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PassPort Your ultimate guide to Pattaya and beyond

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Asia’s most exciting resort

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Pattaya PassPort

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WELCOME Welcome to the very first issue of Pattaya Passport magazine, a publication designed to inform you of the best that Pattaya and Thailand has to offer in terms of attractions, activities, entertainment and the finest dining venues in the city.

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freQUenCy Pattaya Passport is a monthly publication distributed to the rooms of Pattaya’s finest hotels. For details on advertising, please call Mark on 089 096 4011 or e-mail to mark@pattayapassport.com. Freelance contributors are welcomed, but please do not send any finished articles. Receipt of unsolicited articles shall not be construed as acceptance for publication. We are mainly interested in Pattaya related pieces but will consider all. Please contact us at editor@pattayapassport.com. Office: tag & Jag., ltd 159/113 3rd Floor, Moo 5, North Pattaya Rd, Naklua, Banglamung, Chonburi, Thailand. Email: info@pattayapassport.com Website: www.pattayapassport.com

Pattaya has so much to see and do to ensure that your vacation is memorable, exciting and enjoyable and it is our intention that Pattaya Passport is your most valuable guide while you are here. In recent times, Pattaya, Jomtien and beyond have undergone a major transformation, especially in terms of world class real estate developments such as The Cove and The Sanctuary which have attracted wealthy foreigners looking for prime property near the sea. Naturally, the arrival of such affluent visitors and investors spurred entrepreneurs in different fields to develop leisure facilities and venues to service this sector. Of course, Pattaya has long had outstanding sea-based activities such as sailing and scuba diving. In this issue, we will report on some of these places. Unlike other magazines, our advertisers are selected on the basis of their reputation for reliability, quality of service and customer satisfaction. So please enjoy your copy of Pattaya Passport and have a wonderful time here in Pattaya and Thailand. Please feel free to send any comments or suggestions to info@pattayapassport.com and keep up with happenings in Pattaya and beyond at www.pattayapassport.com PAT TAYA

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Pattaya PassPort

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CONTENTS 06 Useful information

36 Dining out

12 Family fun

44 Real estate

Safety in Pattaya - Getting around Pattaya Immigration Contact Details - Embassies

Top Restaurant Listings CafĂŠ Des Amis - Restaurant Feature

Activities & Attractions in Pattaya

20 Health

46 Shopping

Medical Tourism in Thailand - Spa & Treatments

48 Nightlife

24 Now & then

50 Travel

28 Golf

Subtle Comforts - Khao Yai National Park

Golf Courses - Sharpen your game The Emerald - Golf Feature

56 Interview

Her name is Pukkatthayawan Noinawate

Obtain your FREE copy of PattayaPassport magazine every month ON-LINE at

www.pattayapassport.com Available as a PDF download. You will require Adobe Acrobat reader to view the file but this can be obtained free on-line. PAT TAYA

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Pattaya PassPort

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On behalf of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) I would like to welcome you to Pattaya.

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If this is your first visit, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at the huge number of attractions and activities on offer here, there really is something for everyone. If you are looking for a totally relaxing vacation, spending days on the beach, exploring the nearby islands and enjoying great food and drinks in the evening or if you enjoy a more active holiday with superb watersports and vibrant nightlife, the choice is yours. Golfers will be thrilled at the selection of international standard courses (more than 20 of them) just a short distance from Pattaya. Food is of course a very important part of any holiday and apart from truly delicious Thai food and seafood, there is an amazing variety of international cuisine available. Many visitors to this coastal city choose to return every year. Pattaya has a unique character that many find hard to resist. If you ask them, most will probably tell you that their happiest memories are of the Thai people themselves.

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We would like to wish you a very pleasant holiday here in Pattaya and that Thailand will always have a special place in your heart. Sincerely, Mr. Nitti Kongkrut Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Pattaya Office PAT TAYA

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Useful information

Safety in Pattaya Pattaya has built an international reputation as a fun town with a nightlife that most writers discreetly refer to as ‘vibrant’. Thousands of tourists return every year to enjoy the unique atmosphere, have a great time and return home with great memories. Like most tourist places however, there is an element of crime which can usually be avoided with a little common sense. Beach Road late at night can be a hazardous place in terms of muggings, particularly for single men walking alone after a few too many drinks. They are usually targeted by the infamous katoeys or ‘ladyboys’ who are very quick at relieving someone of their wallet. It is also not a good idea for Western women to walk there in the early hours of the morning. Something that should not need to be mentioned, but unfortunately still does, is that it is never a good idea to wear expensive necklaces, bracelets, watches etc when going out. That applies to almost every tourist destination. To combat this, the local authorities have installed brighter lighting and CCTV cameras and a rapid police response to any disturbance. Another thing to be wary of are gem scams. If you are directed to a jewellery shop then almost certainly that person will be on a commission. It is generally better to visit the larger more established places by yourself. It goes without saying that anyone

who approaches you on the street or on a beach is best avoided. This applies to anyone trying to sell you something. If you are not interested, the best way to deal with it is just a polite smile and a shake of the head, no need to get irritated. A very important aspect of keeping yourself and your family safe in Pattaya is dealing with the traffic, whether you are driving or a pedestrian. When crossing the road, expect the unexpected, it’s safer that way. Motorbikes weave in and out of traffic and often drive the wrong way along the road as a shortcut. There is a distinct lack of signals from other drivers. A very important point is with regard to the newly installed pedestrian traffic light crossings along Beach Road and Second Road. Drivers, especially on motorcycles, are not used to these yet and many drive through a red light if they don’t see anyone crossing the road. So take as much care when crossing as you would if the lights were not there. The driving generally leaves a lot to be desired. Thailand is one of the safest countries worldwide for tourists and millions of people visit the country each year. Pattaya is a tourist favourite, with many returning year after year. Almost everyone returns to their country with memories of a great vacation. With just a little care, so will you.

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useful information

When crossing the road, expect the unexpected…it’s safer that way.

Getting around Pattaya

Motorcycle Taxi - You can find these at almost every major Soi (Road) in Pattaya. It is by far the quickest way to get around town, but it also has obvious dangers. The roads in Pattaya leave something to be desired with a multitude of serious potholes and the other drivers can be very erratic. The motorcycle drivers are generally rather good and the prices are reasonable. If you feel your driver is going too fast, tell them ‘Chaa chaa’ (slowly). You can generally get across town for 60 – 80 Baht. Baht Bus - These long-backed vehicles go in a continual circuit around town and cost 10 baht for a short hop and 20 baht for a more substantial ride. They can get rather crowded and will only drop you off in a general area. If you want one to take you to a specific location without stopping for other passengers it will generally cost anywhere from 100-200 baht or more for a lengthy journey. In those cases, agree the price first. Wherever possible have a card from your hotel or accommodation in Thai as baht bus drivers usually speak little English. Hotel Transport - Hotel limousines are of course exceptionally comfortable and convenient, but rather on the pricey side. Always insist on the driver taking you where you have asked to go and not to one of his ‘friends’ places.

Motorcycle rental - This is another option that many foreigners choose and is a very reasonably priced one. A wide variety of motorbikes can be rented from a basic moped to a mean machine. Some tourists make the mistake of taking on a bike of enormous speed and power that they have no experience with and these are the people that end up in hospital, with huge medical bills. Always check insurance details and never leave your passport as security. This can lead to problems when the bike is returned and there is a demand for repairs to ‘damages’ incurred. Car Hire - Apart from the internationally renowned car-hire companies, there are local ones that offer good value for money. Fully insured, new vehicles that give you the option of exploring Pattaya and beyond at your own convenience and comfort. The average cost is between 1,000 – 2,000 per day, with some discounts being offered for weekly or monthly rentals. Car Hire with driver - A few companies offer the extra convenience of a driver. This is a good option for those wishing a totally relaxed vacation, though the driver’s standard of English can vary enormously! It is an idea to check first.

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Useful information

Immigration Contact details for foreigners requiring assistance Chonburi Immigration Station 75/265 m.12 Jomtien Soi 5, T. Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Telephone: 038 252 750-4 Fax: 038 252 750-4 ext 100 Call Center: 1178 Website: www.chonburiimmigration.com

Useful information for foreigners When requesting an extension of a temporary visa.

Upon arrival at the station, fill out the request form. You will be required to present the following with your application: • A Copy of your passport • A 4 x 6 cm photograph And then follow this procedure:

Remark: The waiting times may vary according to the workload of each section, but if the process takes longer than 10 minutes please report to the P.R. Counter

Hand the copy of your passport and the application form together with your photograph and the application fee to the officer at the counter. A receipt will be issued. Average waiting time = 5 minutes

Average waiting time = 5 minutes

Hand the copy of your passport and the application form together with your photograph and the application fee to the officer at the counter. Then wait for the documents to be checked and the passport to be returned. Average waiting time = 3 minutes.

The officer will then authorize the request and return the passport. Average waiting time = 2 minutes

Complete the application form You will be required to present the following with your application: • A Copy of your passport • A 4 x 6 cm photograph And then follow this procedure:

Documents checked, visa issued

PRESS THE QUEUE BUTTON, TAKE THE TICKET AND WAIT FOR SERVICE Average waiting time = 2 minutes.

The officer will then issue your receipt. Average waiting time = 2 minutes

Re-entry Permit Procedure

Documents authorized, passport returned Average waiting time = 5 minutes Chonburi Immigration Station 75/265 m.12 Jomtien Soi 5, T. Nongprue, A. Banglamung, Chonburi 20150 Telephone: 038 252 750-4 Fax: 038 252 750-4 ext 100 Call Center: 1178 P.O. BOX: 1178 Operating hours: Mon – Fri 08.30 am – 4.30pm Website: www.chonburiimmigration.com e-mail: info@chonburiimmigration.com The previous website is no longer operational. Remark: Please be advised that the busiest days are Monday and Friday while Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are generally less busy.

