HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Ho, Ho, Holiday Spirit at Pattaya Hotels

Isaan comes to Pattaya for 2009 fair

Dicey Reilly’s Pub and Eatery kick off

Ho, Ho, Holiday Spirit at Pattaya Hotels

Staff Reporters
There may not have been snowmen or even chimneys for Santa to slide down, but Pattaya had plenty of Christmas spirit with hotels, restaurants, tourists and locals festively celebrating the occasion.

Good old fashioned gingerbread at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Pattaya.
At Pattaya City Hall, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh received a Christian blessing from a local church group. Elsewhere in the city, hotels readied for the occasion with special menus and parties.
The Dusit Thani hotel celebrated Christmas at the poolside with a specially-priced international menu. Acrobats danced during dessert before Santa made his annual appearance.
At the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa, Christmas tradition was complemented with classical Thai dance capped with a lucky draw for holiday prizes.

Santa was seen hanging out at Jameson’s Irish Pub.
Sixty children from Pattaya-area orphanages joined in singing Jingle Bells at the Hard Rock Cafe, whose lively party can be relived on YouTube.
Managing Director Sopin Thappajug rang in the holiday for the Diana Group, emceeing the party at the Diana Inn, where light music and a budget-priced buffet preceded a red-and-green fireworks show.
Santa surprised guests at the Thai Garden Resort when he made his annual appearance not on a reindeer-driven sleigh, but on the back of a horse. The North Pole cowboy delighted children nonetheless with the many presents he handed out.
In Jomtien Beach, the Sheraton Pattaya passed out presents of their own to guests and entertained them with holiday music.
And at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort guests dined poolside to a lavish set menu.
Food is never in short supply at Captain’s Corner and the buffet restaurant filled their guests’ bellies with holiday treats while entertaining them with Thai and western music.
The new five-star Centara Grand Mirage Beach Pattaya celebrated its first Christmas in ultimate style with guests dining on Christmas fare in three different restaurants. Children from the Redemptorist School Pattaya sang Christmas carols.
Woodlands Hotel & Resort threw an exclusive private party for honored guests featuring Thai and European food and light music.
The Pattaya Countdown to 2010 also began on Christmas Day, at Bali Hai pier. A grand fireworks display and stage shows were the highlights there.

Pattaya’s countdown to 2010 started with a bang - lots of bangs for that matter - with a grand fireworks display on Christmas night at Bali Hai.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh (right) and other city officials receive a Christian blessing from members of the Pattaya Christian Club at Pattaya City Hall.

Staff, management and friends at the Captain’s Corner
wish everyone Merry Christmas.

Children enjoy Christmas Eve at the Thai Garden Resort Pattaya.

Cherubs from the Pattaya Orphanage sing carols at the Hard Rock.

Staff at Woodlands Hotel & Resort Pattaya dress up in their colorful Christmas outfits.

Young angels brighten the night at Diana Inn.

Santa delivers presents to the children at the Dusit Thani Pattaya.

Santa and two of his beautiful helpers at the Hard Rock
ask guests if they have been naughty or nice.

Santa and the Christmas Fairy light up the night at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort.

Christmas tradition is served at the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa.

Christmas dancers take to the stage at the Dusit Thani Pattaya.

Santa and his helpers welcome guests
to some yuletide cheer at the Sheraton Hotel Pattaya.

 It’s a Joyous Noel at the Diana Inn.

Father Michael Weera Phangrak (right) presides over
the Christmas event at the Pattaya Orphanage.

Isaan comes to Pattaya for 2009 fair

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
Thailand’s northeast was transplanted in Pattaya this holiday season when musicians, artists and crafts makers descended on the Dee-Isaan Field on Second Road for the “Best of Isaan Fair 2009.”

Traditional Isaan dancers perform a folkdance.
Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and Banglamung District Chief Mongkol Thamakittikhun headlined a cast of local dignitaries and community leaders at the Dec. 18-20 festival across from the Grand Sole Hotel.
The festival kicked off with a parade from Chaimongkol Temple on South Road to the fairground with song and dance beginning at 7 p.m. The festival featured a som tam contest, Loei Province “ghost dance,” northeastern-style singers, dancers and artists, booths selling goods from the northeast and exhibitions on silk-making and weaving.
Mayor Itthiphol, whose brother, former Minister of Tourism and Sports Sonthaya Kunplome presided over the event, said it was held to promote eastern culture and traditions, plus attract tourists to the New Year holidays in Pattaya.

The “King and Queen” of Isaan are brought to the festival on the backs of elephants.

Traditional dancers from the Northeast perform in the grand Isaan parade.

“Ghosts” from Loei Province perform in the parade.

Dicey Reilly’s Pub and Eatery kick off

Manager Cathel (Cat) Brett (3rd left), Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (center) and Supadit Maneeratjarusri (4th right), Managing Director of Royal Garden Plaza Shopping Mall, and honored guests preside over the opening of the new Dicey Reilly’s.

Dr. Iain Corness
The area under the Marriott’s Garden Café has now almost gone the full circle from being Delaney’s Irish Pub over a decade ago, through to being the More Pub (which eventually became less), to be reborn last month as Dicey Reilly’s Pub and Eatery, with its Irish Pub Manager Cathel (Cat) Brett.

Phil McCafferty is ready and waiting.
The makeover has been very well done, transforming the previous minimalist concrete décor into something much more inviting, with warm wood cladding featuring some hand-painted Irish murals, some walls knocked down to open the area out and a wonderful lustrous green applied to the benches. The central oval bar has been retained, and the multiple TV screens as well, so it retains its sports bar flavor. There are also more pool tables and a pub football game.
To make the grand opening really swing along, the well known entertainer Lee Shamrock, complete with his green leprechaun hat and shamrock trousers and who used to make Delaneys come to life, thrilled the audience with his racy Irish ballads. Please make him a regular feature, Dicey Reilly’s!

Narinthorn Na Bangchang entertains the crowd on opening night.
Green was certainly the color of the evening, and the svelte sprayed-on green outfits of the Heineken girls brought smiles as well as super-cold ales. Many of the guests were also ‘awearing o’ the green’ although the simple black dress with the necking plungeline was also favored wear (I shall mention no names, but you know who you are)! The other beer ladies from Magners were also outfitted in black and the young ladies from the vodka company were outfitted in red, complete with air cadet hats and bright smiles. It was certainly a colorful evening.
The official part of the evening complete with the ribbon cutting, was carried out by Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, but since the guests had already entered the cool of the air-conditioned pub by the time he arrived, it was difficult to get them outside again! However, Dicey Reilly’s head was certainly wetted, which for most people was the more important ceremony.

(L to R) Elfi Seitz, Dr Iain Corness, and Pratheep Malhotra congratulate Somsak Tanruengsri (left), GM of Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa, as do May, Som Corness and Nittaya Patimasongkroh.

The crowd mingles outside the new pub during the opening ceremonies.

Fun for all at Dicey Reilly’s Authentic Irish Pub and Eatery.