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Welcome to Pattaya, Thailand

Introduction

Pattaya is located on the Gulf of Thailand 150 km south of Bangkok. Known as the 'Thai Riviera' and one of South East Asia's best beach resorts, resort Pattaya attracts more than a million tourists annually from all over the world.

The Vietnam War changed Pattaya as US military personnel were sent to build the air base at U Tapao and many of them spent their leisure time and money in resort Pattaya. Pattaya beach resort was transformed from a little fishing village to Thailand's most established beach resort.

Set along the 4km beachfront, Pattaya is renowned for high standard hotels, shopping, seafood restaurants, assorted international cuisine, water sports and its vibrant nightlife. The southern section of the bay becomes very lively and entertaining at night with many bars, nightclubs, shopping stalls and local food vendors.

A day trip cruise to outlying islands such as Coral Island is a very popular activity where water sports, restaurants and quiet beaches can be enjoyed.

Pattaya Arrival and Orientation

Thailand Map

Utapao Airport (UTP) known as "Pattaya International Airport" is at Sattahip, just off the main Sattahip - Chanthaburi (Sukhumvit) highway, 30km south of Pattaya. This is a military airport with Bangkok Airways (PG) handling a few commercial passenger flights to Koh Samui and Phuket .

Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is 30km east of Bangkok and is only 110km from Pattaya. Transfers by road take about 90 minutes and are inexpensive.

Minibus services are available from many operators to transfer passengers between Bangkok and Pattaya. Many services pickup from hotels offering a door-to-door service taking about 2 hours for around 400 baht/person. Minibus services are also available from Bangkok airport to Pattaya.

First Class Bus services are available from Bangkok's Northern, Eastern and Southern bus terminals. The buses are air-conditioned and travel non-stop to the North Pattaya Road bus station take 2 to 2.5 hours. Tickets are 100 baht and are sold at the bus station for the next available bus. From the North Pattaya Road bus station songthaews (pickup truck buses) depart for Beach Road every few minutes. The fare to anywhere on Beach Road or Pattaya Second Road is 20 baht. Tell the driver the name of your hotel or press the buzzer button when you want to get off.

Train services are available on weekdays to travel between Pattaya and Bangkok. The one-way fare is only 30 baht but is a 3rd class non air-conditioned train which makes an interesting experience. The train departs Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station at 6:50am, arriving at Pattaya station at 10:20am. The train leaves Pattaya at 2:20pm and arrives in Bangkok at 5:40pm.

Taxis are available to travel to Pattaya from Bangkok.

Car - Chonburi Pattaya is located 147 km from Bangkok and takes 2 hours drive.

Pattaya Local Transport

Taxis are inexpensive in Chonburi Pattaya and around the same price as a tuk-tuk but safer and airconditioned. Taxis must use the meter so ensure the driver has turned it on before you move off or you will pay more.

Songtaews (Baht Buses) are small pickups truck taxis with two plank seats in the back. Signal the driver to stop and negotiate the fare to your destination. Press the buzzer when you want to stop. Generally good for short trips, more convenient than a bus and cheaper than a taxi as you will be sharing with others. The official fare for foreigners for trips within Pattaya is 10 baht.

Motor bike taxis are inexpensive and an exciting ride through the traffic of Jomtien Pattaya. Negotiate the fare as there is no meter. Passengers must wear a helmet which the driver will supply. Expect to pay around 40 baht for trips around the inner parts of town.

Motorcycles are popular with visitors and can be hired for USD8 per day with fuel. Driving is on the left in Thailand and you must wear a helmet. Be careful, as there are many road accidents in Pattaya each year.

Bicycles can be hired for USD2 per day.

Pattaya Beaches

Pattaya Beach is the most popular beach in the area. It is 3 km long, bordered by Beach Road and is lined with many hotels, apartments, shops, restaurants and bars. The beach has calm water, white sand and is very safe for swimming and the many water sport activities available including banana-boat rides, jet-skiing, water-skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. At the southern end of Pattaya Beach is Walking Street which comes alive at night with music, bars, nightclubs and Thai boxing arenas in some of the beer gardens. Note: This is not a family area as there are many girly bars and strip clubs.
pattaya travel Jomtien Beach Pattaya

Jomtien Beach is 10 minutes south of Pattaya Beach separated from Pattaya Bay by the Jomtien headland. Jomtien is 6 km long with calm, warm waters and is especially popular with families as the beach is less crowded. There are many hotels and apartment buildings lining the foreshore of Jomtien Pattaya.

