Monday, 13 August 2018
THAILAND: Pattaya, A Sex Tourism Hot Spot, Police Corrupt To The Bone
Although the sex industry is still going strong and sex tourism remains the key money earner for Pattaya, the resort also attracts local families and holidaymakers from around the world.
Pattaya is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-east of Bangkok, within, but not part of, Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chonburi.
The Pattaya City is a self-governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Klua and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The city is in the industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi.
Pattaya is the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area—the conurbation in Chonburi Province—with a total population roughly 1,000,000.
Efforts by local authorities over the past few years have improved the quality of the beaches, but they are still lacklustre by Thailand's standards, and over-development has long since destroyed some of the natural charms the area once had.
However, the plethora of hotels and guest houses, and easy access from the capital and airport, make it a popular weekend getaway. Catering for over five million annual visitors, Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating options and a wide variety of things to do.
Its population is a colourful mix of nationalities and ethnicities from near and far.
Pattaya occupies most of the coastline of Bang Lamung District, one of the eleven districts that comprise Chonburi Province.
We are only dealing with Pattaya proper, which covers the areas to the east of Naklua Beach and Pattaya Beach, plus the Buddha Hill headland which is immediately south of Pattaya Beach.
Jomtien contains Jomtien Beach and the areas east of it, including Dongtan Beach. The beaches of Jomtien are much broader and generally in a better shape, and the atmosphere locally is more sedate and family-oriented than at Pattaya Beach.
Pattaya's downtown area is easy to get around. Running north-south, a few hundred metres apart, are Beach Road.
Thanon Hat Pattaya, sometimes also referred to as First Road, which borders the main beach Hat Pattaya, Pattaya Second Road and Pattaya Third Road with the smaller but busy Soi Buakhao in between, and the main Sukhumvit Road coastal highway.
Beach Road is one way southbound, likewise Second Road - northbound.
These are connected by the three major east-west aligned roads: North Pattaya Road - Thanon Pattaya Nua, Central Pattaya Road - Thanon Pattaya Klang and South Pattaya Road - Thanon Pattaya Tai.
North Pattaya Road is a dual carriageway and carries the highest volume of traffic to and from Sukhumvit Road.
Also connecting Beach Road and Second Road are a large number of smaller streets or sois. The main sois are numbered from 1 to 16, from north to south.
Sois 1-6 are between North Pattaya Road and Central Pattaya Road; sois 7-13 are between Central Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road including the Pattayaland sois, immediately north of South Pattaya Road; sois 14-16 are south of South Pattaya Road.
Most of these east-west sois are in theory at least one-way.
Beach Road, Second Road, and North Pattaya Road - plus Naklua Road to the north all meet at the Dolphin Roundabout landmark.
Heavy traffic and frequent accidents here have resulted in a semi-permanent diversion being set up which, at peak times, prevents vehicles except motorcycles from continuing around this roundabout any further than the North Pattaya Road exit, pending the installation of traffic lights.
Second Road south of South Pattaya Road becomes Pratamnak Road, which shares a junction with both the southern end of Third Road and the northern end of the main road to Jomtien, Tappraya Road.
Beach Road south of South Pattaya Road is closed to vehicles in the evenings, currently 18:00-02:00 and is called Walking Street; it's the main tourist area, both for nightlife and shopping.
Other major tourism areas include the section of Second Road between sois 1-4, and the sois immediately north of South Pattaya Road.
At the southern end of Walking Street is the New Pier, usually called Bali Hai Pier sometimes Pattaya Pier or South Pier. The Old Pier, close to the junction of Beach Road and South Pattaya Road, is still shown on most maps but was dismantled and removed at the beginning of 2006.
Pattaya's coastal side is divided longitudinally into five contiguous sub-districts or six, if also including Jomtien. Each one is named after the section of beach or headland at its seaboard.
In the middle are the three Pattaya Bay sub-districts, which share the main Baht Bus route, so most places are within 5 minutes / 10 baht of most other places, at any hour and have much else in common, and hence in combination make up the main quasi-downtown zone:
North Pattaya (Pattaya Nua) - not the northern-most part of Pattaya as Naklua lies further north, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the northern end of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of North Pattaya Road. Does not include Naklua.
South Pattaya (Pattaya Tai) - not the southern-most part of Pattaya as the Buddha Hill headland, and then Jomtien, lie further south, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the southern end of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of South Pattaya Road.
Includes Pattayaland and Walking Street. Does not include Buddha Hill or Jomtien.
Central Pattaya (Pattaya Klang) - not the dead center of Pattaya, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the middle of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of Central Pattaya Road.
Some maps/guides disregard the Central Pattaya convention, and instead extend North Pattaya and South Pattaya to meet each other along Central Pattaya Road; sometimes, Beach Road is described with a similar division, and the respective halves given North Beach Road and South Beach Road monikers.
Near Pattaya Beach sub-districts are:
Naklua - immediately north of North Pattaya, and with quick, frequent, and inexpensive transport to and from the rest of Pattaya; Naklua is popular with visitors whose native language is German.
In terms of tourism-related locations, it's the smallest and least significant sub-district, the main attractions being the beaches which are quieter than Pattaya Beach and the Sanctuary of Truth.
Buddha Hill (Pratumnak Hill) - named after the Buddha Hill landmark and sandwiched between South Pattaya to the north and Jomtien to the south; to the east, South Pattaya and Jomtien meet directly.
In practice, exactly where each sub-district ends and the next begins is a very grey area as none of the boundaries lie along major roads and none of the many readily available tourist maps attempts to define boundaries at this level, nevertheless they do provide a handy rough guide to approximate latitude.
Further inland, the sub-district names are used less, and locality/road names take precedence. For example, an address might state Sukhumvit, Naklua which is useful in that it makes it clear the location is to the north of the Sukhumvit / North Pattaya Road intersection.
However the exact same place would not normally be described simply as being in Naklua as that would give the misleading impression of it being in the main beachside/tourism area further west.
Pattaya's name was originally Thap Phraya, meaning Army of the Phraya commemorating the surrender of Nai Klom's army to that of Phraya Tak later King Taksin the Great, without a fight.
Thap Phraya became Phatthaya the name of the north-easterly wind at the beginning of the rainy season, and then Phatthaya the true phonetic spelling.
The Vietnam War and its warriors made Pattaya a well-known recreational centre, especially among American GI’s.
From its beginning in 1959 with a small private bungalow where American officers on leave took turns to for R and R meaning rest and recreation, this sleepy village by the sea has grown and changed dramatically into one of the world’s tourism hot spots.
The opening of the new Suvarnabhumi Airport located to the east of Bangkok, alongside the expressway to Pattaya, has made visiting easier than ever.
Pattaya is popular not only as a beach resort and for its entertainment, nightlife and shopping, but also for the broad selection of pastimes it caters for.
From golf and horseback riding to bungee jumping, karting and shooting—not to mention a wide variety of watersports such as scuba diving, jet-skiing, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and a whole lot more.
Pattaya is also very popular as a conference, convention, and seminar venue, and the grapevine hosts rumours of future developments of varying degrees of plausibility, such as a horse racing track, casinos, and a tram system.
The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) Information Office is just outside the centre, exactly 1 km south of the junction of Second Road and South Pattaya Road.
Proceed along Pratamnak Road, continue straight up the hill, and where the road bears sharp right part way up, turn sharp left into the small side-soi. Worth a visit if you're in Pattaya for an extended period and want to browse for fresh ideas for new things to do/see.
Open daily 8:30-16:30.
Pattaya has a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: hot and dry (December to February), hot and humid (March and April), and hot and rainy (May to November).
The city or mueang had 320,262 people resident and counted on census 2010 by National Statistics Office.
Most of these people counted are Thai, with most migrant populations not recognized, although the details are quite complex as there are even indigenous Thais without nationality, and migrant workers have since been largely regularized albeit with due foreign pressure.
Therefore, the census population even does not represent the total figure. As for Thai nationals and legal permanent residents registering the city as their hometown, the provincial authority logged population was 107,944 in 2010, modestly rising to 118,511 by 2017.
As with the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, registered population figure issued by a different agency than the National Statistics Office hardly captures the scope of the urban transformation.
That has occurred over the time span the economy is dependent on the large numbers of casual Thai workers who work in the city yet remain registered in their hometowns, there is much employment turnover and to and from the capital, as well as seasonal farm migration.
Migrant workers from neighboring nations, and many long-term expatriates who reside in the city as retirees or self-employed or contracted are traditionally not counted.
There has never been a reliably published figure for total population, but its thought to be quite large on the order of half a million people given the ubiquity and sheer number of migrant workers taking place of Thai labor.
Pattaya city excludes some nearby areas like Nong Prue with 73,901 people in 2010 census and Huay Yai.
Pattaya additionally has massive population inflow from short stay tourism, with its 2000 hotels and 136,000 rooms available as of 2015.
Due to the tourist industry, many people from the north-east known as Isan, the poorest region of Thailand, have come to work in Pattaya, and are counted for census purposes in their hometowns.
There is a fast-growing community of foreign retirees living in Pattaya. Thailand immigration has a special visa category for foreigners over age 50 who wish to retire in Thailand.
Pattaya is attractive to many retirees from other countries not only because of its climate and exotic, easy lifestyle, but also because living costs are lower than in many countries.
Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of the city of Bangkok in the Bang Lamung District.
The city of Pattaya is a special municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue (Nongprue) and Na Kluea (Naklua) and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai.
Bang Lamung township which forms the northern border of Pattaya covers parts of the tambon Bang Lamung (Banglamung), Nong Pla Lai and Takhian Tia. Bang Sali is on the southern border of Pattaya.
Greater Pattaya occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung, one of the eleven districts that make up Chonburi Province. It is divided into a larger northern section which spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach - the most northern beach and Pattaya Beach which is the main beach.
Plus Pratamnak Hill often called Buddha Hill because of the temples on top of the hill headland immediately south of Pattaya Beach, and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of Jomtien Beach directly south of Pratamnak Hill.
Pattaya produces on the order of 450 tonnes of solid waste per day. The city spends more than 300 million baht on waste removal and disposal annually. On average it pays 1,600 baht to process each tonne of garbage.
Significant volumes of rubbish are allegedly dumped into the sea by tour boats.
In July 2017 Pattaya Beach was fouled for a week by raw sewage that poured out of a storm drain. City officials blamed the incident on broken pumps and Pattaya's poorly maintained sewage-treatment plant.
The environmental ministry declared it would step up enforcement of pollution laws and push Pattaya for better wastewater-treatment efficiency. According to the ministry, Pattaya has 1,047 identified sources of sewage and garbage pollution, the number increasing as the city grows.
The sea water along central Pattaya beaches is of poor quality even in the absence of sewage spills and could endanger human and marine life, the regional environmental office has said. They deemed sea water quality near central Pattaya beaches as poor and deteriorating.
They judged water quality near Na Klua in North Pattaya, South Pattaya, Ko Lan, and Jomtien Beach as fairly good. The city has considered expanding two water management plants to increase capacity for better treatment of wastewater prior to discharge into the ocean.
The water treatment plant in Soi Wat Nongyai after expansion would be able to treat around 130,000 cubic metres of waste water a day, up from 80,000 cubic metres at present.
Pattaya city has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to a municipality and is separately administered by the mayor of Pattaya city who is responsible for making policies, organising public services, and supervising the city's workforce.
The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is parallel to the city centre, and runs from Pattaya Nuea south to Walking Street. Along Beach Road are restaurants, shopping areas, and bars.
Pratumnak is on the south side of Pattaya and is popular for its viewpoints and the temple Wat Phra Yai on top of the hill.
Pattaya Park and Pattaya tower are at the south end of Pratumnak and the Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (P.E.A.C.H), is positioned at the north end of Pratumnak.
In recent years, Pratumnak has gained in popularity because of its more natural environment, nicer beaches, and its convenient location between Jomtien and Pattaya city.
Jomtien is divided from Pattaya by Thepprasit Road, the southern route into Pattaya city. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beach side hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants.
Offshore islands include three near islands: Ko Lan main island, Ko Sak, and Ko Krok, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the shore of Pattaya. The far islands are Ko Phai main island, Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, located offshore further west of the near islands.
Ko Rin lies offshore to the south-west, south of Ko Phai group. The names near islands, far islands, and Coral Island are used for marketing purposes only and do not correspond to any naming conventions of the island groups and are not shown on maritime charts published by the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Thai Navy.
In June 2016 the Regional Environmental Office reported that, The sea water along the busy central Pattaya beaches is of poor quality and could endanger human and marine life.
Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R destination during the Vietnam War. It is striving to become a family-oriented seaside destination. In 2007, foreign tourists visiting Thailand totalled 14.5 million.
Popular activities include golf - 19 golf courses within 40 minutes of Pattaya, go-kart racing, and visiting different theme parks and zoos such as the Elephant Village, where demonstrations of training methods and ancient ceremonial re-enactments are performed daily.
The private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo features tigers, crocodiles, and other animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine offers 30-minute trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few kilometres offshore.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, about 15 kilometres south of Pattaya, is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) botanical garden and orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained chimpanzees and elephants are presented. The park also keeps several tigers and an assortment of birds.
Other attractions in Pattaya include the Million Years Stone Park, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Pattaya Park Beach Resort Water Park, Funny Land Amusement Park, Siriporn Orchid Farm, Silverlake Winery, Underwater World Pattaya, the Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya (cultural show), Bottle Art Museum.
Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Underwater World, an aquarium with a collection of marine species from the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays.
Khao Pratamnak or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill between south Pattaya and Jomtien Beach that provides a panoramic view of the city and its crescent bay.
The hill is topped by Wat Khao Phra Bat, a temple, and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the founding father of the modern Thai navy.
The Cartoon Network Amazone is a water park near the navy base golf course that was opened in late 2014. It has a Cartoon Network theme. The park includes different zones where different water slides can be seen.
There is also a wave pool and surfing simulator that anyone can use, and the largest water playground in south-east Asia, which also includes two tipping buckets.
A food court was opened later in 2014, and includes a large variety of cuisines, from traditional Thai food to Italian and Japanese food. Small huts are available for rent around the park. Yearly passes are available for those who wish to come there often and easily walk into the park.
Several stores and gift shops are still under construction and are projected to be finished by late 2015.
RamaYana, with a total size of more than 18 ha (45 acres / 102 Rai), is one of Asia’s biggest waterparks, was opened in May 2016.
The park, which is designed as a modern waterpark built on an antique Asian city, offers 21 water slides, and some of them unique1, 2 dedicated children’s zones, a 600m long lazy river and a double wave pool with a 150m wide beach as well as relaxation and activity pools.
The park, which is located 20 km south of Pattaya City, close to the big Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan) and next to Silverlake vineyard, has natural lakes and islands in and around the park, and also includes attractions like a floating market, real elephants or a maze.
A restaurant offers more than 100 dishes and food delivery to sun lounges, which are provided free of charge. The park also offers massage services and fish spa.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981 by the sea at Laem Ratchawet. It was conceived from the concept that human civilization owes its existence to religious and philosophical truth.
Mini Siam is a miniature model village which celebrates the heritages of Thailand with replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, the Bridge over the River Kwai, and Prasat Hin Phimai.
Models of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called mini-world.
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan is a temple constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present supreme patriarch. Within the temple compound are a replica of the Buddha's footprint, and a large chedi containing Buddha relics.
Thepprasit Market is the biggest and busiest market in Pattaya. It is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening on Thepprasit Road.
It is known for selling pets, has many Thai food stalls including local specialities like fried insects and scorpions as well as branded clothing, shoes, and electronic goods.
Chinese New Year that varies from late January to early February is celebrated by Pattaya's large Thai-Chinese community with dragon parades, lion dances, and fireworks.
Burapa Pattaya Bike Week is Thailand's, and one of south-east Asia's, biggest motorcycle event held in Pattaya each February, drawing motorcycle enthusiasts from all over south-east Asia and abroad. The 2010 event was held over two days with local and international live music acts.
Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of March. It attracts huge crowds to the different stages along Beach Road and Bali Hai Pier, and presents several styles of music performed by Thai and international artists.
The Pattaya Songkran festival, locally called Wan Lai, takes place each year in mid-April. It differs from most other Songkran festivals of Thailand in several aspects.
It lasts several days longer and, besides water fights, the event includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks, and water sports competitions.
Top of the Gulf Regatta is a week-long sailing event held at the end of April, beginning of May.
The Miss Tiffany Universe beauty pageant is held mid-May each year. During the four-day pageant, Thailand's most beautiful transgender persons and transsexuals vie for first place with the final evening broadcast live on Thai TV for an audience of, on average, 15 million.
Pattaya Marathon, featuring several race categories, is held each year in July.
Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival, held annually on the last weekend of October, organized by the Thailand Guitar Society, Pattaya People Media Group, and Siam Bayshore Pattaya.
Loi Krathong, a light festival held during the full moon of the twelfth month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar and which usually falls in November, is celebrated in Pattaya, as in the rest of the country, that evening with people floating krathongs.
These are small, candle-lit floats made from elaborately folded banana leaves on the waters, as well as releasing khom loi the candle-fired hot air balloons into the night sky.
