Travel guide to discovering Pattaya, its districts, its history, climate, activities, and places to see, its nightlife, events and festivals, transport, maps, photos, and videos, as well as other useful information to prepare your trip.
Pattaya is a famous seaside resort located in the province of Chonburi. It is a family destination but also a mecca for sex tourism in the country.
It has more than 100,000 inhabitants and welcomes several million tourists from all over the world every year.
Also, many Thai people are coming from the capital to have fun on weekends and others coming mainly from the northeast of the country, Isan, to work.
And the seaside resort can receive its many visitors; it has more than 2000 hotels and 136,000 rooms (in 2015).
The districts of Pattaya: the center, Jomtien and Naklua
The city consists of three main districts: Jomtien in the south, Pattaya in the center, and Naklua in the north.
Jomtien is the quietest and most family-friendly part; it also has cleaner beaches.
This district offers many activities, water sports, diving, but also walks in nature and places to shop.
Pattaya’s active center consists mainly of two parallel avenues, Beach Road and Second Road (see map below), which are connected by perpendicular alleys (alley = Soi in Thai).
There is the city part, with the bus station, the markets, and the red-light district with its gogos bars, massage parlors, and many hotels and restaurants.
Naklua is a very quiet residential part of Pattaya, yet it is home to some of the most emblematic monuments, such as the sanctuary of truth and many attractions.
A city dedicated to tourism, nightlife, and prostitution
The city of Pattaya is largely occupied by people from other parts of the country, attracted by tourism revenues.
There is no shortage of work in the tourism industry: hotels, restaurants, massage parlors, various shops, or, above all, which gives the city its sulfurous reputation in prostitution.
Pattaya mainly attracts tourists who come to discover the crazy nightlife and gogos bars.
History of Pattaya
It was American soldiers during the Vietnam War who discovered this pretty bay with a 4 km long arched beach in 1960.
There was only a small fishing village, and the US soldiers will motivate the construction of bungalows and small restaurants.
After the Vietnam War ended and the military left, tourism developed slowly until 1980 when it experienced a vertiginous development.
Russian, Indian, and Chinese tourists arrived in large numbers from the 2000s.
Today, Pattaya is the most visited city in Thailand after Bangkok.
Climate in Pattaya
The temperature is constant throughout the year and is between 28 and 35 degrees, only the humidity level varies.
The rainy season is from July to October but has nothing to do with the Indian monsoon. Usually, it is limited to a big storm in the late afternoon.
Seawater has a temperature between 27 and 30 degrees.
To see and do in Pattaya
Beach Road is a road dotted with shops, restaurants, and shopping malls along the sea for more than 4 km.
Then Beach Road stops to make way for Walking Street (the pedestrian street), which is the street of go-go bars, closed during the day, but there are some shops, bars, and restaurants open.
There are several golf courses and many remarkably well-maintained courses less than thirty minutes from the city center.
The city has many weight training rooms, badminton, bowling alleys, and several Thai boxing schools.
The Sanctuary of Truth ( ปราสาทสัจธรรม )
It is a temple of religious synthesis located at “soi 12” on Pattaya-Naklua Road.
The sanctuary of truth has an all-wood architecture; it is decorated in Burmese, Cambodian, Indian, and Thai styles.
See our article: The Shrine of Truth in Pattaya
Sriracha Tiger Zoo
It is 25 km from the city and presents many shows staged with tigers and crocodiles.
See their website: tigerzoo.com
Jomtien Park (better known as Pattaya Park)
It is an amusement park, originally a large water park.
It is located at the foot of a 157 m high tower with a revolving restaurant.
Many attractions are on display, the most dangerous being the cable car linking the ground to the summit and from where one can descend on a cable, hung by a simple harness.
Russian interests in 2001 acquired the whole complex.
Nong Nooch Garden
It is advisable to rent a bike to discover all the different theme gardens in the park.
Alcazar and Tiffany’s
These are famous cabarets located in Pattaya featuring transvestites, singers, and dancers.
Underwater World ( อันเดอร์วอเตอร์ เวิลด์ )
It is a giant aquarium where visitors walk through a 105 m long glass tunnel presenting all species of tropical fish, sharks, sea turtles, presented in the reconstruction of their natural environment.
The Million Years Stone Park and the crocodile farm
You can feed these friendly saurians and watch shows.
The Central Festival is a huge luxury shopping center, declared the largest in Asia, the Hilton Hotel is located there.
Nightlife in Pattaya
The city has many restaurants and nightclubs.
Pattaya is best known for its beer bars or gogo bars and “bar girls” that accompany tourists and expatriates “for a fee.”
Walking Street comes alive at nightfall, girl’s bar, show, music, and prostitution.
But times are changing, and the current government wants to put an end to Pattaya’s sulfurous reputation.
The police raid, close a few bars, massage parlors, shows, but it’s a market that brings in so much money, that it would be surprising if they stopped it completely.
Video: Pattaya at night
Events and festivals in Pattaya
In March, the Pattaya International Music Festival presents a week-long series of exhibitions by Thai and international groups of different musical styles.
The festival of Songkran takes place during the week of the Buddhist New Year in April.
The more recent Pattaya Carnival, held in June, includes a parade of floats, concerts, water sports competitions, and fireworks displays.
Since 2009, an international fireworks festival has been held every year in mid-August.
The Honda PTT LPGA Thailand is a women’s golf competition, held every year since 2007 at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course.
Finding a hotel in Pattaya
You will have no trouble finding hotel places, but if you come between November and February, the high season in Thailand, it is better to book in advance.
You will find the best quality/price ratio by comparing the offers of the largest platforms through our partner: Hotels in Pattaya on Hotellook
Transport for Pattaya
You can get an idea of the transport prices or book your tickets with 12go.asia :
The journey from Bangkok to Pattaya is about 150 km, depending on the vehicles chosen it will take 2 to 3 hours, a little longer if you decide to go by train.
From Bangkok East Bus Station (Ekkamai): there is a bus about every half hour from 6 am to 9 pm (the same in the opposite direction).
Tel. Ekkamai: 023912504.
From Bangkok North Bus Station (Mochit): there is a bus about every half hour from 6 am to 7 pm (the same in the opposite direction).
Mochit Tel: 029362852
From Hualamphong Station in Bangkok: a train leaves at 7:10 am and arrives in Pattaya at 10:45 am (about 30 Bahts).
Train return Pattaya-Bangkok from the station located beyond Sukhumvit Road, at Pattaya Klang to Siam Country Club Road, departure at 14h50 arrival Bangkok 18h35.
Although the journey is a little longer than by bus, the train has a certain charm.
Many taxis in Bangkok will accept to take you there for a cost of 1000 to 1500 baht for about 2 hours of travel.
All travel agencies offer minibus connections.
You will find all the maps on the forum: Pattaya maps
Detailed map of the city of Pattaya
A handy large-format map with many details to help you find your way around the city.
Mike Braid’s cards
These are cards made by Mike Baird, a cartoonist based in Pattaya.
Its websites www.amuzingthaicartoons.com and www.pattayabarguide.com are worth a visit.
Maps of Pattaya hotels
Map of Pattaya restaurants
Map of Bars
Map of bars and restaurants outside the center of Pattaya
Photos: Beach: WPPilot; Walking street: Brenden Brain; The Shrine of Truth: Marlinjuice; Tropical garden: zephyz; Nightlife: Niedzwiadek78; Beach road: Kimmam: Transsexual cabaret tranny: Ohconfucius: Josch13; Source: wikipedia.org/; wikitravel.org
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