Living in Pattaya in 1969

by Jerry McFarland
(Danville, Indiana )

a friend on Pattaya Beach

a friend on Pattaya Beach

a friend on Pattaya Beach
SwissAir Stewardess Nipa Lodge Patio
Me in Thailand
small field behind Charlies Hideaway



In 1969 I was stationed at U-Tapao airbase but actually lived in Pattaya. A longtime friend of mine and I worked opposite 12 hour shift and were able to schedule our actual departure so that we could live in Pattaya and commute by bus to the base.

In those days there were only small hotels at the beach with the Nipa Lodge being the nicest and most expensive at about $12 per night. There were a few others like the Nipa Hut. I remember the Nipa Hut well because it was impossible to light your own cigarette inside. Four waiters would all rush trying to see who could light it first. The Nipa Lodge was a great hangout for single guys who like to try to pick up foreign guests (including stewardesses) who seemed to enjoy the break from Bangkok tourist areas.

In those days, my favorite pastime was to pick up a couple of local girls (who worked as waitresses etc. in Pattaya) and grab my friend and rent a small fishing boat to take us out to the Islands off the coast. We would take box lunches, a few beers and soft drinks and picnic for an afternoon. We also would go skinny dipping saying we were looking for exotic fish or whatever we could makeup. At the end of trip we would let the fisherman who took us out fish on his way back. He told us if he didn't at least try his wife would kill him.

Lastly I remember Suthep Iemisakul who at that time owned the Outrigger and Coral reef restaurant and night club right on the beach. He was a great guy and I can't tell you how many Irish Coffees I drank inside his establishments. I went back in 1973 and Suthep, of course, was still there, I understand as of just a few years ago,he is still there.

I would love to come back but I know it just can't be as good as it was there before.

Jerry McFarland

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Mar 06, 2017
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pattaya 1969-70 NEW
by: Anonyjoemous

i was stationed at utapao with the 4258 fms. several of us rented a bungalow across from barbos. as one of us would head back home we would bring in a new guy to pick up the rent. it was a great time. spending days off lounging on the beach, water skiing, or hiring a fishing boat to take us out to the islands. night time would find us in the clubs, and restaurants. great seafood, plenty of singha, and a sway mok puying. it really took the edge off those 12 hour days. this sleepy little fishing village was magical. for a 20 year old kid this was surreal. launching fully loaded buffs hour after hour, day after day. and then escaping to pattaya. wow!

Oct 26, 2016
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Pattaya was Paradise in 1968-69
by: Larry Cogburn

I was the lone US ARMY medic stationed at the US Military Dispensary from Oct68 to Feb69. There was a Thai Registered Nurse at the Dispensary during the work day (Mon-Fri) and an Aussie medical doctor who held sick call on Tue and Thur. I was on duty 24/7 and had a custom-made medic uniform for the beach. Pattaya was Paradise in those days. I went water skiing or sailing to Koh Larn almost every day. I returned to Pattaya in 2013 and was very disappointed at the over-development, more like Manhattan than the Pattaya I remember. I have lots of photos during that period, especially of the late King Bhumibol, sailing from the Royal Thai Sailing Club. I would enjoy hearing from other service men/women who enjoyed pristine Pattaya in the late 1960's.
Spec5 Larry Cogburn.
US ARMY Medic
cogburn@udel.edu

Sep 09, 2015
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Great !
by: Anonymous

love this blog, thank you for the informative post

Sep 07, 2015
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Tourism
by: Anonymous

Thailand is an amazing country for visiting purpose as it is covered by natural beauty and scenes that makes people mind fresher and also put a positive impact on their health. Phuket is one of the most famous points in Thailand that can also be regarded as a paradise on earth

Sep 07, 2015
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education
by: john

It is deligthful to read this post and i get many useful point through this post. Please keep posting such kind of post.

Sep 02, 2015
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Oh my
by: Anonymous

What memories! I stumbled on this page and thought I'd add my two cents. I was stationed at Camp Vayama, an Army base near Sattahip. I, and 3 others, rented a house almost directly across from Barbos. Among other things, we had a "house girl" named Loc, who was 14of so at the time. I hated the idea of a "house girl," but quickly learned it was the best of many bad options for her. She taught me Thai and I loved her like a daughter. We water-skied behind Barbo boats, ate rock lobster, drank Sing Ha and loved learning a bit about Thai culture. The tawdry parts were limited in those years, but many Americans were not very thoughtful. I recall evenings at the Nipa Lodge and many other spots in and around the center of the village. Boated to islands for scuba diving, sailed down the coast in small Army sailboats. I could go on. Thanks for a chance to share a memory.

May 07, 2015
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Was there in 1969
by: Andy

I was at Camp Samae San (HHC Terminal Command) the end of 69; all of 70 and a couple months of 71. Used to go up to Pattaya all the time. Beautiful beaches; rent these little houses and stay. Only 1-2 restaurants/hotels and bars. Water ski right off the Beach.

have been back and just not my style any more.

May 07, 2015
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Was there in 1969
by: Andy

I was at Camp Samae San (HHC Terminal Command) the end of 69; all of 70 and a couple months of 71. Used to go up to Pattaya all the time. Beautiful beaches; rent these little houses and stay. Only 1-2 restaurants/hotels and bars. Water ski right off the Beach.

have been back and just not my style any more.

Jan 07, 2015
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been there before
by: Anonymous

I spent my 21th birthday on Pattaya in 1969, I'm sitting here thinking was it all real.I look at youtube today of pattaya and wonder what happen there.I would love to go back and see this place now in person but I'm not 21 no more and probably CAN'T KEEP UP.

Nov 17, 2014
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bamboo bar
by: Ed B.

