The Ultimate Pattaya Travel Guide
(Pattaya, Thailand) – If you have ever been to scenic Bangkok, Thailand, you could have not imagined that this country has more to offer. A hundred miles south-east of the capital city, in the east coast of Thailand, lies the resort city of Pattaya.
Once a fishing village, Pattaya became famous during and after, as some reports claim, the Vietnamese War, when the American soldiers stationed in the country and discovered the hidden gem that is Pattaya. It soon became the soldiers’ top choice for R&R.
Now, Pattaya is a bustling metropolis that many choose over Bangkok, with tourism being one of its largest forces in the economy. The city currently has 2,000 accommodation options as of 2015, with a busy nightlife, shopping streets galore, and a colorful culture.
Best time to visit Pattaya
Pattaya is generally hot all year round, with May, June, September, and October as the rainiest months. There is no specific best month to visit Pattaya, as its main attractions, such as its busy streets and nightlife, are in operation all throughout the year.
However, you might want to time your Thailand trip in time with the Chinese New Year celebration (which usually occurs from January to February; make sure to check the schedule beforehand as this varies yearly), the Pattaya International Music Festival (on March), the fun-filled Wan Lai festival (mid-April), or the picturesque Loi Krathong light festival (usually on November).
How to get there
From Manila to Bangkok. There are many carriers that offer flights to Bangkok (the closest point to Pattaya), but the majority are connecting flights that take at least 10 hours. The launching of AirAsia’s direct flight from Manila to Bangkok on March 2018 serves as a great alternative as a direct flight from Manila to the Thai capital will only take up to 3 hours at most. You can then get another ride to Pattaya for another 2 hours. This option drastically cuts travel time to just 5 hours.
From Bangkok to Pattaya. Bangkok is almost a hundred miles from Pattaya, and a taxi can take you from the airport directly to your chosen accommodation in Pattaya, but it will cost more than buses. Buses are cheaper options. Buses from Bangkok airport depart five times a day and cost just about 100 baht, compared to a taxi, which may cost twice or more.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) Private Transfer to Pattaya
[Book your Transfers Here] – Enjoy a direct private transfer from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) to Pattaya City.
There are many transportation options in Pattaya.
By songthaew. If the Philippines has its jeepneys, Pattaya has its songthaews. Songthaews are pickup trucks that are converted to a public passenger vehicle, akin to the Philippine jeepneys. Songthaew fares cost as low as 10 baht, but the drivers can and will charge you more if you decide to board and travel on an otherwise empty songthaew. Make sure to travel in groups so the fare rate stays the lowest, or you can wait for other passengers.
By bus. There is a local bus line that runs in the city, called Beach Bus. Ticket prices start at 30 baht. The local bus passes by major landmarks in the city, such as Pattaya floating market, Jomtien beach road, and Pattaya city hall.
By taxi. Taxis are also available within Pattaya, but most do not have a meter. As a passenger, be sure to get the fare price cleared out with the driver before accepting the ride. Otherwise, try to get a metered cab as much as possible.
By motorbike taxi. A rather unique mode of transportation in Pattaya is the motorbike taxi. It is exactly what it sounds like—it’s a motorbike but it is essentially a taxi. Drivers accept only one passenger at a time, for 30 to 40 baht a trip.
Things to do in Pattaya
Go on a pilgrimage
Pattaya, like most parts of Thailand, is loaded with sacred places. Some of these include Ban Sukhawadee and Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan. There is also Buddha Hill, one of the highest points in the city. The biggest Buddha statue in Pattaya is located at the peak so it can serve as a hiking trip-turned pilgrimage trip.
You can also visit Khao Chi Chan Buddha. This place has a large Buddha image carved into the wall of a mountain.
Visit the Cartoon Network Amazone theme park
This is the first Cartoon Network waterpark in the world. This is a great place to visit especially if you are coming with the kids. Beside and among the gigantic swimming pools and slides are CN characters like Finn and Jake from Adventure Time, Johnny Bravo, and Ben 10.
Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark Entrance Pass (Book Tickets here) – Experience the world’s first Cartoon Network water park near Pattaya, Thailand. Unleash your inner child in Goop Loop, Banana Spin, and other attractions in Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark.