Pattaya Hotels

The high tourist season is generally from November to May, when Europeans are escaping their winter, although resort Pattaya is a great holiday destination at all times of the year. Pattaya Amari Hotel Pattaya Amari Hotel

Beach hotel pattaya accommodation (eg Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya) is mainly based around the Esplanade (Beach Road Pattaya) of resort Pattaya Beach, one block behind on Pattaya 2nd Road, the Headland over looking Pattaya Bay. Hotels on Beach Road are the newest, highest quality most expensive hotels however room rates fall rapidly one or two blocks from the beach. There is a lot of inexpensive accommodation on Pattaya 2nd Road.

Popular Pattaya hotels are: Renaissance Pattaya, Dusit Pattaya, areca lodge pattaya, sunbeam pattaya, century pattaya, sawasdee pattaya, royal orchid pattaya, century pattaya hotel, white house pattaya, garden cliff resort pattaya, royal cliff pattaya, hard rock pattaya, pattaya montien, sunshine pattaya, siam bayshore pattaya.

Jomtien Beach, 15 mins south of Pattaya, has many hotels and apartments across the road from the beach making a relaxing holiday without the vibrant nightlife.

Pattaya Attractions & Sightseeing

Ripley's World of Entertainment is located on the third floor of the Royal Garden Plaza Shopping Center on Beach Road and accessible from Pattaya Second Road. Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum is the main attraction. Other attractions include a 4D Cinema with a special system creating a feeling of being in an actual situation, The Haunting Warehouse takes visitors on an adventure in one of the biggest coffin warehouses of the world, The Miracle Labyrinth is an infinity maze with mysterious dimensions and illusions generated from special effects of lights, mirrors and sounds. [Open daily from 11am11pm]

Pattaya Park Beach Resort and Tower naklua pattaya is a hotel beach resort, water park, amusement park and tower situated on the Jomtien headland between Pattaya Bay and Jomtien Beach. Pattaya Park Beach Resort has over 700 luxurious sea-view rooms situated at the top of Jomtien secluded beach. Visitors and guests can enjoy the water park and amusement park including the ultimate view and thrill on the Tower Jump, Speed Shuttle and Sky Shuttle rides. The Tower's observation deck on the 55th floor gives breathtaking views of Jomtien Bay and Pattaya City. Or taste the international buffet lunch and dinner with seafood at one of three revolving restaurants on the 52nd, 53rd and 54th floors. [Open daily 10am-7pm, Tower entrance fee adults 200 baht, Child 100 baht]

The Million-Years Stone Park and Crocodile Farm is a great tourist attraction about 9km or 15 mins from central Pattaya. The park is located on over 70 acres of land and took more than 20 years to construct. In the Garden and Stone Park admire the gigantic rock gardens, exotic plants and flower gardens in beautiful natural surroundings. The Exotic Zoo hosts albino bears, tigers, horses, cows, crocodiles, elephants, camels, lions, deer and many more. The Crocodile Farm is one of the largest farms in Thailand and they breed their own crocodiles. There are crocodile shows, magic performances and animal shows 7 times a day. It is very popular with tourists to have your photo taken with a tiger. [Open daily from 8.30am-6pm, Admission adults 300 baht, child 150 baht]

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden was originally constructed for botanical conservation, later the Pattaya garden was converted into a tourist attraction as the biggest and most beautiful botanical garden in Southeast Asia. It is fully equipped with Thai style houses, cottages, villas, seminar halls, banquet halls, swimming pool, restaurants as well as overnight accommodation. There is an impressive Thai Cultural Show with fascinating traditional dances and martial arts. The Elephant Show, presented 3 or 4 times daily, is the most popular attraction. Located at 163 Sukhumvit Road Pattaya garden is about 15-20 minutes from Pattaya town centre.

Pattaya Elephant Village is located 7 km from Central Pattaya on Phonpraphanimit Road and focuses on the daily life of elephants and their masters. One-hour elephant rides are available daily from 8am-5.30pm and an elephant show is held daily at 2.30pm for one hour.

