Post Number: 217
|Posted on Friday, June 05, 2009 - 9:14 pm: |
OVERVIEW of Pattaya
Gents, this is the place to be. South Pattaya Beach is to Thailand what Las Vegas is to the United States, except instead of slot machines, it's outright packed out with more bars and bar girls than you can imagine. Yes, it would seem as if all the girls you will meet in this small town are hookers end each and every one of them is there to fuck and suck your brains out.
Ask me how many girls, how many bars, how many times you can score with the women and my answer is, "Countless". I even attempted to do a bar and bar girl count in South Pattaya and failed, due to exhaustion. After counting more than 192 bars, with an average of a good fifteen girls in each bar (that's a round figure of 3,000 girls), I got a migraine headache and had to quit. I know there are more bars and girls because I never counted the large cluster of bars on Soi 2 and vicinity (I'd guess there are a good 50 bars there, at least). Add to the bar girls another 500 to 1,000 free lancers (i.e., girls not employed by a bar) and you are looking at enough willing ladies to last you a life time.
South Pattaya Beach Resort - yes, there is a North Pattaya and a Central Pattaya - is a city within a city. It's basically a tourist resort with nothing but bars, more bars, and even more bars. Okay, so besides the bars you also have an endless number of hotels, great restaurants (some fabulous places to eat!), daytime fund spots (such as the zoo and water park) and enough shops and malls to keep you busy for the next three months. In fact, if you bring your wife from the states, she will also be in shopping heaven ...ahh, scratch that. You don't want to bring the wife or kids on this trip.
Pattaya has something for everyone. If you don't like the fairer sex, there are enough gay bars to wet your fancy. For example, if you go to Soi Pattayaland 2, right around the corner you'll see the sexy Boys Boys Boys bars. You can't miss it. Actually, I can. Homosexuality is not my cup of tea. I like women. Now for you weirdo's out there that don't like either men or women, Pattaya has something for you as well. No, we're not talking animals ...well, almost. Pattaya is infamous for what the Thais call the "lady-boys", that is, the transvestites. Yes, we are talking about men who dress up as women, including a few of which have undergone surgery and had dick cut off and then shaped into a pussy so they can facilitate sexual intercourse from a man. Scary thought, if you ask me. Well, back to the saner side of sex, the girls. If you are not getting laid in Pattaya every single day, I gather you ran out of money (there are few girls who will fuck you for free out here), orr perhaps you decided the life of a celibate is more noteworthy and became a Buddhist monk (monks are forbidden to have any physical contact with women). You could also be one of those guys who is so paranoid of AIDS you think that just by looking at a Thai girl you'll explode. My sympathies to any of you who fit those categories. Why? Because then you would be missing out on the world's greatest sex destination, South Pattaya Beach Resort.
South Pattaya is a two hour bus or taxi ride from Bangkok (depending on traffic). While busing it from Bangkok offers a more affordable means to transport to Pattaya, hiring out a private taxi is the most convenient (and expensive) way to go.
Buses from the airport
IF you arrive at the Bangkok International Airport in the morning or early afternoon you will be able to take a bus from the airport, directly to Pattaya. After you go through Immigration and Customs you will find yourself in the BKK lobby on the ground floor where all the banks and info booths are. Walk to your left and there you will find the Thai Airways International, which has a bus service called "Thai Limousine Service". This services passengers to Pattaya three times/day, 9a.m., 12:00 and 7 p.m. Tickets and reservation in the arrival lounge. Tel 02 535-2801. One way is around $5-$6 (depending on exchange rate which varies a lot these days). It drops off passengers in the North part of the city where there are taxis waiting to take you to your hotel for $1 to $2 (such taxis being notorious for over charging tourists. Altogether, it's about a three hour hour trip. Obviously, this is not the fastest nor easiest way to get to Pattaya.
