National Geographic Photo of the Day

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Kingdom of Thailand – Day 4 (17th June)

This morning, we went over to “World Gems Collection” exhibition. This is a very large place full of precious and semi-precious stones, gems and minerals of all kinds.

The tour starts with a display of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, garnets, opals, smoky quartz, malachite...... hundreds of such stones and minerals that you'd read about in science and chemistry books – right there in front of your eyes. It was quite fascinating to see these materials in their natural forms before processing, the process they were put through and the finished products in each case.

Following that part of the tour is a humongous jewelery showroom. Every conceivable piece of jewelery that you can think up is available here. At a price, though. Some things cheaper than back home in India, others far more expensive. Mum and my aunt's eyes lit up with joy on seeing that display. Indian women and jewels – that’s been an age old love affair. Anyway, my dad didn't go broke thanks to his credit cards, despite my mum's shopping spree. Since we'd bought a lot, our usher-cum-guide (as in the guy who greeted us and showed us around the place) accompanied us throughout and left only after he got us safely into our vehicle several hours later. He'd even asked me to consider buying something for my girlfriend, but I didn't have tens of thousands of Baht like my Dad....Oh wait, I don't have a girlfriend now do I??!!! :-(

From the World Gems Collection we headed to Beach Road.
If only all phone numbers were this cool (see below):

Had lunch at Food Wave (a collection of stalls with food from every part of the world), and next stop ---> Swensen's Ice Cream again :D . Ordered a Big Rock Sundae for myself – that's like a tall glass with scoops of chocolate, mocha and vanilla ice-cream with chocolate chips and nuts and wafers and chocolate sauce and hot fudge. Oh, that was heaven in a glass.

To let our stomachs settle down from those sinful delights, we took a walk along Beach Road and then onto Walking Street. It was only 4pm, so the real action hadn't started yet. Got a taxi back to the hotel, intending to return later in the evening.

So we did, at 7.30pm. We walked from one end of Walking Street to another. But it looks like the recession has taken its toll. The clubs are a lot less full. The girls are busier holding advertisements outside the bars and pubs and gentleman's clubs, rather than carrying on with their business inside them. Me, mum, dad and my aunt were walking along. Me, a bit in front of the other three. So there were a few catholic-school dress-clad Thai girls who ran around me hoping for a customer, and there were some that told me “Come on in, live show” and “Don't miss it, new girls, get some action”. 'Twas all very funny, cos they didn't realise my parents were a few metres behind. Better luck next time girls, maybe you'll catch me alone.

Of course, the motto here is “No money, No honey” ;-) . So you better be loaded if you're looking for a decent amount of sinning. By the way, there's a law in this country that says “A foreign man can't marry a Thai woman unless he earns 40,000 (around Rs. 60K) Baht a month”. True story. But I think us sinful young men would hardly find a reason to marry once you land up here and you're earning that much XD.

Well after that, we walked on till we got to Beach road and had dinner at KFC. Mum as usual kept saying it was too much to eat after such a heavy lunch (lunch was around at 3.30pm), though it was her suggestion that we go to KFC. Still, she always seems to have room for plenty of ice-cream even after that. And since we didn't want her to feel alone, we joined in (alright, so I have a sweet tooth too).

A taxi back to the hotel and we began packing. It's our last day at Pattaya tomorrow, we leave for Bangkok in the afternoon.


Thailand said...

Pattaya like a heaven for night travelers.Thank you for your useful post.

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