Tell me what summer is without beaches? The sand! The ocean and sunshine! Summer is just not the same without beaches. In fact, you can’t even say you have spent your summer doing anything if you haven’t at least been to a beach once. I decided to take my beachy rendezvous a step higher than what I expected from myself. Instead of taking the bus to my local beach that is close by, I hopped on the plane to Jomtien Pattaya.
That undoubtedly took my summer to the next level! Don’t let the name beguile you, folks, it is way more than just a beach! Jomtien Beach is a town situated to the east of the Gulf of Thailand. The sandy land stretches for a 6km run and along the way you will find the most beautiful scenes, riveting stories to retell to your friends and have the downright best time of your life. The reason why the beach is being termed as a town for the longest time ever is due to this exact reason. The vastness of the beach gives an opportunity for small businesses to pop up here and there.
In fact, the beach’s stretch of land is now fully equipped with hotels, complexes, kiosks, restaurants, food vendors, stores, clubs, bars and so much more. Now you know why it is called a town! It has got practically everything and anything you need. I was honestly tempted to pitch a tent under a tree and call it my forever home for the next couple of years.
Here are some of the best spots I discovered about and my personal experience with Jomtien.
Warning: This post could bring you insane wanderlust urges and make you want to empty your bank account on a trip to this beach. Read further at your own risk
The most thing I look forward to when visiting any beach is the activities I can indulge in. Don’t get me wrong, walking peacefully by the shore while watching a sunset is the highest form of therapy for me! But, there is always more to a place than what it is naturally made for. In Jomtien Beach apart from the classic shopping, drinking and fine dining (which we shall be getting into later), there are some amazing entertainment spots.
For instance, the Nong Nooch Botanical gardens were a sight for sore eyes. The lush greenery that positively radiated and gleamed in the sunshine almost blinded me when I first set foot in the gardens. Carefully crafted with class and tastefulness the place is perfect for small families but for lone adventurers like myself, it delivers an equally marvelous experience. The gardens are groomed and well taken care of as they house over 670 species of orchid alone. Besides, there are a variety of cacti, tropical palms and the occasional statue of some exotic animals. Personally, I liked strolling in the garden around the trees and absorbing the sunshine, quiet and peace more than walking by the beach.
Another top favorite of mine and the general public that frequents this beach, are the cabaret shows. Fashion catwalks, dances and theatrical performances are delivered by drag queens. In some cultures, these peculiar and stunning people are shunned away from society and forced to live in rags. However, in Thailand and specifically around this area this class of people is greatly revered. They are usually referred to as ladyboys and they deliver a wonderful performance every time.
I attended 3 of the shows on different nights around my stay and each one of them was pumped with energy. The drag queens are a top favorite of the audience and each night they garner quite the applause. This reaction stems from a general belief among Thai people that ladyboys bring good luck and charm. To me, that was the sweetest and kindest public gesture I had ever witnessed in my whole life.
Thai street food is known to be the craziest and best type of food to ever try out. It is mesmerizing to watch the street vendors toss about your plate of grub with their expert hands and the whole process is totally worth it. Not to mention the delicious tastes can vary depending on the choice you have made, but nevertheless, you will never be disappointed.
And seeing as Jomtien is a beach, you will find scores of street food vendors that are selling all sorts of amazing and tasty delectable delicacies. I, for one, adored the Thep Prasit Night Market. The market is actually open to all sorts of things you need to buy. From clothing stores to music shops, everything comes to life at night when you least expect it. But what better time to open up your goods for sale than on a night on a beach resort?
The food was pretty darn good and flavorful! By flavorful I mean spicy! Each flavor is amplified which makes the experience all the more unforgettable. Moreover, the food can be quite cheap over there and prepared with the bucketfuls. Seriously you will find an entire pig being roasted on a spit. Or you may find trays and trays full of fried bugs such as grasshoppers and silkworms. I’m telling you! You are most definitely going to find everything that you could possibly dream of putting in your stomach in these stalls by Jomtien Beach.
When it comes to fresh fruit and vegetables, every stall owner gets really innovative with how he/she presents their stock. From mixing together different fruits for the ultimate treat to stacking up mountains of dragon fruit and pineapple, you can let your thoughts go crazy in a market like this one.
However, if you are looking for a fancier pick, there is no shortage of restaurants to choose from. I tried out food from a paper plate in front of a street vendor in the streets of Jomtien and also sampled some neat picks assembled on China platters. And in the end, I must say, street food will always have my wild heart. Sugar Hut Restaurant, Infiniti Restaurant, and Momento Beach Restaurant are only a few of these gorgeous and fancy eateries.
Feeling lavish? I sure was! Since I had already dined on some BBQ beef in front of some stall, I ventured further into the beach town of surprise and mystery. The DIB is to DIE for! D Varee Inspiration Bar is a rooftop bar with the sickest DJs that bring your comfort first. As much as many people confuse bars and clubs together, they are not the same! Bars are more for relaxing and NOT going crazy while clubs are exactly for that purpose. However, the DIB brings a calm clubby vibe to its bar so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. I absolutely loved the laidback vibe as it was exactly what I needed after a full day of adventure, strange food and walking on every walkable place in Jomtien. The imported beers they bring in also add a touch of class and superb service to the whole aura of the place.
Another great luxurious rendezvous I went on was shopping through the same market I found the best street food in. Thepprasit Road Night Market brings the best of both worlds as you can find practically anything and everything there. From souvenirs to clothing pieces, shoes, bags and much more. Each stall is decked from floor to top with goodies and if you have a good eye you can score yourself an awesome item for an astoundingly low price. It is rumored you can find literally anything on the market from knives to spinoff designer items. Although you should be extra careful with what you choose to buy in such spots. I was searching through some trinkets to take home with me and suddenly I spot this stunning and sleek combat knife. Before I could reach out and grab this wizened old man lunged at my hand and caught it in midair. Surprised with the words knocked right out of my brain I raised my eyebrows at him.
He cleared my doubts right away as he quietly explained how the knives are illegal and have been banned to be used anywhere. Anyone in the possession of such knives could get into real trouble. This consequently taught me the lesson to carefully tread around such places. As much as they may be awesome to look at, be careful and clever with your purchases. Other than that my experience in the market regarding the food and little trinkets for back home was wonderful.
I picked up a little trick along the way when it comes to the Thai shopkeepers in the market. They usually soften up to you if you make an attempt to speak their mother tongue. Haggling is definitely on the yes list and it is not something to be ashamed of as everyone does it and you can get yourself some great deals in that way.