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immigration forms the following is a list of the various forms available from the Chonburi immigration station: Vehicle report – tm2 Passenger list report – for ingoing and outgoing vessels – tm3 Temporary visa extension request form - tm7 Re-entry form – tm8, tm13 Residence form – tm9 Resident guarantee form – tm18, Internet download - tm20 Form to obtain ‘Non-B’ visa – tm22 Temporary visa while awaiting residency – tm25 Notification of movement – tm28 Notification of home/ apartment rental to foreigner (By property owner) – tm30 For stay over 90 days – tm47 Request to change visa status – tm86 Visa from Chonburi Immigration Station – tm87 other forms available: Lost or stolen passport report Change of passport notification Transfer existing visa to new passport Visa for foreigners working for foundations Doctors certificate report for residence visa Copy of work permit authorization – Immigration 1 Extension of stay (explanation) – Immigration 2

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UsefUl information

Embassies argentine embassy: Prommitr Villa, 20/85 Sukhumvit Soi 49/1, Bkk 10110 Tel: 259 0401-2, 259 9198; Email: embtail@mozart.inet.co.th australia embassy: 37 South Sathorn Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 344 6300; Email: austembassy.bangkok@dfat.gov.au austrian embassy: 14 Soi Nandha, Soi Attakarnprasit, South Sathorn Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 303 6057-9; Email: bangkok-ob@bmeia.gv.at Bangladesh embassy: 727 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Bkk 10110 Tel: 381 1144, 391 8069-70 Belgium royal embassy: 17th Fl, Sathorn City Tower, 175 South Sathorn Rd, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bkk 10120 Tel: 679 5454; Email: Bangkok@diplobel.org Bhutan royal embassy room: 107, 19th Fl, JTC Bldg, 919 Silom Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 237 3315-27, 237 3600-3 Bolivian Consulate: 1901 Ramkamhang Rd, Huamark, Bangkapi, Bkk 10240 Tel: 314 0040, 314 1911 Brazilian embassy: 23rd Fl, Lumpini Tower, 1168/66 Rama 4 Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 679 8567-8 British embassy: 14 Wireless Rd, Lumpini, Patumwan, Bkk 10330 Tel: 305 8333 (Main Embassy line), 253 0191 Brunei Darussalam embassy: 154 Ekamai Soi 14, Sukhumvit Soi 63, Luksorndang, Prakanong, Bkk 10110 Tel: 381 5914-6 Bulgarian embassy: 33/15 Soi Charoenchai, Sukhumvit Soi 63, Bkk 10110 Tel: 391 6180-1 Cambodian royal embassy: 518/4 Pracha Uthit Rd (Soi Ramkamhaeng 39), Wangthonglang, Bkk 10310 Tel: 957 5851-2; Email: recbkk@cscoms.com Canadian embassy: 15th Fl, Abdulrahim Place, 990 Rama 4 Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 636 0560 Chile embassy: 15 Sukhumvit Soi 61, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 391 4858, 391 8443

China embassy: 57 Ratchadapisek Rd, Dindang, Bkk 10310 Tel: 245 7030-45 Colombian Consulate: 9th Fl, Park Place, 231 Sarasin Rd, Lumpini, Patumwan, Bkk 10330 Tel: 254 5105-6 Croatia Consulate: Room C-7, 23rd Fl, JTC Bldg, 138/51 Nares Rd, Siphaya, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 77 648 5558; Email: croatian_consulate_thailand@ yahoo.com Cuban embassy: Mela Mansion apt. 3C, 5 Soi 27, Sukhumvit Rd, Klong-Toey Neur, Bkk Tel: 665 2803; Email: cubaemb1@loxinfo.co.th Cyprus Consulate: 17th Fl, Richmond Bldg, 75/59 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 261 8408-10 Czech embassy: 71/6 Ruam Rudee Soi 2, Ploenchit Rd, Bkk 10330 Tel: 255 4978, 255 3027 Danish royal embassy: 10 Soi Attakarn Prasit, South Sathorn Rd, Yannawa, Bkk 10120 Tel: 213 2021-5, 679 9349-50 Dominican Consulate: 92/6 Changwattana Rd, Laksi, Bangkhen, Bkk 10210 Tel: 521 0675, 521 1282, 521 5000 egyptian embassy: 49 Soi Ruam Rudee, Ploenchit Rd, Bkk 10330 Tel: 253 0161, 253 8138 estonia Consulate: 62 Soi Yodsuwan, Pracha-Uthit Rd, Huaykwang, Bkk 10310 Tel: 690 3779 ethiopian Consulate-general: 962/14 Prannok Rd, Bkk 10700 Tel: 411 0218, 412 1068 european Commission Delegation: 19th Fl, Kian Gwan House 2, 140/1 Wireless Rd, Bkk Tel: 255 9101, 255 9106-11 finland embassy: 16th Fl, Amarin Plaza, 500 Ploenchit Rd, Patumwan, Bkk 10330 Tel: 256 9306-9, 256 9511-3 french embassy: 35 Soi Rong Phasi Kao 36, New Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 256 9306-9, 285 6104-7 PAT TAYA

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gabon Consulate: 13 Soi Pradipat 10, Pradipat Rd, Samsennai, Payatai, Bkk 10400 Tel: 279 2800-1 gambia Consulate: 610/5-6 Songwad Rd, Samphantawong, Bkk 10100 Tel: 224 0091 german embassy: 9 South Sathorn Rd, Yannawa, Bkk 10120 Tel: 285 6627-8, 679 1120 greece embassy: Unit #25/5-9, 9th Fl, BKI/YWCA Bldg, 25 South Sathorn Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 679 1462; Email: gremb.ban@mfa.gr Honduras Consulate: 4A Phirom Mansion, 11 Sukhumvit Soi 41, Bkk 10110 Hungary embassy: 28 Soi Sukchai, Sukhumvit Soi 42, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 661 1150-2 iceland Consulate: 59 Soi Navin, Chuaploeng Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 249 1300 indian embassy: 46 Soi Prasarnmitr, Sukhumvit Soi 23 , Bkk 10110 Tel: 258 0300-6 indonesia embassy: 600-602 Phetchaburi Rd, Bkk 10400 Tel: 252 3135-40 iran embassy: 602 Sukhumvit Rd (between Soi 22 and 24), Bkk 10110 Tel: 261 9790-3 iraq embassy: 47 Pradipat Rd, Samsen Nai, Phayathai, Bkk 10400 Tel: 278 5335-8 ireland Consulate: 28th Fl, Q.House Lumpini Bldg, 1 South Sathorn Rd, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bkk 10120 Tel: 677 7500 Email: ireland@loxinfo.co.th israeli embassy: 25th Fl, Ocean Tower, 11 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Bkk 10110 Tel: 260 4854-9 italian embassy: 399 Nang Linchee Rd, Thungmahamek, Bkk 10120 Tel: 285 4090-3; Email: ambasciata.bangkok@esteri.it Japanese embassy: 1674 New Petchburi Rd, Huay Kwang, Bkk 10310 Tel: 252 6151-9 Jordanian Consulate: 47 Soi Ekamai, Sukhumvit Rd, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 391 7142


UsefUl information

Kazakhstan embassy: Suite 4301, 43rd Fl, JTC Bldg, 919/501 Silom Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 234 6365-6; Email: mail@kazembassythailand.org Korean embassy: 14 Moo Ban Suanlaemthong 2, Pattanakarn Rd, Bkk 10250 Tel: 319 1442-3 laos embassy: 502/502/1-3 Soi Sahakarnpramoon, Pracha-Uthit Rd, Wangthonglang, Bkk 10310 Tel: 539 6679, 539 6667-8 Email: embalao@bkklaoembassy.com lebanese embassy: 15th Fl. CTI Tower, 191/67 Ratchadapisek Rd, Bkk 10110 Tel: 261 1013, 261 1015, 261 5091 luxembourg grand Duchy embassy: 17th Fl, Q.House Lumpini Bldg,1 South Sathorn Rd, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bkk 10120 Tel: 677 7360; Email: bangkok.amb@mae.etat.lu malaysian embassy: 33-35 South Sathorn Rd, Yannawa, Bkk 10120 Tel: 679 2190-0 maltese Consulate: 485/14 Silom Rd, Bkk 10500 Tel: 235 9423-4 mexican embassy: 21/60-62 Thai Wah Tower, 20th Fl. South Sathorn Rd, Bkk 10500 Tel: 285 0995; Email: mexthai@loxinfo.co.th mongolian embassy: 100/3 Soi Ekkamai 22, 63 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nua, Watthana, Bkk 10110 Tel: 381 1400, 392 1011; Email: mongemb@loxinfo.co.th moroccan royal embassy: 12th Fl, Sathorn City Tower, 175 South Sathorn Rd, Sathorn, Bkk 10120 Tel: 679 5604-6; Email: sifambkk@samarts.com myanmar embassy: 132 North Sathorn Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 234 0278, 234 4789, 234 4698; Email: mebkk@asianet.co.th nepalese royal embassy: 189 Sukhumvit Soi 71, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 391 7240, 390 2985, 392 4741 netherlands royal embassy: 106 Wireless Rd, Bkk 10500 Tel: 254 7701-5, 254 1265 new Zealand embassy: 93 Wireless Rd, Bkk 10330 (P.O. Box 2719, Bkk 10500) Tel: 254 2530 nigerian embassy: 412 Sukhumvit Soi 71, Prakhanong, Watthana, Bkk 10110 Tel: 711 3076-8 norwegian royal embassy: 18th Fl, UBC II Bldg, 591 Soi Sukhumvit 33, Bkk 10110 Tel: 261 0230-5

oman embassy: 7th Fl, 134/1-2 Silom Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 236 7385 Pakistan embassy: 31 Soi Nana Nua, Sukhumvit Rd, Bkk 10110 Tel: 253 0288-9, 254 9702 Panamanian embassy: 1168/37 Lumpini Tower Bldg, 16th Fl, Rama IV Rd, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, Bkk 10120 Tel: 679 7988-9 Email: ptyconsuladothai@hotmail.com Peruvian embassy: 16th Fl, Glas Haus Bldg, #1 Soi Sukhumvit 25, Sukhumvit Rd, Wattana, Bkk 10110 Tel: 260 6243, 260 6245, 260 6248; Email: peru@peruthai.or.th Philippines embassy: 760 Sukhumvit Rd, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 259 0139-40, 261 6869 Poland embassy: 8 Sukhumvit Soi 5, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 258 4112-3 Portugese embassy: 26 Captain Bush Lane, New Rd, Bangrak, Bkk Tel: 234 0372, 234 2123, 238 4275 romanian embassy: 20/1 Soi Rajakhru off Soi 5, Phaholyothin Rd, Phayathai, Bkk 10400 Tel: 617 1551-4; Email: romembnk@ksc.th.com russian embassy: 78 Sap Rd, Suriwongse, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 268 1169, 234 9824; Email: rosposol@cscoms.com saudi arabia royal embassy: 23rd & 24th Fl, Saeng Thong Thani Bldg, 82 North Sathorn Rd, Bangrak, Bkk 10500 Tel: 639 2999, 639 2960 singapore embassy: 129 South Sathorn Rd, Yannawa, Bkk 10120 Tel: 286 2111, 213 1261, 287 5115 slovak embassy: Pantip Court, 68 South Sathorn Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 285 0220-2 south african embassy: 12A Fl, M-Thai Tower, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd, Pathumwan, Lumpini, Bkk 10330 Tel: 250 9012-14 spain embassy: 23rd Fl, Lake Rajada Office Complex, 193 Ratchadapisek Rd, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 661 8284-6; Email: emb.bangkok@maec.es sri lanka embassy: 13th Fl, Ocean Tower 2, 75/6-7 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Bkk 10110 Tel: 261 1934-5 sweden embassy: 20th Fl, One Pacific Place, 140 Sukhumvit Rd, Klongtoey, Bkk 10110 Tel: 263 7200;

