Pattaya: Jogging for Change
It is the second day of our FNF staff outing in Pattaya. I woke up at 4:30 am, without using alarm clock. I have my newly bought jogging shoes from Phnom Penh, Cambodia with me. I was not so sure in which direction, but I would like to walk, jog and to explore Pattaya in the very early morning. Just go ahead. Firstly, I went towards one direction. It was a very quiet early morning. The street was empty, except the two guards posting at the gates of the hotels. I passed by, and then there was a big dog ahead walking around. Should I go in this direction or should I turn back to the main road? It took me five seconds to decide, that I should turn back. The dog is not small, and we never know how it is going to react to my sudden presence on this empty street.
I turned back and decided to walk to other direction, along the beach. It is nicely renovated and it is more cleanly, organized, green and well conserved (at least for the first section). There is enough lighting along the beach, so that one could assume there would be no harm along the way. But, as my colleague from the Mynamar project put it “No risk, no fun”. I took the risk. I walked, walked and walked. Firstly, the prominent area was passed, and then it come an area which is more lively filled with prostitutes (Evening workers) and drunken “Farang“, as the Thai would call foreigner or Westerner. I was walking with mixed feeling since it is my first time to walk along the beach so early in the morning. There are also some dogs along the way. I pretended not to see them and was awaiting the same reaction from them as well. Then I reached the concrete buildings part on the side of the beach. No sand, trees or coconuts tree any more. Only building is lined up after buildings, mostly ugly. The big sign board indicated to me as “Walking Street”. On both sides, there are bars, pubs, snookers, go-go dancing bars, small shops etc. Motor bike taxis drivers are haning around to look for the last customers. Though, it was early in the morning, but there was still many people hanging around. Trucks and garbage workers were busy collecting the (solid) wastes left over by the guests. Till the end of walking street, it is estimated at around 5-6 km from the hotel, one way. I have reached my set objective of walking till the end of the walking corridors and reached the Pattaya Port. For me, it was my second time jogging in Thailand. First time, it was in a hotel in Rayong some years ago, also during the staff outing or better say as “internal staff capacity building workshop”.
After reaching my goal, I decided to jog back to hotel. It is a long way. But, I was happy to do this and I reached our Woodland Hotel at 6:30 am. Along the way, I would say there are less people exercising than people hanging around or drunk. The air is fresh, but the smell of the garbage was not pleasant. I am glad that I have done it. It is another new experience in one of the main tourist’s destinations of Thailand. I washed up myself, dressed up and at 7am I was checking the internet at the Lobby of the hotel. At 7:40 am, I had my breakfast and the working day started at 8:30 am. I was feeling great throughout the day and could concentrate more than yesterday, when I had a bad night sleep in Bangkok.