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A Life Less Ordinary In Pattaya


hances are Pattaya is your escape, your chance to enjoy and discover many new things that reignite your passion for life. If this fits your bill, then I tip my hat in gracious acknowledgement of you achieving your objective. This brings me to life itself and my frustration at how quickly life slips us by with then added burden of the fact that only aging itself allows us to realise how precious our existence and our families around us are. As we realize the beauty of life, we also become conscious of

the fragility and shortness of it. I am not being downbeat here, far from it, for me the realisation of this fact places greater urgency of enjoying the moments we have here now. Inspire eMagazine was borne out of this passion to make sure we never waste the glorious opportunity we have presented in front of us by living in Pattaya; we are spoiled by the choice of things to do here in this city, and Inspire is here to show us exactly what we can do and where we can go. P. 6


My message therefore is simple and very appropriate for all of us staying in Pattaya. Enjoy those everyday moments, those so-called ‘normal’ days where nothing seemingly special is happening. These are the days that count as you get so many of them. While you are in Pattaya do different things, and I am talking about simple changes here too: When I worked in London I used to alternate my walk from the train station to my office. A chance to mix things up and see new things, it stopped stagnation and gave me new experiences. If you always have a beer in the same bar, visit a new one. If you eat on one of only a handful of eateries, go somewhere else for a change. Make a list of all the different things you could be doing on your holiday. Have you been to the beach yet? Maybe it’s worth a trip to Bangkok or nearby Rayong just to see how things are different to Pattaya? Most importantly, love the experience.

Never the Same Same in Pattaya… With the recent activity that has made global headlines, such as the recent curfew, it would appear Pattaya refuses to let you live a life anything other than ordinary. It adds, somewhat perversely, to the whole experience; it begs the question: When has your stay in Pattaya ever been normal? There are not many places outside of Pattaya that is so compatible with the adventurous or maverick

side lurking within you, so there are no excuses, don’t settle for predictability and pledge right now to do something different within the next week. It could be a new hobby, a new restaurant or a weekend away, whatever it is, enjoy the ride. There was a famous book once written called ‘The Dice Man’, the premise was a guy would live his life by the roll of a dice so that he would experience unusual and different things. Some of the things he did were far to extreme but the dice rolling was a novel concept. So here is an idea, write down 6 things you would like to do over the next week, on separate pieces of paper. Jumble the paper up and then pick one at random…Good luck.

So, How do you get the Inspiration? Pattaya has so many things to see and do that you need to keep your eyes open for these new opportunities. Inspire eMagazine is a great place to start, whether that through this magazine, our websites, Inspire App, social networks or even 24 hour TV playing in fitness centres throughout town. There is so much to do, and so little time to enjoy it…go on, make the most of what Pattaya has to offer!


hailand is the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, and for a reason. You can find almost anything here: wonderful sandy coastlines, great food, a wealth of attractions to a range of accommodation from cheap beach front bungalows to some of the best luxury hotels in the world. There is something for every interest and every budget. And despite the heavy flow of tourism, Thailand retains it’s quintessential identity with its own unique culture and history and a carefree people famed for their smiles. So, in no particular order and putting Bangkok and Pattaya to one side, here is Inspires pick of the bunch for things to do throughout this magnificent country. P. 12


5. Ayutthaya

Ayuthaya was founded in 1350 AD by King U Thong as the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai. Throughout the centuries, the ideal location between China, India and the Malay Archipelago made Ayutthaya the trading capital of Asia.

4. Koh Chang

Located near the border with Cambodia, Ko Chang is the second largest island in Thailand and the biggest in the Ko Chang Marine Park archipelago. Allow up to 4 hours from Pattaya to drive to the ferry terminal in Trat to reach Koh Chang.

3. Chiang Mai Night Market Chiang Mai is one of the top attractions. The famous Night Bazaar sprawls along several city blocks along footpaths, inside buildings and temple grounds.

2. Railay, Krabi

Railay beach (or Rai Leh) is a small peninsula that is only accessible by boat due to the high limestone cliffs cutting off mainland access. The beaches here are often featured in the best beaches in the world lists. This area is beautiful and an essential destination to visit.

1. Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi is a small archipelago in the Krabi Province in Southern Thailand. Ko Phi Phi Don is the largest island of the group, and is the only island with permanent inhabitants while the smaller Ko Phi Phi Leh is popular as a beach or dive excursion. Tourism on Ko Phi Phi has exploded only very recently, especially after Ko Phi Phi Leh was used as a location for the 2000 movie The Beach.


p until just a five or six years ago most of Pattaya’s condo developments were low rise, seven to eight floor projects. This is due to the fact that when designing your project, if you stay within a specific criteria on a number of factors, it becomes easier to obtain planning permission to start construction. These boundaries were no more than 10,000 square meters of build area, 79 units within the building, 23 meters in height (this is dependent on the wide of the adjacent road of the land you are building on) minimum 25% of the land being used for common area. If a developer wishes to construct a project greater than any of the above criteria, they are required to obtain EIA approval (Environmental Impact Assessment). EIA is made up of a large number of requirements. The developer is required by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) to submit a report to obtain planning permission giving assessments on how the project will affect the local environment. Such items being air pollution, noise and vibration, water usage and waste, traffic, drainage systems, solid waste treatment, agriculture, land use and many more. The point I want to address in this article is how much longer will it be until Pattaya’s condominium developers are allowed to keep building these high rise projects. I was in Pratamnak last week and noticed the traffic build up coming out onto Thappraya Road. P. 22


It made me wonder what the area is going to be like once we have the proposed new 4,000 units becoming occupied in this area. Pratamnak and Cosy Beach only have two entrances and exits, being Thappraya and Pratamnak Road. I pose the question, is the road infrastructure going to be able to handle the traffic in the future. Pattaya is forever having water shortage problems in the height of the summer. Are the local councils taking all these factors into account when they grant these EIA approvals? It makes you wonder. I think it would be a major benefit to the local community to look at the options of water treatment stations, to turn used water back into a usable state, as well as the introduction of man made reservoirs. Pattaya is solely dependent on Maprachan and Channock Reserviors and with the predicted increase in the local population, these just aren’t going to be sufficient enough. With Pattayas property and hotel development reaching a ‘boom’ again after a few years of financial down turn it can only be good for the city. Pattaya received 8 million visitors during 2013 and the Tourism Authority of Thailand predicting 2014 to exceed 10 million (well this was before all the current political turmoil). There are over 40,000 condominium units in Pattaya and an influx of buyers from Russia, India and China, property development it seems can only go

in one direction. What we need to ask is; are City Hall making sure that Pattaya can accommodate all of this? We have had the proposed high speed rail link to and from the airport. The local sky train to be push through and approved. The introduction on the new highway development direct into the city centre and the new railway road show things are moving in the right direction, but are these implements enough? During the recent high season we did see a massive influx of short term holiday lets. The rental market is very strong at the moment. The real estate arm of our business has struggled during the high season to accommodate many of our clients rental demands, which is great of the investor buying to let, but bad for the agent with no more properties available on their books. If this major influx of tourism and the ever expanding expat community continues to grow I feel Pattaya is going to struggle in the coming years. The road infrastructure will not be able to cope and the water demands and the amount of waste rubbish the city is going to be producing will be immense. Let’s all hope for the sake of this amazing city the government and local councils stand up and recognise the actions that are required prior to letting all of this major development get ahead of itself.


Taking Your Thai Girlfriend Back Home? (Does she really want to live in your home country?


t seems like a great idea to take your Thai girlfriend to live with you in your home country. Let’s take the UK for example. For your girlfriend to live in the UK on a full-time basis you are required to be married with a guaranteed income or savings after filling in piles of expensive paper work and procedures for visa, passport etc. (There’s a whole lot more to the process that many specialist visa companies in Pattaya and other expat hot spots can help you with…) So before you take the leap and take your girlfriend back to the UK to live you really need to think things through. Firstly, whose idea is it? Is it hers, yours or do both of you feel the same way? Secondly, has your Thai girlfriend ever spent any time living in a temperate climate? It is one thing dreaming about playing in the snow and wearing fur coats, it’s another living in a grey, cold and generally wet country on a fulltime basis! It is advisable to take your Thai partner on an extended visit to the UK first after applying for a UK tourist visa. You will need to support your girlfriend during her stay and prove you have the means to do so. Also, your girlfriend will need to show evidence that she wants to come back to Thailand after her tour of the UK. This is normally backed up by a job with regular income in Thailand, bar girl doesn’t normally go down well even though the wages can be good! If your partner doesn’t have a job you will need to set aside a certain amount of money as insurance that she will not disappear once in the UK…. OK, what about the benefits of relocating back to the UK with your Thai girlfriend? The UK has a National Health Service, excellent education and welfare service, much safer roads and high earning potential for the UK partner with paid holidays and

