After spending the first part of the trip in Bangkok, Friday morning we headed a couple of hours south to the "resort" community of Pattaya. I use the term in quotes only because it really didn't live up to expectations.
We made a stop at GISTDA's satellite reception station just north of Pattaya for a couple of hours before lunch time. We met with the head of the reception facilities, and had a tour of their very impressive facility. It wasn't what I had hoped for, but still was worth the stop. After having lunch in central Pattaya, I headed to the hotel to check in.
The hotel is huge - the person doing my check in claimed it was the fourth largest hotel in the world. A quick check on wikipedia shows that it's actually the ninth. Still, pretty impressive. The problem is it was old. It was probably really sweet when it was built in the 70s or 80s, but it hasn't been updated since. Old school physical keys, dated furniture, musty small and no wifi access in my room. Plus the beds were horrible - mine moved around any time I moved. After the Westin in Bangkok, it was a huge disappointment. Thankfully, I had a great view of the ocean, and was able to see both the sunrise and sunset.
Friday night was pretty low key. I managed to find a dive charter for Saturday, so I took it easy and got up early to go diving. I wasn't sure what to expect, but was hoping for tropical, clear waters and great reefs. Sadly, it was not to be. The diving was pretty bad actually - visibility was poor, the water was badly polluted (the stuff floating on the water made it look like there was a shipwreck or something lately). I did to dives over the course of a day that was much longer than it needed to be. I definitely won't be recommending that part of Thailand for diving. I understand the south is much nicer.
The rest of the weekend and week were pretty uneventful. The rest of my coworkers showed up on Sunday, and we went into Pattaya to wander around for a bit. The conference as pretty good, and soon it was Tuesday afternoon, and James and I were back in a taxi on the way to the airport in Bangkok to catch out flight to Kuala Lumpur.