If a trip to Pattaya is in your future and you aren’t quite sure what to expect, no worries. Popping your proverbial “Pattaya cherry” doesn’t have to be something completely new and unexpected (although sometimes that can be fun too).
Navigating The City
Though our beautiful city by the beach is quite large, it doesn’t have to be confusing at all. It is almost impossible to get lost in Pattaya (though it happens from time to time). The worst thing that you can possibly do is forget the name of your hotel while you are here. It is a good practice to snatch up a hotel business card to throw in your wallet. This makes getting home drunk on the back of a taxi much easier. Just show them the card and they’ll whisk you away to the safety of your room.
There is essentially a grid of main roads that lay across Pattaya with most of the tourist areas being located near the beach. Pattaya Beach Rd., Second Rd., Third Rd., and Sukhumvit all run parallel with the beach. Typically, if you get to Sukhumvit Rd. and you aren’t going anywhere, in particular, you are leaving the tourist zone and should turn around.
The main roads that run from the beach to Sukhumvit Rd. are South Pattaya Rd. (also known as Pattaya Tai), Pattaya Central Rd. (also known as Pattaya Klang) and North Pattaya Rd. (also known as Pattaya Nua). South Pattaya Rd. and Pattaya Central Rd. will intersect with the first roads that we mentioned making it very easy to navigate, even on foot.
Time On The Beach
Pattaya is a seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand. It makes sense that many people would travel here to go sit at the beach and drink cocktails. Luckily enough for you, you can do just that. Pattaya beaches typically have vendors that offer you the ability to rent a chair and umbrella and relax while you sip items off of their drinks menu.
The only day that the service is not available each week is Wednesday. This rule is in an effort to make sure that the beach vendors understand that they do not own the beach. If you are planning on taking to the beach with just a blanket or towel, it is recommended that you sit away from the beach vendors if they have their chairs setup. Some of them can become territorial of their beach spot and people sitting on towels doesn’t benefit them financially.
Visitors to the city’s beaches will also find a whole list of water activities available to them from parasailing (getting dragged behind a boat while being strapped to a parachute) to jet ski rides and rentals and even fun out on the “banana boat” that the jet ski tows.
If you are on the beach you are never far from plenty of options for snacks and beverages. The main roads that run along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches are littered with businesses and restaurants of every flavour imaginable.
In Pattaya, you can literally find every style of accommodation from mansions to “Harry Potter Style” under the stairs rooms, it really is completely up to your personal preference. While some people will tell you that it is better to book in advance at a big flashy resort, others stay in local guesthouses and use the money they saved on their room for more knockdown drag-out fun in the city of sin.
It is important to note that short-term rentals (less than 30 days) are not legal for any establishment without a hotel license. Unfortunately, this makes it harder for the local mom and pop style guesthouses to operate. Property owners who rent their properties out from Airbnb and other rental sites on a nightly or weekly basis can be prosecuted for not adhering to Thai law.
If you are going to book a room online, make sure that the establishment you choose is a licensed hotel for any stays that are less than 30 days just to avoid getting caught up in any confusing rental situations.
Pattaya has a wide variety of transportation options available to you. Motobike taxis can get you anywhere you want to go within the city for the most part, or if you want to go cheaper you could always hop on the baht bus for 10 baht. For things that are farther away and not practical to take a motorcycle taxi, you can either hire one of the baht buses in town (will be more than 10 baht for special destinations), or there are plenty of minivans and yellow cabs around that you can hail.
If taxis aren’t your thing or are too pricey and you are planning on taking a trip outside of Pattaya to another city or province, Pattaya has two bus stations that can take you to different connection points and destinations throughout Thailand for very reasonable prices per-person.
Bars As Far As The Eye Can See
When you get into the central part of Pattaya, it is hard NOT to see bars everywhere you look. Drinking happens to be a favourite pastime of those that visit the city regularly. The amount of bars makes it difficult to choose a favourite at first but by the end of your trip, you’ll have a normal path mapped out in your head.