Email: ambassaden.bangkok@foreign. ministry.se Visa Section Tel: 263 7211; Email: visabkk@foreign.ministry.se swiss embassy: 35 Wireless Rd, Bkk 10500 (GPO Box 821, Bkk 10510) Tel: 253 0156-60, 254 6855 taiwanese embassy: 10th Fl, Kian Gwan Bldg, Wireless Rd, Bkk 10330 Tel: 251 9274-6, 251 9393-6 timor-leste embassy: 7th Fl, Thanapoom Tower, 1550 New Petchburi Rd, Makassan-Rattewi, Bkk 10400 Tel: 654-7501-2, 624-7504; Email: embdrtl_bkk@yahoo.com turkish embassy: 61/1 Soi Chatsan, Suthisarn Rd, Phayathai, Bkk 10310 Tel: 274 7262-3 United states of america embassy: 95 Wireless Rd, Bkk 10500 Tel: 205 4000 Additional links: Thai-US Relations; US-Asean Business Council Uzbekistan Consulate-general: Website32 Moo 5, Sukhumvit 62 Soi 1, Bangjak, Prakanong, Bkk 10260 Tel: 311 1496, 741 7247; Email: ankhor@uzbinbkk.com apostolic nunciature: 217/1 South Sathorn Rd, Bkk 10120 Tel: 233 9109, 212 5883-4 Vietnamese embassy: 83/1 Wireless Rd, Bkk 10500 Tel: 251 7202, 251 5835

UsefUl nUmBers emergenCies Police 191 Tourist Police 38 425 937 x 1155 Police Station (Pattaya) 038 420 802-5 Police Station (Jomtien) 038 232 330-1 HosPitals Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital 1719 Banglamung Hospital 038 429 244 Pattaya Int Hospital 038 428 374-5 Pattaya Memorial Hospital 038 488 777 transPort U-Tapao Airport Bangkok Airways Thai Airways Int Suvanabhumi Airport Phone Centre

038 245 593-5 038 412 382 038 425 934-7 021 321 888

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Activities in Pattaya

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Pattaya can justifiably claim to be the ‘City with everything’. The following are just a few of the leisure activities available in the resort.

Badminton: Pattaya Badminton Court on soi 17, 2nd road, is open from 2pm until midnight daily. They have 4 courts. The fees are 60 baht per hour, raquet hire 20 baht, shuttlecocks 25 baht.

caters for adults and advanced drivers and one for beginners and children. The venue can support 500 guests and offers food and drinks.

Bowling: Pattaya has several good bowling alleys including PS Bowl on the 3rd floor of PS Plaza in TOPS Department Store at the corner of the Central Pattaya traffic lights. Also SF Strike Bowl in Central Festival Pattaya on Beach Road and the highly rated Blu-O Rhythm and Bowl in The Avenue Shopping Mall on 2nd road, Pattaya. fishing:: There are several fishing parks which are well stocked with local fish. All parks have equipment for hire. The fee is around 80 baht per day. If you would like to take your catch away, there is usually a reasonable charge per kilo. For the more adventurous angler, offshore fishing trips offer an exciting challenge, with Marlin, King Mackerel and Barracuda. Tour operators will have full details. golf/Driving ranges:: Pattaya is exceptionally rich in choice for golfers (see our golf section for more details) with over 20 top quality courses designed by some of the world’s great golfers within a short drive. The fees offer outstanding value at 500-2,500 baht (green & caddy fee) and all courses have very good clubhouse facilities. There are also a number of driving ranges in town.

Horse riding: The Horseshoe Point Resort & Country Cub is set on a 1,500 acre ranch and offers a wide range of horse-riding from trail riding, jumping, dressage, polo and pony club riding for children. The stunning property with beautiful tropical gardens is one of South-East-Asia’s largest and most respected riding schools. Jet -skis and speedboats: These can be hired directly from most beaches in Pattaya. Jet-Skis are around 900 baht per hour, speedboats by the hour or day from 1,500 – 5,000 baht. motorsport: Ride a Superbike motorsport: around a full size track, 7,000 baht for 3 hours including the bike, instruction and all safety gear and hotel pick up.

go-Karting: The easykart track at Bali pier is an excellent facility. There are two tracks, one which PAT TAYA

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tennis: Most of the top hotels in Pattaya have tennis courts. The facilities are free for guests but open for public hire, but court booking preference will always be given to hotel guests. Instructors are also available from 100-150 baht per hour. muay thai: Learn the deadliest martial art from around 280 baht per day. Paintball: The main venue in Pattaya is Paintball Park. It is a large area offering state-of-the-art equipment. Jump suits are also available for rent. Parasailing/Parascending: These are available along all of the main beaches, typically for 500 baht per flight.

WindsurďŹ ng & Kiteboarding: The best months for professionals are from October to June. Beginners are advised to start in the early morning, when winds are not so strong. There are many surf schools in the Jomtien area. International tournaments are held in December and the Siam World Cup is usually held in mid-April.

sailing:: Pattaya offers exceptional opportunities for sailing. The most popular vessels for hire are Lasers, Prindles and Hobie Cats. These can all be rented by the hour. scuba Diving:: Pattaya has a year-round diving season with good visibility with an average sea temperature of around 28 degrees Centigrade. A wide variety of fully certified courses are available from beginner to advanced. The islands further out offer a good variety of marine life and coral. There are a large number of dive shops in Pattaya with NAUI and PADI certification. PAT TAYA

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Pattaya

Attractions PAT TAYA

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There are many attractions in Pattaya to make sure you have a great vacation. Here are a few examples.

Pattaya Park A very popular destination as a day out for all the family. There are water slides, children’s pools and a large pool with a gentle ‘tide’, great for relaxing on a lilo. For thrill seekers, the Tower Jump and the Tower Shot will give you all the adrenaline boost you need. Atop the Pattaya Park Tower, the revolving restaurant offers fabulous panoramic views of Pattaya.

peacefully in the same compound, like a living Disney movie! Open from 8am-6pm Admission: Adults 350 baht, children 200 baht Telephone: 038 296 556-8 Website: www.tigerzoo.com

For more information, phone 038-364-110/20 or visit their website at www.pattayapark.com nong nooch garden Another long established favourite for visitors to Pattaya. A huge area of beautifully landscaped gardens which contains a wide variety of Thai fauna and flora and the world’s largest collection of palms. Another very popular aspect of Nong Nooch are the Thai cultural shows featuring Thai dancing and martial arts and the crowd’s favourite, the elephant shows. Nong Nooch is approximately 18km from Pattaya City. The show times are 9.45am, 10.30am, 3pm and 3.45pm. Admission fee is 400 baht. Telephone: 038 709 358-62, 038 429 321, 038 429 958 Website: www.nongnoochtropicalgarden.com si racha tiger Zoo Less than 1 hour from Pattaya, the farm has a large number of Bengal tigers, crocodiles, elephants and other animals in its menagerie. Visitors will be amazed to see tigers, pigs and dogs co-existing PAT TAYA

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family fun

The Sanctuary of Truth A unique attraction in Pattaya next to the sea in North Pattaya, The Sanctuary of Truth is a stunning wooden structure, 105 metres at its highest point. Every part of the building is covered in exquisite carvings. As may be surmised by the name, the Sanctuary of Truth is a place of contemplation and spirituality. The concept is to encourage visitors to consider the wisdoms of Eastern philosophies and religious beliefs that place spiritual health before material possessions and the relationship Underwater World between mankind and the Universe. A fascinating Definitely one of the top attractions in Pattaya, place to visit. indeed Thailand, Underwater World is regarded as a ‘must see’. It is the largest and most modern ocean Open from 8am-6pm aquarium in South East Asia, featuring a 100 metre Admission: Adults 500 baht, children 250 baht long 6.4cm thick acrylic tunnel, giving visitors Telephone: 038 367 229 spectacular views of a wide variety of exotic marine Website: www.sanctuaryoftruth.com species. The aquarium has more than 4,000 marine animals. In addition to species found in Thai waters Mini Siam there are many from around the world. Something Located on the Sukhumvit Highway opposite the of major interest to visitors is the shovelnose ray, an Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Mini Siam is a delightful extremely rare hybrid of a shark and a stingray. For attraction of miniature replicas of Thai architectural adventurous souls there is even an opportunity to landmarks such as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, dive with the sharks and the stingrays! the Democracy Monument and other famous structures such as the Bridge on the River Kwai. There are also Underwater World is located on Sukhumvit Road, replicas of world landmarks such as the London Tower 200 metres South of Tesco Lotus Bridge, the Eiffel Tower and the Trevi Fountain. Open from 9am-6pm Open from 7am-10pm Admission: Adults 450 baht, children 250 baht Admission: Adults 250 baht, children 125 baht Telephone: 038 756 879 Telephone: 038 727 333, 038 421 628 Website: www.underwaterworldpattaya.com PAT TAYA

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health

Health PAT TAYA

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health

Medical tourism in Thailand People from around the world are coming to Thailand for a wide variety of medical procedures, from major operations such as cardiac surgery to cosmetic and plastic surgery. There are a number of reasons for this. The standard of medical treatment here is very good, the hospitals and clinics are modern and equipped with the latest medical technology. Many of the surgeons are trained overseas and consequently have a comfortable understanding of foreign patients. The nursing staff are friendly, helpful and above all, competent. Given all these factors the savings are considerable, especially when compared to Western countries, with anywhere from 50% - 90% to be saved. Thailand is also an ideal place to recuperate. Pattaya is ideally suited to offer an exceptional medical package with top class hospitals and 5 star hotels or rental pool villas in which to recuperate. What better way to recover than in a tropical setting near the sea? Some of the treatments available here in Pattaya include: Heart surgery, eye surgery, LASIK, cosmetic and plastic surgery, general surgery, dentistry and much more. In future issues of Pattaya Passport we will highlight individual procedures on offer and profiles of some of the medical specialists working in Pattaya. You can always keep in touch with the latest on medical tourism in Pattaya by visiting our website at www.pattayapassport.com. PAT TAYA

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health

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Spa & Treatments Thailand is becoming well known for the quality of its spas. A number of the larger spa operators in Thailand have been invited to open outlets in some of the top hotels worldwide. Part of the reason for this is the meticulous attention to detail that Thais employ in so many aspects of their everyday life and in their professions such as handicrafts, hand-painted porcelain, jewellery and food preparation, including exquisite fruit and vegetable carvings. Spa operators use this same approach when planning a spa, ensuring that even the smallest detail is perfect and will enhance the overall experience, from the all-important ambience, with soft lighting, soothing music or sounds from nature and the aroma, to the correct selection of the products used in the treatments. Then there is the training of the therapists and the constant re-training for new treatments and products. Even the uniform is designed with care to be hygienic and comfortable and to project the correct image.

