Located on the Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast, Pattaya is a perfect destination for the tourist interested in the beach resorts. This region is a haven on the Thailand tours holidays for the sun worshippers and those that love the water sports and related activities. Plus, the town has an electrifying nightlife scene after dark with plenty of places for partying and drinking until dawn. Beyond the great choice of nightlife and water sport activities, this town has a lot to offer when it comes to entertainment and accommodation.
Even though Pattaya is known of its lively party atmosphere there is still something here for everyone, from business travellers, families or couples. It is the closest beach resort to the Bangkok with a distance of approx 147 km between the two locations.
This coastal city is well known for more than its beaches. It has three major areas – Jomtien, Pattaya Beach and Naklua – with each having its own unique features, attractions and atmosphere. Certain areas are traditionally Thai and rich in the more luxurious resorts.
The climate in Pattaya is mostly hot year-round. On average, the temperature is about 29° C, but with its location close to the Gulf of Thailand, there are three seasons and a risk of annual monsoons.
The preferred time to visit Pattaya on the Thailand tour packages is during the cool season (November to February) when the weather is hot, yet still comfortable with very little rain. But, the cost of guest houses and hotels are more expensive at this time of the year, and there is significantly more foot traffic.
The hottest months of the year are March, April and May when the temperature can get quite intense and reach 33° C, with lows still high at 25° to 27° C. Most of the time the traveller will feel sticky and hot and exploring the sights can be unpleasant. In the coastal areas the sea breeze can help but this doesn’t make such difference to the humidity. But, there is the occasional rain in late April/May which can help to clear the air.
The rainy season lasts from June to October which is when there is the least foot traffic and experiences the brief but usually intense downpours. The temperature is still warm at 30° C for the day and slightly less at 25-27° C in the evening. For the traveller in search of the cheapest rates for guest houses and hotels this is a good time to travel.
How to get there
The preferred mode of transport to reach Pattaya is via taxis from Bangkok with rates that are quite inexpensive (about $25-$35). Buses are a further option and the cheapest with a regular service from local towns as well as from Bangkok. A daily train service runs from the capital, but is limited to once per day with the departure time very early in the morning. The closest airport is Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, which also leaves an onward journey of about 60 minutes.
Most of the shops, bars, clubs and hotels are condensed within a compact area that spans about 2 km which makes it very easy to get around town on foot. But, there is a regular transport network (metered taxis and songthaews) that are affordable for those travellers on the Thailand tour holiday packages that prefer not to walk everywhere.
For the more adventurous travellers there is the option to hire a scooter for about $5.50 per day or a motorbike for up to $65 per day. Car rentals are a further option for those planning to travel further out of town.
Where to stay
Pattaya has a varied choice of low-cost, mid-range and high-end resorts. The budget traveller can find guesthouses with standard rates in the region of $10-$12 per night, while the more upmarket guesthouses and hotels can cost closer to $30 or more per night.
A stay at the Birds & Bees Resort makes it possible to relax in a tropical garden resort with decent sized rooms and two swimming pools. The spacious rooms also include air-con and free Wi-Fi. The cost to stay here varies, with the cheapest rooms offering no views.
The Garden Lodge Hotel has plenty of low-cost rooms available for guests with most rooms appearing quite old-fashioned, but the surroundings are quite nice with a swimming pool and landscaped gardens.
The Jomtien Hostel is well located close to the beach (approx 200 m) and offers the most modern rooms that include the must-have features like free Wi-Fi, hot water, cable TV, fridge and air-con. This hotel is useful for the travellers on the Thailand family tour that want to hire a bicycle or motorbike for a day of touring the local area.
Eat and drink
There are plenty of food choices in Pattaya that range from the street food scene to the high-end cuisine. At most levels it is possible to find local and international dishes, including those from Russia, Germany, French, Britain, Italy, India, Japan and China. There are a lot of independent eateries serving up high-quality food that is quite comparable to what can be found in the local hotel restaurants.
One for the finest restaurants in Pattaya is the Glass House Na Jomtien. The cost to eat in this restaurant is slightly more than elsewhere, but is a great place to try the sublime Thai seafood dishes, as well as homemade cakes and international dishes. To avoid disappointment it is necessary to book in advance to get a table. The cost of the main meals is in the region of $6-$15.
A visit to the Moom Aroi Seafood Restaurant Naklua is certain to appeal to those that love the menus based on fresh seafood. It is well located in the fishing community with a great beachfront location and 100+ tables to fill in the evenings. The quality of the food is high with reasonable prices, and a live band is also available from about 8pm every night.
The Rim Talay Seafood & Steak has a great beach location that serves a high-quality and varied menu consisting of local Thai, western, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese dishes. Most of the dishes are based on seafood because of its location. This is a great restaurant for tourists, expats, and locals for the very generous portions and inexpensive prices.
Pattaya isn’t quite in the league as Bangkok, but there are still plenty of boutique stores, markets and malls that are well worth a visit. The shopping experience in this city includes the simple souvenirs to high-end fashion that ranges in price from the practically free to the virtually bank-busting. A really authentic place to explore on the Holidays to Thailand for the day is the Pattaya Floating Market, which gives a lot more than a few shops to explore. Plus, this city has a lot of local markets that make it easy to find gifts or souvenirs for friends or family.
Things to see and do
With such a diverse range of things to see and do in Pattaya, there is little chance of ever becoming bored while exploring this city. This city is rich in sights that are unique from the wonderful galleries and museums to the giant Buddha images and one-off water parks. One of the finest places to explore is the Sanctuary of Truth, which is quite different to most other temples in the country.
Sanctuary of Truth
Sanctuary of Truth is a unique structure built in teak which is a complete demonstration of human skill and endeavour and creates an awe-inspiring sanctuary that helps to layout the importance of art, philosophy and religion. The sanctuary is filled with traditional sculptures that relate to Hindu and Buddhist motifs.
The tropical garden at Nong Nooch is approx 2.4 sq km in size and bursting with a diverse range of plant life and flowers to create one of the finest gardens in the country. Plus, there are plenty of displays that include gardens created with cacti, tropical palms, bonsais, a recreation of Stonehenge and a 17th-century-French-style garden. There is also hundreds of hybrid and native orchid species, while also offering classic Thai drumming, boxing and dancing displays.
Pattaya Floating Market
The Pattaya Floating Market has plenty of vendors that trade in clothing, postcards, handicrafts, art, food, fruits and souvenirs, while also including demonstrations and cultural shows. Many of the stalls are afloat and sell their goods from a traditional canoe or boat, while there are also those traders that rely on a stilted village with plenty of interconnecting stout bridges and covered walkways.
Coral Island (also referred to as Koh Larn) is a beautiful stretch of pristine white sand and deep blue sea that is away from the high-rise buildings and the city’s general hustle and bustle. It is located nearly 7.5 km from Pattaya Beach and perfect for the travellers on the Thailand travel packages that want to get a break from the overcrowded beaches in the country. Plus, there are plenty of guided tours that make it really easy to explore this region of Pattaya.