Taking a private air conditioned taxi (either from Bangkok International airport or your hotel in Bangkok) will run you between 1,000 to 1,500 baht or $22 to $33. The price will vary depending on how greedy the driver is and how much he thinks he can get out of you. Taxi drivers are aggressive in searching out "falongs" (Thai word for Western tourists), so finding a private taxi to go anywhere is rarely a problem. Finding one who will give you a fair price is more difficult, so bargain hard with several drivers before getting the price you wish to pay. To catch a private taxi at the airport, just walk outside the terminal and wave one down. Or go to the outdoor meter taxi booth (right outside the terminal as you exit) and bargain a price with them.
Taxi to the bus stations
An inexpensive, but long routed means of getting from BK to Pattaya is to take the public air conditioned bus at the Ekamai bus station in Bangkok. There, buses leave every 30 minutes directly to South Pattaya bus terminal (last bus is 9 p.m.). The fare is 90 baht or about $2. To get to Ekamai bus station, wave down any meter taxi (from the airport or hotel) and just say, "Ekamai". Make sure the taxi driver turns on the meter when you get in. Transport from BK airport to Ekamai depends highly on the traffic conditions, anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours (during rush hour).
THE BEST TIME TO GO
You will find the night life and adult entertainment in Pattaya runs strong year round. That means you can go there anytime of the year and have a great time. However, there is a huge surge of male tourists who come there during the high season (December through February), making the town quite congested and the availability of women a bit more competitive. Therefore, if you wish to have a larger ratio of girls than guys and avoid the rush of tourists, it's best to come during the low season (March to October). During this time the weather will be either extremely hot and dry (March thru June) or semi cool from the rain storms (June through October). Actually, coming in November (approaching the high season) is a great time to come as the rains have stopped and yet not so many tourists have yet arrived.
Weather in Thailand
Songkran in Pattaya
The most celebrated holiday in Pattaya is the Water Festival or Songkran, starting April 14th (where the celebration begins up north) and peaking out in Pattaya on the 19th. The festival is indeed a sight to behold as Thais from all over the country go into a frenzy, throwing buckets of water at anyone and everything that moves, round the clock. Legally, one can hose down the Thai police, who on the 19th will be seen walking around drenched in water, with their guns wrapped in plastic. What that means is if you step out of your hotel room anytime during Songkran, you will get drenched in water (many times over) and smeared with talcum powder on your face (often stinging the eyes). Outside of hibernating in your hotel room or leaving the country, there is no escaping the frenzy, leaving the old adage, "if you can't beat them, join them". Put on your swimsuit, buy yourself an oversized water gun (available all over town), and have a blast.
AMOUNT OF MONEY
South Pattaya is the most affordable, indeed one of the least expensive tourist destinations in Thailand, if not the entire world. You can stay at very comfortable air conditioned hotel rooms for as little as $10 a night, eat filet steaks with the works (soup and salad bar, desert) for $5, and screw your brains out for as little as 500 baht or $12, on up. Transportation within the city is extremely cheap (5 baht or about ten cents taxi fare) or even free as most bars, restaurants, hotels, disco's all nearly walking distance from each other. If money is no object, you can certainly splurge by frequenting the over priced Go Go bars (bar fine 500 baht or $11) and staying in the higher priced hotels (Royal Garden Plaza at $100 on up per night) while wining and dining with the best ($10 on up at Bruno's restaurant, opposite Big C shopping mall). What this translates to mean is you can party your brains out in Pattaya for as little as $60 per day (minimum) or splurge spending $150 per day or more. The choice is yours depending on your budget and lifestyle.
WHAT TO BRING Pattaya is a shopper's paradise. You can buy just about anything you'll need in the way of toiletries (i.e., soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, etc.), clothing (sandals, tennis shoes, dress shoes, socks, pants, t-shirts, suit and tie, etc.), over-the-counter drugs, and so on in Pattaya. You could literally arrive with only the clothes on your back, a fistful of dollars and within a day have just about everything you need to last you through your trip. Of course, most of you will want to bring your own razor, tooth brush, brush, clothes, etc., rather than have to go shopping the first day of your arrival. With that in mind, I suggest you travel with the bare essentials, and outside of any special items (i.e., medication, favorite brand of condoms, etc.), travel as possible. Note: it's recommended you do bring your own condoms as many of the American brand (such as extra strength Trojans) may not be available. Also, KY is higher priced in Thailand, so bring your generic brand from the states with you.
