04 June 2006


For an urbanite like me, going to the beach is something I cherish, as it means a parallel world diametrically opposite to the one I'm living in. Pattaya is more so than any other place when it comes to this. Life in this small seaside town in Thailand is so majestically unreal and whenever I go back there I always feel differently towards it.

I used to hate Pattaya, for all its go-go bars and sex industry, preferring to go to Krabi, which is more rustic and primitive. But as I'm getting a bit older and less precocious I feel like Pattaya is perhaps a town where at least people are frank with their needs and where the level of tolerance is sky-high. Last week when I went there for the umpteenth time (though it's the first time for Mat) I was quite surprised learning how I grow to love Pattaya more than before. Sex tourists, prostitutes, transsexuals, transvestites, etc. are no longer stereotypes waiting to be condemned, but humans who have complexes and needs, normal just like the rest of us (well, if we're so sure that the rest of us are sane!).

We went to stay right on Dongtarn Beach, Pattaya's gay beach, but we saw that heterosexual couples (especially honeymooners) went there too and the crowd was pretty mixed. No one cares whether you're gay or straight (as long as you've money, I'd say). There by the beach and by the pool I've finished a novel about parallel universes and it did seem like I was the protagonist myself being transported to a parallel universe where relaxation was just in the air. I meant it -- once we drove into Pattaya, we just felt really calm and relaxed, out of the hustle bustle of crazy Bangkok life.

The resort where we stayed was pretty secluded and I just adored the pool. You can go to Mat's blog to see the pic -- I just can't be bothered to upload it. The owner walked around the breakfast area in the morning giving away minute rabbit tealights to her guests. This may sound a bit weird but it's a adorable gesture nonetheless. (Or maybe I'm from the city so I'm not used to people giving you things!)