Planning to go to Pattaya for holidays? Well, here’s all you need to know about a holiday in Pattaya! I hope you’re aware of the fact that holidays in Pattaya definitely cannot be described as a tropical paradise vacation.
Why you say! It’s Thailand! Thailand is fabulous! Look at all these postcards, or at the photos online!
Well, it’s Thailand, of course. Probably Krabi, or Koh Phi Phi or even Koh Samui but definitely not Pattaya.
Wanna know how «tropical» is Pattaya?
Well, first of all, Pattaya is a huge city spreading along the length of the coastal area with traffic jams, pollution and population of more than 100 000 registered citizens (and as much non-registered probably). It’s only 2 hours away from Bangkok (by car or bus, whichever you prefer).
In order to get there from Bangkok, just take a bus (stand 8) from the airport (115 baht or 3$) or from any of 3 bus terminals in Bangkok (Eastern, Southern and Northern) (also around 107-115 baht).
Actually, it’s not recommended to swim anywhere in Pattaya, so if you want to swim, it’s better to take a ferry (or speedboat) and head to Koh Lan island nearby (supposedly, the water is a bit cleaner there). If you’re considering a holiday in Pattaya to be your tropical vacations, I would recommend you to go to Phuket instead.
All the fun & nightlife in Pattaya are located in the Walking Street or nearby zones of South Pattaya, so in case you want to be in the middle of the action, you should there, otherwise you’ll need to take taxis or tuk-tuks all the time (which might not even be able to bring you wherever you want because of traffic and crowds).
Choosing a hotel for your holiday in Pattaya
For short holiday in Pattaya, it makes sense to stay really close to Walking street. However, this area is so noisy that almost all the hotel reviews contain reclamations about unbearable noise coming from Walking street which didn’t let the guests sleep at night.
After probably a day of intensive searching, we were finally able to find a hotel close to walking street and pier (in order to get to the island), and at the same nice and quiet. It’s called Siam Bayshore Resort, it’s not precisely the cheapest hotel there is but it’s totally worth its price. The location is perfect : you leave the hotel lobby and exit right to the Walking street (it’s the quietest part), but if you walk 4 minutes to the right, you’ll get to the heart of the nightlife.
The hotel has a nice-looking swimming pool and spacious rooms. I even wished we would stay there longer.
However, if you’re staying for longer, it makes sense to look for a hotel outside the main party area, so maybe Cozy Beach, Jomtien Beach or Pattaya Central/North will suit your needs. You can input the desired district in the search field or just choose one of the existing districts here.
Things to do in Pattaya
What can you do in Pattaya? First of all, as mentioned before, you can go swimming to Koh Lan. It’s probably not the best island there is in the world, but it’s worth visiting at least once. Besides, the ferry price is just 30 baht (around 1 dollar).
You can choose one of the plenty activities featured on TripAdvisor like Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Big Buddha, Sanctuary of Truth (Prasad Sut Ja-Tum), It’s possible to go there on your own, but if you want everything to happen without hassle, you can buy a tour in your hotel, in some travel agencies on the streets of Pattaya or even online.
Also, you can ride elephants in Pattaya.
Or visit some night shows.
Of course, you can also to Bangkok using your holiday in Pattaya, but I would recommend you to either buy a 1-day bus tour to Bangkok or if you’re going on your own, to go at least for 2 days (otherwise, you probably won’t be able to see anything, as Bangkok is a huge city with lots of traffic and you have a great chance to get stuck in traffic for 1-2 hours! Sometimes these 2 hours can be really crucial if you’re going for just 1 day.
Another option for adventure lovers would be going to Cambodia as part of an organized tour or on your own. We went to Siem Reap on our own, but it’s really tiring and you need at least 2-3 days (or even 4!) because the one-way journey to Cambodia takes up to 8-9 hours.
Food in Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya has a lot of street food: and it’s mostly very tasty and cheap. You can have some very fresh pad thai for 40 baht (just a bit more than 1 US dollar) and some meat skewers for just 10 baht! We tried almost everything and didn’t even get sick.
The best all-day breakfasts during our holiday in Pattaya we found in the cafe called Anytime cafe. They weren’t very cheap : around 9 US dollars (300 baht) but they were totally worth their price!
Pattaya is full of Russian tourists and there are tons of Russian karaoke bars and restaurants (well, that way you can only discover not only Thai food but also Russian food).
The food stalls and food market are located on the Walking street and the sellers start appearing around 5pm – that’s when the city slowly awakens and transforms into the nightlife capital.
Tip: Seafood in Pattaya is awesome! Try the Red King Lobster in one of the places on Walking Street. Even though it’s not so cheap (2000 baht for a kg and one Lobster weights around 1 kg), it’s worth trying!
Learn more about Thai food:
Nightlife during your holiday in Pattaya, Thailand
Finally, at night, you can go out to plenty of bars, lounges, disco-bars and clubs.
I would describe Pattaya as the city of sin: at night, it changes a lot. I would say, that it’s really unrecognizable. In front of every cafe/bar/club, there are promotion girls who totally look like prostitutes (maybe they are prostitutes, who knows). Every other 5 meters there’s some person aggressively offering to watch a live porn show. The more conservatively dressed club promoters are actively trying to attract new customers by saying that their clubs are just one of their kind. We went to a couple of clubs, and out of all of them, the best was the Insomnia club. It’s a great place with a bar downstairs and a club upstairs: there is no entrance fee and the prices for alcohol were more or less fine.
Well, to summarize, I can say that Pattaya is not the place for relaxing holidays: if you’re seeking relaxation, better head to Koh Samui or Phuket. But Pattaya is cool in its own way: it’s easy to get there and there are many awesome places nearby! Moreover, in Pattaya, you definitely won’t get bored, as there are plenty of available activities.
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