Residing on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand is a sparkling pearl of Thai tourism - Pattaya City.
This tourist paradise is filled with sights and scenery that will captivate you. The top attractions in Pattaya feature Thai history, culture, man-made ingenuity, and nature. Other than these, the people of Pattaya have a natural air of hospitability and the result is a collective welcoming atmosphere. Pattaya may not be as grand as Bangkok, but it is equally astounding.
Pattaya as a tourist destination is so versatile in what it offers to its visitors. The city can literally fulfill the fancies of its tourists. First, you can start exploring the bustle of the Pattaya Floating Market and the energetic nightlife at Walking Street. After, you can immerse yourself into some history in the Sanctuary of Truth, a lesson at culture from the Tiffany Cabaret show, and an appreciation of Thai artistry at the Art in Paradise or the Water Parks. Lastly, for some peace and tranquility, mother nature is willing to help you as you bask in the beauty of the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden or the exhilarating Pattaya Viewpoint. One thing’s for sure, Pattaya does not bore.
The U-Tapao International Airport serves the districts of Pattaya and Rayong and is 40 kilometres away from each city. This means that for around 30 minutes or less than an hour of land travel, you can already reach Pattaya. Therefore, the most practical decision is to book a plane ticket going to the said airport. But, if you decide to explore Bangkok first, you can still travel to Pattaya as Bangkok is 190 kilometres away or just a 2 to 4-hour land travel away. You can board the buses in Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal for about THB 120 (USD 3.63). You can also rent private car services – you just have to negotiate the price.
Pattaya is a hotbed for tourists and as such, it has a number of establishments in the city that cater to their needs, including money exchange services. At the same time, banks and ATMs are common. The city is also well-equipped in accepting cards as payments for products and services. It is still practical and wise to carry cash – preferably a mix of high and low denominations.
Pattaya’s beauty mostly lies in its beaches and to fully appreciate its golden coastlines and sparkling waters, you have to wisely decide when to visit. November to February is the most ideal months to go as these months are where the temperatures are most manageable and not in the extremes. However, do note that it is also the peak season for tourists. You can still visit on other months, you just have to prepare for the scorching skies of the months March to early June, or the constant rainfall of late June to late October.
Transportation means in Pattaya are abundant as the demand for it is high, especially during peak seasons. You can pick from buses, taxis, motorcycles, motorbike taxis, songthaews (customized pick-up trucks for mass transportation), and the ride-hailing app – Grab. The best price among these choices is songthaews, which cost around THB 20 to 30 (USD 0.60 to 1) per head. The most comfortable will be Grab cars, taxis, and buses – however, these might negotiate the fare. And the best intimate adventure experience is via rented motorbikes or a motorbike taxi. You can also enjoy good ol’ walking – fact: it’s extremely healthy, too.
There’s no denying the fact that good food is one of the Thai peoples’ guilty pleasure. So much so, that they innovated the local cuisines of neighbouring districts and regions and adapted it to Western tastes. But, they will never forget what truly made them Thai – a strong flavour and lots of spice and coconut milk. You can see 1 out of these 3 major characteristics in almost every Thai dish. From the fiery barbecues with chilli dips sold in street stalls to the seafood dishes – lobsters, fishes, crabs, and shrimps – swimming in delicious but strong curry sauces, to the humble rice enhanced with coconut milk, the flavours of Pattaya are explosive and multifaceted. But, if you miss home, you can always order homey dishes from your country, albeit with a Thai twist, so be prepared for a pronounced taste. Or you can just drop by Western fast food restaurants in the vicinity such as Burger King.
Thailand is a treasure to tourists, and Pattaya is one of its most coveted gems. You would not want to miss Pattaya’s natural beauty, addictive cuisine, and a unique mixture of life.