The Ultimate Travel Guide To Pattaya

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travel guide pattaya
iPae / pixabay.com

Breezes, sand, coconut, seafood, and beaches, when we discuss this with friends in Thailand, Pattaya is the first place that came into our head to go on a short trip or a vacation. Because Pattaya is one of the most famous beaches and it is close to Bangkok. Pattaya is more than a beach city, it has so many other things to enjoy and spend your time.

Nightlife, bars, clubs, tropical gardens and shows are also famous things to enjoy while you are in Pattaya. If you are a first time visitor to Thailand, you might wonder where you should visit. Therefore, I would like to recommend visiting Pattaya because you don’t need to stay there so long and it is worth to spend. 

So why don’t we explore together around Pattaya? Let’s find out together.

Things to see and do in Pattaya

Before we go to the process of planning a trip, you need to know what kind of things in Pattaya are waiting for you to make your holiday alive. Please let me introduce them.

Walking Street

You won’t believe that this place is the largest and the most crowded party zone all over the country, Thailand not even in Pattaya. Just only some of the top clubs in Bangkok are bigger and more staff than Pattaya walking street. The gateway of the walking street looks so high-tech at the Beach Road and the end of the street is a Plaza called the Bali Hai Plaza. This street is full of nightclubs, restaurants, beer bars or go-go bars. This area exists in the southern part of the city and is the best place to entertain your nightlife.

After you heard about ‘Walking Street’ and want to stay around this place, you can discover some hotels and here are some famous places to stay in. Siam Bayshore Resort, Balihai Bay, Sea Me Spring Too Hotel, W14 Pattaya, Grand Hotel, P.72 Hotel & Bar, Diamond Beach Hotel, P.N. Inn, Encore Walking St. Guesthouse and Walking Street Guesthouse are the recommended top 10 best hotels at Walking Street. So you can see on their website to check the prices.

Sanctuary of Truth

This most iconic of Pattaya is recommend to visit as it is the monument of the craftsmanship of Thailand. Every piece of the Sanctuary is very artistry and the whole thing is made from teak wood. A very glorious hall of the Sanctuary is 105 meters tall and the only precious building in the whole world. When you get bored of the beach, you can visit this Sanctuary in the day time.

Tiffany Cabaret Show

Ladyboy show is always a topic to discuss when we talk about Thailand. Pattaya has one of the best ladyboy shows in Thailand and it is called ‘Tiffany Cabaret Show’. This show is holding in a grand theater which is built of huge faux-marble and the dazzling costumes will make your eyes on fire. The performances, costumes and the presentation of the show are spectacular. So you should put it on your list.

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden

Another day-time worth spending your vacation is ‘Nong Nooch Tropical Garden’ which is 2.4sq km landscape and managed beautifully. You can spend almost your whole day in this garden as there are plenty of things to see including flowers, cultural shows, and themed gardens. When you buy the ticket for this garden, it includes for lunch buffet so you do not need to buy your meal.

Pattaya Floating Market

Not like the floating markets in Bangkok, Pattaya floating market is separated into four parts and each part represents the four main parts of Thailand which are north, northeast, central and south. Therefore, each section of the market sells only products that are representing these parts of Thailand. More than 114 shops and water vendors sell Thai food, desserts, fruit, and souvenir and art galleries. A cultural show is also there to see every afternoon. You can hire a boat which is enough for four people with a small fee and go around for 30 minutes.

Water parks and Theme parks

These places are other choices for you to have fun with your family or friends. There are lots of water parks and theme parks in Pattaya with high-speed slides, wave pools, lazy rivers and relaxing areas.  If you feel not enough with water from the sea, you can play in these parks.

Pattaya Viewpoint

Here comes the best spot to take pictures where they call Khao Pattaya Viewpoint on Pratumnak Hill. This is the best viewing area of Pattaya and you can visit there both day and night. Even though, you need to take care of some locals vendors around there because they are going to sell their things with an expensive amount of money. You just don’t need to accept them to talk, just focus on posing or photographing.

Coral Island

As Pattaya is a city with so many crowds, beaches in the city don’t look so beautiful with blue sea or even dirty in some areas. You deserve a blue sea with a beautiful scene in your short vacation then you should relax at a place that looks like a paradise. If you take a short ferry ride from Walking Street, you can visit and have fun at a beautiful ‘Coral Island’. In the Thai language the island is called ‘Koh Larn Island’ and it is only 7.5 km away from west of Pattaya Beach.

Art in Paradise

This place is such fun and the best place to take pictures of you. Arts and 3D paintings at this gallery are so incredible. ‘Art in Paradise’ also exists in Bangkok but the one from Pattaya is the biggest 3D gallery. This place also is a worthwhile place to visit.

Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan)

Surprisingly, Pattaya city that is not so big has a lot of things to do and see. Most of the people visit Pattaya just only for parties and beaches but there are also cultural and historical attractions. This Buddha Mountain is the biggest engraving of Buddha in the world. So you should not miss the opportunity to visit there even if you are not a Buddhist.

Where to eat

When you do so many activities, you will lose your energy and you need to eat and drink to refill your energy. You might wonder about the best places to eat in Pattaya. Therefore, I have searched for some of the recommended places to eat.

Laong’s Bistro

This is a good place for your dinner and you can enjoy the local cuisine here but this place is more popular with some dishes like avocado fries, ribs and pasta. Laong’s Bistro is not an expensive place so you can eat here without worrying about your budget.

Suttangrak Restaurant

This restaurant serves your home cook style so you will feel like eating home and most of their dishes are seafood.

ImliGril

Delicious but cheap and it is the best place to taste Indian food. This restaurant is preferred by both locals and tourists and its famous dish is Butter Chicken.

Jasmin’s Café

You might want to grab a cup of coffee to start your new day so please visit there. But this café is not just a café; it serves papaya salad, green curry, prawns and burgers.

Steak & co Pattaya

A classic dinner is served for you at Steak & co Pattaya with the best slices of beef and makes sure to order their iconic prawn cocktail.

Best times to Visit Pattaya

Pattaya is one of the best tourist attraction cities in Thailand so normally; Pattaya is full of tourists with all the seasons. Even though, you need to know the best times or the best season to visit for your short trip vacation.

November to February

Most of the weather in Thailand is hot but from November to February, it is a bit cool down season. Normal temperature 31.0’C and it is the best time to visit. This season is also the highest tourist season and everywhere is full of crowded. During these months there are festivals like Christmas and New Year, more of the people are coming for these festivals to join.

March to May

The hottest season of the year can even burn your body but still, people visit Pattaya to sink them in the sea. The weather is super hot with 32.4’C and you should bring lots of sunscreens. In April, Pattaya celebrates the ‘Songkran Festival’ which is Thailand New Year so you should experience this. 

June to October

This rainfall season keeps the city a bit quiet and the temperature is not too high. The good news is the hotel prices become cheaper this season. If you love a quiet and clean beach, you should visit during these months.

How to Get Around in Pattaya

Before you go to Pattaya, you need to travel from your country to Bangkok, Thailand first. So you have to transit in Bangkok to travel to Pattaya. If your flight arrives early in the morning or before noon you can directly go to Pattaya. From Bangkok to Pattaya, there is plenty of transportations.

The cheapest way to go from Bangkok to Pattaya is to take the bus. You can buy the ticket with 108 baht and you have to catch the bus at “Ekkamai Terminal Bus Station” and you can take the BTS sky train to the terminal. Now imagine you are in Pattaya. Although Pattaya is not a big city like Bangkok, it still has different types of transportation to choose to go around.

Baht Bus

Let’s start with the cheapest one. This baht bus is also known as ‘aka songthaew’ is the most popular and convenient transportation in Pattaya and it only costs 10 baht per person, per ride. You can tap this link baht bus routes in Pattaya to see the map of the bus. When you pay for the ride, make sure you have 10 baht because when you pay 20 cash some of the drivers won’t return your change.

Motorcycle Taxi

If you don’t waste your time on traffic, you can call the motorbike taxi in Pattaya. It’s a bit expensive than the baht bus and the price starts at 25 baht for the first 2 kilometers. After every kilometer, the price will increase by 5 baht and 10 baht accordingly. If the ride is more than 15 kilometers, you can negotiate the price with the driver.

Meter Taxi

You can get this taxi everywhere but some of the drivers refuse to use the taximeter and ask the rate directly. So you need to be a good negotiator or you will have to pay a lot.

Travel Booking Resources

If you booked or reserved with the travel agency from Thailand, you can also book the transportation by them or some of the hotels that you chose to stay can arrange for you.

Places to Stay

Pattaya has numerous places to stay including hotels, guest houses or hostels but you need to have a good one that is suitable for you. I have mentioned some of the hotels in the ‘Walking Street’ area. Now let me make a list of some other hotels for you. Here is a list of recommended hotels in Pattaya, you can search their prices on their websites or agoda.com as the prices can be varied according to the date you would like to visit.

10 Best Affordable Hotels

Citin Garden Hotel, Green Park Resort, Zing Resort and Spa, Hotel Vista Pattaya, March Hotel Pattaya, The Pattaya Discovery Beach Hotel Pattaya, Nova Gold Hotel, LK President, Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort and Tara Court Hotel. Some of them are just beside the beach but some are not, so please make sure to check.

Beach Resorts

Pullman Pattaya, Hilton Pattaya, Centara Grand Mirage, Cape Dara Resort, Dusit Thani Pattaya, Movenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya, Royal Cliff Beach Hotel, Ravindra Beach Resort, and InterContinental Pattaya Resort.

