pattaya

About

With around 4 million visitors each year the region has become one of the busiest areas in Thailand and travellers can be sure of a friendly welcome from the locals. Features include the largest beachfront shopping centre in Asia – perfect for those who want to break up the sunbathing with a little retail therapy.

Pattaya Beach

This beach runs parallel to the city centre and stretches from Walking Street in the south to Pattaya Nuea south.  This is one of the most popular and therefore one of the busier beaches, with sun-worshippers only yards away from a variety of restaurants, shops and nightclubs.  Foreign tourists tend to frequent this beach as it is easy to reach and has everything they need for a day out.  

The beach is in the shape of a crescent and stretches for 4 km.  Those who want to escape the bustle of the shops and restaurants nearby should head for the northern end of the beach which tends to stay quieter.   From this beach there are some great trips available to nearby islands or travellers can opt for diving or fishing excursions.

Jomtien Beach

This is located in the southern part of the bay and is separated from Pattay beach by Pratumnak Hill.  This beach is ideal for those who enjoy water sports, with jet-ski and sail boat hire available and parasailing for the adventurous.  There are plenty of hotels, condominiums and bungalow complexes in the area but they have been cleverly spread out so they do not give the impression of overdevelopment. 

The beach can be busy at weekends as many people take day trips there from other parts of the country, although at other times it is fairly peaceful.  The Thai travellers prefer this area as it is not as crowded as the area around Pattaya beach.  It is around 2 km from Pattaya Beach and measures around 6 km in length.   In addition, there is plenty to see and do in the narrow lanes off the beach.  The southern end of the beach is the quietest and is close to the marina.

Naklua

Those who want to venture a little further away in search of peace and quiet can head for Naklua.

This is an area just outside the city which begins at the northern tip of Pattaya Second Road.  This area has more of a village feel to it and many of the older buildings are still there.  It is characterised by narrow streets, temples and a fishing pier, although there has been some modern development too. 

The beaches here are smaller and offer more privacy for those who do not like crowds.  This is perfect for those who have families who want time away from the city to enjoy a picnic or just to relax.  

Wong Amat is one option in this area and has a beach which stretches for around 3 km.  There are no water sports here so swimming is safe and visitors are able to hire deck chairs and relax.  Another bonus is that the beach is free of vendors attempting to sell souvenirs and snacks to the tourists.

Activities and Things to Do

Not everyone wants to stay close to the beach all day and the good news is that there are plenty of other options in Pattaya.  Visiting some of the offshore islands is a good idea.  These include Ko Sak and Ko Larn. 

These can be reached quickly on one of the speedboat trips or the ferries are available for a more leisurely journey.  Journeys below the water are also available and the tourist submarine will be able to take visitors closer to the marine life without anybody getting wet!

Sporting enthusiasts might prefer a round of golf and in the surrounding areas of the city there are no less than 21 courses.  For families there is the Sri Racha Zoo which has a number of shows each day involving the animals, while the Elephant Village is the ideal place to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

For a more spiritual attraction there is the Sanctuary of Truth.  This was constructed early in the 1980s and is aimed at making visitors more aware of life, responsibility and other spiritual issues.   

Alternatively there are plenty of other temples in the region which welcome visitors including the Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan, where visitors can see a large Chedi which contains relics of Buddha.