Pattaya attractions naturally begin with partying, but there are plenty of other diversions around to enjoy during the daylight hours or if you need a break from the neon lights and loud music of the world-famous Walking Street. Equally renowned are the city’s numerous cabaret shows and Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens while the beautiful Sanctuary of Truth is one of the most iconic landmarks on Thailand's eastern seaboard and well worth a visit.
Other attractions in Pattaya include offbeat museums, majestic temples, brutal boxing, breath-taking viewpoints, quirky shopping centers, thrilling waterparks and more besides. Check out our reviews below to see the country’s first this, the region’s only that and the world’s largest the other!
Pattaya nightlife is world-famous. You cannot even name the city without immediately thinking of Walking Street and the bright glare of its overlapping neon signs for clubs, discos, bars, go-gos, massage parlors and other forms of nocturnal entertainment. This mile of madness in South Pattaya is an assault on the senses and is, without a doubt, the racing heart of the nightlife on the entire eastern seaboard of Thailand.
There’s more to nightlife in Pattaya than just Walking Street, though. There are other nightlife hubs, each with a different vibe and different attractions: The cheapest drinks are on Sois 7 and 8; Sois 6/1 and 13/1 are renowned for their lady boy bars; Pattayaland and Boyztown are jam-packed with gay clubs; and Second Road is home to two of the many cabaret shows. There's a street for any kind of night in Pattaya.
The opportunities for shopping in Pattaya are varied and extensive. Admittedly not in the same league as in Bangkok, there is nonetheless a range of options, stretching from popular street markets to plush malls. You can find great bargains on anything from unique souvenirs to top brand clothes. Naturally, this includes the cheap copies available at most of the country’s markets, alongside an array of street food, cosmetics, electronics, toys, novelties, curios, DVDs, plants, pets and practically anything else you can think of.
Many of the Pattaya shopping malls also double as interesting attractions, bringing added interest to a day of retail therapy. These include a recreation of Bangkok’s floating markets, a recreation of a French town and the presence of special shows, rides, museums, cinemas, bowling alleys and fantastic views across the city.
If you really want to experience Thailand, you have to do so with all five senses. The most enjoyable of these to indulge is the sense of taste, which means eating what the locals like. With such a large expatriate population and dozens of expat-run restaurants, you could arguably do this by dining on fish and chips, though you would missing out on some excellent Thai food.
Pattaya is quite a multicultural place, attracting Thai nationals from across the country, each of whom brings the best of their region’s cuisine. A lot of people have moved here from the rural province of Issan, bringing their spicy and sour specialties with them. The coastal city also enjoys the fresh seafood of the Gulf of Thailand, making the 10 Best Local Food in Pattaya a diverse selection of flavors to enjoy. Have a look at our list below if you want to really eat like a local.
The name Pattaya evolved from the march of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, which took place before the fall of the former capital to Burmese invaders in 1767. When his army arrived in the vicinity of what is now Pattaya, Phraya Tak encountered the troops of a local leader named Nai Klom, who tried to intercept him. When the two met face to face, Nai Klom was impressed by Phraya Tak's dignified manner and his army's strict discipline. He surrendered without a fight and joined his forces. The place the armies confronted each other was thereafter known as "Thap Phraya", which means the "army of the Phraya". This later became Pattaya, the name of the wind blowing from the south-west to the north-east at the beginning of the rainy season.
Pattaya was a fishing village until the 1960s. Tourism began during the Vietnam War, when American servicemen began arriving on R&R (rest and relaxation). One large group who arrived from a base in Korat on 29 June 1959 and rented houses from Phraya Sunthorn at the south end of the beach, on what is now known as the "Strip", are credited with recommending Pattaya, whose fame spread by word of mouth.
Pattaya has a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: hot and dry (December to February), hot and humid (March and April), and hot and rainy (May to November).
• Chinese New Year (varies from late January to early February) is celebrated by Pattaya's large Thai-Chinese community with dragon parades, lion dances, and fireworks.
• Burapa Pattaya Bike Week is Thailand's, and one of south-east Asia's, biggest motorcycle event held in Pattaya each February, drawing motorcycle enthusiasts from all over south-east Asia and abroad. The 2010 event was held over two days with local and international live music acts.
• Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of March. It attracts huge crowds to the different stages along Beach Road and Bali Hai Pier, and presents several styles of music performed by Thai and international artists.
• The Pattaya Songkran festival, locally called Wan Lai, takes place each year in mid-April. It differs from most other Songkran festivals of Thailand in several aspects. It lasts several days longer and, besides water fights, the event includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks, and water sports competitions.
• Top of the Gulf Regatta is a week-long sailing event held at the end of April, beginning of May.
• The Miss Tiffany Universe beauty pageant is held mid-May each year. During the four-day pageant, Thailand's most beautiful transgender persons and transsexuals vie for first place with the final evening broadcast live on Thai TV for an audience of, on average, 15 million.
• Pattaya Marathon, featuring several race categories, is held each year in July.
• Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival, held annually on the last weekend of October, organized by the Thailand Guitar Society, Pattaya People Media Group, and Siam Bayshore Pattaya.
• Loi Krathong, a light festival held during the full moon of the twelfth month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar and which usually falls in November, is celebrated in Pattaya, as in the rest of the country, that evening with people floating krathongs (small, candle-lit floats made from elaborately folded banana leaves) on the waters, as well as releasing khom loi (candle-fired hot air balloons) into the night sky.
