Christmas in Pattaya
Christmas in Pattaya
The city of Pattaya is located in the province of Chon Buri in Thailand. Thailand is a Buddhist country and Pattaya has its share of beautiful temples and a huge golden Buddha statue sits proudly on a hill above the city.
Although Pattaya has a bit of a reputation as a city of sin, it is wrongly deserved. It is clean, friendly, fun and safe. It is only when the blinkers of morality are worn that people fail to recognise this. Every single bar and hotel and most houses too have a shrine to the Buddha and these are attended to each and every day. Usually with fresh flowers and a bottle or two of Red Fanta. You cannot escape the living, breathing existence of Buddhism.
But we have Christmas in Pattaya too. Not just for the Christians, of which I am sure there are some but Christmas for everybody. Buddhism is tolerant and wholly accepting. It never pressurises and rarely condemns. Christmas in Pattaya is fun.
Early December in Pattaya sees the first of the new Christmas decorations put up in and outside the various shopping malls and hotels. Some of course never come down. It is not unusual to see bunting declaring "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" up all year round. Hardly a fault though it is a nice greeting no matter what time of the year.
The malls and coffee shops will also change over to their Xmas DVD's and you will hear Christmas Hymns and Carols all day long. No Buddhist will take offence and neither I suspect will any other religion. Buddhism is tolerant and accepting. So too is Pattaya. Here there are visitors from all over the world. Muslims from all over the Gulf states and beyond, many from India, China, Korea, Russia, Israel, Africa....from everywhere. Everyone gets on once they dismount from their moral high horse.
Pattaya is fun at Christmas.
A little towards the middle of December the Beer Bars and GoGo Bars get into the spirit of things too. Room is made on the bar top for a Christmas Tree and baubles, balls and tinsel are gaily strewn above.
Father Christmas hats become the vogue for some, followed only slightly by sets of flashing reindeer antlers.
Christmas toys appear amongst the offerings on the huge toy trolleys which frequent the bars. Now it is not just teddy bears and stuffed dogs but Santa Claus and the odd Yeti as well.
Some of the artificial Christmas trees are truly immense but if you fancy a real one...well they are here. Flown in from Finland especially for you.
Turkeys too with all the trimmings. Perhaps though you would prefer to eat out. You can of course. Every hotel has its special Christmas menu.
If you came to Pattaya to avoid Christmas you are not going to achieve it. If you did not come to Pattaya because you thought you would miss Christmas... well you will know next time.
Pattaya at Christmas is special. Christmas in Pattaya is different and fun.