Friday, December 14, 2012

December Holiday - Thursday and Friday: Laem Chabang, Thailand

Thursday
Our plans to go ashore today were put on hold today whilst Ann got rid of a nasty bug she’d somehow picked up the night before, and I continued to struggle with my back pain - what a couple of old crocs!!!! :) We did bugger-all all day!

Friday
It’s our first anniversary today - thanks for all the cards, we had great fun opening them this morning as soon as we got up. Pressies-wise, Ann bought me a £50 voucher for my new Kindle, whilst I did my unusual and bought Ann the annual Matt book. The larger present for Ann - a copy of the Daily Telegraph dated the day we first met - is still at home, as it was far too large to pack.
P1020230
After breakfast we thought about what to do with ourselves today. After wasting much of yesterday because of our respective ailments, we decided NOT to take the coach trip into Bangkok, put-off mainly by the thought of the promised journey of two hours and the impact that might have on my aching back! We'd also overheard some guests commenting on the tour itself - and it sounded a bit lack-lustre. Maybe we missed out, but there’s bound to be another opportunity.
P1020231
In the end, we decided to take the shorter taxi-rise into Pattaya and more specifically Pattaya Beach. Ann exercised her bartering skills at the quayside and got the taxi price down from 2500 ‘simpsons’ - sorry ‘bahts’ - to 2200 - saving us about £6!!. Luckily, we got an air-conditioned 12 seater all to ourselves, and after blowing the dust from the seatbelts, settled down for the journey. Our driver was very considerate, and although he touched 110kph at times, weaving in and out of the  shirt-sleeved helmetless moped riders, he did make a point of avoiding all the potholes - more or less a full-time operation!

Twenty-five minutes later, we arrived at Pattaya Beach. The place was packed and really busy with a menagerie of cars and pedestrians all seeming to be fighting for the same space. There plenty of zebra crossings, but that gave those on foot no advantage whatsoever. Whatever the rules are for traffic lights here, they work on a different principle in Pattaya -  it seemed if they show a colour -any colour - you move a forward!
P1020232
Like many people, we’ve covered a few miles during our holidays over the years and developed a very clear idea of the sort of areas we like - unfortunately this WASN’T one of them! I guess the clue was in the title -Beach -  as far as the eye could see, there were lines and lines of deckchairs - mostly vacant - punctuated with the occasional adonis perfecting his tan (yes, it was mostly guys!). Every quarter of a mile or so, the scene was made more interesting by the odd prostitute - and sometimes even a standard prostitute! (I don’t speak from experience!! :)
P1020235
P1020234
It was a dirty, smelly place with no attractive parts that we could see. The best on offer was the local Nobuck’s - sorry Starbuck’s - well, at least that would give us a view across the bay and free wi-fi!
P1020233
Well, one out of two isn’t bad - we got the view!!!

After a couple of really good lattes, the first of our two hours were almost spent and we headed for our definition of civilisation, a shopping mall! That, at least, had a Boots Pharmacy and I was able to pick up some super strong pain killers for my back.
P1020236
It was now getting close to midday and our allotted pick-up time. Our taxi-driver was more-or-less on time and we headed back to the Ship. As soon as we’d freshened-up, we dropped into the Lido Restaurant and a quick lunch, before chilling-out in the afternoon.

We went ‘posh’ in the evening in celebration of our Anniversary and ate in the Ship’s swanky restaurant: Pinnacle.  What a treat it was - Brilliant service, fantastic food and a great atmosphere - Top marks!

At sea all day tomorrow.