When you are in a new place, you feel that you should make the best use of your time to soak it all in and when you are constantly on the go, sometimes it’s just nice to stay ‘parked for a while’. With this in mind I decided to make my way over to Bali. This isn’t my first visit to Bali, so I wasn’t looking to do a lot of sightseeing and my main goal was to spend time updating my blog and just ‘be’.
Serene Pool Area
I initially thought to camp out in a low-key place next to the ocean and I thank my friends for the suggestions they provided.
In the end, I decided I wanted to feel a bit ‘civilized’ again and have access to decent internet so I splurged, used some hotel points and stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Nusa Dua.
I wouldn’t normally call out a hotel like this but for a ‘Courtyard’ brand, the level of service far exceeded Marriott’s more premium brands.
As a loyalty member this particular property went all out to demonstrate their appreciation; I enjoyed a beautiful 1 bedroom suite and much more; the size of which was greater than some flats I’ve lived in! I was in heaven and had a sense of ‘normality’.
You couldn’t be anonymous in their main restaurant though, as all the staff, whether they previously interacted with you directly or not, remembered your name, your stories, etc. They were excellent in communicating with each other to improve the guest experience.
The staff were also very open to share so much of themselves and their personal stories as well. I found that some, like Adi, previously worked on cruise ships, with the same company I previously worked. I also learned a lot about local Balinese culture and customs from Adi.
Having just come from the Indonesia island of Java, I could help but notice the cultural difference between the same country. Bali appears to be much more of a Hindu practicing country, whereas the island of Java more predominately Muslim.
around Nusa Dua
When I wasn’t ‘blogging’, I’d spend some time walking, cycling, mediating at the beach, not to mention enjoying their beautiful pool area.
The hotel offered 1-hour cycle tours which was a great way to see the local area; albeit this part of Bali is very touristic and I would say, shut-off from the rest of the world.
I was lucky one day to ride with another guest, Linda from Australia, whose paths I believe were meant to cross [more later on this].
Between Bali and my return visit back to Bangkok, I had about a week to spare. Should I stay in Bali, spend my time playing in Bangkok, both of which I’ve done? Should I go elsewhere?
Decisions, decisions…. I decided to go spend time with Tom in Pattaya, Thailand.
You remember Tom, right? My friend I met in Chiang Mai. He’s more like a brother now; I’d like to say ‘big’ brother but given that he is younger than me, it’s got to be ‘younger’ brother; to me, it doesn’t matter, just ‘bro’.
Knowing what I know about Pattaya, Tom had already given me the lowdown, it’s not a place I’d naturally visit, however, it was great spending time with a friend and well, it was an interesting place to see, observe and learn.
View of Pattaya
My first night there, Tom gave me a tour around the city and the ‘Walking Street’.
In case you don’t already know about Pattaya, I’ll quote Lonely Planet ‘…its reputation as a sex capital is totally deserved, with hundreds of beer bars, go-go clubs and massage parlours’.
This is more than an accurate description and there is no shortage of any one of those items to cater to your every need and desire.
Like anything in life, it is what you make it, and so it is with Pattaya. If you are up for a little night life and live music, ‘Walking Street’ is a great place.
Literally from one door to the next you have the option to listen to rock, jazz, hip hop, dance, techno, etc. We had a great time listening to some old school rock bands, walking and observing the ‘goings-on’ throughout the street.
Before heading off, there was some great dance music coming from one location, and I was ready to dance! It shouldn’t been to my surprise as we walked in there was great music, no dancing, and a lot of transacting going on. Time to call it a night !
As I had mentioned to Tom I’d like to hear some old school hip hop, but not this evening, he suggested we come back later in the week with some friends. I was initially a little hesitant given the last place we had gone, just really didn’t do anything for me; not my scene.
I was NOT to be disappointed; I had a blast! You know sometimes, you’re just not in the mood to be in loud, crazy places. This week however, I was on a roll, dancing and singing from one spot to another to the sounds of all varieties of music! I just didn’t want to stop!
I’m not quite sure what got into me, but another side of me still lives!! I’m happy to say this next night out on ‘Walking Street’, the places we entered not only had great music, there was more than just me on the dance floor!
I enjoyed chilling throughout the week. Tom and I did a few ‘local’ things, saw local temples, ate local cuisine, and met up with Tom’s friends.
My favorite hangout was the Sky Gallery and a little local place around the corner from his place.
I used part of my time to begin studying for my upcoming NLP course which will be the topic of my next update.
Thanks to Tom & his friends for a great week!
View from the Sky Gallery
Somewhere on Walking Street
local hang out – the boys in serious discussion
a little rock & techno
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Pattaya certainly has much more than sex, night clubs and bars; here are some articles and links I pulled off the internet to show you the variety.