Family Hotel

Holiday Inn Pattaya, Hilton Pattaya, Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort, Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya, Veranda Resort Pattaya MGallery by Sofitel, Amari Pattaya, The Monttra Pattaya and some of the hotels that I have mentioned in other lists are also family-friendly hotels.

Luxury Resorts

Royal Wing Suites & Spa and Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa are not only luxury hotels while some of the hotels in the list of the family hotel are also the luxurious hotel. So you just need to make sure to check at their website or check with the tour company that you are going to join. Traveling with Tour Company can give you some discounts especially in Thailand.

How Many Days to Stay

Managing your time is required to make a better plan for what kind of things to do and where to go when you are on vacation. Enjoying the nightlife, the beach and some landmarks in Pattaya is all you must do. You just need to plan what kind of things you want to do on a specific day. You don’t need to stay for very long in Pattaya to do everything on the list, 3 or 4 days is enough.

Let me make a sample of 3 days itinerary for you.

Day 1

  • Visit Sanctuary of Truth
  • Art in Paradise
  • Visit ViewPoint
  • Walking at the beach or swimming
  • Evening Show

Day 2

  • NongNoochTropica Garden (It almost take more than half of the day)
  • Buddha Mountain
  • Floating Market
  • Water Parks
  • Enjoy the nightlife at walking street

Day 3

  • Coral Island (You can relax all day long until evening)

Budgeting

The most always important thing for a trip is to estimate a good budget plan but if you are super rich you don’t need to worry. Even though, most of the travelers must do this budgeting to be safe and satisfy for the trip. Therefore, I would like to help you with the most basic information for your budget to self-financing while you visit in Pattaya.

Hotel: in this guide, there were different types of hotels that were mentioned for you to choose from. To get a cheaper price, you should book them in advance like 5 or 6 months before. I would like to present with the cheapest price in this budget plan. The cheapest hotel estimate price for one person is 654 baht per night ($20.01)

Transportation: if you chose the cheapest one which is a baht bus, it will cost only 10 baht per ride. You only need to take a motorbike or meter taxi when you visit the landmarks and let’s say you need to spend 100 baht for total expense per day. ($3.06)

Activities: When you are in Pattaya and you visit the landmarks and shows. Some of them are free but some are not free to enter. For example, Tiffany shows charge 750 THB ($22.95) and the Sanctuary of Truth charges for 390 THB ($11.93). Therefore, let’s estimate the budget for one day is around 1,500 THB ($45.9).

Meals: you only need to buy food and drink when you enjoy the nightlife at walking street or easting outside of the hotel. Some of the landmarks entrance fees include lunch package like in NongNooch Tropical Garden. The total expense for the meals can be estimated at 500 THB ($15.3) per day.

Total Expense: According to the above budgeting plan, it will cost no more than 3,000 THB ($91.8) per day per person. Isn’t it so great that the cost is not more than 100 USD per day? So now you can plan how many days you are going to stay and what kind of things you are going to do.

Be Safe when you Visit

Pattaya used to be a small fishing village with only locals but now it becomes one of the tourist attractions and there were some crimes in the past because thousand of different people from different backgrounds gathered in this city. Nowadays, there are just some minor cases like pocket-picking and you don’t need to fear for serious cases, you are safe.  You just need to take care of something that you should do and don’t.

  1. Avoid con artist, thieves and beware of pocket pickers. As Pattaya’s nightlife is so massive and you won’t stay at the hotel all the time, you need to take care of it. If someone approached for no reason and talking nonsense, just say ‘No, thank you’ and walk away.
  2. There are areas not to go into the sea. They separate those areas with colored flags. If you go over, it can be a danger to your life.
  3. Don’t do drugs as it is a very strict law in most of the countries as also in Thailand. While you are clubbing at night in Pattaya, the cops can come for the drugs. If you are dealing, you can go behind bars.
  4. Avoid meter taxis that do not use the meter for the charge.  Even if it is the last choice to take it, you need to negotiate the price so hardly. This case happens not only in Pattaya, most of the cities in Thailand that have a taxi happen like this a lot.

These things are the most common tips for you to stay safe in Pattaya. I have also mentioned some of the things in some parts of the article that can happen in Pattaya.

Conclusion

In conclusion, be safe wherever you visit or travel. While you are in Pattaya, you will feel amazing, incredible and exciting. These feelings are good for you but these can make you absent-minded sometimes. In Pattaya, the locals can speak English better than the locals in Bangkok. So you should be aware of some of their attitudes. If you feel strange, just stay cool and stay away from them and you are totally fine.

As there is no such big deal for you that could disturb your lovely trip, you can now pack your belongings, grab your passport and be ready to visit Pattaya. Are you ready for it? Yes? Then, I hope you have a great time in Pattaya and let see you there.