Newsletter from Pattaya Villa Rentals

We have been renting Vacation Homes in Pattaya for the last couple of years and have met some great people who have so far without exception enjoyed staying at our Villas. We have not yet received 1 complaint but have had many compliments on not only the beautiful Villas but on all the other services & information we provide.

Our best recommendation is the fact that guests keep returning to stay with us.

Thanks.

This is the first Newsletter we have written to go along with our new website which we are still working on. If you think this Newsletter is worthwhile let us know and if you think it’s not worth the effort and is of no interest please also let us know so we know if we should continue or not.

Let me know about the website too.

It will all end up on our Blog page along with articles I write on all sorts of attractions and advice on living or taking a holiday anywhere throughout S.E.Asia so take a look and see if there is anything of interest on there for you as well.

Our Pattaya Rental Villa Newsletter is going to be written once every 2 months ish with no particular publishing or distribution date, we will try to provide you with up to date information on any Villa Rental Promotions we have along with news about Pattaya, Thailand and anywhere else in Asia we feel like writing about.

We would love to read your comments on our Newsletter and any criticism will also be noted although we prefer praise for our efforts we cannot improve without constructive criticism.

Please support us by putting our website address on your social media networking i.e. Facebook etc so that if any of your friends or colleagues are planning to visit Thailand for a holiday they are aware of what we have to offer in the way of Luxury Accommodation and the numerous other services we have to ensure they have a great holiday.

www.soldinasia.com

I get my subject matter from having lived in Pattaya for the last 10 years, reading the local papers, watching the news, listening to friends & guests talk (Thai, Khmer, European, American, Arab, Australian, Russian, Indian and most other nationalities) and from traveling throughout S.E.Asia which I do regularly. If there is anything you would like me to write about leave a comment and I will give it a go.

My first bit of information is regarding one of the leaders of the “Yellow Shirts” who was recently imprisoned in Cambodia for 8 years for entering Cambodia with a number of other Thai’s without passing through any of the Immigration checkpoints and getting the required Visa. He was convicted along with his secretary although the remaining Thais were sent back to Thailand after the investigation was completed.

As far as I understand he was charged with spying charges and as he was near to the disputed Prea Veah Temple area they came down hard on him.

Within a day or so the conflict Thailand has with Cambodia regarding Prea Veah Temple which is situated in Cambodia but which has the entrance to the temple situated in Thailand escalated and led to violent exchanges of gunfire and RPG attacks. This is a long running dispute which was caused by the borders of the 2 countries being defined in the 60s without taking into consideration the obvious tension that would occur with a National Heritage Site spanning 2 borders.

I have just returned from one of my regular visits to Cambodia and have heard the same statements coming from both nationalities, Thai and Khmer. We didn’t shoot first. Whoever shot first is now too late to be important, what is important is that both countries stop shooting and causing the loss of life to their neighbors.

With at least 8 dead and 80 injured over a pile of stones (however old and however much religious significance they may have) they are still a pile of old stones that no-one can go and visit if you keep shooting up the area, and no-one will ever be able to go and see them if you keep firing heavy artillery at the old stones, as the temple will then totally collapse and rather than being ancient stones built into a temple they will be a pile of rubble scattered throughout Thailand and Cambodia and only useful for foundations on any local houses that either country are building in the area (Asian houses with solid foundations, only joking).

I don’t like to mess with religion or politics and have no particular views on who is right and who is wrong or if there is a God, Buddha or any other higher beings, but as far as politics are concerned I understand that in a democratic country (Thailand) the one with the most votes wins.

So Thailand’s current government has stated that an election will be coming shortly, before or just after Songkran so we can all wait and see when and how things turn out. Hopefully whoever gets the most votes will get into power and stay there long enough to repair Thailand’s world image before the opposing voters close the Airport or the streets of Bangkok or whatever else they come up with to push the worlds media into advising all the tourists to stay away again, forcing the normal hard working people of Thailand’s tourist industry to close up and go back to their villages leaving the likes of Pattaya to end up like a deserted UK seaside town.

The Police have been busy in Pattaya busting Boy’s Town again and raiding every bar with 20 something arrests for drug use. A number of local dealers have also been caught which will ensure a few more are caught next week, as anyone who gets caught in Thailand breaking the law tends to give enough information to the Police to keep them busy the following week.

It must be their interrogation techniques. There is no PACE here (Police and Criminal Evidence act) so DON’T break the law if you are coming here on holiday.

There are still loads of people getting stopped and fined for not wearing a motorcycle helmet, even though they have been enforcing the law for the last 4 years many of the Thai’s still leave the helmet in the shopping basket of their chicken chaser and so do some tourists but with a fine ranging from 200 – 400 Baht.

I don’t understand the Thai’s doing it (that’s a days wages) for a tourist its only a beer or 2 in Walking Street so financially I understand them not wearing one however stupid it is not too.

I noticed another gambling game got busted the other day as well with over 20 people attending and 8 players aged between 30 something and 60 something getting caught (the remaining 12 were away on their toes) with 100 Baht on the table. So beware playing connect 4 in your local bar for a beer or you may get banged up for the night.

We are now reached the end of our Luxury Holiday Homes and Thailand’s High-Season which is Nov- Feb for holiday makers and into our Low-Season rates and heading towards the Thai New Year which is the water festival known as Songkran and this brings the tourists flooding back for the celebrations filling our Villas and many of the hotels and guesthouses in Pattaya.

During the week surrounding 13th April Pattaya turns into a giant street party with thousands of people lining the streets or driving the streets armed with whatever they can hold water in, with the sole purpose of emptying it over anyone within striking distance. This festival takes place throughout Thailand but it has special significance in Pattaya where everyone celebrates not only for the usual 3 days like the rest of Thailand but for a whole week.

