Located 150 km southeast of Bangkok and facing a wide-bay with a long beautiful beach. It attracts many foreign travelers with its wide range of recreation, entertainment, sightseeing and excitement.
See below on my top-pick attractions and tips on how to get around in Pattaya city.
Flying from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at 3 p.m. and passing through the immigration checkpoint, the first thing I did was go to Truemove to purchase a 4G Tourist SIM Card. Bought the package which valid for 10 days and cost 450 baht, since I will be in Thailand for 9 days. Those friendly staff will help to activate the card and get me ready to go on my holiday.
Head down to “Pattaya- Hua Hin” counter operated by Roong Reuang Coach Co. at Level 1, Gate Number 8 and buy the bus ticket to Pattaya. It costs 120 baht and the journey takes one and the half hour to reach. I manage to get the 4 p.m. ticket, so have 1 hour time to wander around the airport.
There are five stops that the bus can drop you off, so do ask the ticketing officer or the bus driver which place is the most convenient to get to your accommodation. My stop was Central Pattaya Intersection and later hop on a motorbike taxi to get to my hotel.
After check-in at my motel, I just wander around the neighborhood and saw many bars, pubs and massage centers but hardly have restaurants around. So, I decided to have dinner at the street stores along Beach Road and call off the day after a long travel journey.
Take a cab up north to explore the magnificent Sanctuary of Truth that was built with wooden carve sculpture. The entry fee is 500 baht per person and do not mistaken it as a temple, instead it is a museum. Those good quality woods used are imported from Myanmar and each piece was crafted individually within six to eighteen months, strong enough to withstand the wind, sunshine and terminates bite.
I joined a guided tour as he takes the group through the complex and explains its art, culture and the reflection of Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient of Knowledge and Eastern Philosophy. Also get to understand the Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of Living, Life Relationship with the Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia.
Going back by cab again and baht bus to South Pattaya, I head to Bali Hai Pier and take a ferry (30 baht) to Ko Larn. The journey takes about 45 minutes, 8 km away from Pattaya. It has several white sandy beaches and there are plenty of activities to do on the island. Me, just relax on the beautiful beach, have lunch, sunbathing and enjoy looking at the ocean view.
You can roam around the island by riding on a motorcycle taxi with a fixed price shown to different beaches, motorbike hire price and the ferry timetables from Ta Waen Pier and Tien Pier back to Pattaya. There are cafes and food stalls around the beach: Thai, Asian and Western.
After spending almost 3 hours on the island, it is time to return back to Pattaya. Now taking the ferry from Tien Pier instead. Upon arriving at the jetty, it was too crowded and saw many Chinese tourists that come in big groups.
Hop on the baht bus from Walking Street to Pattaya Night Bazaar to shop for some souvenirs for friends. Getting off at Central Festival Pattaya Beach Mall and the market is just right across the street. Also, have dinner at the Mathilda Restaurant, a few blocks away on the same row, served Thai and Western food and price is reasonable.
This indoor night bazaar has around 100 stalls that sell souvenirs, handicrafts, toys, clothing, women beauty and make-ups, shoes and bags. So, spare some time to hang around and scroll through the stalls.
Getting to the top of Pattaya Bay and enjoy the best view of the city, its bay and Bali Hai Pier. The weather is sunny and got to take many good snapshots. This small hill was known as Khao Phra Bat has a monument of Krommaluang Chumphon, also called “Father of the Royal Thai Navy” due to his great contribution to the development of Thai Navy.
Take 20 minutes walk downhill from the viewpoint and through Queen Sirikit Park, about 250 meters to reach Wat Phra Yai. There lies a 18-meter tall Big Buddha which is the largest statue in the region and has other smaller statues surrounding it. Not only it attracts tourists, but many locals do come here to pray at the temple.
While going up to the temple, you will notice the golden dragons at the entire handrails and seven-headed mystical snakes called Nagas at the foot of the stairs as they emerge from the dragon’s mouth.
Take a cab to Pattaya Floating Market, situated on Sukhumvit Road. The place brought together the cultures, local traditions, food and the way of life from four regions of Thailand. This market is so huge that has over 100 shops, sell souvenirs, arts, wines, handicrafts, and cuisines from different regions as well as an entertainment show.
Surprisingly, I need to pay 200 baht just for the entrance fee (800 baht with a rowing boat ride and 900 baht with amphibious/ rowing boat ride). I have plenty of free time in the afternoon, so it is worth visiting here for 3 hours.
Jomtien Beach is my favorite place to chill and soak up the sun. With the length of 6 km long, there is plenty of space for everyone and make it less crowded to enjoy their own outdoor activities: swimming, parasailing, and jet skiing. (Get there by baht bus: Naklua Jomtien)
While relaxing on the beach, it is funny to see people approaching and sell all sorts of stuff: sunglasses, toys, candy, clothes, dried fruits and even ready-to-cook big SQUIDS!
Welcome to the Sin City. This is Walking Street, located in South Pattaya, Party-goers will crawl into the nightclubs, pubs and entertainment outlets to enjoy the night out. Some also come here to look for a date or hot chick (Don’t get too TEMPTED!!). Different outlets play different type of music to suit the taste of music.
Baht bus: South Pattaya Naklua will pass through here and is easy to notice with its big sign.
Overall Rating: 4.6
- Affordability (4.0): Meals are still considered not too expensive, despite the place is a popular tourist destination. Entrance and transportation fees to some attractions are too high.
- Convenience (4.0): You will need to take a cab or baht bus with extra cost to some attractions. Baht bus only goes around the city and Jomtien Beach
- Friendliness: (5.0): The locals are very helpful when asking directions from them, although they do not speak much English.
- Cleanliness (5.0): The streets, shopping malls, markets and beaches are quite clean.
- Safety (5.0): The streets are safe to walk. My motel is located in a small alley on Beach Road. It is also safe to walk back during the night.
- Coach buses from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya depart hourly from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and drop off passengers at North, Central and South Pattaya, Thep Prasit Intersection and Thapphraya Office.
- The cheapest way to get around the city is by Baht bus, which cost 10-20 baht. Baht bus with ‘South Pattaya Naklua’ goes along North to South Pattaya and another with ‘Naklua Jomtien’ goes along South Pattaya to Jomtien Beach.
- If you ask the baht bus driver to take you anywhere beyond the normal routes, they will charge higher but try to negotiate on the fare. Those tourist spots include Sanctuary of Truth, Khao Phra Tamnak and Pattaya Floating Market.
- Many attractions will have an entrance fee and some are quite expensive. So you might want to bring extra cash just in case.