Thursday, February 11th, 2016
After booking a room in Phuket and our flight to Cambodia, we took the long, sweaty walk to the “Bay Breeze Hotel” where we’d be for the remainder of our stay in Pattaya. We stopped for breakfast at “Jasmine’s Cafe” before trying to locate our hotel. This was no easy task. We found ourselves walking around in circles and had to ask numerous people in order to locate it. All drenched in sweat, we must have looked absolutely disgusting by the time we showed up.
After ditching our packs, we walked along the beach to get to “The Sanctuary of Truth”. After being out under the blistering sun for so long, we decided to take a songthaew the rest of the way. We got our tickets and walked by a group of school children on a field trip that were playing games in the gazebo. It wasn’t until we passed under a tree covered in gold foil that we caught our first glimpse of the sanctuary.
I was sad to see a couple of giggling tourists riding around on top of an old, sick-looking elephant with a large gash on the side of its thigh. It was depressing on so many levels. I tried to take my mind off of it while taking in the views of the elaborate, outer woodwork of the sanctuary.
The inside was equally impressive throughout, especially the shrine located in the heart of the building. One of the wings you walked through had sculptures of the gods and goddesses of the planets and what they represented in astrology. The day you were born determined what planet you were born under. My birthday fell on a Monday under the Moon. Not exactly a planet, but I didn’t make the rules. The Moon represents beauty and elegance. A snicker passed my lips as I am neither beautiful, nor elegant. I’m more like, average and ordinary. Trevor’s was at least halfway representative of his being. He was born on a Friday under Venus. Venus represents wealth, where he’s not wealthy in the monetary sense, at least, and also charm. The guy can make friends with just about anyone. Even his beard has been know to have a number of admirers.
We flagged down a cab to take us back towards our hotel, where we’d walk by a man getting a tattoo on the beach. Smart. After rinsing off all the grime in our hotel shower, we ate a late lunch at “Yiam Restaurant”. Trevor ordered Kai Yat Sai (stuffed egg omelette) and I got the Moo Yang (Thai-style char-grilled pork) with rice. Then we were off on another tiny adventure to see the Khao Pattaya viewpoint.
It required going up a very steep hill passed a park. It was so humid out that we considered getting a ride, but the driver we waved down wanted 150 Baht just to go up a hill. It was closer than we thought, so we were glad we declined. The view made it all worth the work.
After a little downtime back in our hotel room, we returned to the Walking Street where we were harassed every two seconds by marketers trying to get us to come see a “ping pong pussy show”. I was pretty certain that this show didn’t consist of cats playing ping pong, so I kept moving.
We stopped briefly to watch a magician doing a cigarette trick in a random bystander’s t-shirt, and then for a little girl being exploited doing hula hoop tricks. What followed was a young woman, who probably got her start doing hula hoop tricks, contorting her body on dishware.
We continued people watching after getting a couple beers from the liquor store. A lady boy slapped a tourist’s camera out of her hand, since she was taking unauthorized photos of him. Trevor was harassed by Indians who really wanted him to purchase a suit. Tables displayed tasers, dildos, Spanish Fly, and guns for purchase, which was a little unsettling viewing all in one place. I was modestly dressed, and still on more than one occasion Russian men approached me asking me, “How much?”. The only thing enjoyable that evening was the Gyro sandwich I got before running back to the hotel. The Walking Street in Pattaya is quite the raunchy place.
Jump Back to Part 17: Prostitutes, Neons & Muay Thai
Jump Ahead to Part 19: Planes, Trains & Automobiles to Phuket
Start from the Beginning at Part 1: Mumbai to Chiang Mai