hopefully sensible working hours. The downside for the Thai lady is that the culture in the UK is very different from Thai culture. The climate is drastically different as we know, with 4 seasons rather than 3 and because it’s so much colder, cooking and eating outdoors generally only happens in the summer when it’s not raining! Everywhere closes early! In most towns the majority of shops, restaurants and entertainments close between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. unless they have a special licence. Big cities have extended night life of course. Eating out in the UK is expensive compared to Thailand and,,,, No som tam or noodles on every corner! If your Thai girlfriend wants Thai food at a reasonable cost, she will need to cook it herself at home or go to an overpriced Thai restaurant, which are not that common in most towns. Also, your girlfriend’s family and friends will be thousands of miles away. Many Thai ladies become seriously home sick when abroad in a cold, strange country for extended periods of time and eventually decide they want to go home. So, spending a pile of cash and lots of your time making the arrangements to take your girl back home could end up a complete waste of time and money if you don’t think things through properly. For some girls, they adapt just fine and enjoy living in a developed country with an interesting history and more extreme climate, but as mentioned before, it’s well worth an extended trip before deciding to relocate. Many Foreign / Thai couples decide to relocate to the UK for better job prospects for the guy and also if they have children, education is free. The best thing to do is weigh up all your options before making any life changing decisions and the only real way to see if your girl can adapt and live in the UK is to have a few months taster first!


Restaurant Review:

Cafe Des Amis Since becoming established in 2008 this charming restaurant has long been defined as one of Pattaya’s best ‘Elegant European Dining’ spots. When Cafe des Amis was opened by Blu and his wife Pia back all those years ago the restaurant was inspired by a French menu with an array of exquisite dishes and diverse cuisines. Since then the Blu has taken it upon himself to provide ‘change’ in the menu more often with a selection of weekly specials to keep you coming back again and again. When you arrive at Cafe des Amis, in a quiet , tranquil part of Jomtien Nivate, off the main Thappraya Road heading towards Jomtien, you immediately have the sense of comfort, even before entering the premises. You are not disappointed either once inside, entering a elegant courtyard with tropical flowers and trees with a few tables nestled in between. The lighting is ambient and relaxing and you get the sense of ‘home’. Walking into the cocktail bar area and being greeted by the friendly staff and taking in the large sofas to relax

in, we are blessed with some of the drinks from Blu’s 20+ different boutique gins, 50+ whiskeys and many of the other imported spirits. We sit in the relaxing bar and muse over the menu. There such a selection from all different continents of the globe that I’m pulled one way and another to make my decision. There’s is such a good variety it does make it hard to make your decision, but isn’t that just what you want, being spoilt for choice. Everything about Cafe des Amis is about the perfect to detail. Blu and Pia have taken time and patience to think and listen to their customer to make sure your visit is something you will most certainly tell your friends about. Small things like being asked to close or at least turn phones onto silent to respect others, the staff asking whether the air conditioning is satisfactory and still not being too imposing, but always attentive. In many articles where we have covered such restaurants there seemed to be a need to explain how good or bad the food was at the venue. In this article I’m not going to. There’s simply no need. Everything was to perfection and everyone that was in our company had nothing but praise, which in Pattaya sometimes is hard to come by. Anyone asking me about Cafe des Amis would now always be presented with the same, simply explanation that you would have to try this amazing restaurant to believe it. Congratulations to Blu and Pia and keep up the superb work.


t is quite easy for many of us living in Pattaya to be unaware to the significance of golf to this region, after all the courses are all out of town so it’s very much a case of out of sight out of mind, but the reality is golf is a key target channel for Pattaya City Hall. Inspire has long worked with the Eastern Golf Association and its 20 golf courses, that are all members of this association, and so has the full details of how golf benefits and drives increased tourist numbers to the Eastern Seaboard. It is somewhat of a beaten drum already, but for those of you that are not aware, Pattaya won the highly acclaimed award of being voted the top golfing destination in 2012 throughout Australasia and Asia by the leading global golf association, IAGTO. This well and truly put Pattaya on the golfing map for golf tourists everywhere. Thailand already attracts over 700,000 golf tourists a year, with each course in Pattaya typically being played well over 40,000 times a year (source: Eastern Golf Association). Its big business and the golf tourists are a key target for Pattaya City Hall, and with good reason. P. 45


According to some online surveys it is suggested a golfer earns 56% more than average, and so not only do they bring their golf clubs when they arrive in Thailand but they bring with them good spending potential too. All major hotels in Pattaya look to attract these golfers to stay with them when they come to holiday in this city of variety. Golfers very much form part of City Halls grand plan for redefining why people have vacations in Pattaya. Its easy to see the draw for golfers, Pattaya is near to the international airport, there are over 20 golf courses within 50km of Pattaya City and Pattaya as an area has a wealth of attractions, great restaurants, beaches and range of accommodation types. If you are a keen golfer yourself then please visit inspirepattaya.com and check out our dedicated golf section located on the front page. Here you will find details on all the golf courses that include video reviews of them all too so you can really get a feel for what each course can offer you in way of a challenge.


Inspire Property Magazine Issue 3 June  

This month the Inspire Property Magazine offer some great special prices properties. We have the 5 best tourist attractions in Thailand and...

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