Every November Pattaya hosts Miss International Queen, a yearly international pageant for transgender persons and transsexuals. In 2007 the event drew an estimated 25 million viewers on national TV.
Pattaya has derived part of its reputation as a tourist destination due to the sex industry and the resulting nightlife, and this notoriety has influenced the city's evolution in many ways.
Prostitution in Thailand is technically illegal but tolerated in most cities, including Pattaya. The city's vast numbers of host bars, gogo bars, massage parlours, saunas, and hourly hotels, serve foreign tourists as well as locals.
This is especially prominent on Walking Street as well as other areas around the city. Efforts have been made to clean up the city's image.
British tabloids The Sun and the Daily Mirror have described Pattaya as the world's sex capital, a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.
This provoked anger from government officials as high up as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Pol Col Apichai Krobpetch, the Pattaya police superintendent, denied that Pattaya is a sex trade paradise.
Upset about the British media's stories, he insisted they were fabricated. There is no such thing as prostitution in Pattaya, said Col Apichai.
Where did they get the figure of 27,000 sex workers in Pattaya? Anyone can make up this information. Thai ladies having sex with foreigners is their personal issue. If they like each other, I don't see anything wrong with what they do behind closed doors.
In response, Pattaya social worker Surang Janyam, the director of Service Workers IN Group Foundation, said that estimated number of Pattaya prostitutes published in the Daily Mirror is inaccurate: 27,000 sex workers in Pattaya is way too low. We have a lot more sex workers than that.
As evidence of the government's commitment to clean up Pattaya, on 26 February 2017 at 20:00, 60 police officers and soldiers raided Pattaya's notorious Soi 6 to check for violations of the law.
When the checks were completed, police announced that all licenses were in order and there was no law breaking of any kind, including prostitution, taking place there.
Pattaya also has Asia's largest gay scene based around Boyztown, the Jomtien Complex, and Sunee Plaza. The city is also famous for its flamboyant kathoey cabaret shows where transsexual and transgender entertainers perform to packed houses.
Large hospitals in the area include Bangkok Pattaya Hospital which is private and most expensive, Pattaya International Hospital that is private, Banglamung Hospital that is public, Pattaya City Hospital that is public and Pattaya Memorial Hospital that is private.
Many foreign tourists have dental and medical procedures done in Pattaya, although Bangkok is more popular as a medical tourist destination.
Pattaya is located 147 km from Bangkok and can be reached in a comfortable 2-hour drive. There are two convenient ways to get there.
Via the Bangkok-Chon Buri-Pattaya Motorway - Highway 7 The motorway is linked with Bangkok’s Outer Ring Road., Highway 9 and there is also another entrance at Si Nakharin and Rama IX Junction.
Via Bang Na-Trat Highway - Highway 34 From Bang Na, Bang Phli, cross the Bang Pakong River to Chon Buri and take Chon Buri’s bypass to meet Sukhumvit Rd, (Highway 3, passing Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.
Most visitors arrive by road from or via Bangkok, many having flown in to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Much smaller numbers arrive direct by road from the north and east, by rail from Bangkok, and by air via U-Tapao from Ko Samui or Phuket in Southern Thailand or Siem Reap in Cambodia.
U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, often known somewhat inaccurately as Pattaya Airport, and abbreviated as U-Tapao, is at Sattahip just off the main Sattahip-Chanthaburi (Sukhumvit) highway, 30 km south of Pattaya.
Primarily a military facility, this small airport is the closest airport fielding commercial passenger flights, but mainly serves domestic flights. There are no commercial passenger flights connecting U-Tapao directly with Bangkok.
As of 2017, Thai AirAsia and Bangkok Airways offers service to Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Ubon Tatchathani in the north, and Hat Yai, Ko Samui, and Phuket in the south. Regional carrier Kan Air also offers service to Chiang Mai.
International service includes Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia), Shanghai (China Southern), Sanya (Hainan), and Macau, Nanchang, and Nanning (Thai AirAsia). U-Tapao is one of eight major international airports in Thailand, and has immigration and VAT refund counters.
When booking flights to U-Tapao, consider pre-booking onward transport at the same time, as competitively priced door-to-door transfer services may not be available on arrival at U-Tapao on an ad-hoc basis.
The easiest way to transfer between U-Tapao and Pattaya is by direct door-to-door minibus. Driving time is normally about 30 minutes, 200-250 baht per person for pre-booked services. Metered taxi costs 750 baht including motorway tolls, if purchased at hotel.
AirAsia offers a 250 baht flat rate fare for its passengers at the domestic arrivals hall. The desk is clearly marked, and employees/vans bear the AirAsia logo.
Reservations are not required, though you can book the van into your trip by selecting Pattaya - Downtown as your destination on the AirAsia website instead of Pattaya (UTP). Bring your address written in Thai, and they will drop you at your hotel in Jomtien or Pattaya, when the van fills up.
It may also be possible to buy a ticket without flying AirAsia, as they didn't ask for a boarding pass. The contract company is Kittitron Transport.
You may catch the AirAsia van returning to the airport in front of the CentralFestival shopping center in central Pattaya. 250B per person, look for the AirAsia marked desk. Travel can take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on passenger waiting and traffic.
If speed and convenience don't matter, the ad-hoc option is to hop on virtually any bus on Sukhumvit Road. Going south, if it's a bus that terminates at Sattahip you'll have to swap buses or finish the journey by songtheaw.
If it's going further east e.g., Rayong, Chanthaburi, or Trat it'll drop you off at the airport entrance as it goes by. Going north, wait for a bus that's going further than Sattahip and then you won't need to transfer.
Alternatively, the white songtheaws that ply Sukhumvit Road between Pattaya and Sattahip charge just 20 baht.
Or to buck the trend big time, go by rail, 3rd class, weekdays only between Pattaya and Sattahip, get off just before or after the line crosses Highway 3, and connect with the airport by songtheaw or bus.
The fare for the 40-50 minute train ride is 6 baht - depart Pattaya 10:18, arrive Sattahip 11:00; depart Sattahip 13:30, arrive Pattaya 14:21. But don't forget, no trains on Saturdays or Sundays.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is 110 km from Pattaya 40 km closer than Don Muang Airport. Transfers by road take around 80-90 minutes in dry weather, 120 minutes in wet weather.
Taxi fares from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya should be negotiated with the driver in advance. The official rate to Pattaya is 1050 baht with 60 baht in expressway surcharges, which and you should confirm before leaving the taxi rank.
At quiet hours you may be able to negotiate downward. Passengers will be expected to pay the two tolls en route, at 30 baht each.
Be aware that non-licensed taxis may try to solicit business from you, and it is important to note that these drivers do not have proper credentials.
One option though to save some money is to take a metered, licensed taxi from the departure level, avoiding the 50 baht airport fee. Given that they are only allowed to drop off passengers and then are supposed to leave right after, you are in a pretty good bargaining position when it comes to talking about prices.
Go for a taxi where the driver isn't outside the car, but waiting inside meaning they didn't bribe the security guards to be allowed to wait longer and need to depart soon.
Time to Pattaya is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes during non-peak hours, and can take double this during rush hour.
It is also possible to arrange airport pickup through most hotels, and through any number of local taxi agents.
Fares through less expensive local hotels are generally the same 1,500 baht as the standard metered taxi rate, with larger resorts and international chain hotels often charging much higher rates. Local prearranged cars will run between 1,000-1,500 baht.
Return fares from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport fares are 800 baht plus tolls for a returning metered taxi if arranged in advance. Taxis may or may not be available at the last minute. A private car service arranged through a local hotel or travel agent kiosk will be around 1,200-1,500 baht.
There bus services to and from the Airport to Pattaya.
Don Mueang Airport (DMK) currently handles AirAsia, Nok Air, Orient Thai (One-Two-GO), PB Air, and most Thai Airways domestic flights. The easiest way to transfer is by taxi.
The most economical alternatives are to go by bus via Mo Chit - Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal, or to go by train via Hualamphong only practicable in the Pattaya to Don Mueang direction. As of October 2012, Air Asia, both international and domestic, will be based at Terminal 1.
Pattaya has three main bus terminals, one for buses to Bangkok, one for buses to Suvarnabhumi Airport, and one for provincial buses serving cities in the north and east.
The North Pattaya Rd Bus Terminal features air-conditioned buses, on-board toilet, are essentially direct non-stop, and are a no fuss, no frills, hassle-free service to Bangkok. Departures leave every 20-40 minutes, from 4:30 to 23:00.
There are no reservations and tickets are sold for the next available seat. These buses are operated by Roong Reuang Coach.
Buses bound for Bangkok arrive at:
- Ekkamai (Eastern Terminal) 124 baht, at Ekkamai BTS station
- Mo Chit (Northern Terminal) 136 baht, Chatuchak Park MRT and Mo Chit BTS stations
- Sai Tai Taling Chan Southern Terminal, but really to the far northwest -- 136 baht
The ride usually takes 2.5 - 3 hours, but can run longer if traffic is heavy. All 1st class direct services to/from Bangkok use the recently redeveloped bus station on North Pattaya Rd. These buses are usually full when they depart, and must be boarded at the terminus.
The longest queues are for the very early morning departures from Pattaya. To get a seat on the first bus of the day you need to be in the ticket queue at least 30-40 minutes early. The bonus is that these pre-rush hour services can take as little as 90 minutes to get to Bangkok.
You can request to get off earlier than Ekkamai heading to Bangkok, but cannot be picked up from these stops going to Pattaya.
From the North Pattaya Rd bus station songtheaws a cross between a pickup truck, a share-taxi, a local bus and two pews depart when full every few minutes. The fare to anywhere on Beach Rd is 25 baht; press the buzzer button on the underside of the roof when you want to get off.
Be wary of touts who solicit you at various bus stations in Bangkok. Most of them provide private minivan transport and won't drop you off at the main Pattaya station on North Pattaya Road. You will likely find yourself miles outside Pattaya.
They also don't begin their journeys until the minivan is full. Unless you want to charter your own van, you should stick to the government buses or those offered by Roong Reuang Coach. These mainstream providers operate out of clearly marked counters and offices and do not send touts to solicit business.
If requested, the Ekkamai bound bus will stop at the On Nut BTS Station on Sukhumvit Rd. Depending on your final destination and the traffic conditions, you may want to transfer to there; if so, wait until the bus departs Pattaya and then confirm with the crew that you want to be dropped off at On Nut.
Also on request the bus will stop along the Bangna-Trat Expressway opposite the Central Department Store Bangna. Buses will not pick up from these locations heading to Pattaya.
If the direct bus to the Southern Terminal at Sai Tai is fully booked, take the Eastern Ekamai Terminal bus instead, and use the #511 air-con, every 30 minutes 24/7, 20 baht bus to connect between Ekamai and Sai Tai Mai.
Suvarnabhumi Airport Buses: Bell Travel and Roon Reuang partner on their direct bus from Pattaya to Suvarnabhumi Airport, departing from the Airport Bus Office at Thappraya Road & Thep Prasit Rd between Pattaya and Jomtien, across from the Pan Pan Italian Restaurant.
Take a songthaew from anywhere in Pattaya or Jomtien for 10 baht to reach it.
Tickets are 120 baht and leave hourly from 07:00 to 22:00, purchasable only in person. The 21:00 and 22:00 buses to Pattaya stop only at the intersection between North and South Pattaya; all others continue to the Thappraya Rd / Thep Prasit Rd station.
Board the Pattaya-bound bus at level 1, gate 8 in the arrivals hall. Suvarnabhumi-bound buses will drop off passengers at level 4 of the departures terminal.
If you want a transfer shuttle to your hotel e.g. coming from Suvarnabhumi, you can book a reservation online for 240 baht . These reserved buses leave six times daily to Pattaya, roughly every two hours from 7:00 to 18:00.
Provincial Bus Terminal: Nakhonchai Air Coach has a terminal on Sukhumvit Rd at Sukhumvit-Pattaya Soi 59. The terminal is a bit old, and are used mostly by locals headed to Ubon Ratchathani, Sisaket, Surin, Buriram, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Sai, Phayao, Phrae, and Phitanulok. Buses are generally well kept and clean.
Second class bus: 2nd class services with air-con, usually no on-board toilet, don't use the expressways, and make frequent and sometimes lengthy stops, hence they take considerably longer than their 1st class counterparts which at worst will only halt momentarily once or twice to let passengers jump off on the final approaches to their destination.
Many 2nd class buses from Bangkok continue on to Jomtien, so may be worth considering if that's your final destination and you're not in a hurry.
For travel from Jomtien to Bangkok they have the advantage that they can be flagged down and boarded as they crawl along Jomtien's seafront road, Jomtien Beach Rd - Thanon Hat Jomtien, avoiding the need for a preliminary trip to the bus station.
The terminus for 2nd class services to/from Bangkok and other short-haul destinations is on South Pattaya Rd, but in practice these buses pick up and drop off the majority of their passengers en route. Tickets are sold both at the bus station although advance booking may not be possible and on the bus itself.
The airport bus service, not very well advertised, from Suvarnabhumi Airport, is brand new, as are the buses. Direct from the airport, and terminating at Jomtien Beach Rd & Soi Chiaproek, it costs 112 baht. Currently 5 return trips either way per day.
You won't get too much info on this service, as it is not a private company, it is run by government employees, and you will be directed to the taxis and mini-buses, by the touts at the airport.
Upon arrival at Jomtien, 1 hour or so there are many guest houses,and hotels, prices vary from 550 baht,Maggie Mays to 3,500 baht Nusa Playa. From cheap and cheerful to luxurious.
Minibuses run between Pattaya and Bangkok's hotels and Khao San Rd, offering the convenience of a door-to-door service for around 400 baht/person. Departure times vary, but 09:00/12:00/17:30 are the most widely advertised.
Driving time is about 2 hours, however it can take quite a bit longer overall, especially if you're the first to be collected and the last to be dropped off.
One such service runs direct between Pattaya Dynasty Inn (Soi 13) and Bangkok Dynasty Inn (Soi Nana), and can be arranged through the Dynasty Inn reception desks.
Century Movie Plaza next to Victory Monument. BTS Station vans to Pattaya, 140 baht each way. Also service to Hua Hin, Cha Am and Petchburi.
Next to the Victory Monument there is several booths for transport to Pattaya. A one-way ticket costs 100 baht and it takes between 2 and 3 hours to reach Pattaya. It goes via tollway.
U-Tapao Airport near Sattahip - about 50 minutes, three different companies take you direct to your hotel, including Bangkok Airs mini-busses. No pre-booking required.
Ban Phe the gateway to Ko Samet - about 90 minutes, 150-200 baht; departures typically 07:30, 11:30, 15:00.
Laem Ngop the gateway to Ko Chang - about 3 hours, 400-500 baht; depart 09:00
It's also possible to travel by minibus to Hat Lek for the southern-most border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia, but not every day of the week. This service may or may not go via Laem Ngop depending on overall demand.
As of January 2006: depart 07:30, arrive around 14:00, 700 baht, Tuesday and Friday only, but subject to change, so inquire locally for the latest schedule details.
Travel agencies ubiquitous throughout Pattaya plus many hotels/guesthouses sell minibus tickets, and tourist-oriented services such as these invariably include collection from your hotel/guesthouse/wherever allow extra time for this.
Times quoted above are approximate transit times and make no allowance for the vagaries of the collection process.
Public taxis serving the airport must have a meter, be air-conditioned, and be less than five years old. The driver should have an Airports of Thailand certificate.
To Bangkok - widely advertised in Pattaya at 800 baht the lower price is because it'll be a Bangkok cab returning home), and easily arranged through most travel agencies and hotels/guesthouses.
The driver pays 300 baht commission to the agency, if you can hail one yourself you might be able to negotiate lower. Minibuses can also be chartered taxi-style from around 1800 baht.
From Bangkok - prices range from 1500 baht, the official meter-taxi rate to 1000 baht; arranged car services will tend toward the higher end, but licenced meter-taxis should be negotiable to the lower end of the range.
Allow about 90-120 minutes, depending on where in Bangkok you're coming from; more around rush hour.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport - the official meter-taxi price to Pattaya is 1050 baht 1100 baht to Jomtien plus the 60 baht highway - motorway or expressway toll, this isn't necessary outside peak times, when travelling down below is just as fast. Allow around 80-90 minutes in favourable conditions.
Scams to watch out for when headed for Bangkok by taxi include being told that the pre-paid price is fully inclusive, but then, on arrival at the first toll booth, being told that the expressway fees are extra.
Many of the more upmarket hotels can arrange for an additional fee to have you met at the airport gate by a personal driver with a limousine, thus avoiding the need to negotiate with taxi drivers, or you can book a limousine in advance online.
Provided it's a weekday, the most economical way to travel between Pattaya and Bangkok by public transport is by rail. The one-way fare is just 31 baht, and if you've never experienced a 3rd class Thai train, this can be an interesting experience.
It then returns via Pattaya at 14:21 and terminates back in Bangkok at 18:25 on Saturdays and Sundays it turns back to Bangkok at Chachoengsao, so is of no practical use for getting to or from Pattaya on weekends.
