A kaleidoscope of neon and racy nightlife, Thailand’s second most-visited city has softened its image, drawing more couples and families to its beaches.
Situated 93-miles (150-kilometers) southeast of Bangkok, Pattaya has long been thought of as a kind of naughty little sister to the Thai capital. The massage parlors, go-go bars and late-night discos have been the main draw since the 1960s, when American servicemen stationed in Vietnam came here to let off some steam. There can be no denying that this after-hours culture is still very much a part of life in Pattaya as a stroll down Walking Street after dusk will attest. However, recent attempts by authorities to make it a more well-rounded travel destination have seen a more sophisticated side to this city emerge.
Blessed with a chain of gorgeous, curving beaches, the city offers plenty to the tourist looking for some quality beach-side rest and recreation. Stake out your place in the sun from the sea of sun lounges on Pattaya Beach. Rent a Jet Ski, take to the sky by parasailing or book a dive or snorkeling trip to the nearby Kho Larn Island. Alternatively, settle back with a good book at one of the more serene stretches of sand nearby. Dongtan Beach and Crescent Moon Beach provide a couple of havens where you can escape the crowds and beach vendors.
Climb aboard an elephant for a jungle safari at the Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary, an ecologically sound center with a focus on education and rehabilitation. Another must-do is the spectacular Sanctuary of Truth, a hand-carved, wooden complex which integrates the symbolism from Asia’s main four religions using traditional Thai artisanal techniques. If you’re looking for souvenirs, then take a wander around the Pattaya Floating Market, where you’ll find handicrafts and cuisine from each of the four main regions of Thailand.
Traffic can be chaotic and may intimidate the first time visitor. Confident drivers can rent a car, jeep or moped to get around. Otherwise, hail one of the songthaews, or Baht Buses (shared taxis), which run a number of set routes throughout the city. Prices are the same for locals and tourists, and with lots of them cruising the city streets, wait times are never long. The streets also teem with taxis and motorbike taxis, so getting around is never a problem.
Visitors to Central Pattaya rave about its stunning beaches, fantastic nightlife, and popular shops. You might also want to make some time to see Central Festival Pattaya Beach or Pattaya Beach Road while you're exploring the neighborhood.
Spas and beaches are a few notable features of the neighborhood.
The pristine beaches and ample dining options are top of the list for many visitors to South Pattaya. A stop by Jomtien Beach or Walking Street might round out your trip.
Visitors to Pattaya Bay rave about its stunning beaches, fantastic nightlife, and popular shops. You might also want to make some time to see Pattaya Beach or Pattaya Beach Road while you're exploring the neighborhood.
You'll enjoy the beaches and restaurants in Ban Bang Saen (1). You might want to make time for a stop at Bangsaen Beach or Bangsaen Lang Beach Public Park.
While visiting Jomtien, you might make a stop by sights like Jomtien Beach and Dongtan Beach.
Reviewed on 2019/11/1
Reviewed on 2019/11/10
Marvel at a golden Buddha image carved into a mountain and admire breathtaking landscapes of fields, lotus-filled ponds and vineyards.
Action packed water-sports, exquisite boutique hotels, relaxing days in the sun and legendary night life make this beach favorite with sun-lovers the world over.
Enjoy magnificent sunsets and watersports, family entertainment, Thai cultural shows and striking views from a lookout at this sweeping beach resort.
From international restaurants to late night go-go clubs, Pattaya’s most famous road should be your first stop if you’re looking to party.
Walk amid magnificent gardens, enjoy boating on scenic lakes, ride on an elephant’s back and watch Thai cultural shows at this family-friendly theme park.
Enjoy a stroll or boat ride around this traditional water-based market, where you’ll find delicacies and handicrafts from every region of Thailand.