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Pattaya Part 3 :: Article 5

    

Pattaya Travel Guide - Culture

There is lots of culture to see in Pattaya. For tourists there are Thai Dance shows, Thai art exhibitions, Thai boxing contests etc.

Life-style

Most of the officially registered Pattaya folk are of Thai-Chinese ancestory. However, due to the tourist industry many people from the north-east have come to work in Pattaya (north-east is the poorest region of Thailand). So, there is as much chance of hearing spoken Isan dialect (similar to Laotian) as you have Thai, especially in the bars etc.

Festivals & events

Songkran is the Thai New Year, celebrated primarily by everyone throwing prodigious quantities of water at anything that moves. Pattaya officially celebrates Songkran on later dates (April 18-19) than most of the rest of the country (April 13-15) - but in reality the fun just starts early and keeps on going that much longer. During this period many hotels and guesthouses have high occupancy levels, and public transport services (especially buses to/from Bangkok) are very busy, with more frequent than normal departures but also with appreciable delays due to the general mayhem on the roads.

For more on Songkran in general, including the more traditional religious and spiritual aspects, see Thailand | Holidays

Songkran in Pattaya follows the same overall pattern as seen elsewhere in Thailand, but is especially vigorous in areas such as Soi 7 and Soi 8. Expect to get very wet indeed and you're unlikely to be disappointed - regardless of where you go or what else you actually plan to do. Although things calm down considerably after dusk, it's still worth keeping anything that could easily be damaged (especially cameras, mobile telephones, passports etc) in plastic bags.

As is the case throughout Thailand, Songkran is a particularly dangerous time on the roads, and especially for motorcyclists and moto-taxi passengers. It's also a bad time to get caught without protection for your luggage while travelling in a songthaew, so if arriving or departing during this period, either plan ahead (bin-liners are invaluable) or else take a taxi instead.

Note that the banks in Pattaya close for three days on the "national" Songkran dates (April 13-15) and are open as normal on the Pattaya-specific dates. Pattaya Immigration Office also closes on the "national" dates, and for the rest of the period hands back all passports pre-wrapped in plastic bags, without being asked.

The New Year's Day The International New Year Day has been adopted. On the first of January, people offer food to monks at the temple or at a particular site designated by government offices of private organizations. In Bangkok, the Phramaane ground and the lawn in front of the district offices are popular places.

Pattaya Festival, usually held in the mid of April has floral floats, a Miss Pattaya Beauty contest, a traditional aquatic sports competitions, castles, a fireworks display, fire crackers, arts and cultural performances, exhibitions and souvenirs for sale.

Chonburi Buffalo Races are held in Chonburi October every year. This event sees buffalo races and contests pitting buffalo and man. There also beauty contests.

Ancestral Spirits Ceremony Festival It is held at Sri Racha District and based on an old custom of the people from Chonburi. It is held every year between April 19 - 21 on Ko Loy Sri Racha. Activities include: a parade, traditional folk costume, spirit ceremonies, demonstrations and lots of local delicacies.

Koh Pra Sai Wan Lai Festival at Bangsaen It is based on an ancient tradition formerly called the Wan Lai Merit-Making Ceremony. Villagers from various places gather to make merit for the Thai New Year (Songkran). Activities include building sand stupas, water-throwing, games and folk sports.

Boon Klang Ban and Phanatnikhom Basketware Festival It is a festival that dates back several years ago and usually takes place during the 3rd to the 6th month of the Thai Lunar Calendar. The festival’s religious ceremonies are followed by the sharing of meals and performances of folk games.

Art

Liam’s Gallery exhibits and sells original art works from Thailand and the rest of South-east Asia. The center is found at Soi 4 Pratamnak Road, Moo 12 Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya. Telephoe (66) 038-251-808. Or see the center’s website: [22]



    


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