You will need to convert your US dollar into Thai baht (pronounced like the English word, "bought"), the local currency. There are an abundance of money exchange booths (open daily, generally 10 p.m. till 9 p.m.) and ATM machines (open 24 hours) along Beach road, Walking Street, 2nd road, and along the Soi's (side streets). There is an exchange booth/ATM machine right outside the Royal Garden Plaza (beach side) and a Thai Farmer's bank ATM machine on the third floor of the Royal Garden, between the Food court and movie theater. The best exchange rates will be at the exchange booths, rather than at your hotel. Note that you will need to take your passport as ID when exchanging TC's or doing a cash advance on your Visa or Master card; you need not have your ID when changing US dollar into baht, but your US dollar must be in pristine condition (i.e., without any tears or marks whatsoever). Be aware it is almost impossible to find an exchange booth that is open before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m., so exchange your money on time.
CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION
Once you arrive at the Bangkok airport, you will need to clear immigration and customs. On the plane, the stewardess should hand you a customs and immigration form to fill out. With this in mind, always have a pen handy when you travel. When you exit the plane, just follow the crowd and signs pointing to immigration.
Travel tip: try to walk as fast as possible, ahead of the crowds to get to immigration ASAP. The lines can get rather long. Last time I waited almost 45 minutes in line.
At immigration, you will be asked to see your passport and your filled out immigration form (you can fill it out while waiting in line. It's just basic information). When you approach an immigration officer, he will take your passport and stamp it. The stamp will have the date of arrival into Thailand and the date you must depart, 30 days later (unless you have a visa, then you can stay 59 days). From immigration, you walk down the stairs to the luggage department and then on through customs.
Unless you are bringing in things like a TV, full size computer (lap tops are no problem), furniture odd ball items like plants, illegal drugs (yeah, right!), animals or other weird stuff, you need not declare your goods. Therefore, as you exit, look for the green sign which reads, NOTHING TO DECLARE. That's where you exit from the airport to paradise.
Once you pass the customs section, you will be in the last section of the airport. Here you will find crowds of people waiting to greet their arriving friends, taxi drivers hustling you for a ride, and people who are so bored with their lives they just like to hang out at airports to see who's coming into town. As you pass this crowd, on your left side (opposite the street) will be a Money Exchange Booth. Be sure to exchange at least $200 before exiting the airport. You will need to pay for your taxi in Thai baht (the local currency) and probably be asked to pay in Thai baht for the first night stay at your hotel. Yes, you can do a Visa or Master card cash advance at the booth. Ask for 10,000 baht advance (about $250 depending on the exchange rate).
BANGKOK TO PATTAYA
From the airport
Depending on what time you arrive in Bangkok will depend on how you will be able to get to Pattaya. The best way to get to Pattaya from the airport with less hassle is to go up to the "Thai Limousine" taxi company right inside the airport lobby. It is best to make a reservation before you arrive. If no reservation, just go up to the window and book a car and driver. It should cost around 1200-1500 baht. You can also try the airport METER TAXI booth if they have drivers that will go to Pattaya.
From your Bangkok hotel
South Pattaya is a two hour bus or taxi ride south of Bangkok. The exact length of time it will take to drive there depends on traffic (best to travel before noon or after 7 p.m., when the traffic is not so heavy; weekends are always preferable as the traffic is lighter). Actually the best time to leave from Bangkok to Pattaya is around 10 a.m. in the morning. That way you will be arriving in Pattaya at noon, the perfect time to check into any hotel (noon is check out time in most hotels, so that is your greatest chance of getting a room of your choice).