Here in Pattaya there are many fine spas including the Oasis Spa in Thappraya Rd, The Royal Garden Spa at the Marriott Hotel and the Dor-Shada. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of treatments from Aromatherapy, Oil or Swedish massage, body wrap, body scrub and facials. Treatments vary from 60 to 90 minutes, although most places can accommodate for shorter or longer custom-made treatments if your schedule demands. A good spa treatment is a perfect way to relax and release all of the stress from your mind and body and an excellent use of a couple of hours of your vacation time. Your skin will be smoother and you will look and feel more radiant and fresh. There is no better way to pamper yourself. Pattaya Passport will feature a monthly column on new spa treatments available here in the resort. These will also be featured on our website, www.pattayapassport.com.

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now & then

Now & then by Mark Verrall

This is the first of a regular feature in Pattaya Passport which will focus on the changes that Thailand has undergone in the 30 years since my initial visit.

I

I first came to Thailand for a holiday in 1979. It was a very different place then. Back in the U.K. I was living in Pinner, Middlesex about 15 miles from London. It was basically a large, rather pretty village. Nobody that I spoke to there about my upcoming vacation knew anything about Thailand, many confusing it with Taiwan. The barmaid in my local was even concerned that I might be cold, apparently thinking it could be near Iceland. If there were any Thai restaurants in the U.K. I was unaware of them. It was certainly many years before Thai food became such a cuisine sensation and a deserved favourite worldwide. My friend and I decided to fly with Thai International. I informed our travel agent that we would prefer not to fly in a DC10 as there had been some high profile crashes around

that time. She told us that it would indeed be a DC10 but that they were totally safe and just had a rather unconventional method of landing. Despite our misgivings and her dark humour we booked the flight through Kuoni, the specialist long-haul travel company, which offered incredible value for money. We needn’t have worried. The flight was extremely comfortable and the service from the THAI staff was impeccable. The graceful hostesses were the perfect ambassadors for their country, even when a passenger (unfortunately also English) had availed himself of rather too much of the free alcohol and was violently sick all over himself and the back of the seat in front of him. They helped to clean him and the seats up with no sign of annoyance. There have been a few moments in my life when I have been embarrassed to be an Englishman and that was indeed one of them. Finally we arrived in Thailand, but not at the capital’s airport, we were diverted due to ‘bad weather’, which we found rather curious. Even more curious was the pilot’s request that we keep the shades down and refrain from looking out of the windows. So naturally, the first thing we did was ignore him and do exactly the opposite. We were startled to see row after row of American military aircraft, including large bombers which I believe were B29’s. Before we left the U.K. we had heard reports that Vietnam was poised to invade Thailand, but with the foolishness of youth decided to go anyway. The sight that met us confirmed the reality. A couple of hours later, we landed at Don Muang airport in Bangkok. As we stepped off the

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now & then

plane, the first thing that hit us was, obviously, the heat. This was December and the difference to the climate in England was pretty extreme. The second thing was the strangest scent in the air, it seemed to have an almost spicy tang to it. I have never encountered that anywhere else. There was something unusually exotic about it and that may have been the moment that Thailand first put the hook in me. On subsequent visits I always looked forward to that scent, which signified that I was back. Above: Bangkok Now

Far Left: Bangkok Then

Top Left: Bangkok Then

Top Right: Bangkok Then

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now & then

‘The disturbingly named fried eight things’ The taxi ride from the airport was, in contrast, rather drab. The traffic was fairly bad, but nothing like the snarling chaos that there is now. We eventually arrived at the Manhattan hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 15. The staff in the hotel were wonderfully friendly and polite, which more than compensated for the communication difficulties. We didn’t venture far that night, but we encountered considerable culture shock, albeit in a very positive way. Everything was so different to the U.K. it was as though we had landed on a different planet, not another country. On that balmy evening I had a close encounter of the third kind with one of the inhabitants, though of course I was the alien. She was a sweet, slender girl with waist length glossy hair and to me, impossibly exotic. I was smitten. Then, even though the taxi drivers outside the hotel were solicitous, it was not in the rather aggressive and determined way of today. It was much more laid back and amused at our total ignorance of all things Thai. Our view from the hotel window was also totally different from what you see now. Sukhumvit Road was still very green with no skyscrapers, huge hotels or office blocks. There were a large number of shanty towns, with the occasional tin roof poking through the foliage. If memory serves, the tallest building in Bangkok was the Dusit Thani hotel in Silom Road, which these days is dwarfed by the concrete and glass towers of Silom and Sathorn. Our first attempts at tackling Thai cuisine outside of the hotel also proved eventful. Our standard encounter with ‘oriental’ food was the intentionally

bland favourites of the Chinese takeaway in Pinner which no Chinese person would ever recognize as originating in their country. So it is fair to say that the fiery nature of Thai food caught us completely by surprise. I tried a Thai curry in a small restaurant which felt as though someone had filled my mouth with petrol, lit a match and threw it in. It certainly brought tears to my eyes. We decided to experiment with dishes that we could never ‘enjoy’ back home, such as fried frog with chilli, wild boar with garlic and pepper and the disturbingly named ‘fried eight things’. I have had great fun with menus in small Thai restaurants over the years offering such delicacies as ‘Fried Head’, ‘Eggity bread’ (French toast) and my personal favourite, ‘Minced arab steamed in spoon’ which hopefully was minced crab in some kind of soup. I remember sitting in a beachfront restaurant in Koh Samed with my sister, perusing a menu which had us both in hysterics, with the poor waiter standing by totally bemused. Coming back to my first trip, I knew by the end of that very first evening that this was the place for me, even though our timing was horrendous, with the Vietnamese massing on the border. They had taken over Cambodia using the pretext of removing the genocidal Khmer Rouge from power. I met an American in full military uniform in an outdoor bar in Soi Cowboy and asked him for an assessment of the Thai Army’s chances against the war-hardened Vietnamese. “If they (the Vietnamese) attack, they’ll be in Bangkok in about 4 days” He informed me, less than reassuringly. With a slight degree of selfishness

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now & then

I realized that this could seriously affect our holiday. I had a mental image of my friend and I sitting opposite each other at a table being forced to play Russian Roulette, whilst our Vietnamese captors laughed and gambled over which of us was going to get the bullet first. Though I make light of it, it was an extremely serious (and often forgotten) moment in the history of Thailand. I remember newspaper headlines at the time quoting American government sources saying that although they could not commit troops, America would ‘swamp Thailand with arms’ in order to repel the invasion. The Royal Thai Air force even used napalm against the Vietnamese troops on the border, the first time it had been used anywhere in the world since the Vietnam war with America. The increasingly tense situation was finally defused when China decided to step in and ‘invade’ Vietnam, apparently mostly by troops mounted on bicycles. Only China could make that into a scary military scenario and the Vietnamese backed down, despite hefty Chinese casualties. Later the Vietnamese withdrew from Cambodia and the major tension in this region eased and has remained that way ever since. These days, the threat from Vietnam to nearby countries is an economic one as they strive to become the latest Asian powerhouse, offering very attractive incentives to overseas investors.

With the military situation seemingly resolved we endeavoured to make the most of our time here, including seeing some of the ‘must do’ items on a tourist agenda, such as the dazzling ‘Temple of the Emerald Buddha’ which was the most exotic sight I had ever seen. We also went to watch Muay Thai at Lumpini stadium. If you want to see real Thai boxing you have to see it at one of the major stadiums. It is colourful, noisy and stunning; literally. The most enjoyable aspect of the holiday for us were the people themselves. Thais were rather shy in those times, especially concerning their lack of English, but at the same time they were very curious about Westerners. This juxtaposition was nowhere more evident than with the extremely personal questions we were asked, how old are you, how much money do you make, how much do you weigh and so on. Back in the U.K. these questions would be considered extremely rude but such was the charm of the Thais that we could not take offence. We loved their sense of fun. My friend and I savoured every moment of our brief vacation, with so many totally new experiences seemingly around every corner, including on one occasion, literally bumping into an elephant, something that I had not encountered often in Pinner. All these years later, Thailand is still full of surprises on an almost daily basis. No two days are alike.

For me, coming here was a life-changing event and the start of a more than three decades long love affair with Thailand… a place that stole my heart while I wasn’t looking. PAT TAYA

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golf

Golf courses 1/ Bangpakong International (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 513 525 2/ Bangphra Golf Club (36 hole par 72) Phone: 038 341 149 - 50 3/ Burapha (36 hole par 72) Phone: 085 288 8226 - 7 4/ Century Chonburi (18 hole par 72) Phone: 081 293 5087 5/ Crystal Bay (27 hole par 72) Phone: 038 349 370 - 8 6/ Eastern Star (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 630 410 - 6 7/ Emerald G.C. (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 941 111 8/ Greenwood G.C. (27 hole par 72) Phone: 038 263 158 - 60 9/ Khao Kheow (27 hole par 72) Phone: 038 318 000 10/ Laem Chabang (27 hole par 72) Phone: 038 372 273 11/ Mountain Shadow (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 389 210 - 6 12/ Pattana Sport Club (27 hole par 73, 74) Phone: 038 318 999 13/ Pattaya Country Club (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 423 718 - 9 14/ Phoenix (27 hole par 72) Phone: 038 239 400 15/ Pleasant Valley (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 260 825-6 16/ Plutaluang Navy (36 hole par 72) Phone: 081 033 3811 17/ Rayong Country Club (18 hole par 72)

Golf P

Thailand is a golfer’s paradise, with its warm tropical climate, world class courses designed by top Golf professionals and the exceptional facilities on offer. The caddies are friendly and knowledgeable and definitely enhance the experience. Pattaya is particularly blessed, with more than 20 championship standard courses within a 45 minute drive from central Pattaya. Your hotel reception staff will be pleased to assist you in booking the course and transportation. Despite the fact that golf in Pattaya is comparable with the best anywhere, it is a fraction of the cost of the U.S., Europe and Japan. Another advantage is that no courses require a handicap card. Golfers of all standards can enjoy the ultimate golf vacation here in Pattaya. Pattaya Passport will feature a different golf course each month and these articles will all be on our website at www.pattayapassport.com.

