For pure holiday hedonism, the high octane activity of Pattaya is sure to impress. This popular Thailand destination has been attracting tourists for the past four decades, and with good reason. Boasting a unique atmosphere not experienced anywhere else in the world, Pattaya is a city that appeals to all your senses. Whatever your interest, from night time club hopping and cabaret shows, to action packed water sports and family friendly excursions, Pattaya has it all.
During the day participate in a host of activities, ranging from relaxation on the beaches, water sports, historical journeys or even shopping and trawling the many markets offering a wealth of wares. After dark a whole new world awakes, a blood pumping and testosterone-fuelled journey through numerous go-go bars, beers bars, night clubs, cabaret shows, late night restaurants and massage parlours.
The city offers a kaleidoscope of experiences, from its wicked sense of humour, to its more family orientated activities, sun kissed beaches, welcoming locals, exciting adventures and other unforgettable indulgences.
Pattaya is a thriving tourist and resort city on the North Gulf of Eastern Thailand, about 150 kilometres south-east of Bangkok. What was once the booming Sin City of Thailand has calmed down alot in recent years, and is now not only a popular haunt for young, single travellers, but for families as well. The city itself attracts a large amount of North and South Asian tourists all looking for a place to relax with their families.
The city has gone through a recent upgrade and the improvement is evident, especially on the beaches, although overdevelopment has destroyed some of its natural beauty and charm. The growth in tourism has led to an influx of hotels, guest houses and entertainment venues. With over 5 million tourists descending onto this city on a yearly basis, Pattaya is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Thailand, with no sign of slowing down.
Pattaya is home to a wide variety of accommodation options, from inexpensive hostels, to more upmarket options. Cheap accommodation can be found throughout the city, and usually starts from around 400 baht a day. Three bedroom bungalows for larger groups and families are available in Jomtien, of course at higher rates.
Like most cities, accommodation prices are seasonal, with rates increasing during the summer and decreasing during the winter. Typically, prices can rise significantly during the Christmas/New Year period, and are lower from February and October/November. Some hotels charge more in March as well, insisting that this falls under the 'high season' period.
Attractions and Activities
Pattaya is a city built for tourists, with a plethora of attractions and activities to suit even the most discerning visitor. From a buzzing night life, to historical expeditions or simply relaxing on the beach, Pattaya has the activity for you.
- Khao Phra Tam Nak or Khao Phra Bat - This is a small hill located between South Pattaya and Chom Thian. Here you can enjoy panoramic views over the entire city.
- Hat Chom Thian - This is a 6 kilometre long beach situated just 4 kilometres from the city. The road running parallel to the beach is lined with hotels and restaurants, ideal for tourists. This is a great place for some rest and relaxation, swimming and water sports.
- Hat Wong Phra Chan - a charming and tranquil beach offering a relaxing atmosphere away from crowds.
- Underwater World - Located on the Sukhumvit-Nong Prue Road, this sprawling aquarium offers a collection of marine species found in the Gulf of Thailand.
- Pattaya Elephant Village - This elephant camp introduces guests to the daily lives of elephants and is located about 146 kilometres from Central Pattaya. There are also shows demonstrating how to catch wild elephants, elephants-at-work in the jungle, elephants playing football and a grand war elephants parade.
- Monkey Training Centre - This centre displays one of Mother Nature’s most intelligent creatures - the monkey. Witness how monkeys are trained to climb, pick coconuts and numerous other activities. Visitors can also view cock-fighting and snake shows here.
- Nong Nooch Tropical Garden - Gorgeous gardens boasting delightful waterfalls, elephant shows, cultural experiences and even a restaurant. A great way to spend the afternoon.
- Buddha Hill - One of the highest points in Pattaya. This summit is home to the biggest statue in Pattaya. Nearby you will also find a stunning Chinese-style sacred area dedicated to Conficius and Lao-zi.
- Sanctuary of Truth - A gigantic wooden structure situated in North Pattaya, The Sanctuary of Trust was built in 1981 and features a beautiful and unique architectural style.
- The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm - This popular attraction features an exotic zoo, fire swallowing and magic shows, a lush garden and stone park. This area is home to hundreds of crocodiles and other rare animals like albino bears and horses.
- Tuxedo Magic Castle - Tuxedo Magic Castle combines a magic theatre with a restaurant to create a wonderful venue that will appeal to all.
- Pattaya Park and Tower - This is a fun venue for the whole family. Enjoy a large whirlpool with giant sliders, a revolving restaurant, as well as several games and rides.
- Ko Lan or Coral Island - This island is situated 7.5 kilometres from South Pattaya and offers tourists a wonderful place to swim and enjoy a myriad of water sports. Here you will also a variety of popular beaches, souvenir shops and restaurants. Coral viewing is also possible here.
- Beaches - Pattaya is home to a myriad of popular and beautiful beaches, some more suited to tourists than others. Most of these beaches are bustling, with hotels, restaurants and shopping malls all in close proximity. Some beaches are also ideal for water sport addicts, and offer a range of facilities for enthusiasts. Other beaches are simply great for swimming and relaxing.
- Cinemas - If you choose to spend the afternoon catching a movie in Pattaya, keep in mind that the movie theatres are usually severely air conditioned, so take along a jacket. Some Thai movies are subtitled in English, but not all.
- Massages - Pattaya has a multitude of massage parlours, some of them with more savoury intentions than others. Ask a trusted local or hotel concierge about where the best massage parlours is, stating your intentions clearly. A typical massage parlour offers Thai massages, foot massage, oil massage and reflexology massage.
- Sports - Pattaya offers a variety of sports and activities to keep the adrenaline junkie occupied during their holiday. These activities include aerobics, badminton, bowling, bridge, bungee jumping, cycling, fishing, paragliding, gold, horse riding, swimming, tennis, water-skiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, kiteboarding, and go carting, to name a few.