The best and most expensive way is by private taxi. Some greedy drivers may start you off as high as 1,500 baht. Such was the case for me at the Nana, but I managed to bargain one driver down to 1,000 baht ($25). How? I just told him, "Before I pay only 1,000." He tried to get me to pay 1,300, but I stood firm with 1,000. Finally one driver agreed to that price (plus 100 baht for the toll fare which is worth it). This is a fair price if you are traveling with a friend or two, seeing that you can split the cost. The main advantages of hiring out your own taxi is you can leave anytime you wish. Also, with a private car the taxi will pick you up and drop you off at the doorsteps of your hotel. With a private taxi you can make pee pee stops on the way and you can enjoy the comfort of stretching out in a luxurious car. Indeed, the last taxi I wrote in was a Mercedes with full leather seats. You may not be so lucky, so make sure you inspect the car first before committing to the ride. One other point. If you have a lot of expensive luggage, it's best you take a private cab. If you get on the bus with tons of valuables like a camera, a camcorder, a lap top computer, and so on, it's best to be in a private taxi.
A comfortable and affordable way to travel to Pattaya is by public air conditioned bus. Yes, riding the public buses are safe, provided you are not carrying too much expensive luggage. From your hotel, take a meter taxi to the Ekamai bus station on Sukumvit road. It's about a twenty minute ride, depending on traffic. (Have the front desk at your hotel write out in Thai the name of the bus station. Then just show that to the taxi driver. They all know where it is.) At the bus station, the first terminal booth will be the Pattaya booth. You can't miss the big sign. There you buy a ticket (77 baht or $2 as of February 2000) and then walk to the back of the bus terminal where all the buses are parked. The very first parking space for the buses will be the Pattaya bus (the bus may not yet have arrived, but the Pattaya sign is there and clearly visible). The buses leave every 30 minutes, from early morning to 9 p.m. Travel tip: When you purchase a ticket, buy two tickets, one for yourself and the other for yourself. No, I'm not turning schizophrenic on you. It's just that the seats are a bit cramped and if you buy two tickets, you can hog two seats and stretch out during the long two hour ride. The only way to go.
Most hotels will do your laundry at a very reasonable price. However, be aware laundry service generally is slow and takes 24 hours or longer, regardless of how much you insist your clothes be clean by early next day. With that in mind, be sure you have at least another day or two worth of clothes before handing in all your dirty laundry; do not have your laundry down the day before you are leaving town. I did that recently and had to leave the country with my laundry still in the dryer, waiting to be picked up on my next trip. Oh, well. At least when I return to Thailand, I'll have a clean set of clothes waiting for me.
Tourist Police are attached to the Tourism Authority of Thailand office, at 382/1 Pattaya Beach Rd, Tel 42-9371. As anywhere in Thailand, they provide speedy assistance to visitors and they are their for YOU.
Immigration Office Soi 8 Pattaya Beach Rd, Tel 42-9409
Post Office Soi Post Office, Central Pattaya
Police Station Pattaya Beach Rd, Tel 42-8223
FOOD IN PATTAYA.