Phone: 038 626 148 18/ Rayong Green Valley (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 030 660 - 2 19/ Royal Lakeside (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 573 275 20/ Siam Country Club - Old (18 hole par 72) Phone: 038 909 700 21/ Siam Plantation (27 hole par 72) Phone: 038 909 600 22/ St. Andrew 2000 (18 hole par 74) Phone: 038 030 660-2 23/ Treasure Hill (18 hole par 72)

Both courses taken from Rayong Green Valley

Phone: 038 420 766 - 7

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dining out golf

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dininggolf out

Sharpen

your game

A

Fairways Golf Range and Resort

Anybody that has played golf in Pattaya knows that the courses here are some of the best in the world. They are professionally run, well managed and well maintained establishments. One comment I have often heard in the past when out talking to other golfers is the poor condition of the golf practice facilities in Pattaya, they do not really live up to the quality of the courses to be found here Well this month I visited Fairways Golf Range and Resort and that has definitely changed The range has a 25 Bay floodlit driving area, practice bunkers, chipping areas and putting green, and is all located in a prime central spot at the top of Central Pattaya Road. At the entrance, there is an independent car wash, very convenient for visitors. I visited the range on a Wednesday evening at around 6 o’clock, and my first thoughts were the size of the place. I hadn’t been to this particular range for a number of years and had forgotten how big it was. As you drive in you have large putting area on the left, with chipping areas surrounding the green. As I parked up in their 45 bay car park I noticed the rooms around the perimeter. I met up with Scott, the golf professional and resort manager who showed me around. The aim is to provide a convenient location where all golfers needs can be met away from the golf course. As we walked around I discovered new additions to the facility. The clubhouse bar and restaurant was next on

route. The clubhouse offers both Thai and International menus and a good range of cold beers, spirits and soft drinks. It is fully air conditioned with a number of TV’s to watch your favourite sports. The golf society also runs from the bar and restaurant 4 times a week. It has a great, convivial atmosphere and is the perfect place to meet fellow golfers, whether locals, expats or holidaymakers keen to enjoy the best that Pattaya golf has to offer. There are frequent golfing events held at some of the finest golf courses in the area, which are always well attended and good fun. Everyone is welcome to join, regardless of one’s golfing level and skills. We made our way over to the rooms which line the perimeter of the short game area of the facility. There are 20 rooms available for short and long term letting. Rates are 650 baht daily, 3400 baht weekly and 8500 baht monthly. Each room has cable TV, fridge, hot showers and air con. All residents and golfers also have use of the communal swimming pool. At the end of a long line of rooms I discovered the pro shop. The shop has all the latest golf equipment stocked including woods, irons, wedges, putters, balls and lots, lots more. Golf equipment repairs are also available on site. All in all this facility is a welcome addition to the great golfing activity to be found in and around Pattaya. For more information on anything from golf lessons to club hire, feel free to call Scott on 084 389 2379 or check out their website at www.pattayagolfresort.com

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golf featUre

The

Emerald A Jewel in Ban Chang

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The course was chosen as a qualifying site for the 2007 Asian Tour. Many repairs and improvements were made at that time to bring it up to a new standard. That care, concern, work and maintenance has been on-going and it shows. Ownership and management are to be congratulated. This course is a gem of 5500 metres (6024 yards), from the white tees. It will tease and tantalize you with some seemingly short holes. The second hole is a drivable par-4. The par-5’s are reachable in

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two shots, if you have a good drive and are willing to take on the risk of a second shot to the green. And many say the course has the best par-3’s of any golf course in the area. From the moment you tee off and start to walk down the lush green fairway with a hilly, mountainous backdrop Emerald does what a golf course is supposed to do; usher you away for a few hours of golfing hopes, dreams and seductions. Few houses or cars can be seen or heard.

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golf featUre

The Emerald Golf Course was designed by two eminent golf architects: Nick Faldo and Desmond Muirhead. Before he died in 2002, Muirhead designed well over 200 courses world-wide, including his collaboration with Jack Nicklaus on Muirfield Village in Ohio. Faldo, of late, has focused on high-end golf locations and physical sites such as the recently opened course near Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Muirhead left a fascinating description of the trials, troubles, tribulations and ultimate triumph of completing Century–Rayong, as the Emerald was initially known, in an article he wrote for Executive Golfer.

One school of golf design says par-3’s should be the first holes to be laid out. Take the most difficult and unusable terrain to route and turn that into your par-3’s. This will then offer the golfer the most demanding and picturesque challenge. If this was the thinking then mission accomplished. Just try to play these four holes and walk away with four net pars, it is a good bet you will fall short. However, the beauty and challenge of these holes is such that you never felt so good after being demoralized and

beaten, left to ponder what happened to your round. Take the first par-3, the fifth hole. At only 146 metres (160 yards), mountains in the background, an elevated tee, and a wide green inviting you, how much can go wrong you may ask? Well, most golfers miss their shots short and to the right. Do this here and you will confront the nine-metre high ‘Wall of Doom’, a vertical hill that blocks out any view of the green, fellowgolfers, the flag stick, and the scenic hills. Think green because that is all you will see and

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GOLF feature

it is all right in front of you. If you do not possess a Phil Mickelson cut-lob shot in your arsenal you are going to be down there for a long time. Thank Buddha for Stableford scoring because the scorecards do not have a scoring box large enough for a three-figure outcome. A quote by Muirhead states, “a satisfying round of golf should embrace all the trials and tribulations of a lifetime, lived in a single day.” Okay, but all that on one hole? I guess that is why the hip flask was invented. This is followed by one of the most scenic, challenging and intimidating par-4’s in all of Pattaya. The sixth hole requires the player to hit a good drive while avoiding the elephant grass on the right and a pond on the left. Accomplishing this, the player faces a long iron or fairway metal to a well-bunkered elevated green. This hole will set the stage for the remainder of the round. Most golfers will treasure a par-4 here and gladly walk away with only a bogey. Most golfers have heard of Rhythm – Balance – Sequence, but only in terms of their own swing. You may wish to think of these terms as to the routing of a golf course. What do we mean by this? Routing is the sequence of holes, the challenges demanded, shot expectations and values as well as the increasing demands from the holes and the golfer as the round progresses. Without realizing it, this flow gives the golfer a subtle and sublime sense of the greatness of the game and that particular golf course. Too much and a golfer is overwhelmed and likely not to return any time soon. Too little and the day seems flat and uninteresting. This is never a problem at the Emerald. You play shots in your head the night

before. Talk with fear and reverence about the ‘Wall of Doom’ and pray you are not short on any of the par-4’s elevated greens or find yourself cursed with a new-found hook when there is trouble on the left. After you make the turn there are three relatively short par-4’s you hope and to score well on. They all have false fronts and elevated, beguiling greens. The short 12th (335 metres; 367 yards) is the number one handicap hole. A good drive will leave you between two bunkers facing a difficult (two club adjusted) uphill shot. Fall short on your approach and you have a very demanding and testing steep uphill chip. The ball will keep rolling back to you until you get it right. Try to chip with your wedge, your 8-iron, your utility wood and finally your putter. Or just pick it up and babble y our way to the next hole. The 13th (par 2 – 144 metres; 157 yards) has its own ‘mini-Wall of Doom’ falling from the left side of the green. How do you cure a slice? Put trouble on the left. “But I never hook the ball!” Except when there is trouble on the left. A left-sided mistake here could leave you looking at a snowman. Better to enjoy the view of the pond and hillside scenery and contemplate Rhythm – Balance – Sequence. The closing stretch of holes 14 - 18 starts with a tough but fair uphill par-5. A tree in the middle of the fairway, 220 metres or 240 yards distant, is your aiming point. There are 46 metres (50 yards) of fairway to land your ball in, but from the elevated and recessed tee it appears more like 14 metres (15 yards). Avoid the jungle both left and right and you are on your way to the largest green on the golf

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GOLF feature

The Emerald is all that and more. A memorable, must-play course in the Pattaya area.

course. Getting there may have not been too difficult but getting down in two putts is an achievement. A downhill par-3 follows, featuring a two-tiered green slanted left-to-right and back-to-front. The 16th offers a moment of respite and is one of the easier, shorter holes with an elevated green and steep drop offs both front and left. The 17th welcomes a fade or smallish slice. A good drive leaves a mid- length-to-short iron shot from a plateau to a two-tiered green. A precise shot is demanded, especially if you wish to leave your ball on the correct level of the green. A short shot is punished by rolling down the hill into one of the two well-placed bunkers. The final hole, a closing par-5, will reward a well-placed drive and is a birdiable hole. Mango

trees right and a pond left will punish a loose shot. Do not let down your guard. I spoke with Desmond Muirhead in 1994. At that time, prior to the economic crisis of 1997, he said Thailand would, someday, have over 2000 golf courses. At this time there are more than 200 courses. Of these 200, Emerald is a gem. As Muirhead said, “we cannot always design a great golf course, that takes time, tournaments, shots and history, but we can always design a unique course, an original course, a course that is different.� The Emerald is all that and more. A memorable, must-play course in the Pattaya area.

Story by Steve Mascari Photos courtesy Emerald Golf Course

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dining out

F

Out

Dining

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For lovers of great food, Pattaya is one of the finest destinations on the planet. Stick a pin in a map of the world and chances are, any country you hit, their cuisine will be represented here. Pattaya is a truly cosmopolitan city despite its relatively small size and each new wave of visitors adds another layer to the cuisine on offer. With the increasing popularity of Pattaya for Russian tourists (it is now the number one overseas destination for Russians) a number of Russian restaurants have opened, in addition to cuisine from former Soviet countries. There are some truly excellent European restaurants, informal American steakhouses, delicious Indian and Arabic food and a wide array of Oriental cuisine from Japan, China, Indonesia and Korea. Naturally, the Thai food on offer is exceptional. If it is your first time to experience Thai cuisine in Thailand, you are in for a treat. The expensive, often bland versions served in Thai restaurants overseas usually pales in comparison. Thai food is generally spicy hot, though you will normally be asked for your preference. Being a seaside resort, the seafood restaurants are also sublime. Superb lobster, fresh fish, king prawns and much more to tempt your palate. Most restaurants around town are informal, though at the 5 star venues, smart casual would be expected. If you are here on vacation, Pattaya is the perfect place to experiment with a huge variety of exotic cuisines that would be hard to find even in major cities worldwide. PAT TAYA

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dining out

For those that like Thai food, but have never been to Thailand before, your taste buds are in for a treat. Most Thai restaurants overseas deliberately bland down their food. The Thais have an expression ‘Mai Pet, Mai Aloi which means ‘not spicy, not delicious’. Most restaurants will ask you if you would like your food spicy or not. A small tip, if you eat an especially hot chilli and your mouth is burning, water does not help at all, it simply spreads the sensation around. A glass of cool milk is far better!

