Honestly I love so many different parts ofThailand.
But I never thought I would come here.
Putting it mildly, Pattaya has a reputation.
And every single stereotype about Thai nightlifecan be found here under the neon lights of the walking street.
An estimated 16 million foreigners come toPattaya every single year with many of those choosing to stay long term or even for life.
So that got me thinking surely there mustbe more to this city than just the excess.
So on our way back to Bangkok from Koh Changwe spent a week in Pattaya to see what it’s really like.
And in the cold light of day it is definitelynot what I expected.
My name is Ryan and I am currently in the4th month of full time travel with my girlfriend Emma.
We both do a little bit of work as we movearound from place to place so I was very interested in Pattaya’s liveability.
And when we researched the best place to stay, one area kept coming up.
We are staying in the Jomtien beach area whichis a little way out of the centre of the city but it is very well known for having a goodexpat scene.
It’s easy to see why it’s so popular here.
A neighbourhood right on the coast with allof the conveniences you could possibly need.
Many people come here on a retirement visabut there’s one demographic that really stands out.
One thing I’ve found very interesting aboutthis area of Pattaya is that it’s extremely popular with Russian tourists to the pointwhere most restaurant signs, shop signs, menus are all in Russian.
Which I think is really interesting.
You can even go to the local markets and buySoviet food.
There are a lot of different accommodationoptions in Jomtien from short term guesthouse rentals to long term apartments and it’sall very affordable even by Thai standards.
The guesthouse we are staying in is reallyaffordable and the room has a lot of natural light.
There’s a swimming pool of sorts.
It’s a bit cruel that next door has a nicerpool just over the fence though.
Our place was only a 5 minute walk from thebeach which if I’m being totally honest wasn’t the nicest in the world.
It was pretty dirty and it gets very overcrowded.
There’s so many sunchairs and umbrellasalong the beach that you can barely see the sand.
But as with most of Thailand the sunsets wereincredibly beautiful here and the good things definitely didn’t end there.
In fact a lot of the fun in Pattaya can befound in the little things like how we got around the city.
By far the best and definitely cheapest wayto get around Pattaya is by Baht Bus.
The buses got their name because they usedto only cost as single baht for a journey.
These days it costs 10 but it’s still veryaffordable.
Usually we’re a big fan of the Grab taxiapp in Thailand but its actually pretty expensive in Pattaya.
The buses run up and down the road from earlyin the morning to late at night so all you need to do is flag one down, jump on boardand then ring the buzzer when you want to get off.
During peak times they do tend to get quitecrowded with people so you may find yourself hanging off the back of one of them.
Which is actually a pretty fun experience.
One night we saw a guy on a skateboard whojust Marty Mcfly’d off the back of one of them which I thought was brilliant.
Another thing I really enjoyed about Jomtien is the markets.
The Jomtien night market is open every eveningand it’s a great place to grab some affordable street food and there’s some other stallsthere with mainly clothes and souvenirs.
But the best of all of the markets that wevisited was the weekend market on Sukumvit road.
Which covers the majority of a multi storycar park.
And there’s every there from clothes togadgets and of course more food options.
One of the most important things to find whenyou are working remotely is a good environment to get your head down and be super productive.
We’re quite lucky in that our guesthouseis very nice to work from.
Was it believable? But Jomtien Beach is also home to one of Pattaya’sbest known co-working spaces: Anchor.
Anchor offers various levels of paid membershipsfrom a shared hot desk to your own private office.
We tended to just use the free cafe area whichserves great coffee, good food and it’s generally just really nice and homey.
But if I’m honest there’s actually a coupleof other cafes in the Jomtien Beach area that I prefer to work from.
The first one being Redhill.
Redhill also offers a nice homey atmosphereand it didn’t tend to get very busy when we were there.
Now this next one is my absolute favouritethe really cool and quirky sketchbook cafe.
Just sitting inside this place gets your creativejuices flowing.
They have a good extensive food menu but itsthe secret garden environment that really sells it.
I love this place, there’s so many differentparts of it to work from that you will never get bored of your surroundings.
Honestly I left Pattaya feeling pleasantlysurprised.
It is far from the most beautiful place inThailand and it is crazily overly westernised.
It still sits behind Chiang Mai and Bangkokin my mind in terms of the lifestyle you can lead here.
But I’ve got to say I’m really glad Igave it a go because Pattaya is definitely more than it's sleazy reputation suggests.
Just stay away from the walking street yeah? Now are heading into month 4 of our travelsand it’s time for a brand new country.
Welcome to Vietnam.