Why not an unforgettable Valentine’s dinner in a Pattaya Hotel?

Valentine’s Day is another event of Western import that the Thais have embraced like their own.


February 14 is held by almost all cultures and all nationalities as “Valentine’s Day” – the “day of love and of lovers.

The occasion allows us to express our profound feelings for our loved ones more openly. Buying them gifts, sending them flowers or chocolates, treating them to a fancy restaurant, shower them with love are just a few things Thais do on Valentine’s Day.

Thais are known to be lavish gift givers and during this occasion, they are known to splash on gifts. Exquisite locally-made glassware and ceramic items, and chocolates and cakes – most of them heart-shaped, are some of the most popular gifts.  As in other countries, lovers send each other Valentine’s Day cards.


And because Thais go out a lot, Valentine’s Day has become a great occasion to dine-out or go club-hopping.  The most popular rendezvous points on this romantic day are the major hotels, which organize a variety of programs to celebrate the occasion.  Most places offer a set dinner by candlelight for two.


While here as guests, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day with your spouse or loved one with a special dinner in one of the city’s best hotels. It is guaranteed, it will be a night to remember for you and your partner.

Some hotels also offer romantic dinner on the beach. This would be a great way to celebrate the festival of hearts right under the stars, with the lapping of the waves serving as background music.



Pattaya Elephant Village

No circus shows, only a close-up look at the interesting life of an elephant


Besides the beaches and night life, there are other things to enjoy in Pattaya. Tucked a little away from the city are some paddy fields and forest areas to explore, and there’s no better way to do it than on an elephant’s back.

An elephant ride is a unique experience. Centuries ago, it was theexclusive royal mode of transport. If you care a little of Thai History, King Rhamkhaeng the Great rode on an elephant to do battle against Khun Sam Chon, the ruler of the Chod City. And King Jak Kra Pad the Great fought against Prince Prae on his elephant. He too won the battle.


Many other stories show how Thais look up to elephants as more than mere animals. In fact, elephants are well spoken of in their arts, literature and social life.

In Pattaya, the place to see elephants up close is, of course, the Elephant Village. The village was founded in 1973 as a sanctuary for former working elephants retired for injury, ill health or old age. With their condition, theyare not likely to survive if returned to the wild.


A private company run on a nonprofit basis, the Elephant Village was founded by Mr. Phairat Chaiyakham, who remains the managing director till today. After operating costs had been deducted, all proceeds from its activitiesgo into the upkeep of the animals. The village doesn’t receive any support from the government or any private group.

From childhood he has fascinated by elephants. “When I was a boy, I used to wonder many things about elephants, like how are they fed and how much food do they eat everyday.”

“Now I know the answer,” he quips with a smile, having run the village hands on during the last four decades. “And it costs a lot to provide them food and medicine.”

The village has fifty elephants and employs about a hundred people to look after them. It has three elephant shows daily.  About a thousand people visit Elephant Village every day.


Mr. Phairat personally designed these shows, which typically depicts the animals’ daily routine, starting withtheir bathing. “If you want a show that you see in a circus, you won’t find it here,”he says. In fact, show routines one finds in other elephant shows, like a pachyderm shooting a basketball into a ring, aren’t done here.

“We consider our animals like members of our family. So we treat them with respect,” he says.

The Elephant Village is located at 48/120, Moo 7, Tambon Nong Prue, Pattaya. Call 038-249818, 038-249853, 038-734470, 081-8114249, 086-1488185 or 081-2957231 for inquiries. You can also send email to info@elephant-village-pattaya.com or visit its website at http://www.elephant-village-pattaya.com.

Dining on Lobsters and Crabs


One of the simplest and most popular ways of enjoying the crabs is to order them streamed (neung) and served with a number of different sauces. The one which compliments the flavor of the crab, according to the many locals, is prik manao, a mixture of chopped chilies, lime juice, garlic and soy sauce.


For a more interesting dish, you might want to try fried blue crabs with curry sauce (poo pat pong gari). There’s also poo ta le pahd pong gari, which is made tangier by the addition of spring onions, and poo too ka-teum phrik Thai that’s flavored with garlic and pepper. A milder alternative is Chinese-style hot pot crab with vermicelli (poo op wun sen).


In some hotel menus, one can order the special mud crabs that must be cooked alive to get the best taste.

Unlike blue crabs, which are sought mainly for their body meat, connoisseurs of mud crabs go for the claws, the meat of which is said to be superior to that found under the shell. Some restaurants suggest reservations since preparing mud crab dishes take some time thanks to their thick shells.

ปูจ๋า         For those who don’t want to wait, there’s always fried stuffed crabs (poo ja), which is basically crab meat, pork, eggs and spices cooked in the shell. Try also mud crabs cooked in coconut milk and deep-fried crab skulls dish (kanchiang poo neung).

Lobsters of goong mang gaawn or goong yai in Thai, are usually kept in tanks where you can even harvest your own and have it cooked just the way you like it.


This giant prawn-like seafood can be steamed and served with garlic and butter, grilled, boiled, stewed or baked.  Seafood restaurants pride themselves in their own secret sauce recipes to accompany your order.

In choosing lobsters, the joint between the head and tail must be translucent and not of a black discoloration to ensure that your pick is right.

Where to dine:

Mr. 99 Seafood Restaurant –  On Beach Rd. Corner of Soi 7.  038 – 361 907    

Rim Talay Beach Front Restaurant –  Naklua Rd, Soi 18 Straight down to the beach on the left side, next to Centara Grand Mirage Resort.  038 426 375 – 6