Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Pattaya - Part Two...Ya! Party Ya !

Pattaya:  Part Two Ya!    Pattaya:  Party Ya!

semi-overcast 31 °C
Nice to be back. One of the things I missed about Pattaya is the banana crepe. Both Etta and myself love this terrific dessert. Its allure lies in its simplicity. There are other crepes with different fillings like raisin, palm seeds and cashew nuts. But banana is our cup of tea.

Street vendor selling Thai banana crepes, Pattaya, Thailand
 Thai banana crepes with a dollop of butter onto the pan
Street vendor selling Thai banana crepes, Pattaya, Thailand
Nearly all done, turning off the pan

Banana slices are wrapped in a flour dough, lightly fried on a flat round iron plate in butter for a few minutes until it browns. Nestlé carnation milk is dripped onto it, and sugar added (which we always insist to skip it - there're enough sugar in the banana and the condensed milk). Fantastic to eat hot off the frying plate. I don't know how many of these stands there are in Pattaya, the one we enjoy run by a middle-aged Thai lady outside a 7-Eleven store (as seen in the photo background) on Second Road not far from where we stayed (Fraser Resort). See for google map below for location (from memory).

Thai street vendor selling crepes, Pattaya, Thailand
This crepe stand locates on Beach Road right across
the beach (as seen from the background).
But I haven't tried her cooking. 
Thai street vendor selling crepes, Pattaya, Thailand
From this photo, she only had banana filling.
I think they're the best. I go banana with bananas.

Other thing I missed are cockles and especially the rose apples. Sure I can get these in Singapore, but they are about 4.5 times more expensive. More importantly the convenience of getting them. Fruit stands are dotted around Beach Road every 30 metres or so. The fruit are packed neatly in the glass cases on ice, making them impossible to resist especially on sunny days.

Itinerant street vendor selling fruit on a mobile phone, Pattaya, Thailand
Itinerant street vendor selling fruit is busy on a mobile phone
Their business is on wheels, so they tend to move around

Cockles are common in SE Asia cooking. For someone grew up in Vietnam, the memories of eating it would warm the cockles of my heart. Before the Vietnamese brought them into the Cabra markets, you can't find them anywhere in Sydney. Even now, you won't find them on any menu of any restaurants in Sydney (don't know about other states of Australia). Pipis are Sydney's cockles. Pipis are larger but not as tasty as cockles.

Shops' neon signs in Walking Street, Pattaya, Thailand
Shops' neon signs on Walking Street
Gogo bar in Walking Street, Pattaya, Thailand
Gogo bar on Walking Street

The streets are quiet especially before 4 pm when Pattaya just wakes up from its nightlife hangovers. Fraser Resort locates on Pattaya City Walk, close to where all the "actions" are. It's near the southern end of Pattaya Beach, and a stone throw from the Walking Street.

Pattaya City Walk sign, Thailand

Open bar stand around Pattaya City Walk area, Thailand
Open bar stand around Pattaya City Walk area, Thailand
Open bar stands around Pattaya City Walk area

You'll find that people there refers street names that are different from the google maps' official names
(click to enlarge)

Even in this low season, this area comes alive after 9 pm with neon light blazing, blinking at you alluringly with its bright colourful (but mostly red) eyes. Pattaya City Walk is right next to some odd sounding official street name like Pattaya Soi 13, better known as Pattayaland Soi 1, the gogo bars central (rivalled only by those in Walking Street).

Kitten Club, a gogo bar at Pattayaland Soi 2, Pattaya, Thailand
Kitten Club, a gogo bar at Pattayaland Soi 2
A kaleidoscope of dazzling neons searing the wide-open eyes

And only two lanes ("soi" in Thai) away is, you've guessed it, Pattayaland 2, and a even smaller lane that runs off Pattayaland Soi 2 is Pattyaland Soi 3 with its other end connects to THE gay venue of Boyztown. While gay bars are scattered around this area, Boyztown is the heart.

Boyztown sign, Pattaya, Thailand
The arch of a raised eyebrow, beckoning "C'mon boyz..."

Its Boyztown logo suspended high in the sky as if to beckon with an raised eyebrow to the pedestrians walking unsuspectingly on Second Road. Some people refer to the the whole area from Pattayaland Soi 1 to Pattayaland Soi 3 to as Boyztown as gay boy bars are interspersed between girly bars in Pattayaland soi 1 and soi 2. As I walked past these sois, I would be chatted up by all sorts. Girls in cosplay as maids and nurses, and boys. Although I'm only passer-by and had never intended to become their customer, I don't mind it at all as the touts in Pattaya isn't aggressive. In fact, sex workers here are mild mannered and friendly. Perhaps the government tourism agency have had given them a stern talk about aggressive touts that would annoy tourists.

Despite its close proximity to the Pattayaland Sois, Pattaya City Walk is set up as a respectable soi. In Asian countries like Thailand, the respectable and the not-so (or socially so-so) can rub shoulders against one another (Such contrast are less likely , but not unheard of in the West. Back in my hometown of Sydney, Kings cross comes to mind). A wat - Thai Buddhist temple - is located not far from the crepes street vendor, at the corner of all this worldly affair of the flesh. But then, isn't Buddhism about tolerance and compassion?

Opposite Fraser Resort is an open-air restaurant that has traditional Thai dance performance every night, and it's officially opened tonight by Her Highness Princess (The King's daughter-in-law). I'm somewhat disappointed to have missed to grace her presence because of my departure tonight for Bangkok

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