Regardless of direction, simply turn up and buy a ticket at the station. This train can't be pre-booked.
Pattaya has two train stations, both just east of Sukhumvit Road:
Pattaya Train Station is the main stop, just north of the junction with Central Pattaya Rd from Sukhumvit Rd, turn into Soi Pornprapanimit and then turn left immediately before the road crosses the railway line.
A Baht Bus waits here for the train to arrive and charges a reasonable 30 baht/person to anywhere in the Pattaya Beach area; in the opposite direction, budget around 40-50 baht for a motorbike taxi from Beach Rd.
Facilities comprise a small snacks / chilled drinks counter, toilets, a solitary payphone, and the ticket office, which also sells maps of Pattaya.
Pattaya Tai Train Station is a small unmanned halt about 3 km further south, and hence closer to Jomtien, on the Khao Talo street near the Sukhumvit / Thepprasit Rd intersection.
At the main Pattaya Train Station, tickets must be bought before boarding and are only sold in the final 30 minutes prior to departure. The fare from/to Bangkok is 31 baht, from/to Sattahip, 6 baht. One train to Bangkok a day, but not on weekends.
As the Pattaya Tai station has no ticket office, passengers are permitted to board here without tickets and then pay on the train 32 baht to Bangkok.
The surcharge for transporting a bicycle up to 20 kg between any two points on this line e.g., Bangkok-Sattahip is 80 baht.
Tickets for other journeys can be purchased up to a maximum of 60 days in advance at the Pattaya Train Station ticket office between 08:00 and 16:00.
The same tickets can also be arranged through Pattaya agencies, who will add on a 200-300 baht mark-up to cover their assistance and the cost of sending a motorbike taxi to collect the tickets from the station.
Although travelling by train is most economical, is quite slow. However, it makes sense if you continue by train from Bangkok as you avoid switching from the metro and/or taxi, arriving directly at the train station.
It takes as much as 3.5 hours, but the bus takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours and you have to add one hour to get to the station.
The city-produced Official Map of Pattaya is available at Pattaya City Hall, and may also be available from the Pattaya Police, the Tourist Police and the Immigration Police.
Songthaews are also known as public passenger pick-up vehicles, and can operate as bus lines or taxis.
Apart from a handful of privately operated examples, Pattaya has no tuk-tuks and most ad hoc local transport is undertaken by a flotilla of over 700 dark blue coloured songthaews, pickup trucks converted to buses, also called Baht Buses.
The fare is 10 baht for trips within and between Pattaya and Jomtien, for locals and foreigners. Having the correct change is by no means essential, but does keep the potential hassle factor to a minimum.
In the past, dual pricing applied, technically 5 baht base fare, but generally only applied to locals, with a 10 baht fare for foreigners and some drivers will shortchange you on a 20 baht note if you don't act like you know what you're doing, but most will return 10 baht.
Avoid asking destination when using songthaew, as many drivers will charge 100-200 baht and treat you like a taxi. If you know the direction, it's recommended to just ride the songthaew without asking for a destination. That way you will just pay 10 baht per person no matter how far you go.
Stand in a street and flag a songthaew to board. If you get on one with passengers already, you can probably assume it will operate and charge as a bus. When you get to your destination, press the buzzer and pay the driver.
Flat fares only apply when operating as a bus. Beware the driver of an otherwise empty songthaew, especially one that's parked at the roadside, who might presume that you want to charter a taxi, in which case expect a much higher fare of 100 baht or more, depending on your negotiating skills.
Taxis in Pattaya do not use the metres at all, and unless you can speak Thai, start at 150 baht and up.
The busiest route is the beach circuit: from the junction of Second Rd and South Pattaya Rd, north along Second Rd to the Dolphin Circle roundabout; then south along the full length of Beach Rd; then briefly east along South Pattaya Rd to complete the loop.
Frequency is virtually non-stop, and even at the most unlikely hours, average waiting time is literally no more than a minute, often only a few seconds during daytime hours.
The routes sometimes vary. For example, with a left turn from Beach Rd or Second Rd into Central Pattaya Rd; or no left turn at the Dolphin Circle roundabout where Second Rd, Beach Rd and North Pattaya Rd meet and going straight on to Naklua or even a right turn towards the bus station and Sukhumvit.
The only way to know the route for sure is to ask but don't let the driver mistake your asking as a charter request.
Sometimes the driver will just decide to turn down a random soi for no apparent reason, or because he's just been hired as a taxi, but you'll still be expected to pay your 10 baht if you've ridden for more than a soi or two,however surprises such as these are few and far between.
It's also easy to catch songthaews along South Pattaya Rd, Central Pattaya Rd, and North Pattaya Rd; in the case of the latter, there's often a songthaew waiting at the Dolphin Circle roundabout.
They depart from here at regular intervals, or when full, and the fare to the bus station is 10 baht and there's also a free songthaew service to the Tesco-Lotus supermarket on North Pattaya Rd.
For Jomtien, songthaews wait at the beginning of Pratamnak Rd the continuation of Second Rd, from the South Pattaya Rd crossroads, and charge 10 baht.
For Naklua, take a songthaew up Second Rd to the Dolphin Roundabout (10 baht). If the songthaew turns left or right at the roundabout, i.e. it's not one of the few that continue straight on to Naklua, disembark immediately and cross to the north side of the roundabout, and either walk or take a north-bound songthaew (10 baht) from there.
White coloured songthaews ply Sukhumvit Rd, going as far as Si Racha and Sattahip (20 baht); full-size buses to destinations as far away as Trat and even Chiang Mai also stop and pick up passengers on Sukhumvit Rd at the South Pattaya Rd, Central Pattaya Rd, and North Pattaya Rd junctions.
If you're overcharged by a songthaew driver, note the three digit vehicle number top left corner of the windscreen, also stenciled on both sides and in the back and report the problem to:
- Pattaya City Manager: dial 038429216
- Banglamung District Baht Bus Cooperative: dial 038221271 / 038423554
A local bus line, called Beach Bus, is running a circular line: Pattaya Floating Market - Chaiyapreuk - Jomtien Beach Road - Thappraya – Pattaya Second Road – Dolphin Roundabout – Northern Bus Terminal – City Hall – Pattaya Beach Road – Walking Street - Thappraya - Jomtien Beach Road - Chaiyapreuk - Pattaya Floating Market. The ticket costs 30 baht. Timetable and further info:
The quickest way to get around is by motorcycle or motosai. A moto-taxi will be less expensive than a songthaew charter, but arguably less safe. Roadside moto-taxi stands are scattered throughout town, and waiting drivers usually clap their hands or sometimes call out to attract the attention of potential passengers.
Alternatively just flag down the next available one that cruises by, as the drivers are easily identified by their coloured vests. Some will carry two or more passengers, although this is illegal. Foreigners can expect to pay around 30-40 baht for trips around the inner parts of town.
Although meter-taxis are a common sight in and around Pattaya, none of them will accept a metered fare. Some are from Bangkok. Their drivers bring passengers from the capital and then operate locally until a return fare becomes available.
There are now also many local taxis, yellow/blue in colour. You should haggle before the journey with whatever fare they've quoted. The minimum fare for a foreigner is usually 275 Baht - even 1 km hops.
If you have a smartphone or tablet, the GrabTaxi app informs you of taxis in the local area, and allows the drivers to see where you are, where you want to go, and bid for the fare and tip.
It usually takes only a few minutes to fetch a taxi even in obscure places. If the driver does not understand your directions, the despatchers speak english and will sort it out by phone.
Please note that English proficiency amongst taxi drivers is not the highest. You may want a printout in Thai of your destination. Some drivers will have a binder listing common destinations in various languages to avoid misunderstanding.
There are also some car services and non-metered taxis that operate on an on-call basis; minibuses can also be chartered. These services are suited primarily to longer trips outside the core of the town or to another city, and can be arranged through most travel agencies and many hotels/guesthouses.
Expect to pay considerably more than the cost of a songthaew charter, probably in the order of a few hundred baht.
If you are going back to Bangkok, there is the cheap possibility of catching a taxi which has just came from there with some passengers and has to return.
Since the driver isn’t going to get a passenger as soon as he leaves Pattaya, he might be willing to take back a passenger for cheap which should cost you no more than 800-1200 baht.
It is not easy to find a bicycle for rent. There is one shop at the northern end of Pattaya. It is called Kokonok and is located 506/ 50 Soi 16 Pattaya Naklua road. Dial 080 828 8239 from the roundabout 4 blocks to the east and one to the north.
Bicycles can be hired more centrally complete with lock, for 75 baht per day from Canterbury Tales Cafe, just off Soi Buakhao, near LK Metro. Although cheap, the quality of the bicycles leaves something to be desired.
If considering renting a vehicle, bear in mind that traffic in Pattaya can seem very erratic by Western standards, and that driving on the left can be confusing not only for those who have previously only ever driven on the right.
But also for those unfamiliar with the common Thai practice and even the police do this, of motorcycling alongside the kerb on the oncoming side of the road, or the wrong way up one-way streets.
The latter problem is especially prevalent in the Pattaya Bay area, where the majority of the roads in the main tourism zones are one-way; and the northern section of Second Road requires great care as some treat the right-hand bus lane as oncoming, while others do not.
Motorcycle rentals are a very popular way to get around, but not the safest, especially in the case of visitors with limited previous experience of motorcycling and Eastern traffic habits, and even more so in Pattaya given the large number of motorcycle mounted holidaymakers who seem hell-bent on a Darwin Award.
Also note that a motorcyclist carrying a shoulder bag, and anything placed in the front basket of a motorcycle, makes an especially easy target for bag-snatchers. Also beware the No Parking signs; fines are typically 400-500 baht.
Motorbikes can be rented without difficulty at countless locations in Pattaya, including many hotels and guesthouses, usually without having to produce a licence; however it's common for foreigners to be asked to deposit their passports as security.
To avoid this, simply shop around until you find one of the many places that will accept a photocopy instead.
Cash deposits are also often required - 1000 baht is not uncommon. Motorcycle rentals do not include insurance, and both motorcycling accidents and motorbike thefts are common. Some outlets have a third-party cover which covers you for medical attention.
If motorbikes don't carry this insurance they are illegal and should not be entertained.
Cars can easily be rented, and are a good way to explore beyond the city limits, but they are not such a practicable way to get around the busiest central areas as traffic can be congested, and parking spaces can be difficult to find in the evening and on weekends.
However, the major supermarkets offer free parking, and low-cost parking is available at the major shopping venues such as Royal Garden Plaza, Central Festival, & Big C on Second Road.
Rentals without insurance start from around 800 baht/day for small cars, and from as little as 600 baht/day for open-top jeeps; cars with insurance start at just under 1,000 baht/day, and come down to around 5,600 baht/week or 18,000 baht/month in low season. High season prices from early November are generally a few hundred baht more.
Getting the correct type of insurance cover on any rental car in Thailand is extremely important. Commerical Car Rental Company first-class insurance provides the absolute full legal cover as opposed to limited personal or third party-only insurance cover.
Request a copy of the policy document and check that it states - For Commercial Use.
Imac ATV Centre, at the Beach Road end of Tipp Plaza, near Mike Shopping Mall. Has a small fleet of assorted models. Prices start at 1,500 baht/day for a 4-stroke 150cc quad with road tyres that can carry two people; rates for larger models, some with off-road tyres go as high as 3,000 baht/day.
The three kilometres long Pattaya Beach runs along the city centre. The beach is full of life with hotels, restaurants, shopping malls all along the road facing the beach. The street south of Beach Road, Walking Street, comes alive with rock music as the night sets in.
People throng the street to experience the night life, which is unique in all respects. There are hundreds of beer bars, go-go bars, discotheques around the area. Muay Thai, the Thai Boxing, an open arena in some of the beer bars are exciting to the hilt.
Another beach in Pattaya, Jomtien Beach, more popular among family vacationers, is on the southern part of the city, and separated from the main Pattaya Bay by Buddha hill. Jomtien is more calm and serene compared to the crowded Pattaya Beach and a paradise for water sports enthusiasts.
Jomtien is also popular for its amusement park and tower, to keep children entertained. The one km long, Wong Phrachan Beach, situated on the Northern part of the Pattaya Beach is a favourite among swimmers.
There are acres of sand jam-packed with recliners and umbrellas usually with an in-house supply of drinks, serviced by an army of laid-back but tenacious hawkers offering anything and everything.
From food especially seafood, fruit, ice cream to massage, manicure/pedicure, tattoos, lottery tickets, newspapers, herbs, flowers, gems, perfumes, sunglasses, CDs, watches, lighters, clothes, toys, souvenirs, handicrafts.
It's a bit like TV shopping as soon as you've declined one offer, it's time to consider another and so on. Eventually you buy a very dark pair of sunglasses, and after that you just pretend to be asleep.
Pattaya Beach is almost 3 km long and bordered by Beach Road. Due to its central location and proximity to several hundred hotels, and because it's a relatively narrow strip of sand, it's crowded at the best of times and even more so at high tide.
Hefty fines for littering help keep the sand neat and tidy, however the sea is not so clean around here.
The northern end of Pattaya Bay is occupied by Wong Amat Beach, which is accessed from Naklua; and beyond the southern end, around the Buddha Hill headland that separates Pattaya Bay from Jomtien, are several more smaller beaches.
Naklua Bay is immediately north of Pattaya Bay, with Rachvate Cape separating the two. Naklua Beach, to the far north, is the main strip, with the smaller Crescent Moon Beach and then Palm Beach further south.
Beyond them is Wong Amat Beach which occupies the northern end of Pattaya Bay, but is accessed from Naklua. All are generally cleaner and more suitable for quiet relaxation than Pattaya Beach.
Wong Phra Chan Beach. This small tranquil one kilometre beach is on the northern side of Pattaya Bay. The serene atmosphere here is attractive to those longing for a complete rest and privacy.
Ban Sukhawadee, 219 Moo 2, Sukhumvit Rd. M-F 08:30–18:00, Sa-Su, hols 08:00-18:00. This is the residence of Dr. Panya Chotithewan. Visitors can enter the house to pay respect to the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin, to see the spacious conference room and the roof. 300 baht/adults, 50 baht/children.
Buddha Hill Khao Phra Tam Nak, between Thap Praya Road and Phratamnak Road; 5-10 mins by songthaew. Buddha Hill is one of the highest points in Pattaya. At the summit is the biggest Buddha statue in Pattaya, and nearby is a beautiful Chinese-style sacred area dedicated to Confucius and Lao-zi.
The next hill, just across the Phra Tam Nak Road, has the best Pattaya Bay coastline viewpoint and is also worth a visit, especially for sunset.
The locals come here to pay homage to Wat Khao Phra Bat atop the hill and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the founding father of the modern Thai navy.
Chaloemphrakiat Park. A park at the foot of Khao Pattaya. With an area of 6 acres, the park was dedicated to commemorate His Majesty the King's sixtieth birthday on December 5, 1988. The gardens of the park boast a wide variety of flowering plants and offer a scenic view of Pattaya.
There are also multipurpose grounds and winding trails for walking or jogging and standard exercise facilities. It is not at all obvious how to access the gardens of the park from the summit, and those from overseas should ask a local for guidance.
Sanctuary of Truth, 206/2 Moo 5, Soi 12, Naklua Rd. 09:00-18:00 daily. This huge ancient-style wooden temple is situated by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, North Pattaya. The entrance is at Soi 12, Na Kluea Road.
The Sanctuary of Truth was first begun in 1981 by Mr. Lek Wiriyaphan, the founder of the Ancient City in Samut Prakan Province.
With exquisite an unique architectural features, the building was conceived out of the vision that human civilisation has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth. It is an unfinished project, but worth a visit even now. 500 baht.
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan, turn left from Sukhumvit Road, at Km. 160 for 5km. It was constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present Supreme Patriarch, and later was supported by His Majesty the King.
At the entrance are situated international pavilions presenting each country’s national architectural style around the pond.
Within the compound of the temple are the Mondop where a replica of the Buddha’s footprint is enshrined, a large Chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha, as well as, his enlightened followers, and Wihan Phra Yanaret.
It is open from 8.00AM-4.00PM Moreover, there is a place where the Royal Project for Agricultural Training Centre and Wildlife Preservation Area are located.
Anek Kuson Sala Wihan Sian, entrance is a bit prior to Wat Yanasangwararam, 800 metres from the intersection at the reservoir. 08:30-17:00 daily. Anek Kuson Sala is an art gallery with high-class Chinese architecture and fine arts constructed in 1987 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Birthday.
Inside is an exhibition displaying precious antiques such as the large white jade Bodhisattva Kwan Yin's image, terra-cotta soldiers and horses from the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, an emperor’s golden throne, ancient paintings and pottery. 50 baht.
Liam's Gallery, Soi 4 Pratamnak Rd, Moo 12. Liam's Gallery exhibits and sells original art works from Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Second Rd or Beach Rd on the third floor of Royal Garden Plaza. 11:00-23:00 daily. At the same location there's also a Haunted Experience show, a 4D movie theatre and Infinity Maze game.
Various combination tickets available to enter all four. Foreigners 380 baht/adult and 280 baht/child, Thais 280 baht/adult, 230 baht/child.
