The beach resort town of Pattaya is located on the Gulf of Thailand, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It’s a city with almost limitless options for outdoor recreation, with a lively nightlife to boot. Food enthusiasts also take a shine to Pattaya, for the city’s fresh seafood and impressive selection of foreign cuisine. Whether traveling alone or with family, for business or pleasure, Pattaya is a must-stop destination for visiting Thailand.
Pattaya was reinvented in recent years as a more family friendly resort area, and has numerous activities for people of all ages. Guests can learn how to windsurf, waterski, snorkel or sail in addition other beachside recreation such as swimming, sunbathing and taking trips to nearby islands. Further inland from Pattaya’s coast are options for bungee jumping, cycling, skydiving, go karting and learning Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing. Golfers can choose from a wide selection of courses around Pattaya; both novice and expert players are sure to find a suitable course, some with stunning views of the bay. Pattaya’s first and only floating market is a great way to experience Thai culture, lifestyle and cuisine. Meander through the bustling hub of commerce and brush shoulders with the locals. Head to Nong Nooch Village for a spectrum of attractions, from an orchid garden to an elephant show. The Sanctuary of Truth is another sight to awe visitors of all ages. Part art installation, cultural monument and religious shrine, the wooden complex is called “the magnificence of heaven recreated on Earth” for good reason. Wat Yansangwararam and Mini Siam also display the architectural prowess of the region. The former is a temple dedicated to King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1988 that captures Thai traditions and values. The latter showcases models not just of Thailand’s most phenomenal sights, but also recreations of several wonders of the world.
If the beaches of Pattaya seem too crowded, Jomtiem Beach, just north of town, is ideal for those looking for quiet spot to relax. There are all sorts of activities at Jomtiem Beach including jet skiing, parasailing and windsurfing, but there’s a significantly smaller crowd on shore. The small town of Naklua offers a taste of local life away from the tourist hubs. Highlights include the morning fish market, the evening night market and the regional restaurants in town. The Si Racha Zoo, located between Pattaya and Bang Saen, is home to a large number of Bengal tigers, as well as crocodiles and other animals. Visitors can hold and take photos with tiger cubs, and watch a crocodile wrestling match as well. Take off from Pattaya Bay and explore some of the islands near by. Koh Lam, or Coral Island, is an idyllic tropical island with beautiful coral formations around the island visible from glass-bottomed boats. Koh Samet is another island to explore, with white sand beaches and near perfect swimming conditions. Train service to Bangkok also makes it easy for day trips into Thailand’s capital city. The vibrant street life and ornate shrines is a wealth of opportunity for exploration.
It’s all about location, location, location when choosing accommodations in Pattaya. Choose a place too far from the sights, and a lot of time might be wasted in traffic. Luckily, Pattaya has a variety of lodging options across the city. For those who want to spend time relaxing by a pool and staying off the beaten track, northern Pattaya resorts and hotels are relatively quiet and peaceful. If nightlife and evening entertainment are priorities, the Walking Street neighborhood of South Pattaya attracts the most tourists in the evenings. Beach Road in Pattaya Central is another hub for nightlife. Second Road in Pattaya Central is a busy street with several hotels in the mid-priced range. Soi Buakhao and Soi LK is the area for tourists looking to cut costs on accommodations.
Pattaya is about 75 miles from Thailand’s largest international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport. The 389 Bus operates between the airport and Pattaya. The Bell Travel Service is another option for bus service to Pattaya. Visitors can also fly into U-Tapao International Airport, about a 45-minute drive from the city. Daily rail service into Bangkok is available on the Eastern Line of the State Railway of Thailand. The city’s main bus terminal is located on Pattaya Nuea, or North Pattaya Road, near Sukhumvit Road. The city is served by bus services from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal and the Eastern Bus Terminal. The most common form of public transportation in Pattaya is via songthaews, also called “baht buses” or “blue taxis.” These passenger vehicles are adapted pickup trucks that travel on regular routes for a fixed fare, and to specific destinations for a much higher cost.
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