|Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand|
It seemed like a great idea to spend the cold days of December on the sun-drenched beaches of Thailand. And it was. We chose Pattaya not only for its proximity to Bangkok but also for reasons that would possibly turn off other travelers. Described by Wikitravel as a “notorious den of sleaze trying to clean up its act”, by Frommer’s as “a high-rise seaside palace of pleasure built on exotic titillation and rental sex” and by the NY Times as “a city of sleaze reaching for respectability,” Pattaya sounded really interesting. With that kind of “advertisement” how could we resist the place? I wanted to see how a den of sleaze looked like, but what I saw was a place inundated with couples and families lounging on the sand, drinking in the rays of the sun and feasting on trays of fresh seafood; I wanted to hear cries of festive licentiousness, but what I heard was the cheerful chatter of tourists who—like us--were probably simply happy to have escaped the gloom of winter. From our hotel in a quiet soi along wholesome Jomtien Beach, we knew we were on the “wrong” side of Pattaya. The action and titillation were up north, yet we felt content with the inaction in where we were.
(Response to Indie Travel Challenge Prompt 4: Winter Travels: "When the weather gets cold, do you prefer to head to sunnier locales or do you love the outdoor adventures or off-season prices of winter?")