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restaurant listings

Dining OUT Au Bon Coin

Open daily: 6pm-11pm Closed Tues & Wed Tel – 038 364 542 Pratumnak Hill, between Soi 5 & Soi 6

Bruno’s

Famous for authentic French country cuisine. Owner Jose Cohen has based the menu of the food of his native region of Auvergne, France. A very popular special is the Lamb with flageolets, a slow cooked Lamb stew that is full of flavor. The restaurant is located between Soi 5 and Soi 6. Best to enter from Soi 6, as Soi 9 is clearly marked on that side. The restaurant is very popular, so best to call first.

Open daily: Lunch 12 -2:30pm Dinner 6:30 till late Tel – 038 364 600 Chateau Dale Plaza, Thappraya Road

Manhattans

Open daily: 5:30pm-1am Closed Sundays Tel – 038 259 790 Nirvana Place, Thappraya Road Pattaya

Mantra

One of Pattaya’s most stylish venues with a sumptuous dining room and a newly renovated wine bar. The menu features international favourites and superb imported steaks from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand such as Black Angus and the delicious Wagyu Beef. In addition they offer succulent, fresh seafood and a good selection of Thai cuisine. The service is friendly, knowledgeable and discreet.

Open daily: 5pm-1am Sunday buffet 11am – 3pm Tel – 038 429 591 Situated at the start of Beach Road

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Chef Fredi from Switzerland brings his worldwide experience in top restaurants to this renowned venue in Thappraya Road. Popular dishes include the baked Australian rack of Lamb with Rosemary, Bell pepper stew and potatoes and the crispy roasted Duckling breast glazed with spices and honey served with Savoy Cabbage parcel and potatoes. Bruno’s wine selection is considered to be one of the best in Pattaya.

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Quite simply, stunning. Seven open kitchens offering Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Western, Mediterranean, Charcoal Grill and Seafood. The design is chic and the décor eclectic. The restaurant seats 180 on 2 levels. The Sunday buffet starting at 11am offering an extraordinary array of cuisines is definitely not to be missed for food lovers.


restaurant listings

Top Restaurant Listings Mata Hari

Open daily: 6pm-11pm Closed Mondays Tel – 038 259 799 Nirvana Place, Thappraya Road Pattaya

Mum Aroi

This is one of the most popular restaurants in Pattaya and has been for many years. The owner, Louis Voll has had a winning formula since 1996. Mata Hari offers outstanding cuisine at extremely reasonable prices. Some examples of customer favourites are the delicious grilled Lamb cutlets, and the special Fillet Steak served with Chicken Liver Pate, mushrooms and green asparagus.

Rimpa Lapin

Open daily: Mon - Fri 5pm - 12am Sat/Sun 3pm - 12am Tel – 038 235 515 Na Jomtien 36, Baan Amphoe, Sattahip

Open daily: 11am-10pm Tel – 038 234 352 North Pattaya Naklua Road

One of the most popular Thai restaurants in Pattaya. They have two venues, but the one situated right on the beach at the end of Naklua Road is the favourite among Thais, expats and tourists alike. It is especially busy at weekends, so best to arrive early. The seafood is delicious here. Popular dishes include soft-shelled crab with garlic and pepper and the fried cuttle fish and Plakapong fish.

Volterra

Another very popular Thai restaurant. A 20 minute drive from Pattaya along the Sukhumvit Road towards Sattahip. The setting is spectacular on a Cliffside next to the beach. Tables are on several levels, each offering fabulous views across the bay. A lovely spot to enjoy great Thai/Fusion cuisine. Favourites include Fillet of Garoupa stir-fried with black mushrooms and stir-fried crab meat in yellow curry powder.

Open daily: 3pm-11pm Closed Wednesdays

For Italian country cuisine from the Tuscany region the restaurant offers such dishes as Cinghiale alla Volteranna con Olive Nere (Wild Boar Tel – 089 827 9563 with Black Olives) The Pizzas are also very popular, including the house Situated just off Soi 17 speciality, Casa Volterra Pizza. The in South Pattaya wine selection is extensive and naturally includes Chianti, for which Tuscany is famed.

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restaUrant featUre

CafĂŠ Des amis

Elegant Dining Restaurant PAT TAYA

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CafÊ Des Amis is one of Pattaya’s finest international restaurants. It has probably the most impressive entrance of any restaurant in the resort, a beautiful and tranquil Thai-Bali style house and garden with soft, ambient lighting. It sets the scene immediately in terms of atmosphere for a perfect evening. The restaurant epitomizes relaxed elegance. The owner, Blu, is totally dedicated to offering a great dining experience in every aspect, from the food quality and originality of the menu to the design of the place itself and even the music selection. His partner Khun Pia, the gracious Maitre D, ensures the smooth, discreet service.

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restaurant feature

Café Des Amis is very popular among expats in Pattaya and is also being discovered by an increasing number of tourists. As you enter the restaurant through the serene garden, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming with soft lighting and restful colours throughout. The staff are friendly and attentive and Blu himself is almost always on hand to welcome his customers personally. Visitors will notice Blu’s meticulous attention to the finest detail to ensure a great dining experience. The cosy bar lounge is perfect for pre or after dinner drinks and offers a wide variety of cocktails, liqueur coffees and an assortment of gourmet snacks. Café Des Amis in an example of that very rare venue that makes you feel relaxed as soon as you arrive. The music is an eclectic mix of mostly jazz, smooth but never sleepy, both vocal and instrumental, chosen by Blu. For the perfect introduction regarding the atmosphere and décor, check out the video on their

website www.cafedesamispattaya.com or watch it on YouTube, simply type in Café Des Amis Pattaya. The prices are very reasonable, especially considering the cuisine and the outstanding quality of all the ingredients. New dishes are introduced monthly. In addition to the great food, they have a good selection of wines to complement the cuisine, from the classic wine producers of France and Italy to the ‘new age’ wine producing countries such as Australia, Chile and South Africa. Café Des Amis is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner for 2 or for a celebration with family and friends. It is located in Soi 11, Thappraya Road, off lanes 9 or 10. A taxi service is available at 200 baht each way. The restaurant is open from 4.45pm until late Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sundays. Telephone: 038 364 327 or 084 026 4989

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The perfect venue for a romantic dinner, a special celebration or just a great night out with friends.

An example of their menu:

Sea Bass Fillet with Lemon Snapper

Soups

Fetuccini Pasta with Porchini Mushroom Chefs Ravioli with Spinach & Gorgonzola Carbonara

Homemade Fresh Pasta

Chefs Cauliflower Soup with Leek & Seared Sea Scallop & Ikura Fennel & Mushroom Soup Asparagus Soup Lobster Bisque

Lamb

Rack of NZ Lamb, 5 hour Lamb Shank NZ Lamb Fillet Medallions with Dijon Sauce

Salads & Vegetarian Food

Chefs Special Salad with Tangerine Pine Nuts with Mild Wasabi & Sesame Dressing Smoked Salmon Salad Crispy Duck Salad Ceasar Salad

Imported Flame Grilled Steaks Australian Beef Rib Eye Fillet Tenderloin Prime New York Strip

Appetisers

Wagyu Beef Kobe Beef Black Angus Beef

Meats

Tiger Prawns with Avocado US Sea Scallops Pan Fried Marinated Chicken Livers Chicken Liver Pate with Melba Toast Crispy Duck

Chicken, Duck, Rabbit, Pork

Gourmet Thai Cuisine Desserts

Risotto

Pea Ham & Chardonnay Risotto Prawn & Asparagus Risotto Lobster Tail Risotto

Fresh Fish Entree’s

Norwegion Salmon Steak with Spinach & Pesto Cream

Cheese Board Homemade Birthday Cakes Chocolate Fondant Panna Cotta Apple Pie Rhubarb Tart Creme Brulee.

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real estate

Real

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Many visitors to Pattaya fall in love with the unique character of the place and return year after year, looking forward to their Thai vacation by the sea. There are many reasons for the attraction, Pattaya is an amazing mixture of the laid-back and the frenetic as may be witnessed in Walking Street. There is a huge

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Estate in Pattaya

variety of pubs, bars and restaurants, some very nice beaches not far from town and seemingly endless activities and attractions, from the totally relaxing to the athletic or challenging, some of the best golf to be found anywhere on the planet. Great tropical weather is also a major plus, with

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real estate

There is an increasing trend to retire to Pattaya or to at least own a holiday home here to escape the freezing winter months.

warm weather year round and then there is the best part, the Thai people themselves. The famous Thai smile is something visitors look forward to. There is an increasing trend among these people to decide to retire to Pattaya or to at least own a holiday home here to escape the freezing winter months. Retiring to another country is of course a major step, but one which an increasing number of Westerners are willing to take. Thailand has much to offer them. In a 2011 global Expat Survey carried out by HSBC based on 40 different criteria of lifestyle and experiences, Thailand ranked 1st. Even among many UN and EU diplomats, Thailand is the most coveted appointment. In recent times, Thailand has made it easier for Westerners to retire here. Those over 50 can apply for a Retirement Visa. The immigration office in Jomtien can assist with this. There are even legal agents in town who can help to arrange the necessary documents. Once this is done, you can start looking for your ideal property. Most people opt for a condominium, with a sea view being favoured obviously. A condominium is the easiest option as, under Thai law a foreigner can own it 100% in his or her name. The newer ones also tend to have excellent facilities, such as large pools, fitness rooms, restaurants and hi-tech security & safety systems. This also increases their rental opportunities if the condo is going to be used as a holiday home. Also, a condominium that ticks all the boxes in terms of location, quality of build and fixtures & fittings has a strong re-sale value on the Pattaya market. Houses and Pool Villas are more complicated to purchase under the Thai law but it can be done,

basically by setting up a Thai company for which you will be the sole signatory. For which you will need the assistance of a good Real Estate Agent with legal know how. Another possibility which is less troublesome and also safe is to secure the property on a long-term lease. The lease term is up to 30 years, which can be extended twice giving a total lease period of 90 years. Again, you will need sound legal advice, but with a proper lease, your rights are secure and you can re-assign the property to your next of kin or whomever you choose at any time during the lease period. Pool Villas are becoming popular among the increasingly affluent visitors to Pattaya. Many of these are being built out of town in the Na-Jomtien area. These represent a considerable investment but provided the location is good, for example, close to one of Na-Jomtien’s nice unspoiled beaches and not too far from Pattaya town, it should more than hold its value. Real estate in Pattaya has been stable in recent times with a 5% increase in the past year. The key areas are developments close to the beach at Wong Amat, in Northern Pattaya, gated communities in Central Pattaya and especially those on Pratumnak Hill, which is known locally as the ‘Beverley Hills of Pattaya.’ Many of Thailand’s top VIP’s have property there. Pattaya represents great value for someone looking to re-locate from Europe or America. A very decent condominium can be found between 2-3 million baht (approx 48,000 – 72,500 Euros, 64,379 -72,520 US$, 41,300 – 62,000 UK Pounds) which could buy virtually nothing in the West.

