Pattaya (100,000 citizens) is a coastal city at the Gulf of Thailand in the province Chonburi about 90mi southeast of Bangkok. Throughout the year, 4 million visitors go to Pattaya. This city is discovered during the Vietnam War by American soldiers who came here to relax during their leave. At that time, Pattaya was nothing more than a fishing village with a few huts on the beach. Of those fisherman huts on the beach is very little left. Pattaya is a city full of hotels and resorts and is particularly known for its nightlife. A large part of the center basically consists of a red light district. Along the promenade are several bars and clubs. This makes Pattaya not suitable as a holiday destinations for families with children. A good alternative for a family with children is Jomtien. Jomtien is a village which lies just south of Pattaya. In the immediate vicinity of Pattaya are several attractions. So daytrips are easy to organize from both locations.
Sights and Tourist Attractions
Location: 1mi from center - 30 minutes walk | Category: Culture and Religio
On one of the highest points in Pattaya, Buddha Hill, stands the largest Buddha statue in the region. At the base of the hill there's a staircase that leads to the top. In addition, there are several smaller statues of Buddha. From the top of the hill you have a beautiful view over Pattaya and Jomtien.
Chaloem Phrakiat Park
Location: 1mi from center - 25 minutes walk | Category: Nature
Chaloem Phrakiat Park covers an area of 6 acres and is situated at the foot of Khao Pattaya hill. The park features beautiful gardens in honor of the 60th anniversary of the King. You can go here for walking, jogging or playing sports. Also, this location offers a beautiful view over the city of Pattaya.
Sanctuary of Truth (Prasat Satchatham)
Location: 5mi from city center - 18 minutes drive | Price: 500THB | Category: Culture and Religion
Sanctuary of Truth is a complete wooden temple with a height of 350ft and covers an area of almost an acre. Construction began in 1981 and is expected not to be ready until 2025. The temple is built in the Khmer style where handmade wooden sculptures are exhibited. At the temple are several activities possible like dining and boattrips to admire the temple from the sea.
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan
Location: 13mi from city center - 30 minutes drive | Category: Culture and Religion
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan is a temple to the south of Pattaya. This temple was built in 1976 in honor of Somdet Phra Yanasangwon. Located in this temple is a replica of the footprint of Buddha. In addition you can see relics in a stupa. This temple is situated in a large beautifully landscaped garden where you can walk around and enjoy the surrounding.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden
Location: 4.5mi from center - 10 minutes drive | Price: 500THB | Category: Nature
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is a gardencenter where different gardens can be seen. They include Asian, French-Roman, butterfly and botanical gardens. These gardens are updated regularly, ensuring that people who frequently visit these gardens never get to see the same garden twice. In addition to the gardens there are also daily shows, like cultural dance performances, martial arts demonstrations and an elephant show. All of this makes this garden suitable for the whole family.
The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm
Location: 8mi from Centre - 20 minutes drive | Price: 300THB | Category: Nature and Zoo
The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm is a zoo with various exotic animals. This park is best known for its daily crocodile show. Besides the many sweet and saltwater crocodiles that live here, there are tigers, elephants, bears and various birds. Throughout the park are ponds with fountains and large impressive stones in colorful gardens.
Pattaya Elephant Village
Location: 6.5mi from Centre - 20 minutes drive | Price: from 650THB | Category: Nature
The Pattaya Elephant Village is an elephant camp set up to shelter elephants. Many of these elephants were used to carry out heavy work, due to illness or injury they are no longer able to do so. These elephants are taken care of by the Pattaya Elephant Village. Currently about 30 elephants are living here. It is possible to take a ride. There is also a daily elephant show.
Location: 3mi from city center - 10 minutes drive | Price: 500THB | Category: Nature
Underwater World is completely focused on life in the sea. All aspects of marine life are shown. From animals living at the surface to the ones living in the deep sea life. Sea cucumbers to even sharks can be seen here. Due to the many sights and the educational aspect, this park is a perfect location for the whole family.
Because Pattaya is a coastal city there are many watersport activities. You can rent jetskis, go parasailing or take a trip on a "banana ride".
Offcourse there is the possibility to dive in Pattaya. There are many diveschoold in Pattaya. Of the approximately 14 divesites, there are no less than three shipwrecks that lie between 80 and 100ft. The advantage of diving in Pattaya is that you can dive here all year. A PADI Open Water course cost approximately 11.000THB .
In Pattaya and the surrounding there are many locations where you can play golf. It's a good area for Golf holidays. The facilities are very good and equipped with every form of comfort. In many cases it's possible to hire a local caddy, who knows the golfcourse very well and is very capable. Most golf courses are at or near resorts, so you can concentrate on playing golf at a very pleasant stay. Off course it is also possible to play golf one day or to take golflessons. These reservations can be made at several bars and cafes in Pattaya or at the golfcourses themselves.
Entertainment and Nightlife
Location: 2mi from city center - 10 minutes | Price: starting at 650THB | Category: Entertainment
The Tiffany's Show is a child-friendly daily cabaret show which is performed throughout the year. It is a show where different cultures and styles are shown. From Bollywood to the West End. Cultures as Russian, Chinese and Korean are shown on a spectacular way. The whole show is performed by "Lady Boys" (transvestites and transsexuals). If you are in Pattaya this is one of the shows which must be seen. According to some it's a show which even can be compared to Moulin Rouge and Siegfried & Roy. Once a year “Miss Tiffany’s Universe” is chosen. For this election ladyboys from all over Thailand come here to compete for this title.
Like many places in Thailand, also pattaya has many spas. It's possible to completely relax through, aromatherapy, Thai massage and foot massages. Off course there are also saunas and steam rooms.
Pattaya has the busiest nightlife of whole Thailand. The center consists mainly of a red-light district full of bars and clubs. Here nightlife starts in the afternoon. If you're not interested in this you can beter avoid Pattaya center.
How to get there
You can get to Pattaya on severel ways:
Car / Taxi
In about 2 hours you can reach Pattaya by car or taxi from Bangkok. Cost of the taxi are about 1.500THB. Because the airport of Bangkok is located closer to Pattaya than Bangkok itself, the cost from here are approximately 1.100THB.
From 3 busstations in Bangkok, which are Ekamei (east), Moh Chit (north) and Sai Tai Mai (south), you can travel to Pattaya by 1st and 2nd class bus. Prices for a 1st class statebus from all these stations are around 120 THB. A journey by bus takes about 2 to 2.5 hours with the exception of the Sai Tai Mai bus station, this trip takes a lot longer.
During the main season it is possible to travel from Hua Hin to Pattaya by boat. The trip takes about 3 hours and costs about 1.600THB. So if you come from the south, this is a cheaper and faster option than by land from Bangkok.
From Phuket and Koh Samui there are direct flights to Pattaya (U-Tapao International Airport). This airport is located 20mi outside of Pattaya. There is no connection between airports in Bangkok and U-Tapao.
In the regions of Pattaya and Jomtien there are more than enough accommodations. You'll find cheap guesthouse, but also luxury resort and hotels
At cheap guesthouses you will have to pay approx. 150THB to 750THB per night. For this amount you have a room that meets basic needs. Do not expect any kind of luxury, mostly not even a private bathroom.
If your budget is slightly bigger than you can stay in a hotel. The costs of this vary between 800THB and 2.500THB per night. These hotels provide basic needs and provide more comfort than guesthouses. Here you'll have a private bathroom and air conditioning is often provided in the room.
Pattaya has plenty luxurious accommodations. At these hotels / resorts the prices start at approximately 2.500THB and can even be 8.000THB per night or more, depending on the luxury you want.