Pattaya has grown over the past four decades from a quiet fishing village into a sizeable town and offers all the famous nightlife combined with many other advantages. Besides the beautiful beaches of Naklua Bay in the north to the Jomtien Beach in the south, the town offers a very good tourist infrastructure with numerous shops and a wide range of local and international restaurants. In the vicinity there are many attractions and a few smaller islands, so that not even a longer stay is getting boring. The proximity to the new airport in Bangkok makes the journey short and the city can thus be combined easily with all the southern islands of Koh Samed and Koh Chang and virtually any destination in the country.
The only 160 kilometres south of Bangkok located Pattaya was once a small fishing village where fishermen lived in their small wooden huts. During the Vietnam War, the Americans have chosen Pattaya as a recreational destination for its soldiers. Due to the popularity the small quiet village changed with the years to a city that has everything what is desired. Officially, some 100,000 people are registered in Pattaya but the real number is estimated by authorities at about 300,000. The city is divided into the areas of South, Central, North Pattaya and Jomtien. The town is popular with long stay tourists, as there is a wide selection of shopping centres, accommodations and activities.
Pattaya beach has several sections with the parts near the city are best visited. The beaches north and south of Pattaya City are noticeably quieter.
The sea side resort town has a wide range of activities and attractions for everyone. These include Zoos and animal shows, theme parks, museums, shows and regularly occurring events. For sports enthusiasts there are in addition to the very cheap and very good golf courses a variety of motor sports available like Go- Kart and ATV as well as boxing, bungee jumping, diving, shooting and a wide range of water sports available.
Pattaya is located about 160 kilometres south of Bangkok and is accessible from the Federal Route 7 from the international airport Suvarnabhumi in a little bit more than an hour. There are daily buses leaving from Ekkamai and Mo Chit in Bangkok to Pattaya. These are pretty cheap and take about 1.5 hours to Pattaya. It is also possible to travel by train, but this takes 5 hours. Another good alternative is to go directly from the airport in Bangkok with an ordinary taxi to Pattaya. The trip takes about 1 hour and the cost is about 900 THB.
In Pattaya itself there are numerous motorcycle taxis and songthaews (a kind of collective taxi) driving visitors to the different neighbourhoods. Motorcycles are also for hire, for those who like to be independent. Prices are per day with 300-500 THB quite affordable.
Only about 8 kilometres or a good 30 minutes by ferry from Pattaya is Koh Laan. The small about 5.6 square-kilometres big island is surrounded by other small islands such as Koh Khrok and Koh Saak. Especially popular for day trips the islands offer enough to experience to fill a vacation day. The beaches are usually calm and the water quality is in very good condition. There are some bungalows on Koh Laan allowing an overnight stay, what is not possible on the other much smaller islands. Also there is a small temple on a hilltop which can be reached through many steps. The beautiful view then apologized enough for the strenuous climb.
Khao Phra Tam Nak and Khao Phra Bat Temple
Between South Pattaya and Jomtien there is a mountain with a good vantage point for overlooking the entire city and beaches. Also known as Buddha Mountain locals come here to Khao Phra Bat temple which is built at the summit to pray. The mountain is one of the highest points of Pattaya and contains a large Buddha statue. At the foot of the mountain is a park which was established in honour of the reigning king.
Wat Yangwangsararam is located about 15 kilometres South of Pattaya on Sukhumvit Road. Locally the site is also known as Wat Yan. The compound consists of several different temple styles that were build by foreign governments to honour Bumipol the King of Thailand and were built in style of the donor country. Highlights of the complex are the Chinese temples as well as the Buddha image set into a cliff a few kilometres further away.
A tip to learn diving is certainly Pattaya. The underwater world is not comparable with the ones around Koh Tao or Similian Islands, but the prices are unbeatable. The equipment and diving schools are as good as anywhere else. The terrain is more than adequate and the underwater world is not uninteresting for beginners. Anyone who has made his diving certificate and wants to see more can still go to Koh Tao or Similian Islands to admire the full marine life and astonishing underwater world of Thailand.
The Mini Siam Park is located on Sukhumvit Road in North Pattaya. Here many Thai and international structures have been rebuilt but in a small scale. During a stroll through the park visitors can admire the miniatures of the Wat Pra Kaew, Wat Arun, the London Bridge and Egyptian temples and also offers a nice change from the rather hectic Pattaya City.
About 30 kilometres outside of Pattaya in direction to Bangkok is the Siracha Tiger Zoo. The plant has many larger and unfortunately some smaller cages with tigers as well as several daily shows with the animals. A total of 200 Bengal Tigers, 100,000 crocodiles, dogs and pigs are reported to live on over 100 acres of land. In part, the tiger cubs suckling pigs and vice versa. If you are interested, you can visit the zoo on your own or join a group in one of the travel agencies.
Wong Amat Beach
Situated on the north of Pattaya, the beach section is much quieter than the main beaches. Also the beach and water quality are a little better. Near the beach there are some restaurants serving mainly Thai dishes.
North and South Pattaya
The bay of Pattaya has in the north a rather quiet beach life. A leisurely promenade invites to stroll during day time or in the evening and there are numerous deck chairs and sun umbrellas available for rent. The south of the bay is dominated by restaurants, shopping centres and the establishments of nightlife along the Walking Street.
Further south separated by a small headland from main beach is the Jomtien Beach offering a totally different charm. This part is rather tranquil and has a few bigger hotels at the wider part in the north of the beach while there is very little on the 6 km long beach promenade in South Jomtien. Here are some well-known and popular Sea Food restaurants located here. The Jomtien Beach is also regularly visited by Thai guests on weekends and we especially recommend this part for long term guests. North and South Pattaya can be reached easily and cheaply by taxi.
Pattaya is the whole year worth a visit. However, the months from September to October bring more rain.
The best time to visit Pattaya is during the dry season from November to March. Also, to explore the underwater world and attending dive courses we recommend the dry season. The months of March and May are the warmest with temperatures well over 30 ° C. The average water temperature is very pleasant by about 27 ° C.