• Every November Pattaya hosts Miss International Queen, a yearly international pageant for transgender persons and transsexuals. In 2007 the event drew an estimated 25 million viewers on national TV.
Phuket has a tropical monsoonal climate. It's warm year-round, but it’s hottest from April to May and from September to October. The September–October period is also the wettest, thanks to the south-west monsoon.
Thanks to its position in the Andaman Sea, Phuket weather is mostly mild. The island avoids the majority of the typhoons and tropical storms which occasionally batter Hong Kong and the Philippines. Heavy rains in September and October can cause minor disruptions. Even so, it's rare to see several days of bad weather. Note that online weather forecasts are always on the pessimistic side – a whole week with the thunderstorm icon doesn't mean it will rain all day!
2- Via Bang Na-Trat Highway (Hwy 34) From Bang Na, Bang Phli, across the Bang Pakong River to Chonburi there is a Chonburi bypass that meets Sukhumvit Road, (Hwy 3, passing Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.
• Pattaya 2 Road: (Second Road) runs approximately 400 metres inland, parallel to Pattaya 1 Road.
• Pattaya 3 Road: (Third Road) this is Pattaya's outer-ring road which connects north, south, and central Pattaya.
• Pattaya Tai: (South Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
• Pattaya Klang: (Central Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
• Pattaya Nuea: (North Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
• Tappraya Road: connects Pattaya 2 to Jomtien Beach Road.
• Thepprasit Road: connects Tappraya Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
• Soi Buakaow: connects Pattaya Tai and Pattaya Klang, between Pattaya 2 Road and Pattaya 3 Road.
There are two airport bus services The 389 Bus airportpattayabus service connects Pattaya with Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). It uses modern, air-conditioned buses, and takes around 1 1⁄2 hours to reach the airport. The trip from the airport (level 1 gate 8 at arrival hall) to the bus terminal in Pattaya, makes three stops at North, Central, and South Pattaya intersections before going to their last drop off point, the office on Thappraya road (near Jomtien). It can take longer if many hotel stops are negotiated along Sukhumvit Road in Pattaya. The other bus service is the Bell Travel Service (Coach 36) which goes from the airport (Level 1 Between Gate 7 & 8) to the Pattaya Bell office at the North Pattaya Intersection, and then provides transfers to local hotels.
Buses from a terminal on Sukhumvit Road near Pattaya Klang (near the Central Pattaya intersection) connect Pattaya with many destinations in the north-east (i.e., Isan).
City and suburban services are mainly provided by songthaew, popularly nicknamed "baht buses" or "blue taxis".
Phuket's Bangla Road really comes to life after sunset, when the road is closed to traffic and becomes a 400-metre festival of neon lights, loud music and cheap beer. Jammed most nights of the year, it's quite a friendly and lively place to walk around, with dozens of bars and clubs competing with each other for customers.
Beer bars occupy most of the street's length, with several go-go bars and a few pubs, restaurants, discos and shops rounding out the attractions, both on Soi Bangla and down its side streets. Street performances are also common most nights, which can make dodging around the tailor shop salesmen, leaflet distributors, street vendors and ping-pong show touts more difficult, but it is all part of the fun.
There are no direct rail services to Phuket.However, many trains leave from Bangkok's central station going south all the way to Singapore. The most comfortable are the sleeper trains (c. 685 baht for a berth in a 2nd class air-con car. Get off at Phun Phin railway station near Surat Thani and continue for another 5 hours by regular bus to Phuket. Do not buy the bus ticket until you actually see the bus and can make sure it is not standing room only as it picks up passengers at the popular Ko Samui ferry. If full, wait for the next one. See Surat Thani for more details.
The compact Phuket International Airport (IATA: HKT) is in the north of the island, and is Thailand's second largest hub, second only to Bangkok. There are very frequent flights to and from Bangkok as well as direct flights to many other airports in the region, including Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and direct charters to Europe and Australia in the high season.
6 hospitals exist in Phuket. The main hospital in Phuket operated by the Ministry of Public Health is Vachira Phuket Hospital, with smaller hospitals at Thalang and Patong. 3 Private hospitals exist which are Phuket International Hospital, Bangkok Hospital Phuket and Mission Hospital Phuket.
To reach for the city of Bangkok there are two main airports, one running in the North and another from the East of Bangkok. It is the Suvarnabhumi Airport that locates itself 25 km to the east and the Don Muang Airport located 24 km to the north catering to domestic and international flights in abundance.
Suvarnabhumi airport has direct and easy connectivity to the city by taxis, buses, and Airport Rail Link that is a high-speed train service in downtown Bangkok. There will be round the clock availability of roadway services from outside both the airports to drop you to your final destination.
The roadway services offer you with buses and taxis that get you wherever you wish to be in Bangkok. There are three bus terminals considered to be the major ones, the Northern Bus Terminal- Mochit, the Eastern Bus Terminal-Ekkamai, and the Southern Bus Terminal-Sa Tai.
The buses will take you not just round the city but also to Pattaya, Krabi, Phuket, etc. cities neighbouring Bangkok. If looking out for taxi services, then do know that the taxis run according to the metered price so confirm the prices before the journey.
Bangkok has great rail connectivity throughout Thailand and also to other neighbouring countries. Hua Lamphong serves as the main railway station of the city to travel to neighbouring countries and many other parts of Thailand. There is another railway station, Thornburi station that connects the city from within for travelling to the local parts of the city.
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