Many of my friends were afraid to travel alone. Their main concern will be safety, direction to go from one place to another, language barrier and etc. I agreed that travelling alone does need some courage but it is really fun and easy with current advance technology. In fact, with a phone and data connection, virtually I can search for anything immediately that I want to know online. It is also very important to be more vigilant while travelling alone and also to do some research, for example reading blogs like mine or searching on the internet for info before travelling to that country. I will be sharing my experience travelling alone in Bangkok and Pattaya here and have also included my itinerary below for you to download. My main objective for this trip is to get my Advance Open Water diving certificate in Pattaya and during my spare time, I took the chances to explore the Bangkok and Pattaya alone.
Day 1 – Bangkok
Do note that there are 2 airports in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang). I landed at Suvarnabhumi airport in the evening and was immediately greeted with the Thai atmosphere! Sawadee ka! First most important thing to do is to get a Thailand SIM card with unlimited data. Price is between 299-499 THB depending on the number of days. Take note of the clause “Maximum speed of up to XX GB”. Though the data is unlimited, the speed will reduce greatly after you used up the XX number of data. There are 2 convenient ways to travel to the city, by taxi or MRT. As the cab fare is affordable, I took a cab to my hotel which cost about 400 THB. There will be highway tolls to be paid so do not be alarmed when the taxi driver ask a toll fee from you.
For the first night, I purposely chose a hotel near Eastern bus terminal at Ekkamai as I will be taking the bus to Pattaya the next day. I managed to search and found Somerset Ekkamai on booking.com for 1052 THB per night, which is 5 mins walk to the Eastern bus terminal. This hotel has decent and clean rooms for big family and also individual like me. The Ekkamai BTS station (Download MRT map here) is beside the bus terminal therefore it is very convenient to stay here. Due to limited time on the first day, I can only plan a place to shop and eat. So I took the BTS train to Asok station to shop at Terminal 21. This shopping mall is suitable for all ages and one unique shop which I came across is a shop that sell stamps. So for stamp collectors, do not miss this store.
My first sumptuous dinner is at The Local, about 5 mins walk from Terminal 21. This authentic fine dining Thai restaurant serve delectable local Thai specialties. I was recommended to try a special local starter dish, mixed vegetable with rice which I love the special mixture of taste in the dish. I also ordered shrimps in coconut milk, stir-fried chilli fresh crab and Pandan tea. It is true that people said seafood is a “must try” in Thailand, thumbs up for the fresh crab! The total bill came up to 1500 THB and personally I felt the price is on the high side, but the food is lovely with nice soothing environment.
Day 2 – Bangkok to Pattaya
Travelling from Bangkok to Pattaya is easy. The Eastern bus terminal is next to the Ekkamai BTS station. Head to the ticket booth and ask for transport to Pattaya. Be sure to check different booth as each booth have different transport like coach bus or mini van. The transport start from 5.20am to 11.20pm and leaves every 30 minutes so it is not necessary to buy ticket early. The journey takes about 2 hours+ and price is 130 THB from Eastern bus terminal to Pattaya bus terminal. From Pattaya bus terminal, if you are heading to the hotel in Central Pattaya, just flag for the North bound blue color tuk tuk by the roadside and it will take you to Central Pattaya for 20 THB. Once you reached the roundabout at the end of North Pattaya, cross the road and hop on to another blue color tuk tuk that serves the Central bound Pattaya, which will also cost 20 THB.
As I am staying at the Now hotel on Jomtien beach, I took a cab from Pattaya bus terminal. I also booked the Now hotel on booking.com for 1400 THB per night (click on my link to get a 10% cash rebate when you book with them). The Now hotel is situated at a convenient location with a beach front. The price is very reasonable as I booked during the peak season. The rooms are clean and cozy with buffet breakfast provided. 24 hours convenient store is also located just beside the hotel.
For the first day, I went to explore Jomtien beach (See Jomtien beach pictures from drone here) and stopped by a decent restaurant, Surf kitchen for a simple dinner. The fish is so fresh and nice that I ate the whole fish alone. After that I took a stroll along the beach and when tired, I hopped on the blue color tuk tuk back to hotel. I have to rest early for this night as I have to prepare myself for my Advance Open Water Certification course the next day.
