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LOCATION SPOTLIGHT……….PATTAYA  PARK NIGHT PLAZA

The Pattaya Park Area in Pratumnak (off Soi 6) has for some time been associated with Russian tourists visiting Pattaya.
Many arrive on package tours, ferried in by coaches - the same coaches we locals love to curse for causing traffic congestion, blocking our roads and junctions.  So, with the dramatic drop in the number of Russian tourists, caused by the demise of the ruble at the beginning of the year – what future for areas such as these? After all the surrounding shops and restaurants have, over the last few years been so inundated with patrons from Russia and the Ukraine, they have dropped English from many of their signs, concentrating on Thai and Russian only.
 
Certainly there has been a steady increase in the value of the ruble since the beginning of the year with the country’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov , claiming that it has now become a “strong currency”. All too late for Pattaya’s last high season but hopefully restoring some confidence for the next.  
 
In the meantime there is a tremendous opportunity to look over some of the previous Russian “hot spots” such as the Pattaya Park Night Plaza. Located at the entrance to Pattaya park it can also be reached via the entrance half way down Pratumknak soi 6. 
 
 
Far more spacious and well thought out than Pattaya’s other markets there is plenty to discover here for all nationalities. A large car park at the rear offers free car parking and the paved floor with uniform stalls and good lighting make this a much more pleasant experience than some of the dirty, dustier markets to walk around .
 
Divided into two parts, the first side has food stalls selling: seafood, Thai food and European dishes including Pizzas and delicious marinated kebabs all at excellent prices from 40 to 100 baht per dish.  Some visitors opt for take away but many stalls have chairs and table for their customers and the centre of the market is given over to a large well lit seating area with a DJ playing music – and is an excellent position for “people watching”!
 
The accompanying drinks are also extremely good value with beer sold from 50 baht (small bottle) to 70 baht for the larger size or for around 30 baht you can pick up a really excellent Smoothie, either with a single fruit such as Mango and Pineapple or intriguing cocktails of different varieties – refreshingly cold and offered with an inventive individual bag for ease of carrying. Just remember to say “no sweet” if you prefer yours without the sickly syrup added at the end of the blending. Or, if you are feeling particularly healthy there are many fruit stalls to choose from with well laid out and attractively presented fruits of all varieties. The quantity of these stalls can be credited to the Russian tourists’ love of buying fruits and juices for their children – as many of the tourists that visit here come as families – the children loving the chance to dance up on the stage with the DJ. 
On the other side of the market there are many stalls selling clothing, swimwear, toys and Thai handicrafts. These are pretty standard tourist souvenirs but again all very reasonably priced. 
The bargain prices combined with the relaxed atmosphere make Pattaya Park Night Plaza a great place to visit. Open 7 days a week with many stalls starting from the early afternoon there’s plenty of time to drop in and have a look!