The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

May 29, 2014 by David Herd

Pattaya beach 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980 with my good friend Rob Symonds. We stayed at the Royal Cliff Hotel which had only been open for 2 years. The photo of the long-tail boat in the header was taken in May 2014 however the fishing boats in 1980 were virtuously the same design, as you will see in this post.

Pattaya Thailand March 1980 was like visiting a sleepy fishing village. Even before the start of the Vietnam War, American GIs had put Pattaya on the map as the best beach destination to unwind and indulge. But when large numbers of troops began to arrive at the neighbouring Ban Sattahip Air Base in 1968, things really picked up in Pattaya. Also known as U-Tapao International Airport, the army base at Sattahip was heavily staffed and used by the US Air Force throughout the Vietnam conflict.

Prior to jet skis

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Notice that well before jet skis the little speed boats were powered by a 25 hp engine.

It all started when a group of 500 American soldiers stationed at the military base in Korat were driven to Pattaya on 29th June 1959 for a week of rest and relaxation (R&R). They rented several houses at the southern end of the beach from a prominent Thai, Lord Sunthorn, thus opening Pandora’s Box for this sleepy fishing village. Despite their short stay, the GIs had a great time and raved about the place. The word spread among other American soldiers stationed in the region and Pattaya quickly became a hot alternative to the concrete sprawl of Bangkok.

Where are the deck chairs?

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

The beach was very natural on my first trip to Pattaya in in 1980, hardly any deck chairs & umbrellas.

Para-sailing in 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Some things never change.

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Walking St 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

To say walking St was different is an understatement, I have seen this photo of mine used many times in the local press & blogs, however I did take it & you can see my friend Rob Symonds walking towards me.

Walking St as it was in 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Life in Pattaya was much simpler then. 🙂

Welcome was still the “word”

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Here are some gorgeous girls waiting for a Farang to buy them a drink, the greeting was the same then as it is now, “hello welcome”. Some things never change. 🙂

Our introduction to Walking St

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980 

Same rules applied then as they do now, goods & services however were much cheaper. 🙂

Royal Cliff Hotel 1980

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

The Royal Cliff was the most modern hotel in Pattaya in 1980. On fact it had a ten pin bowling alley and above that was a body to body soapy massage parlour, my first introduction to that particular pleasure.

Cold beers at the Royal Cliff hotel.

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Life did not get much better than this on our first trip to Pattaya.

Get a discount for a room at the Royal Cliff, just use THIS LINK.

Manila in 1980 on the way to Thailand.

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Here we are in Manila training heavily for our trip to Pattaya.

Thanks for visiting my 1980 post

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Over the years many friends have said that in this photo I look like a Miami drug dealer, people can be so cruel. 🙂

After 34 years I have hardly changed at all. 🙂

First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980

Thanks for visiting my First trip Pattaya Thailand March 1980 photo blog.

                 

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