Friday, January 4, 2013

Pattaya...Method in madness

Method in madness. That is one of the distinct things I remember from Pattaya. There were a lot of tourists in Pattaya. On all the popular spots, you can see hordes of tourists. I was one in the crowd. Where there are tourists, there are tourist guides too. I spend two days in Pattaya. The first day, I ventured out on my own. The second day, I had signed up with a tour group.

The second day turned out to be interesting. A van picked us from the hotel. It went to other hotels and picked up more people. All us were dopped off at Pattaya beach where we met a woman who was supposed to accompany us in the trip to Coral Island or Ko Larn. After waiting for 10 minutes, the woman moved us to another group led by another woman. She said, "She is my cousin. You can go with her". Then we boarded a boat, went to a bigger boat which served as launchpad for para-sailing and then again to another boat from where you could participate in sea-walking, before finally ending up in Coral Island. In case you wanted to try out para-sailing or sea-walking, you paid the guide and guide gave a token. The token served as the ticket.

What amazed me was a simple fact. Our original group was merged with another group. People were shifted between groups. Money was paid to the tourist guides for activities like para-sailing and sea-walking. There was no record of what happened. Even the money trail ended with the tourist guides. But what about the people in the boat performing para-sailing and sea-walking. When was the money transferred to them? It seemed chaotic and unplanned for me.

Like I said there is method in madness. When we reached back at the Pattaya Beach and waited for van to drop us back to the hotel, the guide was recording the day's collections in a long piece of paper stuck inside a notebook. I still have not figured out how the whole thing works. But I am sure it is based on some primitive yet effective way. Everyone there is connected to each other and most of the business is conducted on trust.

Tags: Travel,Pattaya,Ko Larn


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