Twenty-four years ago, my family and I packed up our house, and left the UK for a “brief” stint in Pattaya, Thailand, that turned into five years of my earliest memories.
Nineteen years after my family and I left, D and I have returned to check out the old haunts and see what’s changed in the two decades since.
Pattaya is world-renowned for being a tourist destination on Thailand’s coast. It’s known for lady-boys, it’s expat community and also slightly seedy bars – classic Thailand.
However, I grew up here and have very fond memories of the place. There is more here than meets the eye. If you know where to look, there is local culture and family friendly entertainment in this rapidly growing metropolis.
Back in the early 90s, Pattaya Park was in the middle of nowhere on the headland between Pattaya and Jomtien. Now, it has skyscrapers towering above it, in addition to rollercoasters and a monorail running through it. The only other thing that may have changed, is I’m sure there used to be a Pepsi Can at the top of the slides. I’ll have to look into that…
This 18m tall Buddha Statue is not far from Pattaya Park. Located in Wat Phra Yai, the statue is on top of a hill and as a result gives marvelous views of Pattaya. While Big Buddha is the main attraction, there are other, smaller statues of Buddha which represent different days of the week.
Mini Siam is one of my fondest memories of Thailand. There were originally miniatures of famous sites from across Thailand. Later, they incorporated models from across the world. While the models are starting to look a little weathered, it was still amazing to revisit.
‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ Museums are in cities across the world. This particular one is advertised by having an aeroplane coming out of the building. The cockpit is visible from the inside of the shopping centre. I was shocked to find this still here, but really impressed it has stood the test of time.
I remember running under the arches of this dancing fountain many times as a child. It is located inside a shopping centre on Beach Road. The angles are now slightly off, and consequently water covers the tiled floor on every round.
Have you ever revisited a place you loved? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!