Does anyone remember it or have any pictures? I spent a lot of time and money there.I also remember a restaurant there that was all open and thatched that I seemed to recall was kind of octagon shaped.I think the pizza was pretty good there as well. I was stationed at Utapao 68 & 69 635th SPS tiger flight.

Oct 28, 2013
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I was there in 69, 70, 71
by: Bob Worcester

I was a kid living in Bangkok 1969-1971. My father was an advisor to the Thai Air Force through JUSMAG and we were stationed out of Bangkok.

I have so many fond memories of Pattaya. Our family and another USAF family spent so many weekends there. I remember such a peaceful, beautiful place. We drove on the beach and got stuck in the sand. To say I loved it would be an understatement.

We took a boat they called a Chinese Junk out to nearby islands one time. The boat was named "The Kim." I remember that because that was my birthname. A young lady fell off the boat and into some man-o-wars. She was stung very badly and we brought her to the local clinic.

I married a Thai lady 12 years ago. We have been to Pattaya a few times since. It is still nice now in it's own way but I really prefer the beautiful, peaceful place of my childhood.

Aug 05, 2013
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military brat life in Pattaya
by: Nancy

I lived there then. I was 8 or 9. I remember the fishing village and the beautiful pristine beach. I lived in fantastic house just a short walk up a sandy road from the beach. I used to go to the movies there and recall the song *Do You Know the Way to San Jose* being played while waiting for the movie to start. There was a medic station there and we kids would continually bring some poor snake all battered up for the medic to place in a liquid filled glass jar. The medic never complained. One of my friends parents owned a bar there and treated me to a boatride out to the near islands to swim. I used to ride horses on Pattaya beach. I recall at first always being given a Shetland pony to ride despite pointing to the tallest horse present. One day I was riding the Shetland on the beach when a very drunken very chubby Thai gentleman with a big ole smile came up and smacked the pony on the butt. Pony was off and runnin! I pulled at the reins again and again but only was able to turn the pony. No way that Shetland was stopping. Up and down the beach it galloped with me hangin on workin the reins. Everyone scattered! I never came off and was able to rein the pony into the ocean where it calmed down. Next day I was back to ride again. When I pointed to the tallest horse present, I was handed its reins. I didnt ride on the beach anymore after that though. I chose to ride a bit inland avoiding the water buffalo herds...and my big brother... and his friends Jai and Tai. Lol! Was a great life.

Jun 25, 2013
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Pattaya in 1969
by: joel

The movie theater was in the JUSMAG compound. There was a snack bar there as well. You could rent Honda 90's for $5/day across the street on the beach. Our bar was the Friends Club and the house band, The Kingstones. Chet, Toui, Ting and their Philipino singer, Boy(of course). We ate at barbo's.

Mar 21, 2013
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cold storage
by: martin griffin

I played in a band called Cold Storage for three months, June to August I think, at the Nipa Lodge Hotel in 1971. Drummer and singer was Bob Newton from England, guitarist Andy Frantz from Hawaii, while I, also from England, played bass. We also had a girl singer called Judy Morrison from Australia. We played our rock and soul music every evening in The Fishbowl Bar, I think it was called. The hotel gave us four bamboo huts down at the far end of the beach towards Nakhlua. We even had a pack of stray dogs which looked out for us, as we looked out for them of course. I've never been back there but from the pictures that I see, the Pattaya that we knew was a far cry from what it is today.

Oct 08, 2012
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I was there in 69
by: Amy

It was fun to find this. I lived in Pattaya in 1969 and 70 but was only four and five years old at the time. I do, however, have many memories of it, reinforced with moving pictures and photos. I remember attending a one-room school house that went to the 4th grade. I also remember being constantly at the beach drinking out of coconuts and watching people ride horses. We also would sail out to those small islands.

Do you remember the movie theater? I remember seeing one of the Mr. Tibbs movies with Sidney Poitier in it with my mum. My Dad was in the Army and was stationed around there. I don't know where. We lived in a compound of six houses near a large house that had bushes shaped into animals. I don't remember anyone living in that house or remember seeing anyone working on the bushes, but they were always immaculately trimmed and seemed magical to a little kid.

It was a really cool place to grow up. I wish I could see it again; although I'm sure I wouldn't recognize it now.

Feb 08, 2012
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Pattaya 1968
by: Anonymous

My first visit to Pattaya was in the summer of 1968 from nearby Utapao. I was raised in Florida and new beautiful beaches but even to me Pattaya Beach was awesome so beautiful and unspolied it waqs a little slice of heaven. I went back a few years ago and OMG I new Pattaya had changed that it would not be the sleepy little fishing village anymore but what was a tiny fishing village was now more like Miami Beach. Well Miami Beach does not have 3,000 bars and bar girls everywhere. I miss the quaint pattaya quiet and laid back. Oh well I guess that is progress?

Bud

Oct 24, 2011
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Amazing Story
by: Robert (Administrator )

Hi Jerry

Thank you so much for your story.

I love to hear other peoples stories and experiences about Pattaya, especially from the past, and I'm sure visitors to this site will also enjoy it.

I bet you had one hell of a time back then, I can only imagine what life in Pattaya was like 40 years ago. I've been here for 12 yeas now, and I have noticed a significant change (not always for the better) especially over the last 5 years.

It is still however one of the greatest places on earth, and somewhere that if you have never experienced, impossible to do justice by trying to describe it.

I'm happy you have chosen to share this story about you past, and please do forward this page to your family and friends so they can also see it.


Thanks again for sharing you story, and please do feel free to share more of the experiences you had in the "Land of Smiles"

Best Regards

Robert
Website Administrator

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