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Thursday May 23, 2024

In today's issue we want to take a look at Thailand and how paintball is played there. To do this we visited some of the most modern facilities there, such as the Pattaya Paintball Park , where international tournaments are also held. Thailand is an ideal way to combine a wonderful, relaxed holiday with paintball. But read for yourself… In the last issues we have already reported to you about numerous countries where paintball is played as part of our series of articles "With Louis on a paintball world tour" and thanks to Louis we were able to provide you with great pictures and interesting information about the individual countries in our articles. Thanks again to Louis for his cooperation.

In today's article we want to visit another country on the paintball world map. It's about the Far Eastern holiday paradise of Thailand. Paintball Sports owner and managing director Karl Plinke has been there countless times and counts Thailand as one of his most popular travel destinations. So it was only logical that they would also deal with and engage with the paintball sport locally. One of the strongest paintball regions in Thailand is the area around Pattaya Beach in the north-east of the country. Pattaya itself is right on the sea and offers beaches and plenty of tourist attractions such as markets, islands and other sights, as well as a great party and nightlife. The highlight for all local paintball fans is clearly the Pattaya Paintball Park.

It is one of the most modern facilities in Asia, which was opened just a few years ago, after the major Covid crisis, which hit Thailand particularly hard as a tourist destination. At Paintball Park Pattaya, you can play paintball and airsoft in a modern atmosphere on a total area of around 12,000 square meters. The facility offers a total of four playing fields, two of which are pure SupAir tournament fields. There are also two action fields for groups who want to rent equipment on site and experience paintball as an action-packed leisure activity. We arranged to meet Spencer, the owner and field operator, in advance via social media and arranged to meet on site at the field, because we really want to see what a modern paintball facility in Thailand looks like. The field itself is about five kilometers outside the city center, but is still within the city area on the outskirts. We reached the field in about ten minutes by taxi from the hotel. It must be said at this point that taxis in Thailand are extremely cheap; we paid around 120 baht, which is about three euros. It's really nice to travel around in an air-conditioned taxi. It was around 30 degrees outside in the open air that day. It should be mentioned that the sun in Thailand feels much stronger than it does here. As a European without sunscreen, you'll get a decent sunburn after just half an hour. So always put on some sunscreen! 😉

When we arrived at the field, Spencer greeted us at the entrance with a friendly "Hello!" – He had no doubt recognized us as Europeans straight away, because that day there were really only local players on the field. "Most players from abroad only come to the field in the evening when the temperatures are a bit milder. Many only come after sunset, so we have had floodlights installed on the fields." Spencer explains to us in really easy-to-understand English. He himself is still an active player and regularly trains on the field with his own team. So he also lives paintball and has turned his hobby into his profession. First we go together to the registration area, which is located under a huge roof structure that is almost like a warehouse without external walls. There are neatly lined up tables everywhere where the players can put their equipment down and prepare for the games. In the middle is a large container structure. In addition to the registration area, there is also a small shop where you can get rental equipment, buy paintballs and there are snacks and cold drinks. The entire facility looks very modern and clean. The rental service for guest players and groups is also state-of-the-art. We only see new, modern EMEK100 markers from Planet Eclipse. All in all, it is clear that a premium offer is being presented here. But that also comes at a price. Although holidays, accommodation and food are generally very inexpensive in Thailand, paintball unfortunately has to be expected to be similar to the prices in Germany. The field fee for players with their own equipment who want to play or train on the SupAir field, for example, is 1,200 baht. That's around 30 euros. On top of that, there is another 3,000 baht for a box of paintballs with 2,000 shots. That's another 75 euros. That means you'll be paying over 100 euros for entry and a box of paint. But the field is in really top condition. We have seen and played on many paintball pitches, but at Paintball Park Pattaya you can practically eat off the floor, even on the tournament pitch. At the end of the day, the staff collects every single ball from the pitch and thoroughly cleans the bunkers, so that the pitch looks as if it had just been set up brand new, day after day.

Speaking of tournament paintball, we were very lucky that both a paintball tournament team and two Speedsoft teams from airsoft were there during our visit. While the airsoft players played on the left field, the paintball players on the right field were busy training and practicing snaps and breakouts. The team on site was the OG Boys, a tournament team that is well known in Asia and not only trains and plays in Thailand, but also travels to Singapore for tournaments and even has representatives in Australia. The guys were really relaxed and a lively exchange quickly ensued. Of course, people wanted to know how tournament paintball works in Germany and what equipment we play with. In the end, however, it turned out that paintball is always paintball. The differences are really minimal and so the sport connects people across half the world through their shared hobby. It was really cool to get to know the guys and watch them training. Of course, the obligatory group photo at the end was also a must. After a day at the Pattaya Paintball Park, you can say that there is a lot going on here and that paintball is not just practiced here, but the local people live the sport. All of this, combined with the impressive backdrop of Pattaya's skyscrapers, which are up to 40 stories high, in the background, is a real highlight in the evening and really an experience that every paintball fan should have at least once.

We were definitely fascinated by the sight when we sat away from the field that evening with Spencer, the field operator, over a cold Chang (Thai beer) and philosophized about paintball. During this conversation, it emerged that a large international tournament was to take place just a few weeks later. So we quickly arranged to meet Spencer again the following day to talk about the planned event. As it turned out, it was one of the largest international tournaments in Asia. On the event weekend, 36 teams from several countries came together from Friday to Sunday. These included Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia. An international field of starters with lots of ambitious teams. Because we thought that was so cool and we also really liked the personal contact on site, we decided to become a partner and sponsor of the event. So on the two days in which the tournament was broadcast via video livestream on social networks, you could admire the Paintball Sports video inserts again and again. We are proud and happy that we have been able to support the sport of paintball in this way, even in the more remote parts of the world.

So much for our travel report from sunny Thailand. So if you are planning a holiday in the future where you want to combine sun, beach, party and paintball, then you have come to the right place. Thailand is always worth a trip, and not just to play paintball. With this article we conclude our "Paintball Worldwide" series of articles. We hope you enjoyed it and maybe it has made one or two of you want to try paintball in other places in the world. See you soon…

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