Mini Siam is a fascinating place and one of the world's famous model villages. The village has miniature replicas of Thailand's and the World's most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Rome's Trevi Fountain and many more. [Open daily from 7am-10pm, Admission adults 250 baht, child 120 baht]

Thai Alangkarn Theater sawasdee pattaya presents The Thai Extravaganza Show a wonderful experience of Thai performing arts that take you on a journey to enjoy the beauty and spectacular stories of Thailand in a panoramic concept. The Thai Alangkarn Theater is a state-of- the-art theater that can entertain 2000 guests. It is decorated in a Modern-Thai Style inclusive of a 70 m length stage and a 50 m water screen for presenting The Thai Extravaganza Show in a panoramic concept with the combination of multi-dimension techniques of presentation, such as pyrotechnics, multi-color laser show, real surround sound system and more. At the restaurant, with a capacity of 1,000 seats, visitors can indulge in a sumptuous buffet of Thai and International cuisine. [Open daily except Wednesday, show time 6pm. Located on km 155 Sukhumvit Road, South Pattaya]

Pirom Yellow Submarine is a submarine that takes tourists diving to a depth of 25-30 meters to view the beautiful coral reefs at Ko Sak (Sak Island). Tourists are taken by ferry to the floating station at Ko Sak and transfer to the submarine. [Operates daily, Adult 2,000 baht, child 1,500 baht]

Underwater World is amazing aquarium showcasing marine species from the Gulf of Thailand and around the world. Visitors walk through a 105m acrylic pedestrian tunnel which is divided into four zones of marine life. Visitors will view beautiful and rare fish, sharks, turtles, fish from the Amazon River and many more. There is marine life feeding shows six times daily. [Open daily from 9am-6pm, adults 360 baht, child 180 baht, located 15 mins for Pattaya beach on the SukhumvitNong Prue Road]

Buddha Hill is on the headland at the southern end of Pattaya Bay. It has great views of Pattaya Bay and the coastline and is worth visiting especially at sunset. At the summit is the biggest Buddha statue in Pattaya, and nearby is a beautiful Chinese-style sacred garden dedicated to Confucius and Lao-zi.

The Sanctuary of Truth sawasdee pattaya is a huge and impressive ancient-style wooden temple built with exquisite architectural features that begun in 1981 and is mostly complete although there is still some ongoing construction work. The top point of the building is about 105 m high.The purpose of the wooden carved and sculptured decorations is to reflect the Ancient Vision of Earth, KnowledgeandEastern Philosophy. It was constructed to withstand the wind and weather on the seashore at Laem Ratchawet, Soi 12 Na Kluea Road, North Pattaya. [Open daily from 9am-6pm, Admission fee 500 baht]

Kao Chee Chan Buddha image is an impressive site and one of the largest Buddha images in the world standing at 90 meters high. It is carved into the side of a hill in Sattahip which is about 30 mins from Pattaya. The image was created as a dedication to the King of Thailand.

Sriracha Tiger Zoo pattaya beach resort is about 30 minutes from Pattaya town centre and popular with visitors for its interesting tiger show, crocodile show and elephant rides. [Open daily 8am to 6pm]

Open Eyes Show is a magic performance in various styles such as Aladdin, the Mermaid, Invisible Woman, the Wonderland, etc. Each performances category is shown in rotation. The show is located on Pattaya 2nd Road, 2nd floor of Pattaya Bazaar (opposite the Tiffany Show). [Opens for show time 3pm-11pm, adults 600 baht, child 300 baht]

Thai Massage & Spa has evolved into a major business in Thailand. A traditional Thai massage starts around 250 baht in one of many massage shops. There are many places to get a massage right up to 5-star hotels/resorts that offer a whole range of spa treatments to guests.

Thai Cooking - Some hotels have their own in-house Thai restaurant offering cooking classes to visitors. The cooking class will teach basic skills sufficient to prepare a Thai meal in your own home or even training to professional standards.