Pattaya Floating Market Boat Tour
Visit the Pattaya Floating Market and hop on a boat for a short tour. You can also try traditional Thai foods and shop for souvenirs. [Book your Tour Here]
Get an aerial view of Pattaya
Who doesn’t want a good nature adventure? Book your trip in the Flight of the Gibbon, which features a zipline over a forest in Pattaya, and a 2 to 3 hour trip in the forest, on the ground. Fees range from 2,100 to 2,500 baht.
Visit Exotic Parks
If you have never seen a crocodile up close, then you can get your chance in the Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm. This zoo houses not just crocodiles and their magic shows, but also a variety of other exotic animals like albino horses. Meanwhile, there is also the Underwater World, an aquarium that features the marine life in the Gulf of Thailand within its 105-meter long tunnel.
Underwater World Pattaya (Book Online) – A theme park showcasing the rich variety of marine life found around the region.
Take a selfie in the Silverlake Winery
The only vineyard in Eastern Thailand not only offers the best grapevine products. It also offers amazing sceneries that are, well, Instagram-worthy. Other activities here include riding a horse-drawn carriage, bicycle rentals, and a winery-field-trip on a bus.
Try Kickass Water Sports in Pattaya
Since Pattaya is a coastal city, there’s a lot of water sports activities to try and enjoy. Some of the water sports available in Pattaya are diving, snorkeling, sailing, Parasailing, jet skiing, fishing, windsurfing, water skiing, wakeboarding, banana boating, and yachting.
Pattaya Coral Island Parasailing and Snorkeling (Book Online) – Experience a day of parasailing, snorkeling and jet skiing in Coral Island (Ko Lan). Take a ride on a banana boat and soak up the sun on an idyllic beach.
Watch Tiffany Cabaret Show
Considered as the very first and original Transvestite Cabaret Show in Pattaya, the Tiffany Cabaret Show is now in its 40th year. It all started with a one-man show in 1974, Tiffany’s Show Pattaya is now one of the most popular nightlife activities in Pattaya.
Tiffany’s Cabaret Show Ticket (Book your ticket here) – Pattaya’s legendary Tiffany’s Cabaret Show brings some of Thailand’s most beautiful and talented transvestite performers together for a world-class display of evening entertainment.
Where to stay
Ibis Pattaya Hotel
Perfectly located at the heart of Pattaya and just a short walk away from the beach, convenience stores, shopping malls and restaurants. Offers trendy, modern rooms with just enough space. With fast WiFi internet, satellite and cable television and a cozy bed. Read our Ibis Pattaya Hotel Review.
Location: 463/79 Moo 9, Pattaya Second Road, Nhongprue Banglamung, Pattaya, Thailand
Price: Php2,143 via Agoda.com
Woodland Suites and Serviced Residences
Location: 172/3 Moo 5, Soi Naklua 22, Pattaya City, Naklua, Banglamung, North Pattaya, Pattaya
Price: Php5,949 via Agoda.com
The Double Deluxe room of Woodland Suites and Serviced Residences is complete with amenities (kitchenette included), and it also has the perfect view from the terrace. This room also includes complimentary breakfast for two.
VIP Villas Pattaya Palm Oasis Jomtien Beach
Location: 384/177 Moo 12. Palm Oasis Village, Thepprasit Road Soi 17, Nongprue Sub-district, Banglamung District Chonburi Province, Jomtien Beach, Pattaya
Price: Php 9,317 via Agoda.com
This private villa has everything that you need, and it gives off a home-away-from-home feel, only it is fancy, luxurious, and dazzling. To top it all off, each VIP villa has free breakfast included.
Amari Ocean Pattaya
Location: 240 Moo5, Pattaya Beach, Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya
Price: Php 3,749 via Agoda.com
Located 120 meters from the beach is Amari Ocean Pattaya. This mid-range hotel has all the facilities that you can possibly need, like a fitness center, bar, coffee shop, and yes, even a steam room. Just expect this place to be generally busy because of its great location.
Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya
Location: 29 Moo.9, Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya
Price: Php 3,737 via Agoda.com
For a very affordable price, you can get a nice, cozy room with a view of the city, your own balcony, and free breakfast. And, despite the name, Hard Rock Hotel actually has very soft, cozy, and inviting beds, so do not be misled by the name.
Tweet Tweet Nest
Location: 522/10-11 Pattayasoi 8, Pattaya Beach Road Nongprue, Banglamung, Chonburi, Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya
Price: Php 1,354 via Agoda.com
Tweet Tweet Nest hostel is a very affordable alternative for backpackers. Rooms are just large enough for its capacity, the hostel is at the heart of the city, and all rooms have Wi-Fi. The only downside here is that their Superior room does not have a view of Pattaya.