Cartoon Network Amazone, 888 Moo8, NaJomtien, Sattahip, Chon Buri 20250, Thailand. Cartoon Network Amazone is the world's first Cartoon Network-themed waterpark.
Here you can splash out with all of your favorite Cartoon Network friends, including Ben 10 and his aliens, Adventure Time's Finn and Jake, The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo and many more. Foreigners 1590 baht, Thais 1290 baht.
Mini Siam, on Sukhumvit Road, surrounded by Soi 33. 07:00-22:00 daily. Mini Siam features miniature replicas of iconic structures from Thailand and all over the world. It is one of the most famous model villages in the world.
It celebrates the heritages of Thailand with miniature replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, Prasat Hin Phimai etc.
Minature replicas of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called miniworld. 250 baht/adults, 120 baht/children.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, 163 Sukhumvit Rd - 15 minutes east of town centre. Beautiful gardens with waterfalls, elephant shows, Cultural Extravaganza performances 4 times a day, restaurants and so forth - enough to fill an entire day. Foreigners 500 baht, Thais 200 baht.
Siriphon Orchid Farm, 235/14 Moo 5, Noen Phlap Wan Rd, turn left for 800 metres from Sukhumvit Road, diagonally across the Pattaya Klang intersection.
Inside the farm are various kinds of orchids to be admired and purchased such as Pompadua, Vanda, Golden Shower, and Cattleya.
Three Kingdoms Theme Park, 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong adjacent to Horseshoe Point, 20 minutes from Pattaya. 10:00-17:00 daily. This is a Chinese-style garden filled with pagodas, murals and figures from the Chinese epic San Guo Zhi, and more an expression of filial piety than a theme park.
Perhaps worth a quick look on a slow day, but unlikely to offer much to visitors not familiar with the story. 150 baht/adults, 80 baht/children.
The Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile Farm, Chaiyaphonwithi Road - 15 minute drive from central Pattaya. 08:30-18:30 daily. Features an exotic zoo, and crocodile, fire-swallowing and magic shows, as well as the garden and stone park.
This popular attraction is Its grounds are landscaped with flowering and rock gardens. Hundreds of crocodiles as well as some rare animals, including albino bears and horses, are kept.
There are crocodile shows, magic performances and animal shows 7 times a day from 09:00-17:00. 300 baht/adults, 150 baht/children.
Pattaya Elephant Village, 54/1 Moo 2, Tambon Nong Prue. This elephant camp focuses on daily life of elephants and their masters and also offers stage shows demonstrating how to catch wild elephants, elephants-at-work in the jungle, elephants playing football and a grand war elephants parade.
The shows are held daily at 14:30 and last one hour. A one-hour elephant ride is available from 08:00-17:30 for 900 baht/person and rafting trekking three-hour is available from 10:00-15:30PM at 1,800 baht/person. Be aware that this is not an elephant sanctuary.
The elephants are kept chained, and if they do not perform tricks for the tourists, they are punished. 500 baht.
Underwater World, 22/22 Moo 11, Sukhumvit Rd. 09:00–18:00 daily, feeding times 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00. This is a relatively small aquarium where there is a collection of marine species in the Gulf of Thailand.
Visitors can walk through the acrylic pedestrian tunnel and witness various kinds of fish swimming in the 180 degree area. The tunnel is 105 metres long divided into 4 zones.
The first zone where there are beautiful and rare fish such as angel fish, cleaning wrasse and butterflyfish, the second zone displays soft-bone ones such as sharks, stingrays, while those in the third zone are the economic ones such as the Napoleonfish, groupers, pomfrets, hawksbill turtles, and green turtles which reside around a replica of shipwreck.
The fourth zone is a special one where fish from the Amazon River are on display. Moreover, there are marine life feeding shows, both on the surface of the water and underwater in each zone.
It is possible to dive in the tank with the fish for a cost of 2500baht for 30 minutes. 500 baht/adult, 300 baht/child.
Silverlake Winery Pattaya- the first famous and only vineyard in the East of Thailand. There are beautiful view for photo and drama shooting. Grape and vine products are also sell and it plenty of the colorful flowers. Silverlake becomes popular owing to spectacular natural views.
Visitors, they can relax with colorful of flowers, what’s more the activity that attract visitors are riding an ATV, horse-drawn carriage, Elephant, bicycle and look around the yard by a round trip by bus.
Visitors can go there by a metered taxi, Songthaew or own car. For own car go on Sukhumvit Road to the Sattahip direction.
Pattaya's main beaches are popular and busy places for activities. Some of these include banana-boat rides, jet-skiing, water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, and the like.
Anyone who just wants to enjoy a simple swim or a good splash around with a frisbee or rented inner tube will always find themselves with plenty of company as well.
Yoga in Pattaya, Thappasit soi 12. 8am-8pm. Yoga Pattaya - A centre of excellence for authentic yoga practice. Highly qualified, world-class instructors, teaching small, intimate groups and private sessions. Classes available in English, Russian language.
offer a wide variety of styles of Yoga and classes for all levels from absolute beginners to advanced practitioners, including : Ashtanga Yoga, Stretching Yoga, Mysore-Style, Hatha Yoga, Hatha Vinyassa Yoga, Vinyassa Flow Yoga, Fitness Yoga. 300.
Pregnancy Yoga (Prenatal classes), Thepprasit, soi 12, 315/327 Not far from Thappraya/Thepprasit junction, 500 m from FoodMart. 8am - 8pm. Yoga for pregnancy in Pattaya, Thailand Prenatal classes is very beneficial for pregnant women. Here you will learn how to breathe and relax.
Yoga for pregnancy is the way to painless childbirth. The prenatal classes is in English. Hope to see all the beautiful future mommies in our bright place! 300-500 THB.
Bowling Plus which was previously Pattaya Bowl, Second Rd at the junction with Soi Regent Marina. 10:00-02:00 daily. 20 bowling lanes. Also has 6 pool tables plus 2 full-size snooker tables for 120 baht/hour. Bowling 70-90 baht/person.
O.D. Bowl, Pratamnak Rd. 08:00-01:00 daily.
Paintball Park, 248/10 Mu 12, Thep Prasit Rd. 09:00-18:00 daily. 50 rounds ammo/400 baht.
Pattaya Kart Speedway, 248/2 Mu 12, Thep Prasit Rd (5 km from the centre of Pattaya to the south. 09:00-18:00 daily. It is a kart racing circuit where there are separate lanes for professionals and amateurs, and there is a separate off-road track. 250+ baht/10 mins.
P.S. Bowling junction of Central Pattaya Rd and Second Rd, above TOPS Supermarket, P.S. Plaza. 11:00-02:00 daily. 70-90 baht/person.
Tiffany's Shooting Range, GF, Tiffany's Show Building, 464 Moo 9, Second Rd. 09:00-21:00 daily. The only indoor shooting range in Pattaya 19 lanes. Minimum age 18.
Video games. Video games are a popular pastime in Thailand, hence PlayStation and computer game shops are everywhere in Pattaya. The usual rate is 20 baht/hr, making for pretty cheap entertainment, but expect things to get very crowded and loud in the hours after school lets out.
There's a big shop on Soi Chaiyaphum, right off Soi Buakhao across from Soi Diana Inn that's open 24/7 and has more comfortable chairs. 20 baht/hr.
Alcazar show in Pattaya
Pattaya is well known for its katoey cabaret aka ladyboy or transvestite shows. Two of the best known and expect busloads of Asian tourists:
Alcazar Cabaret, Pattaya 2 Rd across from Soi 5. Showtime 18:30, 20:00, 21:30. A VIP seat closer to the front costs 200 baht extra. Directly after the show the performers come outside for a few minutes photo session.
80 baht per photo with each performer of your choice or 200 baht for an instant Polaroid photo taken by their own photographer. 600-800 baht.
Tiffany's Show, Pattaya 2 Rd. Showtime 18:00, 19:30, 21:00. Tiffany's is a family-friendly ladyboy cabaret show. The 19:30 show is generally deemed to be the best of the night. After the show there the ladyboys would gather outside available for photos sessions with interested audience.
Front row ladyboys are more costly to take photos with than the back rows). Some ladyboys offers free photos session though. In May Tiffany's Show hosts the annual Miss Tiffany's Universe Pageant beauty queen competition, for contestants born as men.
If you've got testosterone left over, visit the shooting range in the basement! Contact Tiffany's directly for a complimentary pick-up from your hotel. 500, 700, 800 baht.
Colosseum Show Pattaya, 168/9 Moo 12,Thepprasit Rd between soi 13 and 15. Showtime 18:00, 19:30, 21:00.
Some roadside local travel agents offers significantly cheaper ticket prices for the above shows, including for VIP Seats.
Cinemas in Thailand tend to be severely air conditioned, bring a long sleeve shirt, or jacket, or both! Otherwise, the four large mall cinemas in Pattaya are mostly up to Western standards.
Some but by no means all Thai language films are subtitled in English, check the billing at the theatre and some films will have both subtitled and non-subtitled showings. Visitors must stand up during the King's anthem.
Major Cineplex, The Avenue second road across from Soi 13.
SF Cinema City, Central Big-C. This cinema has six theatres with ticket prices around 90 baht, slightly more at weekends; this has increasingly been showing Thai-soundtrack-only films including dubbed versions of foreign films and no-English-subtitle releases of Thai films.
SFX Cinema, Central Pattaya Beach. Brand new multiplex with 10 theatres. Regular ticket for 120 baht and 100 baht on wednesdays, sofa seat 500. One theatre has first class seats 600 baht including popcorn and a soft drink.
The Golf Club, 33/133 Soi L.K. Metro near Soi Diana and Soi Buakhao, about 100 yards from the Areca Lodge. A popular sports bar & restaurant that runs regular golf competitions on M, Tu, Th, and F.
They have contracts with the local courses and offer highly discounted green fees either through the Pattaya Sports Club or they can book your private tour of up to 120 golfers. They are the only bar golf society with a TAT License.
Transportation, club rentals, free Wi-Fi and golf lockers are available. Have 4 rooms available to golfers and non-golfers alike, from 600-900 baht depending on room and season.
The Mini Golf Pub, Thappraya Rd, on the left just past the flyover when headed to Jomtien. 10:00-23:00 daily. 18 holes, refreshments available; their cat sometimes acts as a self-propelled obstacle. 100 baht/person.
Pattaya City Golf, at the Nova Lodge Hotel on Beach Road, next to the junction with Pattaya Central Road. 09:00-01:00 daily. 18 holes, plus chipping, driving and putting areas for the more serious golfer; refreshments served at the waterfront bar; Caddy service available. 140 baht/person.
Solar Golf, Located in Tara Court on Pratumnak Road between Jomtien and Pattaya City. 09:00-18:00 Mon-Sat. Golf travel agents who provide trips for groups and individuals to all the top golf courses around Pattaya Ranges.
Euro Club Pattaya, Located Chaiyapruk2 Road 3 km from Jomtien beach. 08:00-23:00 Mon-Sat. 5 badminton courts, Swimming pool and restaurant 120 Baht/hour/court.
Whether you’re a veteran spa and wellness traveler or simply a tourist with a few aches and pains, Pattaya has a place for you. Spa centers and massage shops of all kinds are peppered throughout Thailand’s favorite seaside resort.
Just a few examples of what’s available: all types of massages, including aromatherapy massage, Thai herbal compress massage, Thai foot massage, Ayurvedic massage, hot stone massage and many others; then there’s body scrubs, detoxification and colonics, body wraps, water treatments, waxing, and facial treatments.
A short drive from the bustling capital and you can be pampered for any length of time, and then relax on the beach afterwards.
Siladon Spa Pattaya, the Pattaya branch of a spa group that also includes spas in Bangkok and Phuket
Let's Relax, RarinJinda Wellness Spa Pattaya, you’ll find this professional day spa near the Dolphin Circle
The Oasis Spa Pattaya – a popular and well-established spa atop Big Buddha Hill, Pattaya
There are scores of excellent spas in Pattaya, with some of the most popular being Siladon Spa Pattaya, Spa Silavadee, P.S. Spa, The Cliff Spa - Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Royal Garden Spa - Pattaya Marriott Resort and Spa, Amburaya Spa - Sheraton Pattaya Resort, Devarana Spa - Dusit Thani Pattaya and Spa Cenvaree - Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.
Siladon Spa Pattaya, Relaxation for body and mind, 285/52 Moo 5, Naklua 16, Naklua, Bang Lamung on the right side of Naklua 16 coming from Pattaya-Naklua road, next to The Radiance hotel.
Professional day spa in Pattaya set in a single house surrounded by beautiful gardens. Specializes in offering spa packages for 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours and 5 hours, including massage and other spa treatments. Also has branches in Bangkok and Phuket.
Mari-Jari Sauna & Spa, New level of ancient traditions, 13/68 Soi Wat Boon Kanjanaram Jomtien 2nd Road, turn to Jomtien Rd to Soi Wat Boon near Grand Jomtien Palace, cross Jomtien 2nd.
11-23, except Mondays. Spa complex in Pattaya with relax and calm atmosphere, great Finnish sauna, Russian steam room or banya, Turkish sauna, hot and ice cold water pools, swimming pool and recreation area.
Offers different types of massages, body and face scrubs and masks, wrappings, Spa procedures - Charcot shower, Hydro massage, Circulation shower. Visitors can use healthy food restaurant with exclusive menu and children`s playroom on the Spa complex area.
OneRoyale the origin of Thai Traditional Massage, Central Rd across from Leng Kee Restaurant, Central Pattaya Rd. Clean, comfortable, and quiet atmosphere. Body massages include foot, Thai, oil, aroma, head/shoulder, and four hands. Also do body scrubs and sun burn treatment.
Special treatments for ladies include: intimate repair treatment, vagina firming treatment, post-birth treatment, firming & anti-cellulite treatment. Water, tea, or coffee afterwards.
Serenity Massage, across from LK Pavilion, South Pattaya Rd and Third Rd. One of the few massage shops in this section of Pattaya. It offers a clean, comfortable and quiet atmosphere inside, combined with talk and laughter with the girls outside.
Massage services include foot, Thai, oil, powder, salt body scrub, aromatherapy, four hands massage and more. Water, tea or coffee afterwards. The overall experience is fun, unrushed, and relaxing.
Spa View, at the Mark-Land Hotel, Soi 1. One of the largest massage and spa complexes in Pattaya, offering aromatherapy oil massage, herbal steam sauna, skin whitening treatment, body treatment with aloe vera herbal, mineral water treatment, body treatment with milk and honey, milk bath treatment, physical massage, foot massage, and others.
Facial treatments include nail care and treatment, hand and foot therapy by soaking with herbal water, foot massage, facial massage, scrub, ozone, fruit skin treatment, lotion, and others.
Pattaya is not only one of Thailand’s prime tourist destinations but also one of its leading medical tourism destinations, and is home to more than a dozen private and government-run hospitals.
A myriad of choices, attractions, and options are available for those wanting to create a memorable medical holiday, and you would be hard-pressed to find a better place to relax, recuperate, and rejuvenate.
Visitors to Pattaya’s medical facilities can expect highly trained physicians, many having been educated and certified in Western institutions.
This means that you are in professional, experienced hands and have the added benefit of many of them speaking English. Many are surprised to find the equipment is equal to or better than that found in their home countries, and the procedures used are all the latest as well.
Visitors should also be advised that most hospitals will advise patients on all aspects of their medical holiday, and if you can, you should contact them in advance to assist you with finding comfortable, convenient accommodations nearby the center.
Arranging tours before or after your treatment, and especially in choosing the right packages for your specific needs. All this will reduce your expenses even further than they already are.
As far as large, well-appointed and certified international hospitals go in Pattaya, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital (BPH) stands out as the leader, and comes with Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation.
Its resources and staff are impressive by any standard: more than one hundred specialists, fully trained nurses and aids, and a team of interpreters fluent in twenty different languages. In short, this hospital is a leader in Asia’s medical tourism facilities.
Of course, there are many other popular hospitals and clinics in Pattaya, and may be more suited to your particular needs, including the Pattaya International Hospital, the Beauty and Aesthetic Center, and the modern Pattaya Royal Beauty Clinic.
You may not have been thinking about getting dental work done on your holiday, but think again. More and more tourists are realizing that this may actually be the best time and place to take care of those dental procedures you’ve been contemplating at home, but had neither the time nor money to attend to.
Dentists in Pattaya are very experienced in all the latest dental procedures, and will assist you with any and all of your needs, including crowns, veneers, implants, root canals, extractions, teeth whitening, dentures, fillings, and bridges.
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital Dental Center, 301 Sukhumvit Road North Pattaya. The largest dental center of Pattaya offering all branches of Dental Specialists who set up the team to effectively solve all the patient's dental problems with modern technology equipment.
Dentist at Beach, 4th Floor on Central Festival Beach Road. If you have a pain from toothache after dinner, you can come here because they open until 21:30 daily; very convenient location and easy to come by minibus. Not much expensive tooth extraction around 700 - 900 baht.
In short, the hospitals and clinics in Pattaya are second-to-none in Thailand, and many feature extensive dermatology centers for locals and medical tourists alike.
