Laem Chabang (Bangkok) Thailand

We had a two day stay at this port which is two hours drive south of Bangkok and one hour north of Pattaya Beach.  Laem Chabang is the main port of Thailand and the cruise terminal is in the midst of a booming commercial area.  I have been to Thailand seven times and so used this port to catch up on things like getting my hair cut.  I went into Bangkok on the first day and was in the areas where the trouble was last year.  The area where people were getting hurt in the standoff with the police on Silom road shows no signs of damage even though the skytrain station was set on fire last year.  However, the Central World office tower which was firebombed is still under reconstruction.  The luxury mall which is attached however, is open and shows absolutely no signs of the fire.  Tourism seems to be down though, as prices for luxury goods have dropped considerably from what they were three years ago.  The malls are not crowded.  However, that might change in the high tourist season from January to March.  Today I went to Pattaya Beach.  It had a seedy reputation during the eighties and nineties but the local government is trying to turn it into a family friendly destination.  You would want to stay at a large resort here because the beach is narrow and not very attractive. (photo).  However, people still enjoy the water sports.(photo) The streets are crowded with all kinds of bars, shops and restaurants, none of which are very appealing.  Sex tourism is still evident in the large number of couples of older western men and young girls.   Leaving the port, I saw the local shrimp fishing boats getting ready to set sail during the evening.(photo)  After dinner I took a walk around the deck and watched them sail by our ship.  They were very pretty as they are all lit up. 

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