***Warnings...Tips...Links...Scams...& More...*** We don't want to sound negative, in fact this is just a compilation of what you will hear from your friends and what you can find on hundreds of websites and in many forums. We have been here 15 yrs. + and have experienced much more than listed below.
***** We got a start with this old Pattaya Classic, which is addressed exclusively to our "SMT/Single Male Travelers" or "Romance Travelers", to use moderate language: "Do not deposit your brain at the airport and start using other body parts to do the thinking. You might just live to regret it. Approach this subject relaxed, slowly and with humor and common sense. Listen to friends, who have been around for a while. Read a couple of the funny and informative books about Pattaya, older Farangs and their younger Thai companions. We can assure you, these stories are happening. Daily! Some make us smile, some wanna make us cry. Don't become a victim and take it for what it is. Enjoy."
***** DO NOT EVER rent jet-skies in Pattaya, Samui, Phuket or anywhere in Thailand. There is so much info on this on the web and we have been warning many times over the years. We include a couple of links below - if you are interested - look at them. We have watched dozens of these scams going down on Pattaya Beach. If you wanna witness them, go to the beach across from Mike Shopping from 16.30 - 18.30 and you will get lucky. The mistake of renting a jet-ski could cost you many thousands of your hard earned Baht / $. Pick your story here orhere (52 pages with tons of info)
***** Be very careful in traffic: As pedestrian, if you drive a bike or car. We have several cases a year with guests & friends ending up in the hospital. Some with tragic outcome. Just the last 12 months 2 resident friends have died in unrelated bike accidents; RIP. It is very upsetting to see how elderly people have to risk their lives to get across 2nd. Rd. or Soi Boaukao. Be very careful! Most drivers could care less about other human beings. Just watch the green light at pedestrian crossings, amazing! You won't believe your eyes! There is NO (ZERO!) respect on Thai Roads. Many drivers are on drugs, alcohol and are driving very aggressively. Always carry your insurance card, credit card & what might turn out to be very important...Our business card, write your name and DOB on the back. You can add: "Please call Hotel (Kh. Meow) in emergency"! We will come and assist and help you, if needed. ****BTW DUI is a criminal offense and will end you in jail, court and waste a lot of money. If you like you can read a full & good report here and here an ongoing discussion on the subject. Don't drive drunk. Even here they are now checking up. If you are driving drunk and cause an accident with injury to anybody, you have a serious problem. You will be arrested and procedures are complicated and will destroy your vacation. Better jump on a taxi or mototaxi! *****Phuket Bike Rental Warning! Be very careful! Original passport and large cash deposits often required and bikes "stolen" is a very common scam. We would ONLY rent here: http://www.phuket-motorbikes.com/ Run by Swiss/Thai couple Daniel & Nee. Great bikes, well maintained, unbeatable prices and service!
**** Taxi-Service: You can save a couple of hundred Baht by grabbing a taxi at the departure level. But do this only, if you are experienced. They will likely drive you out of the airport and then hand you over to some private driver waiting, where there is no police. Usually then the price goes up already, plus they will hit you for the highway fees. Their tank is always empty and they will ask you for money and drive a major detour to find the cheapest LPG station etc. etc. Regular cabs at arrival level are around 1'400 Baht + Highway Oasis has a very reliable company at hand - 2 years without a problem - and can organize both ways at 1'200, receptively 1'300 all incl. and fares prepaid by us to avoid any discussions about money. We need 1 day notice min. ***** Good site for Pattaya-Newbies: Here
***** Noisy Thailand / Culture: There is noise everywhere in Thailand. Obviously more so in cities. There are laws in place, but they are not enforced and complaints with police hardly ever result in anything positive. It is part of their culture and will never change. Foreigners calling the police to complain about a 2 am party are not popular ;-) There are big parties with huge speaker/sound stage, promotion trucks with ear-blasting music, beer-gardens, cocktail vans with sound systems good for a Rolling Stones concert. Bikes & trucks are the better, the louder. This happens anywhere & anytime. Be aware! Not much anybody can do about it. It took us a 3 weeks effort to close down a impromptu beer-garden/concert venue across the road. It was only successful due to a few guys, who coordinated the effort well and did not give up.
**** Just received a report from a guest ref. credit card abuse: The lady used the card in a travel agency on Soi Bouakao to pay a re-booking of her flight. A few days later she had a charge of 20'000 US $ maxed out on her card, done in the USA, which she had never been to. We hear of many such scams and always advise people to be very careful when using your card. Your card can be cloned in a moment or swiped twice with you being distracted for a moment. We also recommend several businesses on our site which have been around and in business for many years.
A reliable Travel Agent is " Overseas Travel", halfway-up / right side on Soi Post Office.