time at Doug's colleague's house after that, which was in a gated community and reminded me very much of the sort of places you see on International House Hunters.  Carter swam in the pool with their son for a bit, and later on we went down to the main drag for dinner. I thought I'd seen craziness before; after all, I've been to New Orleans and hung out on Bourbon Street, Las Vegas on New Year's Eve, and Sixth Street in Austin for Mardi Gras. Well, this had more drunk people, more craziness, more prostitutes, more neon, more free-flowing alcohol -- it was just madness. We weren't there very late in the evening, and it wasn't even the high season, so I can only imagine how crazy it must be at other times.

We had a drink in a bar which was, of course, also a house of prostitution -- but I got the sense that they all are in this particular area. You might think it was all horribly seedy, but it really wasn't. It was like any other street of bars anywhere, with live bands and cold beer, and there were families with kids about, and drunk Russian and Chinese tourists, and it was all really quite a scene! I tried to take some pictures, but none of them really turned out. This is the best of the bunch:

We had a great dinner sitting out by the water, and then took a car back to Bangkok. Overall, it was an interesting place to visit! We had originally planned to spend some time in Phuket, but we'd changed our minds and decided to go to one of the islands instead. I'm glad we got a chance to see one of the infamous Thai beach towns, even if only for a night. And I think I'm also glad we decided to spend our beach time in a quieter spot!

That was the end of our time in Bangkok; our next stop was Siem Reap, Cambodia.

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