The lockdowns had gotten to us. We needed a reset. Our bodies became weaker, due to enough lack of movement. But even more than that, we weren’t happy. We missed traveling the world.
The thought of leaving New York City’s frigid wintertime temperatures to beautiful Thailand became possible again, due to loosening entry restrictions.
We came to Thailand to get ourselves back to good health, and pamper ourselves, at a fraction of what it would have cost almost anywhere else in the world. We came here to get ourselves back to where we were before we all ever heard of lock-downs.
Imagine going local in Thailand, by getting traditional Thai massages as low as $3 USD for an hour. Haircuts as low as $3. Huge bags of tropical fruits, such as mangoes, dragon fruits, and passion fruits — and only pay $10? This is where we went. Thailand, with its beautiful, warm weather year-round sold us.
Our travel and pampering is taking place in the beach resort city of Pattaya, 90 minutes from the Bangkok airport. We’re happy now, getting back in shape, doing beach walks and swims, getting therapeutic massages, doing steam saunas…and lots more to rejuvenate. Our rejuvenation here in Thailand saved us.
Pattaya City, while well-known for its nightlife, is also great for Thai massages, manicures and pedicures, hair treatments, facials, swims in the sea, walks on the beach, visits to spas with sauna, steam rooms and outdoor pools; plus for eating fresh fruits and delicious foods. We enjoy drinking coconut water fresh from the coconuts as often as we can here.
All the fruits taste better in Thailand – bananas, pineapples, mango, durian, etc. We each adore eating as well as making smoothies with passion fruit and red dragon fruits. Another favorite is pomelo, which tastes like grapefruit and is said to help with weight loss.
We have side-by-side, ocean-front beach condos with kitchens in Jomtien Beach – one of the palm tree-lined beaches of Pattaya City. While our accommodation has a beautiful pool, it is sometimes fun to pool hop. One way is to go to beach clubs. Usually, all you need to do to get a drink food, or there may be a small fee. We enjoyed the Fat Coco Beach Club, with its colorful décor on Pattaya Beach Road, and the Alexa Beach Club, with special DJ’s each weekend. When we ate dinner at the incredible rooftop restaurant at Siam at Siam Hotel, the waitress told us we can come back anytime to use the infinity pool for the price of a drink.
In addition to doing things to better our health, much of our time is spent finding places for the niche of the Jason Rupp channel on YouTube, which has the slogan of: “Keep Jason handsome. Keep Jason making videos.” We look for places to make videos of Jason getting haircuts, getting shaves, facials, pedicures-manicures, and more treatments along that line. His theme is simply “Travel & Pamper.“ Often, Mama Carla, the co-producer, makes appearances in the videos or helps to film.
For bettering our health & happiness, we found live music to enjoy. They say music is good for the soul. One evening we went all out! We heard live jazz at a beautiful venue called the Jazz Pit, led by guitarist Thomas Reimer from Austria. After that, we caught the last set of a fun house reggae band at Trench Town in Soi Buakow, a lively nightlife area.
Jazz Pit is in the Sun Sabella Thai Classical Restaurant Complex and features jazz music performers every night from 6 pm to 10:30 pm except Tuesday. We also enjoy the house band playing for the jazz jam on Sunday afternoons from 2 pm to 6 pm. Guitarist Thomas Reimer is a longtime jazz artist in Pattaya from Austria. A few of the performers come in from Bangkok for the weekend. Sandbar Restaurant is another venue near our condo building in Dongtan Beach that we recommend for live music on the weekends, starting on Friday evenings with salsa dancing to Latin bands.
We love all the music in the city, the different kinds of foods, getting massages, riding a motorbike around town. We have our favorite places in Pattaya for various ethnic varieties of food. While we love Thai food, we particularly enjoy Salotto Italy Smile, in Jomtien Beach, for pizza made by the Italian chef Giovanni.
Night markets are fun places for us to go for inexpensive and fresh food. We enjoy the Thepprasit Weekend Market, bustling with stall after stall of every kind of foods. Jomtien also has its own nightly market on the beach, where you can sit outside and enjoy a beer.
One of our favorite places for sauna became the VIP Sauna (only $5 entry), where you can not only go in and out of the hot steam and sauna rooms and the cold splash pool and jacuzzi, but sit down in your swim suit and order and eat the tastiest Thai curry and stir-fry imaginable. Another favorite spa is Sands Sauna near our beach condo. For 300 baht/about $9 USD, you get complimentary watermelon, fresh coffee, and water, along with your entry, with a pool, steam and sauna rooms. You can stay until 10 pm, as we did. Sands is especially good to go to, since it’s beach-front, and you can come and go all day.
We’re having fun again. Feeling better. We could laugh and smile more.
Bangkok Side Trip
To look and feel good, you need your teeth in good shape. So Jason made appointments for us to his favorite dentist in Bangkok that he has been to before in previous visits.
We boarded the $4 express bus in Jomien and took a side trip for a few nights to Bangkok. On other trips, we have seen temples and the sights, but this visit was mostly healthrelated. However, we did take time to stroll around a bit in the famous Southeast Asian city. We always love the Chinatown area as a destination. This time it was to Little India first on a pretty street in that area to Mama’s restaurant. The delicious, late afternoon outdoor Indian meal on a beautiful canal became one of our most memorable times.
We took a taxi to the dental office in the Bankapi area. The dentist was happy to see us, since he knew us from other visits. We each had dental cleanings and checkups. It turned out we each needed one filling. The thorough cleanings and fillings were so reasonably-priced compared to what we would have paid in New York City! Each filling and each cleaning cost only $30, a total of $120 USD, quite a deal.
On the subject of dental tourism, Carla actually had some major work done in Pattaya a different year, and the implants are still holding strong. It was about three years back, and she learned how expensive three implants would be in New York City, even with shopping around dentists. So we made plans to have the work done in Thailand at a Jomtien-Pattaya office for way less than a third of the cost…and the difference gave us a trip out of it! She’s been more than satisfied with the results, especially with having the bottom front teeth being straight for the first time. The implant teeth look even better than the original teeth ever did.
After so much walking around to get our health back, we decided our feet hurt. We searched the internet for a foot doctor. As a result, part of our rejuvenation included seeing a renowned Dutch podiatrist at the Walker Clinic in Pattaya. We each were fitted with orthotics with different foot problems. After our inserts were made, we received the call less than a week later to try them out for the doctor. And now with the removable orthotics, we are enjoying Thailand even more by being able to walk better and improving our individual foot conditions. But, it did take a few days or so to get used to them!
We also each bought better quality sneakers for the new removable foot inserts for our shoes. The visit to the Adidas shoe shop at Central Festival Mall paid off in better foot health.
It was worth the long airplane rides to get to Thailand. Health and wellbeing are so important. We found Thai smiles, joy and better health. While we did this all for less cost in Thailand, we realized that our health and happiness is priceless.