Day 3 – 4 Will be writing my Advance Open Water course in another post
Day 5 – Pattaya day tour
After the 2 tiring days of diving, I slept like a pig till about noon time and I planned to explore Pattaya today. I went to the lobby and asked the concierge to find a transport for me to go to the Sanctuary of Truth and was quoted 600 THB to and fro on a spacious private car. The driver is very polite and speak English well. When we reached the Sanctuary of Truth, he explained on the different tickets that are sold there. Visitors can tour the Sanctuary of Truth by different means of transport, e.g. by speed boat, sitting on an elephant or horse carriage, or simple walk. I chose to walk as I wanted to fly my drone (but found out it was restricted as it is a no-fly zone). I passed the ticket money to the driver and he went to the booth to buy for me, after passing me the tickets, he asked to take my time and will wait for me at the carpark area. I was amazed by the workmanship of this wood craving castle! Every corner of the building is an art! The whole tour by foot is about 1.5 to 2 hours, there are also small farms situated along the way for kids and adults to feed the animals and take photo.
As it was still early after the tour, I told the driver to dropped me off at the Central Marina mall in Central Pattaya. The Central Marina mall is a big and posh mall situated right in the heart of Central Pattaya. When I was there, the new Playboy café Pattaya happened to have their Grand Opening promotion, so I went to try the food in the restaurant. The Playboy café Pattaya is situated just outside Central Marina mall, serving high class western style food. Their concept is something similar to Hard Rock café and they are very particular in their food presentation. The plates, cups, serving board, napkins and even the potatoes are marked with their Playboy café logo.
After shopping in Central Marina mall, I went in search of Thailand famous dessert – Mango glutinous rice! It is like the saying “if you did not eat mango glutinous rice in Thailand, you have never been to Thailand! Pattaya is famous for serving the best Mango glutinous rice in Thailand and this dessert is my favorite and definitely in my “must eat” list! The 2 best mango glutinous rice stores in Pattaya are just located side by side (download my itinerary below for exact address), stall name is 金妈妈 (meaning golden mum) and J Noi. When I was there, I checked out both stores and decide to try 金妈妈 store as it look cleaner and there are table and chairs behind the stores for customers. The mangoes are ripen to perfection and melt in my mouth. The condensed milk does not have the eerie odour (which I am most afraid of) and is a perfect match to both the mangoes and glutinous rice!
During the evening time, I went to check out the Jomtien night market. The place was crowded with tourist though the stores has nothing fanciful to shop. There are quite a variety of food stores here and I came across this fruit stall which has a long queue that attracted me to check it out. This fruit stall is mainly just selling pineapple! Medium size for 20 THB and large size for 30 THB! The special attraction is the guy will show off his cutting skill when someone buy his pineapple (see picture)! This actually attracted a lot of customers and as each pineapple takes about 5 mins to cut, thus making the queue grow longer.
In Pattaya, the nights never ends and night activities just started to get vivacious even after 2am. The Walking Street is one of the attractions in Pattaya which draw foreigners and Thai locals for its night life. From pole dancing go-go bars, pubs to discotheques, everything can be found in the night life of Pattaya! Many travelers will also purposely come here just to see the Ladyboys (transvestites). As I have been to Walking Street, I decided to explore other night spots and was recommended by a Thai local to this Gents club in Pattaya. The main attraction is the 3 very uniquely large fish bowl filled with water on the dance stage. When the performances start, I realized the purpose of the large fish bowl – the sexy dancers will climb into the fish bowl and dance! This is the first time I experienced this type of special club! Download my itinerary below for exact address and contacts to this club.