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shopping

Shopping

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in Pattaya

Shopping in Pattaya has been transformed in recent years, especially by the arrival of the giant Thai retailer, the Central Group with their resort flagship, Central Festival , the huge development on Beach Road. It features over 200 brand name outlets, such as Guess, DKNY and Diesel. There is a cinema, 4D experience, bookshops, fast food outlets and other dining outlets. There is a nice view of Pattaya Bay from the 6th floor. The mall is also very popular with the thousands of Thai visitors from Bangkok who enjoy a break most weekends from the capital. Most of the Thai banks are represented there, allowing people to conveniently pay their bills. Western Union also has a branch there for tourists requiring a swift transfer of funds. The other main shopping malls are the Royal Garden Plaza, also on Beach Road which also has a wide variety of boutique shops, elegantly set out in

air-conditioned comfort. Another main attraction is the group of entertainment outlets under the ‘Ripley’s’ umbrella, especially the ‘Believe it or not’ museum, containing some of the world’s oddest and most fascinating exhibits. The Avenue on 2nd road opposite Soi 13, offers many trendy stores familiar with younger shoppers and outlets such as Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Wine Connection and many sports outlets, such as Adidas, Puma and Geox. The Outlet Mall, on the corner of Sukhumvit Road and Thepprasit Road next to Tesco Lotus offers sales items from famous brand names that have a manufacturing base here in Thailand, such as Esprit, Bossini and Lacoste. There is also an excellent assortment of clothing and accessories for golfers. The building is easily recognized by its bright salmon colour.

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shopping

As with all the many activities and attractions, Pattaya offers a great variety of shopping opportunities, take your time and enjoy them to the full.

Markets and Bazaars are spread throughout Pattaya. There is the Thepprasit market close to the junction with Sukhumvit Road which has over 500 stalls. It is an interesting diversion, but to be fair, it doesn’t compare favourably to the world famous Jatujak (or Chatuchak) market in Bangkok. There is a ‘Made in Thailand’ Night Plaza on Second Road near Soi 10, selling Thai handicrafts. All along Beach Road and early on in Walking Street, there are a bewildering number of items on offer, which do offer some good bargains. Tourists will undoubtedly be surprised by many of the items on offer, which range from lethal weapons such as large knives, martial arts stars and even samurai swords and stun guns to the latest movies and xxx DVD’s. The Thai authorities have really clamped down on these items in recent years, so copyright products are not as easy to come by anymore. There are however, many bargains to be had, especially garments and accessories. The quality of Thai garments is generally excellent, which is why they have been chosen by many of the world’s top clothing companies as a manufacturing base. Accessories such as bags and belts are also a good buy. Be careful of outlets along Beach Road offering ‘leather’ goods which are generally PVC, some even sprayed with a leather ‘smell’. With close examination, you can easily tell a true leather product. The same is true with regard to Thai silk, which many tourists either want to have garments made from or take back the fabric itself to their home country to have garments or products made there. Thai silk is a unique product, totally unlike the silk of China, Japan, India and Italy and in the right hands

can make a superb product. With the right design, the 2 ply silk has a very distinctive two-tone sheen and is great for blouses and pencil skirts for example, while the heavier 4 ply is ideal for lady’s jackets. To test if the silk is 100% genuine, ask the vendor to cut a small piece and burn it. If it is real silk, it will smell like burning human hair and when rubbed between the thumb and fingers it will turn to powder. If it is a poly mix it will turn into small lumps. As with all the many activities and attractions, Pattaya offers a great variety of shopping opportunities, take your time and enjoy them to the full.

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nightlife

Pattaya

Nightlife

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When people overseas think of Pattaya nightlife, they almost invariably think of the world-famous ‘Walking Street’, which still remains an irresistible attraction to many. But as Pattaya has developed and matured and is now attracting more couples, so the night scene has expanded to offer to the raucous neon lit bars that Walking Street is known for. There are a number of very good pubs in the resort that offer the pub atmosphere that the Brits and the Irish love so much and the comfort of great pub grub. Most pubs have a pool table and many have multiple TV’s which show all the sports you could possibly want to watch, from football to rugby, cricket, golf, Formula 1 and boxing. No need to miss any major sporting event while you are on holiday. Some notable pubs include; Shenanigans: They have two Irish style pubs, one in The Avenue on 2nd Road in Pattaya and the other in the Jomtien Complex in Jomtien, just before the turn into Beach Road. Both ‘roomy’ pubs with very good

food, multiple screens and pool tables. The Sportsman: A snug, English style pub established in 1997, it is well known for its traditional, delicious pub grub and especially their famous Sunday Carvery, considered by many to be the best in Pattaya. All major sports shown and a free slate bed pool table. Good selection of beers, spirits and Guinness, beers and cider on draught. It is located on Soi 13, Beach Road (also accessible from 2nd Road) The Pig & Whistle: Situated in Soi 7, this pub has been established for many years and is popular with both tourists and expats alike. It has the ‘feel’ of an English rural pub, an achievement in itself in a sweltering tropical country! It is particularly known for the ‘home-made’ flavor of its food. They have now opened a new branch in the middle Soi of Jomtien Complex. They teamed up with famed snooker player Jimmy White, who is a frequent visitor to

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nigHtlife

Nightlife in Pattaya has so much more to offer than just the excitement of Walking Street.

Pattaya, to open ‘The Pig & Whistle Jomtien’ and ‘Jimmy White’s Sports Pub’ the Hopf Brew Haus: On Beach Road, Soi 13/1 is a large and lively venue that brews its own Pilsner and Wheat Beer. They are also known for pizzas made in a wood-fired oven. The live music is of high quality from Jazz to Pop classics. The General Manager is a famous musician and Tenor, Enzo Massetti and when he takes to the stage to join the musicians it really is a treat. His rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is truly superb. The venue is now popular with Russian tourists.

For really late night owls, there are a number of late Clubs in Walking Street, galaxy, insomnia, lucifer, mixx and marine just to name a few, all playing the latest international dance music until the early hours.

easy Corner: A Chic Thai pub, popular with fashionable Thais, live music from Thai bands and singers and delicious and unique Thai and international snacks to enjoy with your drinks. Easy Corner is located in North Pattaya between 2nd and 3rd Road. the moon river Pub: A very good venue for couples, both tourists and expats, the largely wooden interior is warm and welcoming. The resident band from the Philippines are well known in Pattaya for their excellent renditions of popular classics. They are one of the most popular bands in the resort. The Moon River Pub is located at the Thai Garden Resort in North Pattaya.

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the Blues factory: A great place for live music, from Jazz and Blues to Rock and Rock n’ Roll classics. Thailand’s most famous rock guitarist, Lam Morrison plays the second set. The Club is located in Soi Lucky Star, off Walking Street. PAT TAYA

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travel feature

Subtle

Comforts

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National Park

Khao Yai

By Vince Rycraft

Often overlooked by foreign tourism in Thailand, Khao Yai National Park and the charming region it is set amongst offer a great alternative getaway, and are ideally located for a short break from crowded coastal towns or the capital. Let the seasonal breeze take the weight off your mind in the rich surrounding countryside, brimming with quaint hotels and resorts, an impressive array of boutique golf courses and culinary delights at every turn. For nearly half a century the Khao Yai region has been recognised for distinctive wildlife and unique landscapes, but it has taken some time to get where it is today. Only of late has Khao Yai come to flourish as a true quality tourist destination, ideal for discerning couples and young families, and more recently those with a taste of adventure, in particular earnest golfers. It truly can be a holiday within a holiday, as there is nothing of the fast-paced and exhaustive night-life that Thailand is so famous. Instead you can enjoy the simple pleasures of conversation over fine evening dinners, crisp-aired serene sunrises and equally breathtaking photogenic sunsets - especially in the winter months – embodied in rolling countryside reminiscent of the Californian Napa Valley, Derbyshire Peak District or the Australian Hunter Valley and lower Blue Mountains. The entire Park area and much surrounding it lends itself to the camera and consequently it is ideal for keen photographers. The region is located some 200kms north-east from Bangkok on easily accessible and much improved roads. Although many tours offered include transport, and resorts and hotels will often assist you wherever you should need to go, ultimately it will likely prove to be a false economy and so I would strongly recommend PAT TAYA

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hiring a vehicle and travelling at your own pace. By doing so, not only will you afford the freedom to see so much more, but the roads in general are good and part of the experience is the ability to do as you please. Indeed, the area is synonymous with driving clubs who visit often for the pleasurable driving experiences, matched with scenic views. As a guide, driving at leisure from the capital should take less than three hours, and from the Chonburi coastal regions, under four.