The bottom line is: whatever treatment or procedure you’ve been needing or wanting you can find in Pattaya, with high quality and low costs.
So go ahead and schedule your medical or dental treatments between all those leisure activities you’ll be enjoying, be it fishing, golfing, parasailing, island-hopping, partying, or simply working on your tan.
And leave a little wiggle room to extend your holiday after realizing the savings you’ve accrued, it’s been known to happen.
Pattaya is a thriving Muay Thai destination, with over a dozen Muay Thai camps and gyms located in and around the city.
It is also home to three Muay Thai Stadiums; Pattaya Boxing World Stadium located in North Pattaya, MAX Muay Thai Stadium located in central Pattaya and Thepprasit Stadium located in South Pattaya.
Speedboat-towed parachute rides are available along the main beaches, and in Pattaya Bay from several large floating platforms with speedboats ferrying customers out from the shore — typically about 500 baht per flight.
As with most coastal towns in Thailand, Pattaya is a good place for diving. The diving is done mostly on the near islands, Ko Larn, Ko Sak, Ko Krok. Once in a while the dive centers go out to the far islands, Ko Rin and Koh Wichai.
The diving off Pattaya is also known for its numerous wrecks: the HTMS Kut, HTMS Kram, the Bremen, and the Harddeep
For those who want adventure combined with the experience of seeing a rain forest canopy, this Pattaya Zipline tour is ideal. It involves ziplining over the forest canopy and getting a thrill that is in a league of its own.
The tour operates twice daily: one starting around 07:00 and the other around noon. Total time including travel is about 5 hours of which about 2-3 hours will be spent in the forest.
Cost can vary from 2,100-2,500 baht depending on where you book, your ability to negotiate and the supply-demand situation.
Ko Khrok (or Krok). 2 km east of Ko Lan, is an isolated rocky islet with a single 100 metre stretch of sandy beach to the east, where visitors can see coral reefs.
Ko Phai or Bamboo Island. Ko Phai, and other islands in the Ko Phai group, Ko Klung Badan (or Krung Badan), Ko Luam (or Leom), Ko Man Wichai and Ko Rin (or Lin) - are preferred destinations for scuba divers, and are also popular for general relaxation, fishing, swimming and snorkeling day trips.
This area is controlled by the Royal Thai Navy, and overnight stays are not permitted. For a return speedboat charter from one of the mainland beaches or Bali Hai Pier (approx. 23 km / 2 hours), expect to pay 2,500-4,000 baht; possibly less from Ko Lan.
New Year's Day. The International New Year Day has been adopted. On the first of January, people offer food to monks at the temple or at a particular site designated by government offices of private organizations.
Songkran. Mid-April. Songkhran is the Thai New Year, celebrated primarily by everyone throwing prodigious quantities of water at anything that moves.
Pattaya officially celebrates Songkran on later dates April 18-19 than most of the rest of the country April 13-15 - but in reality the fun just starts early and keeps on going that much longer.
During this period many hotels and guest houses have high occupancy levels, and public transport services especially buses to/from Bangkok are very busy, with more frequent than normal departures but also with appreciable delays due to the general mayhem on the roads.
Songkran in Pattaya follows the same overall pattern as seen elsewhere in Thailand, but is especially vigorous in areas such as Soi 7 and Soi 8. Expect to get very wet indeed and you're unlikely to be disappointed - regardless of where you go or what else you actually plan to do.
Although things calm down considerably after dusk, it's still worth keeping anything that could easily be damaged, especially cameras, mobile telephones, passports etc) in plastic bags.
Pattaya Festival. Mid-April. The Pattaya Festival has floral floats, a Miss Pattaya Beauty contest, a traditional aquatic sports competitions, castles, a fireworks display, fire crackers, arts and cultural performances, exhibitions and souvenirs for sale.
Don't expect an authentic festival, this is basically a festival to promote Pattaya as a popular seaside destination for tourists.
Training in scuba diving and trips for a wide range of ability levels and interests, certified by a number of different organisations, including both NAUI and PADI, are available through numerous dive shops.
Language and Thai Cultural School, 571/1 Naklua Rd, right on the crest of the hill. Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00, Sa 08:00-18:00. Teaches languages Thai, English, German - rates depend on group size, Thai cookery 10 hours - 3900 baht + ingredients.
Fruit carving 10 hours - 3900 baht + materials, Ministry of Education certification available after 30 hours, Thai massage 10 hours - 3900 baht, and yoga/meditation 5 hours - 1900 baht.
YachtPro Sailing School. ASA (American Sailing Association) Sailing Courses, based at Ocean Marina Yacht Club.
There are numerous malls, supermarkets, bazaar-style markets, and thousands of other shops. Sadly, you'll be seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over again — there's no endless variety in Pattaya.
Also, Pattaya is not a good place to go shopping for hi-tech products, such as cameras and computers. Expect to see prices around 50% higher than the best prices advertised in the West.
Also beware of buying fake branded and designer goods, since these could be confiscated by customs officers at the airport.
Foreign currency can easily be exchanged for Thai baht at the many exchange booths which can be found in all areas popular with tourists — there are even mobile exchanges/ATMs in specially adapted minivans that are set up as and when and where the need arises.
Note that the majority of exchange booths will buy foreign currency but will not sell it. If you need to obtain US dollars, for example if you're going to Cambodia, use one of the larger branches of a major bank, such as the Bangkok Bank branch on Second Rd almost opposite Soi 6.
ATMs are widely available around the city, however, the vast majority of them now charge a steep 220 baht fee for using foreign cards, on top of what your home bank normally charges.
The only exception is Aeon Bank. Their ATMs are located on the ground floor of Carrefour near KFC, Central Pattaya Road around 400 m up from the Second Rd crossing, near Homework Furniture Mall entrance just behind Big C at the South Pattaya/Sukhumvit Rd intersection.
Accessible by 10 baht songthaews parked near the Second Rd intersection, and in Tesco Lotus in South Pattaya. Also at Tesco Lotus on North Pattaya Rd on the ground floor.
Happy Home Thai Cooking School, 211/12 Moo 9, Pattaya Klang Soi 12. 9am-12pm & 1pm-4pm. Since founded in 2007 Happy Home has been teaching people the joy and beauty of Thai cooking. You can come for just one class or complete an entire course lasting 7 days.
From beginners to experienced chefs, you will learn the secrets behind good Thai food. 1000 Baht.
Central Festival. One of the largest malls in Asia. Opened in mid-January of 2009, this sprawling complex has really put Pattaya on the map for grand scale shopping and dining.
It is the best shopping mall in the region and now attracts customers from all over, adding to the traffic chaos of Beach Rd. Fashion, electronics, health & beauty, kids activities and food are all here.
With the obligatory cinema complex and bowling alley on the top floor, this mega-mall is styled on the big Bangkok destination shopping areas like Siam Paragon. The Food Loft has the best view of the bay and great variety at reasonable prices.
The anchor store is Central Department Store itself, offering high-end designer labels from abroad and Thailand. A supermarket and budget food hall is in the basement. Enter from Soi 9, Pattaya Beach Rd, or on Second Rd after the new View Talay complex.
Easy to find, just look for the traffic jams.
Central Festival Center. 11:00-23:00 daily. A large mall on Second Rd across from Soi 2. It includes the Big C department store, and an IT Corner with mobile phones and accessories but no computers.
Mike Shopping Mall, on Beach Rd between Soi 11 and Soi 12. The ground floor has many small stalls selling clothing, tourist souvenirs and many other inexpensive items; above that there's a department store; on the 5th floor there's a food court; and up on the roof (10th floor) there's a public swimming pool.
P.S. Plaza, at the junction of Second Rd and Central Pattaya Rd. Tops supermarket and cooked food outlet occupies most of the ground floor; billiards, books, massage, and a handful of other shops on the first floor; and P.S. Bowling on the second floor.
Royal Garden Plaza, adjacent to the Pattaya Marriott Hotel on Beach Rd between Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2) and Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3).
Tuk.Com (Com City), South Pattaya Rd. A new and predominantly IT mall. In the basement is a Tops supermarket, a food court, and various other mostly clothes, shops as well as a spare parts department that sells a variety of electronic e.g., transistors and other parts e.g. clothes washing machine lint filters.
The ground floor hosts an assortment of regular shops. However the upper floors are almost exclusively mobile phones (1st floor), computer software and MP3/video CDs on 4th floor, and computers and handheld electronics 2nd/3rd/5th floors. Prices are significantly higher than in Bangkok though.
There are many bazaar-style markets in Pattaya where you can haggle till you drop, These including:
Thepprasit Market, on Thepprasit Rd near the junction with Sukhumvit Rd. F-Su 18:00-00:00. You can find the cheapest books in Pattaya at this night market.
Soi Buakhao Market, on the corner of South Pattaya Rd and Soi Buakhao, across from the Friendship Supermarket. Daytime on Tuesday and Friday; plus an evening market further along the same road.
Made In Thailand Night Bazaar, on Second Rd near Soi 10. 08:00-23:00. Despite the wrongly spelled name, it is also open in mornings.
The Market Pattaya, on Second Rd near Soi 5. This market is a little lonely, but some evenings it has students giving music or dance performances on a small stage.
Just some of the shops you will encounter in Pattaya:
Convenience stores are everywhere, especially 7-11 and Family Mart shops (all open 24 hours), plus countless independents. If you use the family-run shops the prices aren't always marked but should be the same, or just a baht or two higher.
Gold shops abound, with concentrations around the market on South Pattaya Rd and around Central Pattaya Rd near Second Rd, plus numerous jewellery shops towards the south end of Beach Rd. Small jewellery shops can also be found as part of supermarkets.
Art galleries are also considered to be rising business in Pattaya, most of the places will offer variety works and services including custom orders and art reproductions. These galleries in Pattaya have reputations in affordable prices and skilled artists.
Tailor shops are everywhere, offering men's clothes, but quality is variable. Ideally, make sure you get two fittings before buying.
Tea Village one of the best teas store in Pattaya, more than 80 flavours of tea and a few coffee beans. Price for herbal tea starts from 39 baht per 100 g., on Green\Oolong tea 70 baht up, coffee beans 85 baht per 100 g.
You can find them in a shop in North Pattaya Rd. right about 10m. before Noth Tesco Lotus mall. Address: 151/44 M.5, North Pattaya Rd., Naklue, Banglamung, Cholburi, 20150.
Bookazine. There are many branches of Bookazine, including those at Central Festival Centre; Royal Garden Plaza; and The Avenue.
Book Variety. Many branches, at Big C, South Pattaya Road; Carrefour, Central Pattaya Rd; Tuk.Com (Com City).
Book Spot Pattaya Second Hand used Bookshop, Soi Chaiyapoon. 09:00-21:00 daily. European Language second hand book store. Wide range of German, French, Swedish, etc books 40-240 Baht plus 50% credit on returned books.
Canterbury Tales Cafe, Guesthouse, & Bookshop, Soi Chaiyapoon. 08:00-20:00 daily. Probably Pattaya's largest English Language second hand book store. Also has a restaurant and rooms for 500-800 baht.
D.K. Book Mart, corner of Beach and Central Pattaya Rd. 09:00-00:00 daily. A medium-size bookshop with lots of English titles, including a sizable cook book section, and a worthwhile selection of second-hand paperbacks at 99 baht.
Jeremy's Bookshop, 383/111 Soi Chaiyaphum, ☎ +66 38 411-266. 09:00-22:00 daily. An immaculate, library-style English language paperback exchange, large selection, mostly priced around 100-250 baht.
If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
Pattaya Beach Books, 1F, P.S. Plaza, 369 Moo 9, and 316/137 Moo 10, Soi Buakhao. 10:00-20:00 daily. Both branches of this book shop have a huge selection of pre-owned English language books and magazines.
Magazines around 50-60 baht, paperbacks 140-160 baht, hardbacks 180+ baht. If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
SE-ED. This store has multiple branches, at Big C, South Pattaya Rd; Carrefour, Central Pattaya Rd; Tesco-Lotus, North Pattaya Rd; Tesco-Lotus, Sukhumvit Rd.
Star Books, 138/213 Soi Khao Noi. 09:00-19:00 daily. A well-designed paperback exchange, large selection of used and new, mostly priced around 100-240 baht. Fresh coffee and tea. If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
Swan Book Shop, 210/6 Soi Buakhao. M-Sa 09:00-21:00. A large selection of second-hand foreign language paperbacks, mostly priced 100-180 baht.
Gems Gallery, 555 Moo 6, North Pattaya Rd. One of several World's Biggest jewellery stores, this one also has a theme park.
Jo Fishing Tackle Shop, 259/42 Moo 5, Soi Pothisan. 08:00-20:00 daily. Small/mid-size shop absolutely packed to the gills in a well organised fashion with all manner of fishing tackle. Owner doesn't speak much English, but is very friendly and helpful.
KC Gallery, Walking St. The best and biggest art gallery.
Narai Art Gallery, Soi 6, Phratamnak Rd. A local crafts shop which doubles as a nice restaurant.
There are many restaurants, food carts, food courts, food markets, motorcyle-sidecar hotdog and meatball vendors, fruit sellers both mobile and stationary, even a roaming coffee peddling tuk-tuk.
OK, so the germ theory of disease doesn't yet seem to be widely accepted but don't let that stop you from ordering the sushi. Many although not all non-Thai-cuisine restaurants also have at least a limited menu of Thai favourites as well.
Chonburi Province has a lot of fresh seafood and dried fruits. As there are a lot of people from the Isaan region living and working in Pattaya, there is an abundance of northeastern favourites such as spicy papaya salad (som tam) and spicy-sour chopped pork salad (larb).
The noodle stall next to the entrance to the North Pattaya Rd bus station does a passable ba mii moo daeng (egg noodles with red pork) for 25 baht.
Big C Extra Food Court, Pattaya Klang Rd (near Third Rd). It has good food including cheap Isaan treats, such as som tam (papaya salad) and khao neow (sticky rice). The Big C Extra stand, usually near the parking garage entrance, has inexpensive sandwiches.
Kiss Food & Drink serves cheap and cheerful Thai and Western favourites 24/7 at two semi-open-air locations, one on Second Rd opposite Mike Shopping Mall, the other facing the Dolphin Roundabout.
Sailor Bar and Restaurant, about 30 m up Soi 8 from Beach Rd. 07:30-03:00. This may be the best kept secret in Pattaya. Terrific restaurant also a bar notable for its 60 baht breakfasts (2 eggs, bacon, ham, toast/jam/butter, juice, coffee).
Swiss-Thai establishment with all the cleanliness and efficiency you would expect from the Swiss and all the graciousness and good tasting food you would expect from the Thais. Hamburger 60 baht; khao pat 30 baht; t-bone with fries, potato salad, 120 baht; beer 50 baht, including Heineken.
Subway now has five locations in Pattaya: South Pattaya Rd, next-door-but-one to the entrance to Walking St (24/7); Beach Rd, at the front of Tipp Plaza (09:00-02:00); Second Rd, opposite Soi 1 North Pattaya (10:00-02:00); the corner of Soi Buakow and Soi Diana (10:00-02:00); Central Pattaya Road, on the ground floor of Big C Extra (09:00-23:00) for free delivery.
From 49 baht for a Veggie Delite Deli Style Sandwich up to 2,600 baht for a 6 foot Giant Sub! Sub of the day is 69 baht.
Just Burgers with two locations in Pattaya. Best American Hamburgers located on Jomtien Beach Rd. between Soi 8 and Soi 9. Cheeseburger from 79 baht.
Several outdoor food stalls along soi 15 just off Walking St. Foreigner-friendly and cheap prices e.g., fried rice, 50 baht; chicken, rice and soup, 30 baht.
Breezeo, Royal Cliff Beach Hotel & Royal Cliff Beach Terrace. 11;00-23:00. The restaurant serves excellent seafood and Thai dishes.
California Sushi on the terrace of Lima Lima club - in the end of Walking St. - Bali Hai Plaza - good sushi rolls, including famous Pattaya roll - vegetarian, but delicious. Great value for sushi sets. Open from 7PM to 2 AM, nice place to start a night with live music.
Cool Kitchen in the PS Bowl/Tops Supermarket complex junction of Central Pattaya Rd and Second Rd has good Western and Thai food including narm tok mu (spicy pork salad) and yum pla dook fu (crispy catfish salad), and is open 24/7.
Cool House next to PS Bowl/Tops Supermarket is Cool Kitchen's sister restaurant, with much the same menu but more ambiance.
Cosa Nostra north side of Soi 7 is a good Italian-style Pizzeria. Dinner only.
Food Wave food court, top floor of Royal Garden Plaza, is an upscale food court with decent views of the ocean. There's even an Orange Julius nearby.
Maikan Majatalo Finnish restaraunt, huge portions. On some of the dishes if you're still hungry, you get the second one free.
MK Restaurant has locations in various malls including Central Festival (Big C). A chain of restaurants whose jingle translates as Eat what? Eat what? Eat what? Go eat MK! and that's just what you should do.
Here you'll get to boil raw ingredients right at your own table with your own utensils. And don't worry about putting those chopsticks in your mouth after touching that raw chicken, just dip them in the boiling water for a few moments.
