Thais love their beaches and love tourists. And Pattaya is a rocking place! With beaches, watersports, sightseeing, shopping, culture and history, and a raucous and dangerous nightlife, Pattaya has it all. It would be an understatement to say that Pattaya is popular!
People from almost corner of the world visit Pattaya. Influx of tourists from countries such as Australia, Canada, Sweden, U.S., and U.K. ensure that you don’t feel out of place in this beach resort.
When is the season?
The best time to visit Pattaya is from December to end of April. Though you’ll find the place full of tourists through out the year, its best avoided during May to October as this is the monsoon season, and there will be very little to do on the beaches anyways.
Air travel to Pattaya from Bangkok is not recommended. The U-Tapao Air Force Base is the closest airport to Pattaya and serves as a domestic airport. It’s nearly an hour's drive from the airport to Pattaya. It’s advisable to share a vehicle as the motorways are good and is less than two hours drive. Cost $27.5 onwards per person.
Where is the nightlife?
Pattaya’s nightlife is not just rocking but also very naughty. Known for its cabaret revues that feature kathoeys (drags/male-to female transsexuals), you can see them dance in large numbers and in elaborate costumes at Alcazar and Tiffany’s. The Boyztown, Sunni Plaza and Jomtien Complex areas house many gay nightclubs, cabarets, beer bars and go-go clubs. Chivas Palace (entry 300 baht), Lucifer, Marine Disco etc are discotheques in main Pattaya.
Though Pattaya is full of beer bars that offer all foreign beer brands such as Heineken, Guinness, Singha, and Kloster, Tiger beers have become more popular and most bars stock them. But the local brew, called the “Elephant Beer” or Beer Chang, is extremely strong and must be sipped slowly.
Safety for women
Thailand is known for rampant prostitution. Pattaya is no different. Girls should not venture out with strangers, and should travel or party in groups with known people.
What to eat?
Get a taste of authentic Thai cuisine, and choicest seafood at hotel buffets and several specialty restaurants. Steakhouses, coffeeshops and fast food joints also provide attractive alternatives.
Gourmets can find satisfaction dining at the numerous restaurants offering Swiss, German, Italian, English, Scandinavian, Indian, Arabic, Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean food and home cuisine.
How is the beach?
Known for its beaches, Pattaya has many attractive but overcrowded stretches of sand along clear blue waters. Pattaya Beach situated along the central city, is one such beach but an over-abundance of jet-skis and speedboats has contributed to the pollution of the water along Pattaya Beach. Other beach worth visiting is the Jomtien Beach. Separated from mainland Pattaya by Buddha Hill, it is a popular destination for family holidaymakers and watersports enthusiasts. Dongtan beach, in Jomtien are, is known as the gay beach, and is busy every day of the year. Ko Lan or the Coral island is also a popular beach destination.