Positive Footprints Established as Thailand’s first National Park in 1962, Khao Yai encompasses over 2,000 square kilometres – making it the second largest in Thailand today – and in the 1980’s attained ASEAN Heritage Park status and more recently in 2005 was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has long been a focal point of Thai tourism and popular as a field visit location for schools, but in more recent years has begun to attract foreign tourism as the infrastructure and surrounding countryside developed with the introduction of high-end hotels, resorts and attractive restaurants, now receiving upwards of 700,000 visitors a year. As a nature reserve Khao Yai is home to over 390 species of birds, ranging from hornbills to hawks and brightly coloured cockatoos, and their impressive voices resonate in every corner of the park. Macaques and small gibbons are often seen along the roadside eagerly awaiting a corn cob. On some of the small plains, deer are easy to spot and

if you are lucky you will see a wild elephant or two. In addition, the park is home to porcupines, wild pigs, squirrels, civet cats, otters and snakes, and of course a variety of insects, including many butterflies. Many of the 800 species of fauna are more evident when treading through some of the 50kms of hiking trails, which are of medium difficulty given some fallen trees and density, added with the generally warmer climate. There are several ‘Points of Interest’ which are easily identified by the map that you receive when entering the park, coupled with half a dozen Observation Towers and Scenic Outlooks to enable you to get the most from your visit. The infrastructure within the park itself has mostly been formed in union with the appealing spots, therefore enabling you to access most of the best sight-seeing points with ease. From the main Visitor Centre, within a few minutes, you will be overlooking the famous Huai Suwat waterfall from which Leonardo Dicaprio jumped in the filming of ‘The Beach’, where you can also cool off with a swim. Indeed there are many waterfalls ranging up to 80 metres in height, the beauty of which is dependant on the season and particular weather that day. Accordingly you might want to ask people around before venturing on. There are two main areas with provisions for camping within the National Park, Pha Kluai Mai and Lam Ta Kong, and camping equipment can be hired from the park office at reasonable rates. These can be popular with the younger generations. Granted you will be treated to a full orchestra of nature whilst camping but although there are basic amenities, I will admit that it falls below my

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acceptable comfort level. As a compromise, ‘Night Safari’ short trips can be taken through the park after dusk, mainly between 7 and 9pm, where you can be driven around in an open-backed vehicle equipped with rotating spot-lights. Don’t expect to see a great deal more than in the daytime though, but then much of the excitement is anticipation.

refined luxury An abundance of choices present themselves with accommodation in the area. Typically affordable pleasant rooms nearby to the park start at under 1,000 baht per night but I recommend looking at several, if you have the time, before checking in. For this you will likely get a basic room with a warm shower, air conditioning and a small TV, perhaps a breakfast of sorts too. In the mid-range there is plenty of choice too, but what you get for your money can vary. You would be well advised to spend 30 minutes or so looking at some up-to-date websites prior to making a booking and on arrival it is advisable just to have a brief look at the room they are giving you before checking in. From experience avoid rooms near any conference facilities in case a function carries on into the late evening. On the higher-end around 4,000 baht a night up, the impressive selection will spoil you with countryside grandeur, a fusion of Asian designs from earthly woods to natural silks, and they all offer so much more than the diminutive congested citycomparisons, and you may find savings in the region of 20% available should you book online. In these cases often I have found it best to confirm

via telephone that the room is available, quoting the website to book it through. In all cases, and unlike some other destinations, there will always be an alternative so bear that in mind and should your choice not be as expected on arrival, you should easily be able to find one to suit your taste. Popular with Thais, you will find most of the bigger establishments offer facilities for corporate events, and if you are looking to host an important business meeting, Khao Yai can be a great choice. If golfing will be on your itinerary you may consider residing at the course resort accommodation. A decade ago Khao Yai was criticised for the quality and upkeep of the courses, but today is a far different picture, many of them playing host to National and Asian tournaments and you will be spoilt for choice. Bonanza is a local favourite, a challenging hillside 72-par course designed by famous American golf course architect Bob McFarland, with excellent service from knowledgeable caddies. They also cater well for families, offering a range of activities suited to non-golfers too. The well acclaimed and popular Mission Hills is also nearby, as are Friendship Meadows and The Country Club to name but a few. At the top end of boutique courses is the Jack Nicklaus designed Kirimaya with a range of courses from 4,875 to an amazing 7,115 yards, their single track layout gives uninterrupted privacy with your group and the course boasts fantastic panoramic views. They have all the facilities you would expect, with exquisite spa resort accommodation overlooking the course. As for dining, the choice is overwhelming. But

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traVel featUre

simply you’ll find good quality Thai food almost everywhere. Western dishes present themselves on most menus but the quality varies greatly. One of my favourites is Primo Posto del Khao Yai, situated along highway number 3080 just ten minutes from the park entrance. Open Friday to Sunday the unique Italian style facade of the restaurant finds passing-by motorists stopping simply to take pictures. More a montage of coffee shop meets restaurant, with fine local wines and ice-cream, there is a bit of everything for everyone.

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travel feature

on the farm Many of Thailand’s rural provinces are dependant on farming. Nearly 30% of the country is arable land and more than half of that is used for rice production. Much different from regular Asian farms and located on the main highway number 2, (Mittraphah Road) at the 159km mark, is Farm Chokchai, roughly a 20 minute drive north from the Khao Yai National Park region, and well worth a visit. Founded in 1957 by Chokchai Bulakul, although a fully operational mostly livestock based farm, more recently they have ventured into agro-tourism and opened to the public. They pride themselves on their western farming techniques, which can be seen through their award winning daily tours at 10am and 2pm Tuesday–Friday, and on the hour at weekends and public holidays from 9am through to 3pm (excluding midday). The tour is semi-educational, and a pleasant cocktail of daily farming tasks, likely more suited to young families, but still enjoyable for adults too. Participation is optional, but should you want, you can get hands on experience of milking a cow, making ice cream, petting farm animals and can watch a mix of small shows from sheep herding to cowboy lassoing. Also there are small ATV and pony rides, and a few games to play for small prizes. Farm Chokchai also offer deluxe camping on site, with lavishly equipped air-conditioned tents available. They are well-known for their steaks, which can be enjoyed at their busy restaurant, located on site. Believe me, after 2 or 3 hours around the farm you are likely to have worked up an appetite, and prices are very reasonable considering the quality.

Traditional Thai desserts don’t appeal to me, but I have to say their own brand of Umm! Milk takes some beating even by western standards, both super creamy and rich in flavour it can be sampled on the tour and purchased from the farm shop. If you are looking for fine quality leather cowboy hats and boots then the gift shop is suitably well stocked, with ideas for every budget from Chokchai soft toys through to t-shirts and key-rings. Farm Chokchai is one of many activity excursions in the area. In fact, threaded along most of the roads surrounding the main park you will find everything from canoeing to horseback riding, mountain biking to Zorb-ball runs, and paint-balling to ATV and off-road go-karting. Activity camp style centres such as The Greenery Resort, The Bonanza Khao Yai, and Fountain Tree Resort, among others,

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cater for keeping your adrenalin flowing. The region is synonymous with vineyards and has become well-known for producing some of Thailand’s best wines. In fact wines from this region were served to world leaders during an APEC summit in Bangkok. Due to the cool weather, vineyards are able to specialise in growing high quality grapes like Shiraz, Tempranillo and Chenin Blanc, and even more modern vines such as Cardinal and Black Queen grapes. The two most prevalent vineyards being PB Valley and Granmonte, the former offers both tours and wine-tasting on a daily basis and are situated close-by on highway 3080, a 15 minute drive from the park.

than most, and is quiet and beautifully presented. www.khaoyai.com (including a useful map) www.khaoyaiwinery.com www.farmchokchai.com www.hotels2thailand.com/khao-yai-hotels.asp www.outletmallthailand.com

don’t forget... And finally, where would a trip up-country be without stopping off for a few souvenirs and gifts? Along the main roadsides there is no shortage of OTOP (One Tambon One Product) stalls and small shops where you can find everything from honey to bamboo flower pots. And if you require something a little more, there is an Outlet Village located on the main highway number 2 (Mittraphap Road) at around the 162kms marker, around 20 minutes drive north from Khao Yai National Park, near the Pakchong intersection and opposite Tesco, just 5 minutes from Farm Chokchai. There you will find over 120 stores offering heavily reduced designer labels, stores lined with clothing, shoes, bags and sports equipment and also includes a large golf store. Although these ‘Outlets’ are placed strategically around tourist spots throughout the country, this one is certainly better value for money PAT TAYA

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interVieW

‘Her name is’ Pukkatthayawan Noinawate In July 2009, Bangkok based model Ms Pukkatthayawan Noinawate took part in a pageant in Bejing, China and was awarded the title of Asian Supermodel, Thailand. She also received the award of Miss Media for the Asian wide event. She is a former Miss Maxim, Thailand. Pattaya Passport spoke to her about these events and her hopes and plans for the future.

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? My father comes from Chomporn and my mother comes from Bangkok but I was born in Bangkok, I graduated from Rajaphat Pranakorn university with a Bachelors degree. How did you first get into the world of modelling? I was introduced to modelling by a friend at university who knew about a casting that was taking place for a fashion show and suggested that I should go along and give it a try. I got the job and the rest is history as they say. Which brands, labels have you represented? I have done fashion shows for Espada, Esp, Fox, Nike, Adidas, Levi’s, Cps, Jaspal, BSC and commercials for Head and Shoulders, Chevrolet motors (too many to remember them all) How did you become involved in the Beijing competition? I entered the Asian super model Thailand competition and was lucky enough to be one of Thailand’s 3 representatives for the final held in China. Has winning the title translated into more work/recognition for you as a model in thailand or is it more of a personal landmark? Well, it was most definitely a personal achievement but yes, I have received more work due to the recognition of being voted one of among ten Asian super models (out of a total of 37 finalists) as well as picking up the Miss Media award at the finals in China. With the emergence of asia, particularly China, on the world stage do you think that we will see a lot more asian models being featured internationally rather than just in the region? Absolutely, I think that the unique look of Asian women combined with the fact that Asians in general are getting taller will allow us (Asian women) to compete internationally. Also, with more and more Asian designers gaining international recognition and fame, this should have a positive effect on Asian models.

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Costume design: Ajarn Peeramon Chomdhavat Amporn-ngam dance theatre What is the most enjoyable thing about being a model? I don’t know about enjoyable, but the best thing has to be the fashion. I get to see and wear the latest fashions, some really beautiful outfits, and you know a woman always likes to look beautiful. What is the worst thing? I think that if you ask any model, male or female this question, the answer will be the same. As a model the amount of work we get depends on our looks. So as result we have put in a lot of time looking after our bodies, training, dieting, you name it, a model has to do it. What is the next step for you as a model? I would love to go international. The Milan fashion week would be the ultimate for me. outside of modelling. What are your long term ambitions? I’m starting up a clothing and fashion store, so my long term ambition is to be successful with that here in Thailand and abroad.

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I would love to go international. The Milan fashion week would be the ultimate for me. In 2009 she was awarded the title of Asian Supermodel, Thailand

PAT TAYA

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PassPort Your ultimate guide to Pattaya and beyond


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Pattaya Passport April 2012  

Welcome to pattaya-passport.com, the online home of the Pattaya Passport magazine, a publication designed to inform travellers of the best t...

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