Oh Pattaya, what to say about you. I didn’t really know much about Pattaya before I headed there, we were really just going to see the fireworks. But after we arrived I noticed that there was something a little different about this place. First, I was the only western girl around. But that could be normal, it is wet season after all. But there was something else that was a little odd, there were white western men everywhere!!! Turns out Pattaya is well known for its sex industry. Ar it all makes sense now!! This became a little more obvious as we headed down walking street, which feels like a cross between a red light district and Khoa san road in Bangkok. Hmm interesting place.
So here is how we got on, at the bottom of this post i’ve left some details about traveling there etc for those of you who would like to check out this place or perhaps attend the future fireworks festivals. Enjoy!
The event is an international competition that has two nights of live music and incredible fireworks. This was the first time I had seen a display this big, it was amazing. The fireworks, both nights, kicked off around 8pm and lasted until around 11.30pm (this probably varies depending on how many countries are competing). The beach was packed so it pays to get a seat early but not too close to the water incase the tide comes in, which some unsuspecting spectators found out this time. If you are hungry, there are heaps of food stalls that aren’t too badly priced. There are also people wandering the beach selling a selection of foods including spring rolls, crab, candyfloss, eggs, nuts etc. The coolest is the people carrying around their little ovens heating seafood and squid (see in my video below). The first evening we grabbed some spring rolls they cost 40 baht and were tasty but a little cold. The fireworks themselves were so cool! You have to wander how much something like this costs! I have put together a short video of the fireworks festival as sometimes it just easier to show rather than try describe. Check it out below.
Overall, I would say that heading to the festival was well worth the visit! And, if you happen to find yourself in Thailand during this time (this year it was July) then its worth checking out.
Details about there and around etc
The cheapest way to get to Pattaya is by catching the bus. They run every half hour and there is also a bunch of vans at the station that run frequently as well. We ended up taking one of the vans paying only 130 baht each. However, I think the bus is probably better. Just head to Ekkamai station.
The easiest way to get around is by the taxi trucks that drive up and down the streets. They just go one way up and down the street so if you want to go down another street you have to jump off and then find another on the street you want to go down. It costs 20 baht each time. Have the correct money because they are unlikely to give you change. Just be aware that the trucks don’t run in the mornings. We ran into this problem when we left our hotel heading to the bus station, lucky it was close enough to walk! The only other way of getting around is by motorcycle taxi, if you are game enough. I have yet to try this option.
Where to stay:
We stayed at this hostel called Qinglian Youth Hostel. It was a good location for what we wanted to do which was to see the fireworks. It was just a 10min walk from the beach and the infamous walking street. However, it is not as nice as it looks on the website. For one, the bunk beds are super hard . But it is cheap and the atmosphere seems okay. Where ever you would like to book if you are near one of the bus taxi lines it will make life easier. Here is a link to a map of the lines
We like to eat cheap most of the time. We did find it a little harder than Bangkok to find cheap food here but if you look around you can still find some great places to eat. We found this little food market just down the road from Mae Wilai until dawn. My advice is if you want to eat for cheap, move away from the beach and head down one of the roads that head to town. Flip right through the menu, there are often cheap options but they might be halfway through the menu. Street food is always a great cheap option too.