Where to eat
1. Laong’s Bistro. Have your dinner right at Jomtien Beach. Although known primarily for local cuisine, many come here for the avocado fries, ribs, and pasta dishes. Oh, and did I mention that all these are affordable?
2. Suttangrak Restaurant. Filipinos love food. And although we love to try out new things, sometimes, we crave for that old plate of traditional lutong bahay. You will be stoked to know that you can satisfy that craving here at Suttangrak Restaurant, with their vast array of home-cooked-style, mostly seafood dishes.
3. Imli Gril. If you are looking for some really cheap but good eats, come to Imli Grill. This Indian Restaurant is the go-to for many tourists and locals alike. Order their in-demand Butter Chicken and fall in love.
4. Jasmin’s Café. Although it is called a café, Jasmin’s offers more than just your perfect cup of coffee. People come here for the papaya salad, the green curry, and yes, even prawns and burger.
5. Steak & co Pattaya. Everybody wants a good steak once in a while. In Pattaya, there is Steak & Co just for that. Get the best beef slices here, whenever, wherever. Don’t forget to order their signature prawn cocktail.
Where to Shop
1. Central Festival. This is one of the largest malls in the continent. You may need to dedicate at least four hours exploring this unless you have a specific shop you intend to visit here. Be it cosmetics, the latest fashion, or electronics, they have it all here.
2. Tuk.Com. If you are a gadget geek, proceed to Tuk.Com, an electronics mall that sells anything ranging from phones, cameras, software, to electronics and home appliance spare parts! There are also shops that sell clothes here.
3. Made in Thailand Night Bazaar. Since this is a bazaar, haggle is totally accepted and even encouraged here. It’s one of the best stops for cheap souvenirs. Although named a night bazaar, it is open in the morning as well, not just during nighttime.
4. Tea Village. Caffeine lovers will love Tea Village. They sell more than 80 flavors of tea and an assortment of coffee beans as well.
5. Canterbury Tales Café, Guesthouse, and Bookshop. This (English) secondhand bookshop is unique in that it also has a café and rentable rooms for 500 to 800 baht! It is the perfect choice for bookworms. Just don’t forget that you have to leave after a couple of days.
Pattaya Sample Itinerary
04:00 PM Arrival in Manila Airport
06:25 PM to 08:40 PM Manila to Bangkok flight
08:40 PM to 10:40 PM Bangkok to Pattaya bus or taxi ride
10:40 PM to 11:00 PM Arrival in chosen accommodation + dinner
07:00 AM to 08:00 AM Preparation + breakfast
08:00 AM to 11:00 AM Trip to Silverlake Winery
11:00 AM to 02:00 PM Shopping and lunch
02:00 PM to 05:00 PM Tea Village and Canterbury Tales Café, Guesthouse, and Bookshop
05:00 PM to 08:00 PM Shopping/nightlife and dinner
08:00 PM Rest
07:00 AM to 08:00 AM Preparation + Breakfast
08:00 AM to 11:00 AM Flight of the Gibbon zip line and tour
11:00 AM to 12:00 NN Lunch
12:00 NN to 03:00 PM Pilgrimage
03:00 PM to 05:00 PM Return to Bangkok
05:00 PM Arrival in Bangkok airport
06:00 PM onwards Return home
Thailand Unlimited 4G Portable Wi-Fi Rental (Bangkok Airport Pick-Up) (Book Here) – Get your 4G Portable Wi-Fi Rental to access unlimited high-speed internet while traveling in Thailand.
- Most taxis in Pattaya are not metered. Though they can be avoided, in the circumstances that you cannot, make sure to clarify your fare rate before riding the cab. This way you can avoid rip-offs.
- While there are many shops in Pattaya, and the prices can seem like a good deal, be sure to check the authenticity of your purchases. Fake or imitation products will be confiscated at the airport.
- Observe proper clothing when visiting sacred areas. Remember to take your shoes off when entering a temple with a Buddha image.
- Other unstated tourist attractions in Pattaya include Jomtien Beach, a 6-kilometer stretch of white sand; Pattaya Walking Street, which is open at night, has the most number of shops and stalls, and where haggling is the language; and the Pattaya Floating Market.
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