Amusing Things To Do In Pattaya When You Are Bored
I’ve been visiting Pattaya ever since the early 1980s. Back then, it was still one of the main destinations for ex-pat families looking for a weekend escape from Bangkok. I have a lot of fond memories of hanging out with childhood friends from that era, and therefore I have a soft spot for Pattaya. I still visit the area when I get the chance, and notwithstanding the massive changes since the early 1980s, I still like the place.
Something to note about me… I was a real mischief-maker as a kid growing up in Thailand, and I guess I still feel a bit of pressure to live up to that reputation. On my last trip, myself and a couple of friends decided to see what kooky things we could come up with that we should try doing for a bit of a laugh while in Pattaya. We did all of the activities listed below, other than the first one, since we just couldn’t be bothered at the time getting the equipment to do it (but we aim to try it on the next visit). People are free to try out these activities themselves, but please note you do so at your own risk.
1. Chinese Flags
On the Bali Hai pier in South Pattaya in the evenings, there are always throngs of Chinese tourists congesting the pier as the arrive or depart for the floating seafood restaurants. I am normally used to crowds, but for some reason these Chinese tourists seem to get on my nerves. They tend to have no concept of personal space, if you are unfortunate enough to be walking against the crowd (or even just trying to stand still) they tend to push into you, etc etc. What I found amusing was that the crowds actually belong to various different tour groups. They get off their buses and meet up in the open space at the start of the pier. Each group has a tour guide who holds a coloured flag. The members of the group then follow the flag. What would be hilarious is to bring your own flag, get up close to the other flag bearer, host your own flag, and then during the march down the pier, eventually peel off to the left towards the fishing boats, and see how many of the group follow. If enough follow, then take them to the wrong boat. If anyone does try this out before I do, let me know the result.
2. Chinese Photos
The other thing that I find annoying with the Chinese tourists on the Bali Hai Pier is that they take a lot of photos and sometimes I feel a bit like an animal in a zoo, being zapped… for what? I am just another tourist. I have been sitting on the sidewalk with family and friends and had these pesky Chinese tourists stop and take photos of us… what the fu*%! Anyway, the last couple of trips, my friends and I reversed the situation and we made out that the Chinese throngs were an amusement worth photographing… we would stop, point at the crowds as they come off the boats, make big gesticulations like we had never seen such big crowds of Chinese before, and start snapping away with our cameras. I know, it's quite juvenile, but it was also pretty satisfying. The Chinese tourists felt no qualms about pointing their cameras at us previously, but they really didn’t like being in our photos.
3. “Tank You, Please Come Again!” (in Indian accent)
Those pesky Indian tailors! I have several good Indian friends, but Indian tailors seem to be a breed apart. The ones on Beach Road in Pattaya in particular can be really annoying. One of them almost got clocked by me when he physically put his hands on me one day when I was already in a bit of a grouchy mood. One of the more amusing things that the tailors do is try to guess your nationality and then will try to talk to you in your local lingo. At first it was kind of cute when the tailor guesses Australia and comes up with “G’day Mate” in a very humorous attempt at an Aussie accent. We then used to pretend to be from a different country. France, Sweden, etc. Russia was a poor choice as one of the tailors knew more Russian than we did. Given the hilarious attempts at “G’day” in an Indian accent, these days, we tend to just respond by using our own attempts at Indian accents… “Tank you, please come again!”, “Me Hav Curry in a Hurry, Tank You Sir!” It pisses the tailors off to no end, but they otherwise just don’t give up sometimes.
4. “So, what do you do for a living?”
Go to a beer bar, dressed up in your most touristy gear, with bum-bag, camera strapped around your neck and a shit-eating fresh off the plane smile. In front of the punters, start talking to the girls, and ask them ignorant questions like “What do you do for a living?” and “What was your major at university?” The looks from the other punters are priceless. The girls usually just look confused, but if anyone attempting this gets a truly interesting or creative answer, let me know.
5. What to do with 7-Eleven 50 Satang Pieces
The 5 cent coins in Australia are pretty useless as most coin operated machines won’t take them any more and I can’t be bothered carrying that much change in my wallet. However, the Thai 25 and 50 satang coins are significantly more useless to a tourist in Thailand, yet 7-Eleven and other supermarkets insist on dishing them out in large quantities. At the end of most of my holidays, I end up with a reasonable mix of change and I am always looking for new ways to dispose of it. Well, guess what, those poor Pattaya baht bus drivers never seem to have any change, or at least that is what they always seem to say when I offer up a 50 or 100 baht note for a 10 or 20 baht ride. The solution (and this wasn’t my idea, but I have forgotten who to credit for this one) is to give your satangs to the baht bus driver. These guys really appreciate when you take the time to stand outside their window and count out ten or twenty baht in satangs. It is especially appreciated when you originally offered a 100 baht note and they didn’t have change. Only warning is this activity is not for the faint hearted. I have done it about three times, one guy just drove off cursing, another guy made lots of noises to hurry up and the third guy grinned and seemed happy enough.
6. Only Speak Thai to Tourists
A bunch of us were sitting in S&P in Central Festival having a fun meal and chatting about the good old days over some sauerkraut and sausages. We were speaking in English and were pretty animated. There were a couple of battle-scarred bruiser type English tourists sitting at the table next to us. We had noted earlier that they had been a bit rude to the waiter and when we did overhear snippets of their conversation, it was pretty crude, the sort of thing you would expect from an experienced sailor. Anyway, at one stage, one of the English tourists interrupts our table with a question. I am not exactly sure what he wanted to ask, but the person in our group that he turned to immediately reverted back in Thai that he didn’t understand. The rest of our group then similarly reverted to Thai, that we didn’t understand what the hell they were saying. We then continued conversing back with each other in English. The Thai staff thought this was hilariously funny, and they kept giving us grins for the rest of that meal. The bruisers could have pounded the shit out of us (yes, it was 4 against 2, but no one in our group was particularly built compared to these scarred troglodytes).
Great, I particularly like #4 – brilliant!