In a recent vlog I asked a few Hua Hin Expats to describe Pattaya Expats and they were fairly blunt in their opinions, you can see the vlog here Hua Hin Expats views on Pattaya Expats. Of course, it was going to get a response from the retirees of Pattaya and they took the bait and bit back hard.
It is a more interesting debate than just on face value. I have heard the phrase ‘Gods waiting room’ directed at Pattaya expats before too, but the retort from a Pattaya expat that Pattaya is more about a retiree getting second wind and somehow ‘Getting a Life’ is a compelling defence. Pattaya has certainly evolved in recent years, but the changes are largely irrelevant to this debate – I don’t see many retirees using water parks, ice skating rinks or visiting sheep farms for example. What is being attacked in these arguments is the stereotypes of each region. But, are the stereotypes fair?
Positioning and Individual Perceptions
The fun of such topic is that it comes down to positioning. For example, the Hua Hin and Pattaya Expat both share the fact that they left their domestic country for a better life, they both are ‘Getting a better life’ through their respective eyes. Unfortunately as we all get older and reach retirement we all increasingly fit the strap line that we are in ‘Gods waiting room’ too.
All Live Different Lives
In another vlog I produced, titled ‘5 Signs You Should Leave Pattaya’, I got one response saying they had never heard of me in Pattaya and that they had lived there over ten years (same length as me) and so how could I possibly have a view on whether someone needs to call time on their Pattaya experience.
One mans life and experience in the same location can be very different to anothers. I live in a very nice condo in Pratamanak, have a great job, eat out most nights and get to travel a lot with my young family. I am a Pattaya Expat, the same expat that some Hua Hin expats would cite as uneducated and heavy beer drinkers. The stereotype does not fit me at all. I have visited Soi 80, affectionately called ‘Fun Street’ – in Hua Hin and you would be fooled for thinking you were in the deepest darkest area of Pattaya where you get your hardened drinkers.
Are there differences between Hua Hin & Pattaya Expats?
Now this is the other side of the debate. Is there a visible difference between the two groups of expats? If you were to profile an average expat in each region then yes absolutely there is a difference. Both sets are around the same age but the average expat in Pattaya will spend more time in a bar, and very likely they will have a younger Thai partner who they met in a bar. In Hua Hin the expats will spend more time shopping, playing golf or relaxing in their villa and with their wife – who most likely is Western too.
But each to their own, it would be offensive to either group to suggest one is better than the other – and not true.
So are the expats in Hua Hin effectively in ‘Gods Waiting Room’? Yes, but the same applies to Pattaya Expats. And are Pattaya expats ‘Getting a life’? Yes, but so are those living in Hua Hin too. Touche.
It reminds me of a friendly rivalry between local football teams, the parallels are actually very comparable.
At the end of the day we all just want to be happy
Just a quick footnote before I sign off, I blog here in Thailand for a bit of fun – a time out from my day to day work. Debate like this is just intended to be harmless antagonism designed to get a response and provide leisurely stimulation. At the end of the day we all live our life to the best of our individual abilities, the tragedy of life is that one day it will end and the best way to move forward is to do so together with love and respect. Life is too short.