Monkey Training Centre is located located in Soi Chaiyaphruk (off Highway No. 3) and features monkeys trained to harvest coconuts and undertake other tasks. There are also cock-fighting and snake shows. [Open daily, shows 9am, 11am, 12 noon, 2pm, 5pm, admission adult 250 baht]

Khao Kheow Open Zoo is a huge zoo with about thousands of animals of 300 species located 35 km north of Pattaya beach resort. There is a night safari from 7pm to 8pm. [Open daily 8am-6pm, adult 50 baht, child 15 baht, night safari adult 100 baht, child 50 baht]

Three Kingdoms Theme Park is a beautiful attraction showcasing Thai architectural style and displays paintings, tiles and sculptures of leading characters depicting the chronicle of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The uppermost storey is the Buddha image hall and a sightseeing spot. [Open daily from 10am-5pm, 6pm on Sat/Sun, Entrance fee is adults 150 baht, child 80 baht]

Pattaya Islands

Ko Lan (Coral Island) is located 7.5 km west of Pattaya. The western side of the island has beautiful beaches with white sand and warm, clear water. The island has some accommodation and many shops, restaurants and cafes. The island is famous for its coral reefs and visitors can choose glass-bottom boats or snorkelling to view coral reefs. There are many water sports such as banana boat rides, jet-skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, seabed walking, submarine rides and more. A long-tailed boat or water taxi can be hired to take visitors to other beaches or islands. A regular ferry service departs from Pattaya's Bali Hai Pier for Ko Lan. The journey only costs 20 baht and take 30-45 minutes. Alternatively speedboats can be chartered anywhere along Pattaya Bay to take a group of persons in 15 mins to Ko Lan, typically costing 2000-3000 baht. Visitors may wish to book a day trip with hotel collection, ferry from Bali Hai Pier to Ko Lan, lunch, return ferry around 4pm, and transfer back to your hotel.

Ko Sak is 600m north of Ko Lan and is a small horseshoe-shaped island. The northern beach is popular for swimming and snorkeling, and the southern beach is a good place for snorkeling to see coral.

Ko Phai (Bamboo Island) is the largest island in the Ko Phai group of islands 23 km from Pattaya. The other islands are Ko Man Wichai, Ko Luam and Ko Klung Badan. Ko Phai has perfect coral reefs popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. The islands are under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy and visitors are not permitted to stay overnight. There are no facilities on the islands and visitors should bring food and water. Charter Boats can be arranged at Pattaya Pier.

Pattaya Shopping

Pattaya has many souvenir shops, clothing stores and a few shopping malls located along Beach Road and Pattaya Second Road. There are many street stalls where visitors can bargain for a good price on a wide range of merchandise.

Royal Garden Plaza shopping center is located at the southern end of Beach Road and is accessible from Pattaya Second Road. This modern center has 3 levels of shopping, dining and entertainment. The top level hosts Ripley's World of Entertainment, cinemas and restaurants.

Pattaya Dining

sawasdee pattaya

Pattaya Park and Tower offers spectacular views and an international buffet lunch and dinner with seafood at one of three revolving restaurants.

Many of the major hotels and resorts offer quality international restaurants and cafes. There are many inexpensive restaurants on Pattaya Second Road and Walking Street.

Food Courts are located in most of Pattaya's shopping malls and offer visitors good value meals. Pattaya has most of the usual American fast food chains such as McDonald's and Burger King. Coffee shops such as Starbucks and Gloria Jeans have become common in malls and commercial centers.

Street food vendors are common and can usually be found in places with high amount of pedestrian traffic such as Walking Street.

Pattaya Language

English is spoken by people in the tourism business. Many staff at hotels, shops, restaurants and museums will speak English.

Pattaya Nightlife

Pattaya is internationally known for its vibrant and exciting nightlife making it very popular with tourists. There are many pattaya bars, restaurants, nightclubs, shows and pattaya girls. Walking street is the Pattaya nightlife and entertainment area at the southern end of Beach road. Note this is not a family-orientated area at night.

Beer Bars, Night Clubs, and Go-Go Bars are found all over Pattaya especially at the southern end on Walking Street, Beach Road, Pattaya Second Road and the Pattaya Soi (lanes) that join them. There are some Beer Bars at the southern end of Naklua Road and at Jomtien. The Pattaya bars are hosted by Pattaya bar girls who welcome all customers for a drink but are really 'working girls' who want the customer to pay money to the Pattaya bar so that the girl can leave with the customer.

Thai boxing matches can be viewed at several Pattaya bar complexes on Beach Road and Walking Street.