Whether you are looking for authentic Thai, fast food American (i.e., McDonald's, KFC, Burger King), German, Italian, French, Mexican, specialty (such as vegetarian), you name it, you'll find it here. The food is both inexpensive ($1 per plate if you eat at the outdoor food stalls) and tasty. It's also available round the clock, indeed, the largest chain of outdoor food stalls will be found right on Walking street at - believe it or not - 2 a.m. onwards as the hundreds and hundreds of bar girls who get off work late at night crave their favorite Thai dish. Where to eat in Pattaya? For a wide variety of meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner) in a pleasant surrounding (i.e., air conditioned), go to the Royal Garden Plaza, beach side (about a five minute walk from Walking Street). In or next to the Royal Garden, you will find McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, the Pizza Company, Swensen's Ice Cream, Sizzler, Au Bon Pain, and so on. If you enter the Royal Garden and go to the third floor, you will find the Food Court (open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.) where you will find a wide selection of inexpensive food stalls serving mostly Thai dishes. Note: Thais generally enjoy spicy food, so to avoid having your mouth on fire, tell the cook or waiter to serve your dish, "Mai pet", meaning not spicy. What causes the food to burn your tongue are the tiny red and green peppers which are usually smashed into the dish. Actually, these peppers serve to flavor the dish considerably, so while you stride to avoid the burning sensation, you end up losing much flavor by ordering your food not spicy. Tip: if you find your mouth burning up from eating a spicy dish, a spoonful of sugar tends to ease the pain. Ice water doesn't help much. As for sanitation, it's best you eat at the air-conditioned restaurants rather than with the locals on the streets. Upper scale restaurants: Bruno's (opposite Big C), serving fine Thai and Western cuisine ($10 per meal on up); Paradise (opposite Royal Garden, 2nd road), serving roast lamb, rabbit, fish, and other delicacies ($5 to $10 per meal); Mama's (Soi Diamond), serving filet steaks and salad bar ($5 to $7); Five Star Vegetarian (corner Pattaya Thai/3rd road), serving Thai vegetarian cuisine and usual fresh squeezed drinks ($2 to $5 per meal); New Orleans (Soi Pattayaland 2), serving authentic Cajun dishes ($5 to $10 per meal).
Restaurants listed from A-L
Restaurants listed from M-Z
The Winchester Club
The above bar is a nice motor bike ride away from South Pattaya. Once you get there, you will find girls and rooms upstairs. The price is 7-800baht all inclusive, room and girl and full service. The girls are good at their work however there is no mystic about the fact that they are whores. They are; if you cannot handle this stay away unless you go for the food, which is also good.
More Serving Wenches
South Pattaya offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget fan rooms ($5 per night) to five star accommodations at it's best ($100 up). In choosing your hotel, keep in mind location plays a key role. You want to be walking distance from Walking Street and the Royal Garden Plaza where most of the bars, disco's, restaurants, shops and exchange booths are.
White Inn Hotel located on 2nd road, Soi 15, is by far the best deal in town. Telephone from the U.S. just dial 011-66-38-429-841. A no frills hotel but has an excellent location, the rooms are clean and spacious, new air-cons in some of them, western style toilets and shower, refrigerator and TV. It has an elevator and it's own restaurant. It also has a tour agency inside the lobby to book flights and tours. (no problem bringing in as many girls as you like) It has been Dexter and Horn's favorite hotel for the past ten years, their home away from home. Price: $10 per night.
Grand Hotel located on the same Soi as the White Inn, also an excellent location. The rooms have a fantastic view of the city and ocean. The price is just a few bucks more. Rooms feature good central air conditioning, TV with all the cable channels and refrigerator. Price: $16 per night.
Diamond Beach Hotel is located in a prime location. The address is 373/8 M10 Beach Rd. Pattaya City 20260 Thailand Tel# 428071, 429855, Fax# 424888 Rates: $19 / $55, 152 rooms fitness center, massage, rest, 2 pools, sauna, laundry, near the beach. It's located on Soi Diamond which is were all the main Go Go bars are. In fact, the hotel also has it's own V.I.P. massage parlor (where we filmed the girls bathing in our Travels to Pattaya tape). Although I didn't find the rooms anything spectacular, they were decent. And as I said, location is the key here and with the main bars at your door step (and the beach just a three minute walk away) , you could not ask for more.
Apex Hotel B400 Moo 10, Pattaya 2nd Rd. Pattaya. Tel: 428281 fax: 421184. This hotel has a really nice pool and features a brunch and dinner buffet everyday for a few bucks each. Price: $10 per night.
