Pattaya is a seaside town in Thailand located on the Gulf of Thailand around 2 hours from Bangkok by car. Pattaya is a very popular tourist destination with many water sports available and a very wild nightlight. Also check out the list of Pattaya Hotels.
Pattaya is a large stretch of white sandy beach and is broken into 3 sections, South Pattaya, Middle Pattaya and North Pattaya.
Right along the beach front are market stalls selling all sorts of clothing, arts and crafts, sunglasses, DVDs and everything else you would find in a market place in Thailand, including some great street food. The markets are open during the day and late into the evening.
Just off the coast of Pattaya is the small island of Koh Larn which is an alternative place to stay if you want to escape the crowds of Pattaya.
The Big Buddha at Pattaya
The Big Buddha Pattaya (Wat Phra Yai temple) is located on the top of the hill between Pattaya and Jomtien, at the southern end of Pattaya.
The golden big Buddha is 18 meters high and is surround by a number of other small statues of the Buddha. It is easy to get to The Big Buddha. It will take around 10 minutes by taxi to get there from Pattaya, or you can get a Tuk Tuk which turns left at Walking Street, get off at the next intersection, where the Tuk Tuk turns left, and you turn right here. If you are fit take the walk up the hill which will take around 30 minutes or there are plenty of motorbike taxis to take you up the hill which will take 5 - 10 minutes.
There are many great water sports available along Pattaya beach including parasailing, wind surfing, kite boarding, jet skis, parasailing, speedboats and banana boat rides.
There are also boat trips you can do from Pattaya which take you to some beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand including Koh Krok Island, Koh Sak Island and Koh Larn Island. These islands are very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving as well as fishing trips. You can hire one of the many speed boats that are waiting along the beach at Pattaya or you can go right to the end of Walking Street to the Bali Hai Pier and get a ferry to the islands.
Fun Activities in Pattaya
Here is a list of activities around Pattaya for young, families and children:
Go-cart racing - there is a go-cart racing track located in South Pattaya close to the Bali Hai Boat terminal. Check out EasyKart
Underwater World Pattaya Aquarium is a fairly new attraction to Pattaya with a massive aquarium with a walk through tunnel so you are looking up at the marine life. Underwater World is located on the outskirts of Pattaya on the way to Jomtien Beach. See the location of Underwater World Pattaya.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo is located 30 minutes drive from Pattaya, on the way back to Bangkok. The zoo is home to 400 Royal Bengal Tigers. There are a range of interactive activities including feeding Tiger cubs, elephant riding, feeding crocodiles.
Khao Kheow Open Zoo is located 10 minutes drive from Sriracha Tiger Zoo. The animals in this zoo are held in environments similar to their natural habitats. Animals include Tigers, Elephants, Lions, Hippopotamus, jaguar, cougar and many more.
Flight of the Gibbon - an adventure playground with 3kms of ziplines over the jungle canopy is located around 30 minutes drive from Pattaya, close to Khao Kheow Open Zoo and Sriracha Tiger Zoo.
Big Bee Farm - around 20 minutes by car from Pattaya, the Big Bee Farm has on display the way honey is produced. There are plenty of samples of different types of honey and different products made from bee wax.
Nightlife in Pattaya
Pattaya is famous for it's wild nightlife. There are beer bars all over Pattaya but there are a few specific areas which are jammed packed with beer bars and go-go bars. Walking Street is the main nightlife area which is located at South Pattaya running parallel to the water. There are hundreds of bars along walking street and on the many Soi (small streets) that come off from Walking Street.
If beer bars and go-go bars are not your scene then there are a few classy bars that you should visit in Pattaya.
Events in Pattaya
Pattaya Fireworks Festival - the Pattaya Fireworks Festival has been held the last few years at the end of November with participants from over 6 countries coming to Thailand to show off their pyrotechnics.
Restaurants in Pattaya
There are a very good selection of restaurants in Pattaya. Loads of small, traditional Thai restaurants which are very cheap to eat at and there are also a good range of International food restaurants including German, Indian restaurants, Lebanese and Middle East restaurants.
Getting to Pattaya
Pattaya has it's own international airport called U-Tapao International Airport (code: UTP) with direct flights from Phuket, Koh Samui, and from Moscow Russia.
Pattaya is just 2 hours by car from Bangkok. You can get a taxi to go there for around 1000 - 1200 Baht or you can hire a private car for up to 2000 Baht.
Annoyances and Dangers in Pattaya
Pattaya is generally a safe place to visit though there are a few dangers and annoyances. These include:
DANGER - Pick pockets - as with any country you visit you have to be careful with your wallet and handbags. There are pick-pockets working throughout Pattaya especially in the nightlife area of Walking Street and along the beach front where the markets are. It may be funny to get a photo hugging one of the many ladyboys in Walking Street though make sure you check your wallet or keys in your pockets before the ladyboy disappears into the night with your hard earned money.
ANNOYANCE - The swarms of Indian Tourists. Mainly during the day you will see swarms of Indian package tourists throughout Pattaya. They will converge in one place, usually outside and Indian restaurant or travel agency and they will block the entire sidewalk. Even when you politely ask them to excuse you the will just look at you like you are an alien that has just landed on the planet.
Also check out the list of Pattaya Hotels