There is no shortage of booze in Pattaya if getting blurry drunk is your idea of fun, say no more. You will absolutely LOVE Pattaya City.
Tasty Treats To Tantalize The Tastebuds
If there is one thing that Thailand has in abundance, it is food. Street vendors carrying all sorts of sweet and savoury treats and restaurants may be the only venues that outnumber the bars.
You will, of course, hear horror stories from some people about how the street food will give you food poisoning or how it is unsanitary. That’s not always the case, however. If you look around at the street vendors selling food and they have a giant circle of Thais around them ordering food, chances are, it is a pretty safe bet for food. On the other hand, if you have been here for a couple of days and notice that there are certain vendors that never have anyone buying food, that is a sign to find someone a little more reputable.
Thailand has a large variety of fruits to try that you may have never seen or heard of before. Durian is a local favourite that many westerners try for fun but just can’t get on board with as far as the taste goes. Many people who try the fruit say that it has sweet garlic and onion mustiness with an aftertaste like gunpowder, to others it is the most delicious thing in the world. Many hotels and establishments in Pattaya have actually banned the durian thanks to its overwhelming aroma when opened.
No matter what kind of food you are into, you can find it in Pattaya. If you are a health food freak, they have more than enough fruits and vegetables to go around. If you are like me and you only eat meat, there is plenty of that to be had as well. Nobody will starve to death in Pattaya, all you have to do is stand still and the food will come to you.
If you aren’t a frequent traveller, or if Pattaya will be your first international vacation destination, it can be quite an eye-opener when you first arrive in the Land of Smiles. Thais are very welcoming and hospitable people. It is ingrained within their culture to be respectful of everyone.
When greeting a Thai or even just walking around different establishments in Thailand you are sure to be greeted by many people in the same customary way. This will generally involve a “wai” (or prayer hands with a bowed or nodded hand) performed while speaking the traditional Thai greeting. It is not unusual to be greeted like this 10-15 times per day. If you come from a country where people don’t even look at each other anymore, this can be quite a shock.
The majority of Thais are Buddhist and practice a life of peace. Like every other country, there are bad apples in the bunch that tend to give the others a bad name but for the most part, Thais would rather befriend you than befoul you.
The History and Culture
Thais are very proud people with a very old history. Travellers planning to visit the kingdom (Yes, we have a King) should do their research on what is and is not appropriate behaviour with regards to posting on social media or speaking about the Thai royal family as there are many laws that surround the subject.
People come from all over the place to see the Thai culture and Buddhist temples and sites. If you happen to be coming to visit the temples, it is also wise to find out the proper way to conduct yourself and what you should wear on your visit. Read our article good things to know before visiting a Buddhist temple for more information.
Thailand women are among the most beautiful women in the world. If you happen to be having relationship problems back home or you just can’t seem to find anyone interested in you, get on the plane! They say there is plenty of fish in the sea but what they meant to say was there is plenty of fish in the Gulf of Thailand, in a little city called Pattaya.
Visitors won’t only find Thai women in Pattaya though. Pattaya is a prime destination for Russian gogo dancers as well as beautiful women from many other countries that have come to call Pattaya home.
Chances are if you are having women problems back home, all of your problems can be solved with a little $$ and a trip to Pattaya. A little warning up-up front, however: Pattaya can be extremely addicting. It is not unusual to get to Pattaya and feel a strange and overwhelming need to plan your next trip before you have even finished the one you are currently on.
Pattaya is the city of dreams for many. Foodies, historical and cultural travellers, people finding love, people who just want to escape from the craziness of the real world for a little while, or even for those of you just looking to start a new life living and working abroad.
When you visit you either love it, or you absolutely despise it. There are so many activities and things to do that, without focus, you will become caught up in the madness and end up not accomplishing anything on your to-do list.
Listing out everything that there is to do in Pattaya would require a tremendous amount of time and effort. There are ferry boats to island getaways, drunken nights in the bar, temples, zoos, gardens, watersports, relaxation and warmth (many people come here to escape the harsh winters back home) year-round and women that will make you do a double-take. What more could you ask for?