Nachrichtentreff, 157/128 Moo 5, Naklua Rd; Serves pretty good Austrian food.
Parsa Restaurant is a nice Iranian restaurant serving high quality modern and traditional Iranian food including kebab and khoresht you can enjoy Iranian drink like doogh as well .
Sraan Rest 315/423 Moo 12, Thepprasit Rd Tel. +66 38303039. Serves a variety of Thai and Western food. Sraan Rest counts as one of the higher-end restaurants in Pattaya City. It is distinctive from all other places in the area, located just a 5 mins drive outside the city.
The restaurant is set in an open-air garden which is ideal for a relaxing dinner or a small party. It allows you to forget all the street-side noise and enjoy the serene surroundings. The menu reflects creativity using the best of fresh quality.
Recommended dishes include mouth-watering Sauté Salted Roasted Duck, the interesting Shell in Hell, appetizing chilled prawns, and enjoy Goong Lava - deep fried prawn with Thai herbal dressing with whipped cream on top.
Slices, north side of Soi Diana Inn, corner of LK Metro. Open very late. An American-style pizzeria. Also burgers and subs. Two slices of pizza, 100 baht.
Tequila Reef Pattaya, Soi 7 off Beach Rd. Open very late. Serving Tex-Mex favourites including burritos, enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, quesadillas, and free chips with salsa, as well as American favourites including burgers, steaks, hoagies, Cajun, and seafood.
There are several good British Pubs for fish and chips or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding: The Sportsman (Soi 13), The Pig and Whistle (Soi 7) and The Queen Victoria Inn (Soi 6)
Benihana, second floor of Royal Garden Plaza. Japanese steakhouse restaurant chain. 1,000+ baht per person not including drinks.
Indian By Nature, on Thaprraya Rd, near to Brunos in the Chateau Dale complex. Fine dining Indian restaurant, opened in 2004, very highly ranked on Tripadvisor. dishes from 250 baht.
Bruno's Restaurant, on Thappraya Rd. Fine dining restaurant serving both European cuisine and some Thai dishes. Multi-course set menus from around 400 baht/person, à la carte also available.
Hard Rock Cafe, in Hard Rock Hotel, Beach Rd. 11:00-02:00. American chain restaurant. The reason to go here is that some beautiful Thai ladies seem to think it's cool. Starters 99-377 baht, salads 199-266 baht, mains 277-810 baht, deserts 111-222 baht, beer 122-255 baht/bottle.
Manhattan Steakhouse, near the junction of Thappraya & Pratamnak Rd. Steakhouse 2,000+ baht.
Mantra Restaurant & Bar, near Amari Orchid Resort & Tower north Pattaya beach road. Asian and Mediterranean fusion. Sunday brunch. 1,500+ baht.
Ticino Restaurant and Vespa Bar, east side of Sukhumvit Rd close to Mabprachan Lake. Garden restaurant with Italian and Swiss cuisine. If the eating is as interesting as the website, it's pretty good. 400+ baht.
Five Star J. Restaurant, at the junction of South Pattaya Road and Third Road. A small middle-ranged indoor place that's 100% lacto-vegetarian and has a vegetarian owner/manager who speaks good English; also caters for vegans - open 09:00-21:00.
J Vegetarian Restaurant, 256/10 Moo 5, Soi 20, Naklua Road next to Sousiree Massage, near Dusit Resort Hotel - open 08:00-20:00.
Thammachart Vegetarian Restaurant, 56/36 Moo 5, Amorn Market, Naklua Road. Basic café-style budget place, also has a very small vegetarian supplies shop. Not much English spoken, but does have a bilingual menu - open Mon-Sat 05:30-17:00.
Vegetarian Club of Pattaya meets at 18:00 on the second Tuesday of every month for an international vegetarian adventure buffet (199 baht, reservations required - at Café New Orleans, Soi Pattayaland 2 (Soi 13/4).
Vegetarian cafe on the Central Road, between Second and Third roads, it has a big yellow-red sign. Dishes 30-60 baht.
Pattaya is internationally known for its nightlife—you might want to think twice before heading into the insanity that's called Pattaya.
Obviously famous as a sex tourist destination, you don't necessarily have to partake in order to experience Pattaya's fun.
More and more visitors come over just to see what the fuss is about. There are ample opportunities to dance, drink, and observe humanity even if paid sex is not of interest.
Steer clear of the staid hotel bars and head into the warrens of central Pattaya, where nightclubs, transvestite cabarets, coffee shops, karaoke bars, open-air bars and restaurants with live music and entertainment compete for attention.
Most of these establishments are located along Pattaya Beach Rd, Pattaya 2 Rd, and in south Pattaya, which is also the city's major shopping area.
Pattaya is especially famous for its beer bars, staffed by bar girls who are for hire to the tourists and expats who drink there. Popular beer bar pastimes include pool, connect-four and shut-the-box.
Open-air beer bars can be found all over Pattaya, with the biggest and best known concentrations being along and around Soi 7/Soi 8 and Walking St, at numerous points on Second Rd, Beach Rd, Soi Buakhao, and in smaller numbers just about everywhere else, including along the southern end of Naklua Rd.
Although the staff of a typical beer bar will usually all be working girls, customers who have no intention of paying a bar fine - money paid to the bar so that the girl can leave with the customer are generally very welcome and indeed make up the majority of the clientèle.
Indoor beer bars can also be found all over Pattaya, the most notorious areas being Soi Yodsak (Soi 6) and parts of Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2). While some of these bars are much more bar fine oriented, in most cases customers who simply want to buy drinks are still welcome.
Go-go bars differ from beer bars as they have bikini-clad girls dancing around chrome poles on stages. The main concentrations are along Walking St and the three Pattayaland streets, with more dotted around the most popular beer bar areas.
Sightseeing tourists are welcome in go-go bars, however, cameras are not. Signs prohibiting photography are widespread, and a minority of venues require patrons to deposit their cameras with security staff as they enter.
This rule is enforced, if caught snapping shots, you'll be lucky if you're only thrown out and not beaten up.
The official closing time in entertainment zones is 01:00, although in practice usually somewhere between 01:00 and 03:00, depending on location. However, closing is defined as switching off the music and non-essential lighting, and numerous beer bars remain open 24 hours.
Bars outside of these zones close around midnight. So, you're passing through Pattaya and you've set aside a few hours to check out the bar scene—but where to go? The most popular and generally the most densely concentrated beer bar and go-go bar locations south to north are:
Walking Street. Should have been named Walking, Shopping, Eating, Drinking, Dancing and Ogling Street as there's plenty of almost everything here—including around 100 beer bars and at least 30 go-go bars, plus many more in the side-sois that lead east towards Pratamnak Road.
Worth a look in the daytime, but best visited in the evening, and has loads of restaurants if you're bridging the gap between the two. Gets really packed in places when the nightclubs empty, so watch your pockets.
Pattayaland. Soi Pattayaland 2 (Soi 13/4) features on many Pattaya postcards—when lit up at night, the go-go bar signs are a memorable and photogenic sight, although there are only eight go-go bars here, two of which feature guys, not girls, plus a half-dozen bars and the Penthouse Hotel.
Worth a look in the evening, it's almost a ghost town the rest of the time, but get there before 01:00 as that's when the lights go out.
Boyz Town - Soi Pattayaland 3, no direct access from Beach Rd, runs from the middle of Soi 13/4 to Second Rd, features only male dancers and bars that cater to the gay crowd; Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3) has even more all-male go-gos (eight), but does have a couple of girl-go-go bars as well.
Pattayaland 1 is relatively dead in the daytime, but Pattayaland 3 has a handful of places to eat and drink that keep it ticking over in the afternoon. There is also a small lesbian scene in Pattaya, with local butch girls called tom girls and femme girls called dee.
Like much of Thailand, the gay scene is predominately older foreigners.
Soi L.K. Metro. Between Second Rd and Soi Buakhao lies this relatively new complex. Connecting Soi Diana with Soi Buakhao, Soi L.K., as it is called, not to be confused with Soi Leng Kee is for the largest part a pedestrian-only street.
Cars are parked willy nilly, but that actually serves as a traffic calming system so it is safe to walk. There are lots of outdoor bars and cafes spilling out onto the street, giving it a bit of a European feel. The Metropole Hotel,i rovers sportsbar and the Areca Lodge are here.
Soi 7 and Soi 8. There's always something going on here—in the evening and early hours, there are about 120 well-staffed beer bars to choose from, plus a handful of go-go bars; in the morning there are several places that serve breakfast; in the afternoon it's a popular place for those who like to get started early.
At Songkran or Thai New Year it's unmitigated mayhem. There are several large hotels - light sleepers beware, and Soi 8 also has a few travel agencies, convenience stores.
Soi Yodsak (Soi 6). Imagine a kerb-crawlers paradise—and then pedestrianise it. Arguably Pattaya's most colourful street as well as the most notorious one, Soi 6 has about 50 bars mostly short time bars, with names such as Butterfly, Love Club, Route 69 and The Eager Beaver which all get going at 13:00 and close pretty much on the dot at 01:00.
It's not really a pedestrian-only street but it is one-way, however walking preferably in broad daylight is undoubtedly the best and most popular way to experience it.
Go in the middle of the afternoon and just wander from one end to the other if coming from the south, walk from the Second Rd end down to the Beach Rd end if you want to get there and back by songthaew.
It's much, much more sex-tourist than tourism oriented, but anyone is welcome everywhere provided they're buying a drink or three. The curiously named Hi Boss! 2002 Pub is where the ladyboys hang out.
There's one go-go - Mandarin dancing from 17:00-01:00, plus a couple of pub food possibilities; and neighbouring Soi 6/1 has a handful of ordinary outdoor beer bars.
Second Road - around the Soi 2 & Soi 3 junctions. On the west side of Second Rd opposite the Central Festival Centre is a collection of about 35 very popular beer bars, which start to fill up from about 16:00, and several of which remain open long after the lights go out around 01:00-02:00.
Atlantic Bar, at the far end of the five-bar strip to the south of Soi 2, always draws a substantial crowd.
The only go-go - Classroom 2, 19:30-02:00 is a lively one, and while there's not much in the way of food in the midst of the bars themselves, there are numerous eating options close nearby including outlets for most of the major fast-food chains directly opposite on the other side of Second Rd.
These go-go and beer bars are a little different from the usual:
Casino Club at the Pratamnak Rd-end of Soi Diamond is an a-go-go with a difference. Not only do the girls dance with their clothes on, but there are no chrome poles! Whatever will they think of next? Update: they also have several shows each night, with girls dancing topless.
Despite the name, it's not a casino; maybe it's a disco-a-go-go? The atmosphere is lively, the music is house/techno, the dancing is energetic, the hours are 21:00-07:00 apparently able to close later than most due to the non-conforming format.
Peppermint Palace on Walking St underneath Marine Disco is probably the largest go-gos in Pattaya. Several stages with young women in various different states of attire. Always full of energy, and always packed you may be turned away if it's full. Good value drinks-wise.
Tim Bar Beer on Second Rd opposite Soi 12 is an otherwise relatively run-of-the-mill go-go that plays nothing but DVDs, with a very strong bias towards live performances of rock'n'roll classics. Requests welcome. If in doubt, ask for Meatloaf's Paradise By The Dashboard Light.
Stage and screen come to life at 18:00 and keep going until at least 02:00, closing hours not so strictly enforced here as it's not among a bunch of other bars, but get there early as it's a popular place and their army of dancers thins out with prodigious speed.
Beach Inn Beer Garden on Walking St opposite the FLB Bar can usually be found blindfolded. Head through to the back and out into the bars that target visitors from the Middle East, and feel the sound - some of the speaker systems here are bigger than a budget hotel room, and it's not difficult to position yourself so that you're being deafened by three or four of them, each one playing something different all at the same time.
At the other extreme, there used to be a Quiet Bar on Second Rd - but it closed not long after it opened, apparently due to lack of demand.
Carousel Beer Bar is a pair of circular outdoor bars in the centre of Soi Diamond directly off Walking St which spin from 17:00 until 03:00. A couple of drinks here and the world really will start to revolve around you.
Siren Bar Complex at Beach Rd, just before the Walking St entrance archway is a crush of about 25 ancient open-air beer bars (open 16:00-03:00) surrounding a boxing ring, exhibition matches at various intervals between 22:00 and 01:00.
The boxers will canvas the punters for tips after each fight. Get there early in the evening and it looks like there must be a prize on offer for whoever is able to squeeze the greatest number of bar girls into the smallest beer bar.
Beach Club towards the Walking St end of Soi 15 is not the only table dance format a-go-go in Pattaya, but it's probably the most popular.
Patrons are seated around industrial-strength tables which have mirror tops, upward facing spotlights, and of course the obligatory chrome pole.
The girls dance on each table in turn, wearing short skirts and if you can't guess the rest then you should probably steer well clear of any Pattaya establishment that mentions the words table dancing alongside its name. Beach Club has relocated to Soi Happy, and no longer has table dancing as previously noted.
There are many roadside bars dotted around Pattaya. Live music especially popular rock oldies can be heard at several open-air venues along Walking Street, and at various bars elsewhere.
Blues Factory, Soi Lucky Star just off Walking St. Features the Lam Morrison Band.
Hard Rock Cafe, in the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel resort on Beach Road. It has live music and dancing in the evenings.
Henry J. Beans Bar & Grill, Amari Orchid Resort, Pattaya Beach Rd. M-Sa 17:00-01:00, Su 11:00-01:00.
Lovely Corner Bar, corner of Beach Rd and Soi 7. 08:00-open as long as there are customers. Clean, airy, well-run beer bar in a great location to view the passing scene before plunging into Soi 7.
Very accommodating and gracious, relaxed not pushy bar girls. Best feature is strong, free Wi-Fi. Beer 60 baht.
Pattaya has two types of nightclubs, those that are on or near Walking Street, and those that are further away. Those on Walking Street are more popular with Westerners accompanied by bar girls, and with bar girls looking for customers.
These are best known:
The Pier Pattaya, 190 M.10 Walking street Pattaya,Chonburi 20260 (on Walking St). 21.00- very late. House music, cheap drinks, late licence, European DJ's,Best atmosphere 99-180.
Club Insomnia, on Walking St. House music, cheap drinks, late licence, European DJ's,
Lima Lima. Famous for bringing the world's top 10 DJ's to Pattaya and also for its live R'n'B band. The place to go from 22:00 to 00:30 thanks to the happy hour. Free entry; drinks as cheap as 45 baht during happy hour.
Marine Disco on Walking St - large dance floor and plays house music, it's the house music counterpart of Lucifer. Free entry, but drinks are expensive. This is where many of the dancers go after they finish work.
MIXX at the end of Walking St, Has R 'n B and house rooms, two rooms in one disco. Drinks are expensive.
Tony's Entertainment Complex on Walking St has an attractive and stylish interior, great live music and service. Free entry, but incredibly expensive drinks - and a 5,000 baht fine if you're caught bringing your own in!
Tony 2 - not as well known as Tony's Entertainment Complex, but also very pricey.
The ones further away from Walking Street are generally more typical Thai nightclubs: no special area for dancing, but lots of shows and great atmosphere. Admission is usually around 300 baht and includes one free drink.
Chivas Palace formerly Palladium, on Second Rd.
Hollywood Disco recently moved to a new location in north Pattaya.
Star Dice Entertainment on Naklua Rd, one of the few discos in Pattaya that doesn't dual-price foreigners.
There is also one club which is not first type, neither second:
The Beach Club, is the open-air venue. It hosts afternoon parties with the best view of sunsets in town each Friday and each second Saturday. Grand fiestas, each of them has a different theme - Brazilian, disco, house, etc.
Finally, there are some more sophisticated venues catering mainly to locals and expats:
Kandy, 306/64 Thappraya Road, in Chateau Dale complex. Take a baht bus from behind walking street towards Jomtein, before reaching Food Mart / Theprasit Junction / Pan Pan restaurant. 18.00-01:00.
Varied chillout music, DJs or live bands, theme nights, signature cocktails, small plates, tapas and nibbles, premium spirits, sophisticated atmosphere. 120-280.
Pattaya has an extensive selection of inexpensive mid-range accommodation, and a good variety of more upmarket options. Standard rooms, double bed, air-con, cable TV, refrigerator, hot shower start from 400 baht/night, and rates are invariably per room, not per person.
Soi Buakhao has many relatively cheap guest houses and is popular with long-stay visitors, with other budget places along Soi LK Metro and Soi Honey Inn. Very few of these can be booked online, or appear on hotel booking sites.
The cheaper places are often above bars or massage shops, and may therefore be noisy at night. There's generally no need to book in advance.
Like all resort areas in Thailand, hotel pricing is highly seasonal. High season dates vary from hotel to hotel, but typically prices go up considerably during the Christmas-New Year's period, which co-incides neatly with the season of best weather, and are lower between February and October/November.
In addition to higher rates during the holiday period, guests staying over Christmas and New Year's Eve will often be required to pay for compulsory gala dinners which can substantially increase the cost of the room.
In recent years some hotels have started to insist that March is also covered by high season prices, presumably because professional Western visitors are usually free to visit during a long Easter holiday break from work, and are happy to do so despite the worsening weather.
