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Trip Report - August 2013

London
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Trip Report - August 2013

Not seen many reviews on this specific forum, so thought I'd put down my experiences of Pattaya.

Overall we loved it. Did the research beforehand so knew exactly what were getting. And knowing 6 million (?) local Thai visitors a year can't be wrong.

Stayed at the Centara Grand Mirage. The hotel was fantastic, especially for the kids. Out of 9 days i think we had 6 or 7 pool days. There was enough to keep them amused all day with the slides and lazy river. The hotel was busy, but we never had issues with getting pool chairs or getting served etc. There was a large Russain contingent - did their reputation precede them ? No. Didn't experience any rudeness or queue barging.

We were in a Family Residence room, and I use the term 'room' loosely. This place was bigger than my first flat ! Would highly recommend for it for families. We did pay extra for club service, and although we used the lounge a fair amount I would say the level of detail isn't up to standard of other Centara Grand's. Wouldn't pay extra for it again, or even go for a club room if we went back.

Will stick more on about the hotel in the reviews section when I get round to it.

Going out and about wasn't a problem. I would say the hotel is isolated in the north, but not problematic. Ok, you pay over the odds at the 7-11 types store opposite the hotel, but its handy.

Headed into town most evenings. The row of songthews was handy. We never did manage to get a ride into town for less than 200THB, but for the sake of a pound I wasn't willing to put up with hassles of bartering. Went to Central Festival mainly for convenience - the kids love MK restaurants, and Hajime robot restaurant was worth a squirt for novelty value.

As expected we did do the trip into Walking Street when we went to Pattaya Beer Garden for dinner (highly recommended !). It was early evening and there were loads of other tourists getting the walking st experience. More a novelty than anything else.

Did a days diving/snorkelling with mermaids. Very professional organisation. Wasn;t expecting much, but theres not really much to see underwater. Only really worth it if like me this would be your only dive of the year.

We also did the Flight of the Gibbons zipline tour. This was probably the highlight of the holiday. The kids absolutely loved it ! It was a very unique thing to do. If it wasnt for the price I think we would have gone again.

I think we'd definitely go again if the opportunity arose. Its closeness to Bangkok makes it ideal if travel plans fitted. Have to be honest though, a major factor would be going back to the Centara Grand Mirage.

Perth
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11. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

Thanks for directing me here Taposh, great report.

It was a toss up for us as to whether we would stay at the Centara Grand in Pattaya or Hua Hin and it sounds like you really enjoyed the hotel in Pattaya. As a couple, the hotel in Hua Hin sounded a lot quieter but the Pattaya hotel looks much more interesting.

Hopefully we'll get the chance to visit Pattays another time and as mentioned, it's not all about the seedy side as we learnt from our trip to Phuket.

Bangkok
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12. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

There are quieter beach resorts around Na Jomtien south of Pattaya with some nice relaxing resorts, but you can still get easily to the busy center.

As you say Pegasus there are big differences everywhere, Patong Phuket is one thing but so very different from say Nai Yang or even Bangtao / Surin on Phuket.

Macau, China
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13. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

Hello Taposh

Nice to hear you had a fun trip, I am a Pattaya-lover too!! ^^

So you say you went to the Center of Pattaya and each time was 200 baht or above... Was a taxi you had or a songthaew?? And another thing, dont they provide any shuttle buses for the guests?

Cheers

Victor

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14. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

@Victor - yes, from the Centara Grand Mirage is was 200THB for taxi or songthew. Hotel doesn't do shuttle buses.

I'm sure there's a certain amount of tourist inflation going on, but in fairness the hotel is fairly far out. It is a good 5-10 mins to get to town and to around Central Festival mall, and with traffic maybe 20 mins to get to Walking St area. And when we used the songthews (kids loved them !) it didn't stop for any other passengers.

I guess it's a captive market. There's is a mixed q of taxi's and songthew's outside the hotel run by the same bods.

Macau, China
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15. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

Shame on them, as I was really keen on trying them the next time I visit Pattaya... But now I would have consider more deeply as booking them or not...

Would be nice if they could take people to somewhere like Sai Song (crossroads) or Dolphin Roundabout so that people can take advantage of the cheap (10 baht) baht bus...

Bangkok
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16. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

"Shame on them" - why ?

Just to explain that if you take an empty songthaew from 'A' and you ask them to take you to 'B' then you are using it as a taxi service and as Taposh says they did not stop for other passengers, so it is for your own sole use.

Songthaews that ply the streets on routes charge B 10 and that is hop on hop off and the system not only works well it is cheap and easy.

Compared with places like Phuket and many other tourist areas outside of Bangkok, transport around Pattaya is a bargain.

Swindon, United...
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17. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

Hi Monica just thought i would mention that a baht bus is supposed to be 10 baht BUT if you are a farong or westerner they will try to charge you more for thais it definately is 10 i prefer to hook up with a thaigirl not for the obvious i hasten to add but they can usually knock down some of the vendors inflated prices when they see you area foreigner . I had this problem when i went to a club in walking street went with quite a few girls from one bar who i got know quite well they had shut their bar at about 3 and then we all went to this club . Anyway i gave some money about 500 baht to one of the girls to buy a round of drinks . The girl i was actually with most of the time finished her drink and wanted to leave rather quickly . I asked her why and she said that the lady who took the order for the drinks asked if the girls were with me and immediatley hoiked up the price to 200 baht for one drink . They will try it on but my girl didnt approve and took me out of there saving me some cash .cant thank her enough

Macau, China
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18. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

Hi Monica

I'm just thinking that, most hotels (resort type ones) offer shuttle buses for their guests who pay the big bucks...

Cardiff, United...
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19. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

I have never been charged more than 10 baht. I have sometimes given more.

I have also seen other farangs be uncertain and give more.

It is a superb and easy way of getting around.

20. Re: Trip Report - August 2013

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