Pattaya is one of Asia’s premier beach resorts located on the Gulf of Thailand about 1½ hours drive from Bangkok airport.
Pattaya offers something to everyone’s taste from water activities like water skiing, parasailing, jet ski, scuba diving and wind surfing to playing golf, amusement parks or riding an elephant. For those who enjoy the nightlife Pattaya has it all; restaurants, bars, discothèques, cabarets to name just a few.
Pattaya was a small fishing village until 1961, when the first Americans who fought in the Vietnam war arrived there to relax. Today Pattaya is a major beach resort attracting millions of visitors per year.
Two long beaches
Pattaya is divided into two long beaches. Pattaya beach located adjacent to the center of town and Jomtien beach to the south, which is a more relaxed place and suitable for families.
Although Pattaya is famous for its nightlife with an enormous number of beer bars, discothèques and massage parlors there are plenty of other activities for everybody including a wide array of water sports, golf, museums, amusement parks, a large botanical garden, shopping, Thai cooking classes and more.
A number of islands can be visited on a day trip from Pattaya by speed boat or ferry. Koh Larn or Coral Island has a number of popular beaches where besides snorkeling and scuba diving activities as jet skiing, banana boat and parasailing can be enjoyed.
A little North of Pattaya is Koh Si Chang, a small island with a slow pace of life and a relaxed atmosphere. A haven of tranquility near Pattaya, Koh Si Chang boats several small beaches, beautiful sunsets, good seafood, temples and historical sites.
Theme parks in Pattaya
Among the theme parks in Pattaya is the Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm, where a very large number of crocodiles can be seen, as well as a number of large landscaped gardens and a zoo.
Other theme parks include Mini Siam, where miniature replicas of famous sites from Thailand and all over the world can be seen, and the Three Kingdoms theme park, an attractive place full of Sino Thai architectural style which revolves around the Chinese epic “Romance of the Three Kings”.
Pattaya houses three water parks. Pattaya Water & Fun Park is located right on the beach just South of town.
Another popular place is Underwater World, a large aquarium where visitors can see marine life from the Gulf of Thailand. Walking through a 105 meter long underwater tunnel, you will be able to see sharks, stingrays, turtles, angel fish and many other species of sea fish.
Other places worth a visit are the Sanctuary of Truth right on the beach of North Pattaya, Big Buddha on Pratamnak Hill, the largest botanical gardens of South East Asia Nong Nooch, the enormous Buddha image cut out of Buddha Mountain and Pattaya Sheep Farm.
Ladyboys cabaret shows
Pattaya is well known for its ladyboys cabaret shows, Alcazar and Tiffany’s both offer energetic musical theatre shows. Different kinds of Thai massage can be had all over town in Pattaya.
Golf and other sports
There are more than 20 golf courses in the Pattaya area, some of which are designed by famous golf players, like the Laem Chabang golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus and Great Lakes by Nick Faldo.
Lots of other sports can be played in Pattaya. Kiteboarding, windsurfing, go-kart racing, bungee jump, bowling, horseback riding, waters skiing, wake boarding, scuba diving to name just a few. If you like to view the traditional Thai boxing sport of Muay Thai, you can see fights at numerous locations.