Loy Krathong, Pattaya Park Tower, and Dongtan beach

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BKKDreamer
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Loy Krathong, Pattaya Park Tower, and Dongtan beach

Post by BKKDreamer »

Dear all,

As some of you know, I am a new retiree here in Jomtien, and yesterday I celebrated my first Loy Krathong.

I convinced my main massage guy and his roommate for all of us to spend this evening together.

We started off with a buffet dinner on top of the Pattaya Park Tower on the 52nd floor in the Panorama Revolving restaurant. The other 2 restaurants; Pinnacle on the 53rd floor and the Meridian on the 54th floor were closed - as there still is no demand yet to open the other 2 floors - even though we are in the beginning of the high season.

The good news is that I was able to use my Thai driving license to get the resident price of 500 baht, instead of the 700 baht price for tourist. That made me feel really good and my 2 Thai friends were impressed and happy that I could pay the same price as them.

You take a high-speed elevator from the ground floor all the way up to the 52nd floor. We intentionally arrived before sunset - around 17:15 - because we wanted to be able to see the full view in daylight, as well as a breathtaking sunset over Koh Larn, and then to see what it all looks like in the dark. I was very impressed for the first 2 parts (full daylight and sunset), and I was disappointed for the 3rd part, in the dark. Why? Because the lights from within the restaurant are so bright that they create a reflection on the external glass that dims the view of the outside - so it was underwhelming.

But prior to the sunset, I could see the building that I live in from up above, our Dongtan gay beach, all of the Jomtien condo beach skyline (looking south), and what was VERY impressive was the FULL view onto Pattaya city harbor and all of its highrises.

There were not a lot of guests - perhaps around 60 at the peak when we left about 19:15. So, the impact of the low tourist numbers is definitely negatively impacting this gigantic place.

The food was buffet style with choices of pasta, some Thai dishes, and many Chinese dishes. The food was good but not something that I would be dying to return for. It is all you can eat - but after 2 rounds I was stuffed and I did not even want any desert. The restaurant completes a full rotation at a rate of about 55 minutes. So, we had 2 full rotations before we left.

Was it worth it? In my opinion - yes. Would I repeat it again? Probably not - unless I had some visitors that wanted to experience an excellent view over Jomtien and Pattaya.

Afterwards, we took the elevator back down (originally we wanted to take the scary looking Sky Shuttle cable car down because it would put us right at the entrance to beach road - but it does not operate after 6pm) and we walked through the amusement park in the dark - a little bit lost - until we found the beach exit. We had taken a Grab taxi to get there but we wanted to walk back to see all of the Loy Krathong festivities.

For me, being a newbie, the festivities along the beach with many people launching their Loy Krathongs into the sea, and other people launching their glowing lanterns - it was magical. Along the beach road, there were many people setup in beach tables eating food that they had brought or was catered to them - as ALL of the beach establishments were fully open to serve the swarms of people. Actually, beach road was calm until you reach the police booth at the 7-Eleven intersection where the beach road opens up and there the crowds were swarming. I was more happier by our Dongtan gay beach section as it was busy but not swarming.

My 2 Thai friends had arranged that a friend of theirs from Isaan personally constructed our Loy Krathongs - we bought 3 of them. The cute guy had prepared 61 Loy Krathongs in total. He drove down from Isaan to sell them within the Jomtien Supertown Complex - they were truly beautiful - but I was overwhelmed by the number of people selling these beautiful pieces of art.

So, my 2 friends said to me - it is still too early to launch our Loy Krathongs - so let's have some beers at The Meeting Place. It was very festive - as the complex was heaving with many tourists. After a few beers we headed over to the beach to finally launch our Loy Krathongs - but I was told that we could not until we competed the required 5 Thai rituals, which were:

1.) cut a piece of your hair and place it into the Loy Krathong flower piece made of banana,
2.) insert some loose coins into your Loy Krathong,
3.) light the candle that is in the center of the flowers,
4.) light the incense sticks that are also in the center of the flowers,
5.) say a prayer before launching your Loy Krathong into the water (expressing what you are happy to be relieved of - negative things - and what positive things you want to come into your life).

Then you we were ready for launch on the busy beach.

I was not dressed properly, so I had to take my shoes and socks off, and because of the shorts that I was wearing, I could not get out far enough into the water to properly launch my Loy Kratong for enough distance that it would not be washed back ashore (which can bring bad luck). There were some kids out in the water and after we launched our 3 Loy Krathongs, they approached ours and pushed them further out to sea - and I was SO happy about that - but there was a hidden service charge - they quickly removed all of the loose coins that we had placed in our respective Loy Krathong's (see step 2 above). I became upset, but my 2 Thai friends said to me, "stay calm - these kids are very poor and they deserve what they took and you should know that it does not invalidate the above 5 steps - so our good wishes will still come to us."

I am a new retiree here - so I need to learn so much about the Thai Buddhist ways - sabai sabai....

But, for my year 2023 Loy Krathong - I will be much better prepared.

And how was your year 2022 Loy Krathong festivities?

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Gaybutton
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Re: Loy Krathong, Pattaya Park Tower, and Dongtan beach

Post by Gaybutton »

First a technicality. The name of the holiday is Loy Krathong, but what you launch is a krathong, not a loy krathong.

Second, a tip. In the future if you want to take boys out to dinner, I suggest either a good Thai restaurant or a Thai buffet. Believe me, they'll appreciate that much more than anything fancy.

You didn't mention the lunar eclipse. Did you spot it? I hope so. It was spectacular and there won't be another one visible in Thailand for three years.

BKKDreamer
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Re: Loy Krathong, Pattaya Park Tower, and Dongtan beach

Post by BKKDreamer »

Thanks GB, now I know the name the proper name of those beautiful floating structures.

I agree about your dinner suggestion regarding Thai guys - but for selfish reasons I had been craving to go to the iconic Pattaya Park Tower, as I see it everyday from my condo complex. Now I know what it is like inside.

Regarding the lunar eclipse we actually did see it going through its transformative phases while we were drinking our beers at The Meeting Place bar in JC. However, it never became blood red as foretasted. It was intensely illuminated.

Was it blood red for you?

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Re: Loy Krathong, Pattaya Park Tower, and Dongtan beach

Post by Gaybutton »

BKKDreamer wrote:
Wed Nov 09, 2022 9:01 pm
Was it blood red for you?
Yes it was, even better than expected. You had to catch it just at the time of moon rise to see the full effect. Then when the eclipse began to pass it became more and more spectacular. I suppose living on the east side of town, facing east, helped.

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