Some people love Songkran in Pattaya and some of us hate it with a vengeance and many foreigners who live in Pattaya leave for other parts of Thailand or to neighboring countries (including me) where the celebrations are a little more reserved.

Not to say that it doesn’t make a fantastic holiday for tourists, giant water fights, drinking all day and enjoying the fantastic entertainment venues Pattaya has to offer by night along with the most beautiful drinking companions you could ever wish to meet (Male or Female or even somewhere in between), but for me I find it to be a pain in the arse when it takes me hours to get any shopping by car and riding a motorbike is suicidal.

The only chance I have is to ensure I am awake early and go and get all my jobs done before the day starts for those on holiday i.e. before 10am. Once you have done your daily tasks head for home and relax in the swimming pool where in my opinion it is one of the only places I don’t mind getting wet along with the shower.

Having lived in the UK for 30 odd years where I got wet enough with the crappy weather nearly every day, now I like to stay in the sun and only take to the water in one of the Swimming Pools at the Vacation Homes my Thai wife owns and manages or in the crystal clear waters off Koh Larn Island which is only 15 minutes by speedboat or 45 minutes by public ferry.

Now some information for you on the festival known as Songkran or Thai New Year. The festival originated from the ancient Brahmins in India who believed that the sun re-entered Aries and finished its orbit round the earth on April 13 which is the traditional Thai New Year’s Day and is celebrated by all Thai people throughout the entire country and also in southwestern China, Laos, Cambodia and in Northern Burma.
The traditions of Songkran has a long history and is still observed in Thailand although Pattaya sometimes strays from the original traditions which includes splashing a small amount of water as a symbol of cleansing and as a symbol of renewal, unlike Pattaya with its giant shop bought or homemade water guns, hoses and pickup trucks with giant barrels of water often with ice in on the back, roaming around the streets attacking all and sundry with massive amounts of sometimes clean and sometimes not so clean water.

For traditional Thai’s it has always been the more delicate water splashing that represents the gentle nature of Songkran and the Thai New Year but with the large numbers of foreign tourists who love a water fight and the large population of fun loving young Thai’s who have re-located to Pattaya to cater to the ever increasing tourists and their needs Pattaya is known throughout the world as a major party for the whole week (and more) around this time of year.

At the Thai New Year there are rites and rituals that people participate in as part of the New Year blessings and Buddhist merit-making.

Most traditional Thai families sprinkle scented water from silver bowls on Buddha images on the third day of Songkran, known as Wan Payawan. This is the first official day of the New Year and Thai people cleanse the Buddha images in their homes as well as in the temples with scented water. In addition to the cleansing of the Buddha images a traditional Songkran involves the sprinkling of water by younger people on the older people as a tribute of respect and for blessings and is a genuinely sincere event whereby scented water is poured over the shoulder and gently down the back of the person. While pouring the water in this manner, people utter good wishes and words of blessing for the New Year. The water symbolizes cleansing, refreshment of the spirit and all good things associated with life.

Accompanying the water pouring is the tying of strings around the wrists of others and expressing good wishes for the New Year. When a person ties strings to another’s wrist, it is a very important event. He or she approaches with a gentle smile and holds out the string by the two ends and then begins to tie. The person receiving the string has his or her arm outstretched with the under side of the wrist facing upward. While tying the strings, the person recites short prayers of blessing spoken directly for the individual. This is one of the most charming events of Songkran and it’s one that you should show great appreciation and respect for should someone approach you to apply the strings to your wrist, and these are to be left on until they fall off of their own accord.

As part of the water sprinkling, water splashing and string tying rites, you may also encounter a person with a small silver bowl filled with a white powder or pasty substance. This is one of the oldest Songkran traditions. The white paste is a sign of protection and promises to ward off evil. The person with the paste is often older and he or she applies the paste to various parts of the face, neck and torso of others. One is expected to leave this paste on until it washes off of its own accord.

In Pattaya you will find whole plastic tubs of talcum powder being liberally applied to everyone at the same time as the water is being distributed in massive quantities by both Thai and foreigners who will be roaming the streets or driving at walking pace through all the local streets, stopping only to re-fill their containers with more water.

There are other rituals and merit-making rites that people engage in at Songkran. In addition to the traditional cleaning of the home and bidding the old year adieu, these include making offerings to local temples and the monks. The offerings include preserved foods cooked dishes, fresh fruit and new robes for the monks. Also people build sand piles on the temple grounds and these sand piles represent personal pagodas built as part of the merit-making ritual.

Songkran or the Thai New Year is actually the occasion of the passing of the sun from Taurus into Aries. It is a solar event and it marks the beginning of a new astrological year, and this is very important in Thailand. The Thai New Year celebration is always is held on April 12, 13 and 14 Songkran day always is April 13 although Pattaya will I am sure be celebrating both before and after these dates.

If you are riding a motorbike in Pattaya during this period it does not make you immune to the throngs of partygoers throwing water so be warned.

DON’T RIDE A MOTORBIKE DURING SONGKRAN IN PATTAYA.

I have no idea what I will write about next time but something will come up or someone will suggest something or my readers who have subscribed will all cancel and I will know that my literary skills are non-existent and no one is interested.

We will see.

This article was written by Nam. She works at “Holiday Garden Resort” which is a private road with Luxury Villa’s for holiday rentals in Pattaya, Thailand. Her husband is English and has lived in Thailand for 9 years and has traveled extensively throughout Asia.

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