This was another idea I had a few weeks back but procrastinated till yesterday, mainly due to the price I was quoted. However being on my lonesome and bored, I decided it was going to be completed, so of I set from my recently acquired new condo in South Pattaya.
I used the Baht Bus for most of the day simply because it is an inexpensive way to get around. 10 Baht from Sukhumvit Road to Second Road in the centre of Pattaya, is a good example of value for money.
A bit of information for those who are interested. Sukhumvit Road traverses its way from Bangkok to the Cambodian border near Trat and is known as Route 3. It is almost 249 miles in length and was constructed in 1936. It is classed as one of the major roads in Thailand. Named after Phra Bisal Sukhumvit, formerly one of the chiefs at the Department of Highways, it is a coastal route and as such offers some spectacular views or at least provides access to smaller roads with such sights.
So back to my day at sea or hour as it turned out to be. I hired a speedboat to take me around Pattaya Bay for photographic purposes. Getting on the boat was something I hadn’t given much consideration to. It was a case of off with the trainers and socks and wade out to the boat, thankfully without any disasters with the equipment.
The driver was very considerate, slowing down or stopping when he was aware I was snapping away with my Nikon D750. However the seas, although far from rough, were not calm and proved to be a major headache for much of the time.
I upped the shutter speed and changed the settings on the camera to cope with the movement of the boat and got to work.
As a test shot I spotted a couple taking selfies as we left the shore. They were standing in front of one of my favourite restaurants, The Pattaya Beer Garden. If you are ever in Pattaya, give the Beer Garden a try. I would suggest you visit in the darkness to taken in the magnificent views afforded from the restaurant.
We were only a few hundred metres out when the world of photography opened up to me. High speed boats, archaic floating restaurants and parasailing all became subjects for me to capture.
Now this was 08:30 in the morning and the area was already teeming with tourists desperate to get involved in the water activities. The landing areas out at sea, where you are attached to the parachute were inundated with people.
I have included a few images of people parasailing and I must confess, I wouldn’t mind a shot of this myself. It looks so much fun.
We then turned to face the city and its skyline. From a distance, Pattaya appears to be very modern and contemporary in its design, which in many instances, it is.
But get down to street level and it has another side to it. The old ways of life still exist and thrive. People cook food using traditional methods to sell at any opportunity they can find. Wheelbarrow food stalls are pushed around, selling fruit or cold drinks. The luckier trades people have motorbikes with constructed sidecars, designed to meet their requirements.
Shops are small and plentiful but generally lack vision, with many businesses simply mimicking that of a neighbour. Why they do this I have no concept of but it surely cannot be advantageous for commerce.
Imagine a small narrow street with 50 shops or outlets. 0ne in five is a laundry, a massage parlour or a bar. Then add three 7/11s, a couple of restaurants and you have a typical Pattaya street scenario.
To add to the scene, there will be at least four motorbike taxi stations on either side of the road. A rank here is no more than a street corner or a piece of waste land. No marking to say this is a taxi rank, well not for bikes at least.
So the images taken from sea, do not illustrate what is actually at street level. They depict a beautiful modern city with a wondrous skyline and as I mentioned, there are copious amounts of modernistic architecture on offer here but for me, the real Pattaya, has to be seen using that ancient method of travel – walking.
The image above, for me at least, captures the city perfectly. A mixture of the old and the new. Traditional and modern working in tandem with each other.
I will end with one of the famous Pattaya City sign. There are photos of this scenario everywhere you look. It is iconic but is best seen at night after dark.
In fact, if I am honest, I have taken superior images of the sign too. But it fits with the drivel I am presenting you with today.
The skyscraper under construction is what should have been a new development at Bali Hai Pier but either planning permission, finances or both proved to be too much of a hurdle and work has ceased on the marina and hotel. Hopefully a new developer can be sourced to see the work through to fruition.
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Next up will be my trip to Mini Siam.