I was talking with one of my best friends here in Thailand yesterday. As we sat on the beach, taking in the perfect sun and sea breezes on December 1, we shared our thoughts on just how diverse and international the scene is here in Thailand. We both remarked that on a typical day, we might run into and interact with people from Australia (a lot), England and the UK (too much), Italy and France, stern Russians (not that they’ll ever talk to us), South American backpackers, plenty of American travelers and expats of all ages, Canadians of the same description, African immigrants, and business people and vacationers from almost every country in the Middle East. That doesn’t even include the Asians we mix and mingle with on a regular basis, from local Thais, to Cambodia workers, Filipino overseas workers, Indonesians, armies of Chinese and Korean tourists, and plenty of eager Japanese travelers.
Life in most cities abroad is truly a melting pot experience, and somehow, despite scores of languages, ethnic, religious and cultural beliefs and differences, we all somehow get along for the most part.
This revelation was not lost on me as me and my buddy finished up at the beach and headed to Fraser’s for dinner, one of his favorite pubs and restaurants in the international community of Pattaya. Fraser’s was first opened by one such expatriate, Stewart “Froggy” Fraser, like I just described – an Australian man who moved to Pattaya about twenty years ago for a better and more relaxed life. He wanted to set up a place where everyone was welcome, similar to the drinking hall his “mum and pop” had hosted back in Victoria, Melbourne.
These days, Fraser’s is the result. From the outside, it looks more like a whole complex than one pub or restaurant, with three levels sitting next to a hotel. But once you walk inside, you’ll be reminded of a typical Aussie pub, only with a much more modern and open feel. Like any good pub, there are two things at the center of the experience at Fraser’s: sports and beer.
About Fraser’s Bar
In fact, you’ll find sports from all over the world playing on their many flat screen TVs every moment they’re open, although Aussie Rules football, soccer (futboll), rugby, horse racing, cricket, boxing, UFC, and some Thai boxing are most requested by the mostly UK patrons.
But it’s also a place that welcomes the many expatriates from all over the world, who meet regularly in clubs or groups to eat, drink, exchange rumors (and often complaints) and some of Fraser’s huge round tables.
Since a lot of these expat men are either married to Thai women and have children and families, or just romancing their Thai girlfriends, you’ll also notice plenty of locals there, enjoying a wide range of authentic Thai dishes.
The menu at Fraser’s is HUGE, with reasonable prices for really high-quality food with enormous portions. In fact, breakfast and brunch are favorites at Fraser’s (with a beer or three as they watch sports). But we always go for the chicken parmigiana dish, which is so big that it would be hard to finish if it wasn’t so damn good.
As a testament to their celebration of the international community here in Pattaya, Fraser’s is open for just about every major holiday, throwing huge parties and special dinners or buffets for events like Christmas, when everyone brings their kids.