Flipper Lodge B560-630 Soi 8 South Beach Rd. Pattaya. Tel: 411655 fax: 426403
Penthouse Hotel B600-1600 Soi Pattayaland 2. Pattaya. Tel: 429639 fax: 421747
Lek Hotel B560-640 Soi 13 , 2nd Rd. South Pattaya. Tel: 425550 fax: 426629
Royal Garden Resort (Link) B1900-37000 South Beach Rd. Pattaya. Tel: 412120 fax: 429926,
Palm Garden B600 2nd Rd. North Pattaya. Tel: 429386 fax: 429188
Mike Hotel B700 Moo 10, 2nd Rd. South Pattaya. Tel: 422222 fax: 426444
Lido Beach Hotel B500-800 Moo 10 South Beach Rd. Pattaya. Tel: 422959 fax: 424572
Dynasty Resort in Pattaya
378/3-11 Phra Tamnuk Rd., Moo 12 Pattaya City 20260 Thailand. Tel# (66-38) 250-721 to 23 , Fax# (66-38) 250-772 Rates: $26 to $51. Teakwood-furnished rooms, free transport from Bangkok to Pattaya, restaurant, laundry, satellite TV, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, internet service.
Souvenir shopping in Pattaya is really fun and is one of the main reasons why many tourists all over the world wind up doing their shopping there. While the malls are always the most convenient and comfortable to shop in, the best bargains will be found the further away you get from the air conditioned malls (Mike's Department Store, Mike's Shopping Mall, Royal Garden Plaza, Big C, etc.) and the indoor/open-air shops along Walking street , Beach road, and 2nd road. To get to the real bargain areas (such as the outdoor night bizarre opposite Big C mall), your best bet is to have a Thai (such as your Thai girlfriend) take you there as they are often more difficult to find. Actually, to get rock bottom prices, you would need to appear as though you were a Thai national, seeing that when a "falong" (Western tourist) approaches any shopping vendor in Pattaya, the price immediately quadruples (due to the Thais philosophy that you, being a rich foreigner, should pay more). Yes, even in Pattaya, the Western tourists pays at least double in price what a local Thai would pay. The only way around this is to master the art of bargaining, which begins with the understanding that any price a Thai vendor quotes you is already inflated tenfold. Knowing that, when a Thai street vendor hands you his handy-dandy calculator (to show you the price of the item), you must gently take the calculator and with a smile, cut the price at least in half, better yet in third. The Thai will then drop his price only slightly, you raising yours only slightly. Eventually both of you will either agree on a price or you will walk away (at which point the Thai will probably call you back accepting your lower price, proving your strongest position in bargaining is when you begin to walk away, hint, hint!). Most shops and malls are open in Pattaya from 10 p.m. till 11 p.m. (late night shops will be found on Walking street).
Tuesday-Friday Market Open on Tuesdays and Fridays, this "under-the-tent" shopping area has some of the best deals in town. Difficult to find (located off Pattaya Thai, Soi Bucow), so have your Thai girlfriend take you there. Extremely hot and dusty. Mostly low quality clothing.
"Made in Thailand" On 2nd Road opposite Soi 10. This is an open-air marketplace with a wide selection of shoes, clothing, Thai silk, and odd ball items. Be aware it gets extremely hot during the heat of the day, proving that shopping in the comfortable air-conditioned malls is often worth the inflated price.
HOW AND WHERE TO SHOP FOR GOLD
Buying Gold in Thailand is an easy proposition especially if you have tips like these. There are a few things to remember.
1) Gold in Thailand is 24K for the most part. There is no reason to buy any other gold there, as the purpose of buying gold there is because of good prices. 24K gold is less expensive than 18K.
2) The “price per weight” “baht-weight” that is, for necklaces and bracelets, is set by the government and written in the newspapers every day.
3) The price of earrings and other non-machine made (hand-made) items are not set in the paper. On these items, you will need to bargain.
4) For example 6,500B/baht-weight…..one baht-weight is ½ ounce
5) The bath-weight price is based on the international price of gold.
6. “One Saloon” is ¼ baht weight or 1/8 of an ounce.
7) Necklaces and bracelets can be 1 saloon, 2 saloon, etc.
I see a necklace in the store. I ask the price. I am told that it is 2 baht. On the window I see that the price of gold is 6,300B. This means 6,300B per baht-weight. The sales man or woman will pull out his/her calculator and punch out 2 x 6,300 = 12,600 baht.