With the exception of large resorts or international chains such as the Hard Rock and Marriott, the lowest rates available from abroad are typically those available from the hotels directly.
Except for the least expensive, many will handle reservations via email or a web form. Many will expect a deposit, especially during high season, usually by credit card or bank transfer.
While some hotels do not allow working girls to accompany guests to their rooms, the majority of hotels in Pattaya are used to and even expect it though some upmarket hotels may charge a joiner fee for unregistered visitors as discouragement.
In most hotels, security staff will keep hold of visitors' ID cards until they leave, to help protect the client from possible theft or assault, and to deter prostitutes under 20 years of age from entering the hotel.
On leaving, staff will ask the girl if she had any complaints about the client.
For visitors who simply want to sleep soundly, a box of high-grade foam earplugs is a wise investment when staying at many Pattaya hotels. Also be aware that many hotels in Pattaya allow smoking in all rooms. This is nearly universal in the budget range.
With the exception of those operated under the auspices of large international chains, those hotels that have dedicated non-smoking rooms will typically only have a few of them.
If you are intolerant of tobacco smoke, make sure to inquire directly with the hotels about their policies and the availability of non-smoking rooms.
Noys Hotel, soi 4 Jomtien pattaya. Affordable rooms, similar to apartments. with full furniture only 50 meters from the beach ,free wifi, lockers, towels, bar and and Western cuisine restaurant, renowned for the quality of its service and food. from 750 baht per night and 18000 bath/Months.
Apex Hotel, Second Rd adjacent to Soi 11. All rooms have air-con, cable TV, fridge/mini-bar, hot shower, security box, and telephone.
There's also a pool (guests-only) and good-value buffet breakfasts/dinners (guests & non-guests welcome) and competitively priced laundry (8 baht for a tee shirt) and motorcycle rental (150 baht/day for a 125 cc) services.
There are 9 first come-first served rooms at 450 baht which are clean and functional, but rather well-worn and 100 more recently renovated rooms at 650 baht. Popular with German tourists. Apex has no Internet or Wi-Fi. Serves all-you-can-eat buffets.
American breakfast from 07:00-13:00 (150 baht/adult, 60 baht/child) and dinner from 18:00-22:00 (180 baht/adult, 100 baht/child).
Asia Backpackers, soi buakow pattaya. 54 bed hostel, free wifi, lockers, towels, bar and restaurant from 280 baht per night.
Cali-Cafe Pattaya Quality Rooms, 15/225-226 Moo 5, Soi Khoa Noi,Wat Boonsampan Rd. Affordable suite-quality rooms. All suite rooms have 42" LCD TV, safes, refrigerators, kitchens, WiFi, wired (30 Mb fibre) Internet, and laundry. Long- or short-stay. A few minutes motorbike ride from Walking Street and Beach Road. Thai/American-run hotel. 500+ baht.
Cheap Charlies, 383/64 Moo 9, Soi Chaiyaphum which connects Soi Buakhao Rd and Third Rd. Fan rooms with or without balcony from 150 baht.
Day & Night Hotel, South Pattaya Rd, offers air-con rooms at 500 baht low season/850 baht high season. Day & Night II Hotel further down the same soi has slightly bigger rooms (same rates). Monthly rates from 3,800 baht.
Ice Inn Hotel, M.10 Pattaya 2nd Rd. All rooms have air-con, cable TV, fridge/minibar, hot shower, and telephone. Very nice and clean rooms, and helpful staff. From 440 baht.
Jan's Guest House, Soi Honey Inn (Saisong Soi 11). Small guest house opened in 2009 above a massage shop in Soi Honey, directly across from Honey Inn, with smart rooms starting at 500 baht per night with air-con, minibar, TV, WiFi (flaky) and some with balcony. Very friendly staff.
Jasmine Hotel Pattaya, 547/34 M.10. Soi BJ Walking St. Tranquil, newly refurbished with 62+ tiled rooms, air conditioning and fans. Room facilities include hot water, cooking facilities, fridge with beverages, and satellite TV (55 Channels) and WiFi. Room rates from 700 baht, with a substantial discount for long-term guests.
Marin Place, 111/253 M.10 Soi Buakhao. Small hotel at the southern end of Soi Buakhao, close to the Tue/Fri market. Rooms are 600 baht per night with air-con, minibar, TV and WiFi. There is a small swimming pool. Some rooms have older, noisy air-conditioning units but others have new LG units. Ask to see first.
Malee Bar & Guest House, Soi Honey Inn, Saisong Soi 11. About a dozen rooms above a bar/restaurant in Soi Honey, starting at about 450 baht per night with air-con, minibar, TV/DVD player, WiFi and some with balcony. The restaurant serves Thai and European food.
Mangoes Guest House, GPS Lat 12 47 33, Long 100 55 28 32, 15 km outside of Pattaya, on the road to Khao Chee Chan Buddha Image and close to the beaches and fishing villages of Ban Saray and Ban Amphur. Quiet laid back gardens with a choice of bungalow or room accommodation.
All rooms have TV, air conditioning, fan, hot shower and tea making facilities. Long or short term availability. Rooms from 400 baht/night.
One For You Guesthouse, Soi 3. Rooms renovated autumn 2006, all rooms have: air-con, fan television, DVD player, refrigerator, kettle, safe. Minutes from Walking St with quiet location and cafe/bar. Rooms 500-700 baht per night or 8,500-12,500 baht per month.
Opey De Place, 312/86 M9 Soi Lengkee1. Located near LK Metro, hotel complex with many decent rooms, WiFi, elevator and ground floor swimming pool. Small lockers provided next to reception, but no safe deposit box in the rooms. 800 baht.
Queen Victoria Inn, Soi Yodsak (Soi 6); has rooms ranging from 500 to 800 baht, and a single penthouse suite for 2,100 baht. Free WiFi.
Although the rooms themselves are clean and the staff is reasonably friendly, its location - right in the heart of Soi 6 - is downright noisy and the shouting in the street does not subside till early morning.
Romeo Palace Hotel, 500/21-22, Pattaya-Naklua Rd. At the tranquil end of north Pattaya, yet only a minute away from all the fun and entertainment of thecity that never sleeps. A 5 minute walk to Wongse Amat Beach. The in-house restaurant serves European, Thai and Indian cuisines. from 700 baht per night for an economy room.
Sawasdee Seaview, 2 minutes walk to Pattaya Beach,. A middle range budget hotel located next to Pattaya Beach. Cheap, clean and convenient.
CCTV security camera on every floor with 24-hour security guard on duty. Cheaper rooms in the old building are a little bit dingy, superior and deluxe rooms in the new wing are spacious and pleasant, but significantly more expensive.
Siam Sawasdee, Soi Buakhao. Great budget hotel with price start from 750 baht per night. CCTV security camera on each floor with live security guard 24 hour on duty. Hotel facilities include lift, swimming pool, and all room include buffet American breakfast. Value for money.
Skytop Guest House, 2nd Rd, near Soi 6. Australian-owned budget guest house with outdoor bar and Internet cafe, friendly English-speaking staff. Fast, reliable ADSL cable connection (not WiFi) in each room and safe.
The guest house will provide you with CAT-cable to get access to Internet. Even if you don't have Ethernet connection on your laptop you can get access to the net if you have a WiFi router with you.
CCTV security camera on every floor. Close to the infamous Soi 6, Alcazar Caberet Show and many restaurants and beer bars nearby. 450 baht per night small fan room (no window), 550 baht for air-con medium room (no window,) and 700 air-con large room.
Tiya's Place, Soi Sarita just left of Soi 12. Large air-con fully furnished studios with side sea view. Suitable for independent travellers wanting large budget-priced accommodation in a quiet area. Price range 8,000-11,000 baht/month inclusive of water, WiFi, weekly cleaning/bedding change, and cable TV..
Wonderful Bar, on the corner of Second Rd and Soi Yamoto (Soi 13/1). Has very basic rooms with air-con, TV, hot shower. Clean and tidy but old and well-worn, and not so quiet in the evenings—but nevertheless often fully booked. Small rooms 300-350 baht, larger rooms 350-400 baht.
Pay upfront for a few days in advance to get the lower rates.
Budget condos Pattaya RBT Thailand, covering all areas of pattaya, budget condo for sale Pattaya Great selection of apartment for rent or sale covering the Pattaya area from 9000 baht PCM depending on season and length of stay.
Areca Lodge, 198/23 Moo 9 Soi Diana Inn. Convenient location on Soi Diana Inn across from Soi LK Metro. Large ground-level pool. The Areca Lodge will reliably book non-smoking rooms. 1,650 baht, low season.
Citin Garden Resort, 148/232, South Pattaya Soi 2, A 10 min drive to Pattaya Beach. checkin: 14:00; checkout: noon. Offers a convenient & comfortable hotel rooms and features contemporary furnishings.
Each room comes with a private bathroom, balcony, LCD TV and more. Facilities include a swimming pool with Jacuzzi, pool bar, a meeting room, laundry service, 24-hour reception, and security.
The Gazebo Café serves a delicious array of local favourites or light snacks including salads, soups, and sandwiches.
Citin Loft Pattaya, 177/3 Moo 9 Nongprue, Pattaya Klang Soi 12, A 15 min walk to Pattaya Beach. checkin: 14:00; checkout: noon. All rooms come with Thai-style furnishings and modern amenities such as private balconies, complimentary wireless Internet, in-room safes, and a choice of king- or queen-sized beds. There's a free shuttle service from the hotel to Tops Supermarket and more.
Dynasty Inn, has two locations in Pattaya: Dynasty Inn, Soi 13, South Pattaya and Dynasty Resort, Buddha Hill. Free minibus transfers between the Pattaya locations and Dynasty Inn Bangkok (Sukhumvit, Soi Nana) for guests.
Dynasty Inn was built in 2003, and is in the central shopping area, close to the main night life areas; Dynasty Resort is further south, a short songthaew ride from the main tourist areas.
Regular rate is 1480 baht for a standard room at the Soi 13 Inn, although some discounts may apply. The Dynasty properties will reliably book non-smoking rooms.
Flipper House Hotel, 213/2 Soi 7, Pattaya Beach Rd Soi 7. Located in the heart of the best known cluster of beer bars in Pattaya. rooms starting at 1200 baht.
Flipper Lodge Hotel, 520/1 Soi 8, Pattaya Beach Rd Soi 8. Located in the heart of the best known cluster of beer bars in Pattaya, a stones throw from its sister hotel.
Green Hotel Pattaya, 217/10 Pattaya Beach Rd Soi 9 Room amenities: air conditioning, bathtub, shower, IDD telephone, mini-bar, satellite/cable TV. Hotel facilities: bar/lounge, barber/beauty salon, coffee shop, Wi-Fi, outdoor swimming pool. Room rates are between 871 baht in low season and 1,331 baht in high season.
Green Park Resort, 240/5 Moo 5 Soi Ping Pa. A friendly, clean, safe, good value. All rooms have air-con, cable TV, fridge/mini-bar, hot shower, security box, telephone, swimming pool. The hotel has 80 rooms and suites, some rooms have private balconies, set in lush gardens. Starting at 750 baht.
Horseshoe Point, 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong, Amphur Banglamung Chonburi. On a sprawling, tree-lined estate 15 km from Pattaya. Rooms come in varied sizes but share the same features: air-conditioning, cable TV, mini-bar, refrigerator, hair dryer, and safe. Start at 1,800 baht.
J&P Court, 312/87 Soi Lengkee, off Pattaya 3 Rd. Has a swimming pool and is reasonably priced at less than 1,000 baht per night. Standard and deluxe rooms available.
Lek Hotel, 284/5 Soi 13, Pattaya Rd. Pool for guests only and serves buffet breakfasts/dinners therefore guests & non-guests welcome. Standard rooms in the semi-hi-rise new building cost 1,200 baht and rooms in the old building are 750 baht.
All rooms allow smoking. Restaurant serves Thai and international favourites and is open to non-guests. The buffet breakfast 07:00-13:00, 150 baht/adult, 80 baht/child is especially popular, and the buffet dinner 17:00-22:30, 250 baht/adult, 150 baht/child also draws a crowd.
New Nikom Court, 312/90 Moo 9, Soi Lengkee, Pattaya 3 Rd. Big, clean rooms from 850 baht.
Pailin House, 312/91 Moo 9, Soi Lengkee, Pattaya 3 Rd. Relatively clean but old rooms from 600 baht.
Pattaya Centre Hotel, Soi 12. This high-rise hotel is popular and conveniently located for the central shopping areas. Rooms are spacious and have very nice views. Has been hit or miss for non-smoking rooms in the past; prices have escalated significantly with the recent refurbishment. From 1,900 baht.
Penthouse Hotel, Soi Pattayaland 2 (Soi 13/4). Marketed as an adult fantasy hotel featuring theme rooms and located right in very centre of the main go-go district and directly attached to a go-go bar, it's an older property that's somewhat the worse for wear. Rooms from 700 baht, suites from 2,300 baht.
The Residence Garden. This is a popular out-of-the-way location, a short walk from the intersection of South Pattaya Rd and Pattaya Second Rd, and is a good choice for those looking for somewhere quieter.
It has relatively new facilities, with 1 and 2 bedroom suites from 1,600 baht directly; discounted lower rates are sometimes available through other sources.
Room Club The Bed Suite, 318/79 Grand Condotel on Dongtan Beach, Thappraya Rd, Nongprue Banglamung. All rooms are equipped with free wireless ADSL Internet, DVD player, mini-bar and TV with 40 channels which includes BBC, CNN, RAI, Deutsche Welle, BVN and many other international channels.
Facilities and services: restaurant, bar, smoking area, coffee shop, Jacuzzi, outdoor pool, car park, spa, Wi-Fi in public areas, airport transfer, room service, and laundry service/dry cleaning. Start at 1,800 baht.
Sawasdee Pattaya 367 Moo 10 Soi 13, Pattaya 2 Rd, The hotel provide 24 hours CCTV security camera and a security guard on duty. Other features like Internet cafe, Thai, & International cuisine restaurant and room service.
Sawasdee Sabai (Sawasdee Court) 501/27 Soi 10, Pattaya 2nd Rd, Sawasdee Sabai (Sawasdee Court) is a colonial Thai-style hotel. The hotel provide 24 hours CCTV security camera and a security guard on duty. Other features like Internet cafe, Thai, & International cuisine restaurant and room service.
Sawasdee Sunshine or Sawasdee Mansion 502/1 Moo 10 Soi 11, Pattaya 2nd Rd, The hotel provides 24 hours CCTV security camera and a security guard on duty. Other features like Internet cafe, Thai, & international cuisine restaurant and room service.
Sunshine 217/1 Moo 10, Beach Rd Soi 8. Located in the centre of Soi 8. All rooms have air-con, shower or bath tub with hot/cool water, cable TV, fridge with mini-bar. Rooms starting from 1,000 baht.
Sabai Group operates a pair of hotels on opposite sides of Soi 2, the Sabai Lodge and the Sabai Inn, both of which offer a wide range of room classes between 700 and 3,000 baht.
Sandy Spring Hotel, Soi 13. This is a new moderately priced hotel. Located in the central shopping area, close to the main night life areas. Also has a sister hotel Summer Spring situated on Soi 1.
Sunbeam Hotel Pattaya Beach Soi 8, One of the coziest centrally located hotels close to the beach and shopping arcades.
Vik house, 154/ 54-56 thappraya soi 5, residential area east of the Budha hill, between Pattaya and Jomtien. checkout: 12. Quiet and convenient location. Pool, fridge and tv, simple modern design, terrace, 500 (week)-800 night.
Citrus Parc Hotel 333 Moo 12, Thap Phraya Rd Soi 12. Located in heart of Pattaya. 119 furnished guestrooms with modern amenities and conveniences. Rooms starting from 1,200 baht.
Ramida Pool Villa Pattaya 70/6 Soi Theppasit 5/1, South Pattya, Chonburi, 8 minutes' drive to South Pattaya Beach and 300 metres to Sukhumvit Road. It is a very new modern villa offering a private swimming pool and 4 bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens. Free WiFi, private car parking, private Thai Sala(Pavilion) beside the pool, bathtub and spacious living area.
4 BR Private Villa, Pattaya Group Vacation Rental. checkin: 12:00 pm (noon); checkout: 2 pm. This is a 4 Bedroom private villa suitable for those traveling as a group. Facilities include a private pool, open space living, dining and kitchen and a jet massager.
The villa is only minutes away from the beach and five kilometres from Khao Chee Chan and the famous golden Buddha. 451 USD.
Amari Nova Suites Pattaya 254 M.9, Soi Petchtrakool, In the heart of central Pattaya, 2 km from Walking St. It offers a rooftop pool and rooms with fully-equipped kitchens. Free WiFi.
Amari Orchid Resort & Tower, 240 Moo 5, Pattaya-Naklua Rd. Northern end of Pattaya Bay, 5 minutes from entertainment areas. One lap pool and one free form. Large rooms with LCD TVs and open bathroom concept. Expect to pay upwards of 5,000 baht/ night. Also have Garden Wing costing around 3500 baht/ night.