Day 6 – Pattaya back to Bangkok
The next morning, I took the blue tuk tuk, reverse direction back to the Pattaya bus terminal (route as explained above) and paid 130 THB for the bus tickets back to Easter bus terminal at Ekkamai. There are also buses heading to the other bus terminal in Bangkok so check out the bus terminal that is nearer to your hotel before deciding which ticket to purchase. The frequency of the bus is also about 30 to 45 mins wait for next departure so it is not necessary to book the tickets in advance. The journey is about 2hr+ back to Eastern bus terminal at Ekkamai. I checked in to my hotel after reaching Bangkok and quickly head out for my Bangkok desserts adventure!
I love desserts and it is easy to find desserts cafes in Bangkok! Recently Bangkok has emerged into a desserts kingdom with many cafes opened in the big malls. My first desserts stop is Kyo Roll En as I was captivated by their alluring crafted Japanese desserts! They have many outlets so do check out Kyo Roll En website for nearby outlet. I went to the outlet in Siam Square One and after browsing the menu (almost wanted to order everything in the menu), decided on their special signature raindrop mizu mochi and Kyo roll set. The raindrop mizu mochi is special in term of taste and texture and definitely is in my “must try” list!
One of the reason I chose Siam Square One outlet is because I can continue shopping at the other 2 big malls located here, Siam Paragon (opposite Siam Square One) and Central World (few minutes walk). The other reason is to visit the newly opened LINE village at Siam Square one! This is the first merchandise store of LINE, a popular communication app, that is opened in Bangkok! Come here to meet LINE friends such as Brown, Cony, James, Moon and Jessica and these beloved characters come in form of fluffy toys, clothing accessories, stationery and other lifestyle products! Some of the items are exclusively available only in Bangkok.
After all the shopping at the 3 big malls, it is time again for more food and desserts as my stomach is growling! I heard the After you desserts cafe is very popular and they have many outlets in Thailand, do check out their website for the outlets location. Conveniently, I went over to Siam Paragon’s outlet and as I was very hungry, I ordered the cheddar cheese toast, chocolate mud brownie accompanied by a hot mochaccino. Personally I love the brownie and drink. As for the cheddar cheese toast, though I am a cheesy person, I found the blending of cheese with the toast and ice cream is not to my liking.
Day 7 – Last day before home sweet home
As my return flight is quite early, I checked out of my hotel early in the morning and headed for Bangkok’s Chinatown, also known as Yaowarat. I took the MRT to Hua Lamphong station and with the help of Google map, I walked to the Golden Buddha temple (Wat Trai Mit). The Wat Trai Mit is definitely an impressive temple at sight and the main attraction is a 3m tall solid golden Buddha! At the top level of the temple, everyone has to remove their shoes before proceeding to meet the Buddha. Though rubber mats are provided, the floor is still very hot due to the heat from the sun. I prayed and thank the Buddha for the safe diving course and travel trip in Bangkok and Pattaya before leaving the temple.
From the temple, I followed the Yaowarat road to Chinatown and on the way, I saw several shark’s fin restaurant and stopped by to check it out. As a true-born Chinese, it is really hard to resist the temptation of eating shark’s fin! However as I have just started my diving journey, I have to resist myself from encouraging the killing of sharks! It is meal time so I decided to step into one of a better looking restaurant (Chinatown Scala shark fins restaurant) and ordered a claypot crab/pork vermicelli and a hot coconut juice with bird’s nest for dessert. The claypot vermicelli is cooked to perfection and the hot coconut juice with generous serving of bird’s nest is one of the best dessert I have eaten!
After my meal, I quickly head to the Chinatown streets to shop. Basically Bangkok’s Chinatown is packed with tiny winding alleys crammed with lot of market stalls that sell traditional Chinese items. Last minute shopping here is great as it is easy to find gifts in Chinatown to bring back home for friends as a token. From Chinatown, I took a cab to Suvarnabhumi airport to board the return flight home.
If you travelling to Bangkok or Pattaya, you can download my Bangkok to Pattaya itinerary for just US$1 to ease your itinerary planning. This itinerary will comprised of all detailed addresses and contacts of the above attractions. Due to limited time, there are some tourist spots in Bangkok and Pattaya which I could not cover. These places are also listed in the itinerary so that you can consider to check it out. Thank you for your donation and please leave your comments to help me improve my blog.