I see a smaller piece as well. It is a small bracelet. The salesman says it is 2 saloon. 2 saloon = 2/4 x 6,300 = 3,150 baht.
WHERE TO SHOP
As the price per weight for 24K machine-made items (bracelets and necklaces) is government regulated, it does not really matter where you go, EXCEPT some shops will try and add on a workmanship fee. Workmanship fees, or a price that is not set by weight, is fare only for items that are not machine-made (earrings).
In order to buy where the locals buy, avoid tourist areas. Only a very limited amount of English is necessary to buy some gold, so do not worry about being away from a tourist area when shopping. And again, as long as you are buying necklaces and bracelets, it does not really matter.
There are gold shops in markets, shopping centers, street-side, etc. You will find them all over the city. They all get their gold from large factories, so the designs will be the same all over the city.
Most of the tourists and locals make use of the blue taxis or "baht bus" that circle the main vicinity of South Pattaya. The blue taxi is a pick up truck with padded seats in the back which holds about ten passengers. The blue taxi has a particular route: it circles the two main streets, Beach road and 2nd road (which runs parallel with Beach road). The fare ("rakah" in Thai) for a ride anywhere along this path is 5 baht. However, many tourists hand 10, 20, even 50 to 100 note bills to the driver, and then walk off without collecting their change, unaware the price is only 5 baht. To catch any of the 700 blue taxis that circle Pattaya 24 hours a day, just wave at one as it comes at you. Actually, the taxis are always obnoxiously honking their horn at tourists, both those who want a ride and those who wish they would disappear. Once they stop for you (they can stop just about anywhere), climb in the back. When you are ready to get off, there is a buzzer on the ceiling. Ring it so the driver knows to stop. Or pound on the ceiling and he'll stop. When you get out, go over to the window in the front (passenger side so you're won't get run over by oncoming traffic) and hand the driver 5 baht. If you don't have change, keep your hand out to show him you are expecting change. Otherwise, he will hope you don't know the price and try to get away without giving you any change. Bastards! Travel tip: The blue taxis have a specific route. If you ask them to diverge from that route, the fare can climb as high as 50 baht. Therefore, if any driver, after you get in the back, asks you, "Where you go?", just ignore him. The rule is if you tell him where to go, you are asking for a special ride and then he is allowed to charge you 40 to 50 baht for the fare. Therefore, when you get in, just let him drive you along the beaten path. If you must go somewhere off the main road, then of course you will have to pay the driver the higher fare because he is diverting from his assigned route. Most drivers will be happy to take you within town for 40 to 50 baht (for example, when going back to Bangkok, you can hire a blue taxi to take you to the Pattaya bus station for 50 baht. Just wave one down right outside your hotel, tell him where you are going and always, I repeat, always agree on the price first before getting in. On a special fare, you can sit in the front seat if you like. Obviously, if you have a lot of luggage, sit in the back with the luggage).
Motorbike taxis remain the most popular form of transportation in Pattaya, despite their danger. Make no bones about it, many tourists and bar girls have taken some nasty spills, not a few to their graves. Even with the new helmet laws, the motorbike remains a very dangerous means of transportation. For that reason, if you must ride on one, have a Thai motorbike taxi drive you, rather than drive yourself. To find a motorbike driver, look for a cluster of Thais wearing color vests, sleeping next to their motorbikes. If you want to go somewhere special, such as Pattaya Park or Sabailand Massage Parlor, you can hire a motorbike taxi to take you there. The drivers are professional and charge a fair price. Most of the time, a ride within town will cost between 20 to 30 baht.
If you dare, you can rent your own motorbike for dirt cheap, as little as $2.50 a day or higher, depending on the type of bike. You'll see motorbikes that are for rent parked all along beach road (opposite the ocean) and various side streets. 100cc bikes go for 150 baht per day, a week about 800 baht. We recommend you rent the smaller bikes as they are safer, cheaper, and easier to maneuver through traffic. Plus, it does not come with a basket to carry stuff. WARNING: Traffic laws and rules of the road differ in Thailand than in the states. Be alert!