Citrus Parc Hotel Pattaya, 333 Moo 3, Thap Phraya Road, Soi 12, Pattaya, Chonburi 20150. A brand new and peaceful place to stay near major attractions such as Pattaya Park and just a matter of minutes away from the dynamic downtown area and Pattaya beach.
Providing guest rooms and suites with a spectacular swimming pool, an all day dining Palate restaurant and a 3-level BBQ-poolside-rooftop bar and lounge called Liquid.
Club Aviva, 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong 20 minutes inland from Pattaya, free pickup on request. Part of Horseshoe Point and intended primarily for riders; also has a tennis court, swimming pool and basic spa.
The buildings and grounds are decorated in a faux-Spanish style with all expected facilities, including two decent restaurants. Doubles with breakfast from 2300 baht.
Hard Rock Hotel, 429 Moo 9, Pattaya Beach Resort (between Central Pattaya Rd and Beach Rd, just south of Soi Yodsak Soi 6. Extensive private grounds, a 2,000 square metre outdoor pool with an imitation beach, and an outdoor rock climbing wall. 3,399-35,000 baht.
Hotel iDYLL The Boutique Pattaya Beach Soi 7, The ultimate conjunction of Victorian and contemporary architecture forms a boutique gallery hotel.
Royal Cliff Hotels Group. 353 Phra Tamnuk Rd. Occupies a 64 acre estate along with a beautiful beach. This is the only resort in Thailand to be elevated to the TTG Travel Hall of Fame. The resort consists of four hotels each with its own style and ambiance.
Alcohol can be very expensive but you can walk down the beach to the Cliff Club and the beach in front only a 4 minute walk from the Beach Terrace.
For most people, the most hazardous aspect of visiting Pattaya is the traffic. The top three accident black spots are:
- Dolphin Roundabout, intersection of Beach Rd, Second Rd, North Pattaya Rd and Naklua Rd
- junction of Beach Rd and Central Pattaya Rd
- junction of Beach Rd / Walking St and South Pattaya Rd
Most accidents in Pattaya involve motorbikes, and are especially common late at night and in the early hours of the morning, when drunk driving is a significant problem.
Be careful on the roads, even if you're just crossing one on foot and be equally careful both on and off pedestrian crossings, as Thai drivers generally ignore them, and many foreigners seem to approach them with the hope of scoring double points.
Be careful on the pavements too. Obstacles apparently purpose-engineered to trip up as many people as possible are commonplace, and motorcyclists use footpaths as short cuts with impunity.
When riding in the back of an otherwise empty songthaew, it's probably safest to sit directly behind the cab. In the event of an accident, the injured are usually bundled into the back of the next available songthaew.
A completely different genre of traffic-related accident was highlighted by a fatality when a surfacing diver was hit by a speedboat propeller near Ko Laan.
Unfortunately, the popularity of Pattaya's beaches combined with a relatively relaxed attitude to safety concerns in general means that swimmers and divers and even sunbathers on the beach being struck by speedboats and jet skis is not such a rare occurrence.
Jet-skiing rentals are available along all the popular beaches, with rates starting around 600 baht for 30 minutes. A common scam involves some operators attempting to collect surcharges for supposed damage - call the Tourist Police (1155) if necessary.
Be careful with doing relatively small purchases with 1,000 baht notes, particularly in bars and nightlife venues. A common scam is that a waiter will give you back insufficient change, insisting that you paid with a 500 baht note.
It's your word against the waiter's, so it is nearly impossible to prove that you in fact paid with a 1,000 baht note. You can try to get the manager involved, but he/she generally plays along.
To avoid this, you can explicitly let the waiter state that you are paying with a 1,000 baht note beforehand, but it's probably wiser to avoid paying with 1,000 baht notes at all.
The main police station is on Beach Road at the corner of Soi 9; dial 191, or ☎ +66 38 420-802(-5). For Bang Lamung Police Station, dial ☎ +66 38 221-331.
The Tourist Police ☎ 1155, relocated from Second Road to new purpose-built offices on Pratamnak Road — they are now located next door to the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) Information Office, exactly 1 km south of the junction of Second Road and South Pattaya Road.
Proceed along Pratamnak Road, continue straight up the hill, and where the road bears sharp right part way up, turn sharp left into the small side-soi.
Alternatively, their mobile minivan office which sets up every evening at the junction of Walking Street, South Pattaya Road, and Beach Road is much easier to reach.
The Pattaya Tourist Police advise that in theory foreigners should carry their passports with them at all times, however they also suggest that in practice a good photocopy personal details page, visa and entry stamp pages, and TM card is acceptable.
The police in pattaya speak little English and they are corrupt to the bone. Their sole interest is their bribes and nothing more. Unless you got mugged you should avoid interfere with them at all costs. Most foreigners get jailed for DUI.
If you get in there you will have to bribe your way out one way or another. In jail an officer will try to help you out asking 25.000 baht for bail that the rumor has it you never see again but you'll probably be happy to pay anyway since the alternative would be to spend 48 hours on the concrete floor without food or water none to speak to unless you speak thai and the officers having fun waking you up by throwing water.
However you can keep your cellphone if you bribe the guard with just 200-300 baht and it's best if you bribe him asap since he is not gonna give you back your phone even when you get out unless he gets his bribe.
If you're having a dispute or a fight with a thai person and the police comes they will try to rip you off no matter if you were at fault or not. If you having a dispute with another foreigner and go to the police they will rip you both.
If you happen to carry a large amount of money with you when you get jailed they will try to scum you by sending a person to you that speaks English pretending to be a lawyer and asking about the sum of money you had with you as his fee saying to you that the alternative would be many months in prison.
If you have a video to support your case don't show it to them especially if it incriminates a thai person since if they don't like it they will order you to delete it saying all together and that is tourist police included and that it is illegal to take videos anywhere in Thailand!
The tourist police looks more like a private bodybuilding club and are indifferent at the best backing up the local police with the english they lack and give the impression that they feel belittled by the fact that the local police gets the best of the bribes.
Like most of Thailand, Pattaya is generally safe for tourists and violent crime such as mugging or robbery is unusual, with the exception of jewellery and bag snatching usually with the thieves on motorcycles, and often with the victims on motorcycles too which is endemic.
Beware of lady boys approaching you with questions - Where you from? and later she and/or her friend try to kiss you just in order to snatch your jewellery. In fact leave all your gold and valuables at the room safe or even at home.
Watch out when doing water sports at the beach areas. There is a common tourist trap where tourists going for jet ski-ing are being forced to pay for equipment damages, which are not caused by the tourists amounting up to 100K baht.
Even after negotiations and intervention from the related embassies and agencies, a payment of around 10K baht is still required for the damages. Thus, you must exercise extreme caution when doing equipment loans or doing sports on vehicles provided by the shops.
Swindles and pickpocketing are more commonly encountered by tourists. It is very inadvisable not to tell anyone that it is your first visit to Thailand, since you will then be marked down as an easy go.
The nightlife or entertainment areas have a lot of activity and are generally very safe, however pickpockets are a problem, especially on Walking Street when it's crowded, despite the official Tourist Police patrolling the area at night.
For this reason, a visitor should not carry a passport and/or credit card with them, especially at night. These should be left in the safe at your hotel along with the bulk of your cash, or if they must be carried then they should be securely concealed.
If you have been pick pocketed and then you actually spot the likely pickpocket departing, do not follow. You could be mistaken, and you almost certainly will be accused of being mistaken. Just put it down to experience, and leave the immediate area.
Never ever pick a fight in any circumstance, no matter how much you have had to drink. Never try to intervene, even verbally, in an argument between two or more Thai people.
No matter how much you are being pestered, just smile and walk on. In cash payments, disputes over the value of notes and the amount of change can be avoided by carrying smaller notes and trying to give near enough the exact amount.
The beach side of Beach Road used to be worth avoiding late at night, however the entire length of both the promenade and beach are now floodlit, and although it's still a popular haunt for freelance working girls, it's now much busier from dusk through until dawn and by no means a no-go area.
Visitors should not visit entertainment venues that do not display a long-standing fixed sign outside, or which appear to be very poorly lit inside.
One or two of the hundreds of seemingly bright and established venues may actually be operating as a clip joint, offering free admission and then refusing to allow visitors to leave until they have settled a faked bill for non-existent drinks.
It is wisest simply pay up, leave and put it down to experience.
As always, travellers should take extra care in all poorly lit or more remote areas, and very late at night. This is especially the case if one has had too much to drink.
Most reputable hotels will require the presentation of ID cards by guests. Throughout Pattaya guests will not be admitted to hotel rooms if they are under the age of 20. This is a useful way for tourists to guarantee that their new-found friend is actually the age he/she says she is, and thus avoid possible police attention.
As for Drugs, in all of Thailand, the penalties for possession and/or distribution of drugs are harsh.
Gambling is illegal in Thailand, and the local press reports Pattaya Police as having a zero tolerance policy for gambling offences.
The legal minimum age for customers in drinking establishments and discos is 21. In Pattaya this is rarely enforced for foreigners, but is frequently enforced for Thais, including those accompanying foreigners.
Pattaya police conduct raids to check for underage employees especially in indoor and go-go bars and patrons especially in discos, from time to time, and less frequently to enforce closing times.
Foreign tourists are not the targets of these raids and are usually asked to produce ID - photocopy of photo/ID page of passport will sometimes suffice, but Thai law clearly states that an alien has to carry his ORIGINAL passport at all times, and then allowed to leave, but are sometimes tested for drugs via an on-the-spot urine sample.
Internet access is widely available in Pattaya, and speed and reliability of the connection is generally good; however, as is the case throughout Thailand, quality varies. The majority of Internet shops tend to open late and close late, but many are open 24/7; prices range from 120 baht/hr down to 20 baht/hr.
One baht/min is typical for predominantly tourist-oriented shops, many of which also offer lower rates for pre-paid blocks of time. It's not difficult to find well-equipped, quiet, air-conditioned Internet cafés that charge 30 baht/hr if you shop around a little.
Likewise shops that can accommodate users who want to hook up their own laptops can easily be found. Printing black/white is usually 10 baht/page 30 baht/page for colour.
Many Internet cafés and photo-processing shops have facilities for off-loading digital photos from memory cards and burning them to a CD, for which the going rate is 100 baht per CD.
As always, carefully verify the integrity of the images on the CD before re-formatting the memory card, and consider having two copies burned to CD — one CD to send home by mail, the other CD to take home in your luggage as a backup.
The area code for Pattaya is 038. You only need to dial the 0 if you're calling from within Thailand. Overseas calls can be made from many agencies and Internet shops, as well as guest houses and hotels, most advertise a rate of 10 baht/min or 20 baht/min to mobile phones.
Using local SIM card may be a cheaper and more convenient alternative.
Pattaya Telecommunications Centre - 183/44 Soi Post Office opposite side to the Post Office, about 6 shops east, M-Sa 10:00-18:00. Outside, in the 24/7 payphones booth, there's an International Operator Direct Connection (IODC/Home Country Direct) service phone which provides one button press connections.
This is suitable for making collect calls to operators in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines (Philcom and PLDT), Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States (AT&T, MCI, and Sprint).
Pattaya has several post offices, the most central of which can be found, believe it or not halfway along Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2). As well as the usual postal services, it handles Western Union transactions and hosts a large number of post/security boxes.
On weekdays except public holidays it's open 08:30-16:30, and on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays it's open 09:00-12:00. One-stop-shops that handle DHL, EMS, FedEx, TNT, and UPS are relatively common.
- Pattaya Postal Service, 524/26 Moo 10, Soi Buakhao. M-Sa 10:30-18:00.
- PAWS Post Service, Pattaya New Plaza, 329/10 Moo 9, off Second Road. M-Sa 10:30-18:00.
If you need money sent to you urgently then there are many Western Union agents located throughout Pattaya. If you regularly visit Thailand or for extended periods then it might be worth opening a local bank account to avoid the high ATM charges for International bank cards as well as fluctuating exchange rates.
Pattaya has several foreign language newspapers; most come out weekly. The English newspapers include Pattaya Times, Pattaya Today, Pattaya Mail, and Pattaya People Weekly. Additionally, there are French, Norwegian, German, Russian and Japanese publications. There are also several tourist magazines and nightlife, most of them coming out monthly.
- L'indicateur Magazine,. A monthly magazine and a business directory in French. FREE.
- Pattaya Blatt. A weekly newspaper in German. 25 baht.
- Pattaya Mail. A weekly newspaper in English. 25 baht.
- Pattaya People or Pattaya Aktuell. This weekly newspaper is mainly written in English with some German and a little Thai. 25 baht.
- Pattaya Today. This English-language newspaper is published semi-monthly. 20 baht.
The Pattaya Immigration Office is now housed in new premises near the inland end of Soi 5, Jomtien Beach Road. Opening hours are 08:30-16:30 weekdays, 08:30-12:00 with extentions/notifications only on Saturdays; casual but smart attire is OK, however entry in swimwear or without a shirt is not permitted.
Entry permit extensions are processed on a same day, if applied for before noon — collect after 15:00 or next working day if applied for after noon.
On Saturdays, previous applications can be collected, and new applications can be submitted for collection next working day.
For most nationalities, a 30 day entry permit stamp will usually be extended to 45 days whereas in Bangkok only an additional 10 days will be given and a 60 day entry permit stamp will usually be extended to 90 days, further extensions beyond 90 days are also possible.
In all cases, the entry permit extension fee is 1,900 baht, and two passport photos must be supplied. Photocopies (5 baht) and photos - 100 baht for two are available from a shop inside the immigration office compound.
These prices are about four times as much as can easily be found elsewhere. Note that entry permit extensions are discretionary, and must be applied for in person.
Shorter extensions are likely to be issued to nationalities who do not qualify for visa free entry; longer extensions are issued in certain circumstances.
Various online and print resources give Pattaya addresses for Kuwait Airways, Orient Thai/Orient Express/One-Two-Go, and Thai Russian Air Service — however all these offices have been closed. The following airlines still have offices in place:
Bangkok Airways, 75/8 Moo 9, Second Rd. 08:00-12:00, 13:00-17:30 ticketing closes at 17:00.
Thai Airways International, Dusit Resort Hotel, 240/2 Beach Rd near the Dolphin Roundabout. M-Sa 09:00-17:00.
Small laundry services abound, charging by the piece. Prices start at 5 baht/underwear, 8 baht/shirt, 10 baht/trousers,15 baht/jeans; if you have a lot, a few will charge larger loads by weight.
All hotels and guesthouses worth their salt also cater for this, although prices tend to be higher, starting about double the above at inexpensive places, running up to international chains and similar large splurge properties where it can run well above 100 baht/piece.
In smaller and more informally managed accommodation, the maid who cleans your room will probably welcome the opportunity to boost her meager salary and do your laundry by hand, typically for a few baht more than an outside laundry service.
Usually it's a next day service, but might take a little longer if it rains.
Kittana Laundry, Soi Yume 13 located between Foodland and Carrefour, off Central Road. Pick-up and delivery service in the Pattaya-area.
Bangkok vans run to Bangkok from South Pattaya Road after Wat chai Mongkol (500m from walking street) and from the corner of Sukhumvit and south Pattaya Rd (100 baths)
Rayong Vans drive along Sukhumvit towards Rayong and further to Trat. Easy and fast, but some drivers are little cow-boys hunting for clients and forgetting there are in the traffic. Give preference to the big buses when possible.
Nearby destinations suitable for day trips include:
- Bang Saen
- Jomtien, officially a part of Pattaya, this beach front is more mellow and popular among families and expats. The most northern part is especially but not exclusively popular among gays. Songtaews drive along Thap Phraya road along Jomtien beach road (10 bahts pp).
- Ko Laan a small island close to Pattaya
- Ko Sak a small island just north of Ko Laan
- Ko Samet quiet white beaches
- Ko Si Chang a small nearby island, not focused on beach life
- Laem Chabang
- Si Racha
More about Pattaya
Tourists are expected to be crowding the beach in Pattaya again soon.
400 metres of beachfront had been restored in a major cleanup and 100 metres were already back in the hands of beach business operators.
The other 300 metres will definitely be done by year’s end, one official was quoted as saying, adding that sand had been transported from Koh Rangwian in a Bt430-million effort to widen the beach by 3.5 metres.
The beautification project began near the Dusit Thani Hotel in January, but early on faced several delays.
Pattaya Model will make the city a world-class beach destination and the new sands would have the tourists flocking back.
In recent years, Pattaya has served as a hideaway for foreigners with connections to organized crime in their home countries, and dozens have been murdered in gang related disputes.
Visitors may encounter petty crime, usually limited to pickpocketing and confidence tricks, particularly in and around major tourist areas such as Jomtien and Pattaya Beaches and on the baht buses.
A special Tourist Police division has been established to aid tourists who are victims of crime. The 2009 British eight-episode TV documentary Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand described crimes involving tourists in Pattaya.
On 11 April 2009, Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in the areas of Pattaya and Chonburi, in response to red shirt anti-government protesters breaking into the conference center of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort hotel complex, the site of an ASEAN meeting.
The meeting was immediately cancelled and Asian leaders were evacuated, some by helicopter.