by Kevin Cain

The above quotation was featured in an article that Thai Visa had on their website last month. It did not particularly stand out from the rest of the normal gloomy negative sensationalism featured, but it did make me ponder about the city I now call home.

The quote was made by a Mr Christian Bergland who in his infinite wisdom decided to impart to Thai Visa his thorough knowledge of Pattaya and Vang Vieng in Laos. Mr Bergland continued to prattle on at Pattaya's expense by citing that; “ “While the beachfront city is notoriously popular with gentlemen of a certain age and sensibility who like to pay for sex, it’s rare to find any other demographic where there is as widespread passion for Pattaya.” He goes on to state that the food and beaches are also disappointing.

There is no doubt that Pattaya does have it's fair share of sex and drugs and rock and roll but surely it is not the only city in the world that offers these dubious services ?

Perhaps Mr Bergland is not as well traveled as his article suggests, but I can think of many places as notorious as Pattaya or Vang Vieng in the civilized cities of Europe and America; Amsterdam, Hamburg, Las Vegas, Tijuana, Berlin, Ibiza, Moscow, new Orleans, Rio, Tokyo, Macau............

What he fails to mention is that Pattaya does not try to hide anything, it is open and accepts criticism square on the jaw. You cannot argue with his point that sleaze exists in Pattaya, what I object to is the one sided and blatant attack.Mr Bergland is merely stating the obvious and he could have exchanged Pattaya's name for one of many.However, his in depth research seems to have stopped there.

It occurs to me that his argument against the rest of Pattaya is seriously flawed. Did he not venture to the beaches of; Jomtien, Cosy Beach, Na Jomtien, Koh Larn, Wong Amat and Naklua Bay ? Or did his hot air and bluster not take him that far from Walking Street ?.

As for his negativity towards the restaurants and cuisine of Pattaya, then obviously he does not know one end of a Chateaubriand from a Crepe Suzette. Or perhaps he would be more suited to a Hot Dog topped with his verbal diarrhea .Pattaya is stacked out with fine dining restaurants; Cafe de Amis, Mata Hari, Bruno's, Casa Pascal, Mantra, Gians to name but a few and if you want top class Thai food then Pattaya is famous for it's fish and seafood.

Criticism can be a valid and worthy tool, but for it to be taken seriously a balanced and honest approach should be put forward. It is no use simply blasting something without giving an alternative or advice on how to rectify the malaise.

Pattaya has it flaws and definitely areas to be kept away from, but for the people that call it home it has so much to offer. It has it's own micro climate, when it is raining five kilometers away the sun is shining in Pattaya. When it is blisteringly hot in Bangkok, cool sea breezes keep temperatures from soaring.There are fantastic shows, cinemas, shopping malls, tourist spots and cultural offerings. And to prove my point there are more and more coach loads of tourists arriving by the day and not just filled with gentlemen of a certain age.

My advice to the Mr Berglands of the world is to do their homework thoroughly before putting pen to paper and for Thai Visa to publish such rubbish,shame on them. Why not consider printing something positive for a change ?

………………..What are your thoughts ? Are you a Berland or a Cain ? Write to and let us know. Ed