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Pattaya

PATTAYA
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Surrounded by scenic islands and powdery beaches Pattaya is essentially the heart of your Thai holiday trip. The entire destination is covered in patches of rain forest and sublime coastlines as the amusement parks and the themed gardens will entice you to explore more. The beauty of this place cannot be expressed in words as you will witness how the man-made structures and the natural landscapes combine together to give you the ultimate holiday sensation. With an abundance of beaches and national parks this place will certainly overwhelm your senses whilst the amusement parks and other family destinations will let you have a fascinating time.

Attractions in Pattaya

From ornate gardens to underwater sea aquariums, from sandy beaches to exotic islands, the major attractions of Pattaya will never seize to amuse you.

Big Buddha

Each of the Thai destinations have their own large statue of Lord Buddha and Pattaya's 18 meter tall golden statue is certainly a place to visit. Locally known as the Wat Phra Yai this beautiful sculpture is located at the top of the Pratamnak Hills. The entire hill is covered in dense forest and there are staircases leading to the statue. The railing of the staircase is carved into golden dragons adding to the overall appeal of the place. The view from the top of the hill is simply mind-blowing as you can see the forest from the distance. Many locals gather here on a regular basis to pay their homage. However, if you find it tedious to trek up the hill you can always hire a taxi which will take you there.

Ramayana Water Park

If you think that diving in the sea is a bit risky for you then you always have the Ramayana Water Park. This water themed park is adored by the local kids and if you are traveling with your family then you are bound to like it. There are as many as 21 different water rides available in this park and it will really freshen your mood up. There is a chilling free fall if you dare and for the less adventurous ones there are these spiral slides which leads to the huge pool of water. It is all fun and frolic in this park and if you are traveling to Pattaya during the hot and humid summer months then you should absolutely have a peek. There are also rides through green mazes and charming caves which will make your trip worthwhile.

Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm

Thailand has many beautiful gardens all around in every destination and Pattaya's Crocodile Farm and Million Years Stone Park are something special. With ornate flowers grabbing your attention you will also see some lovely bonsai plants increasing the overall beauty and appeal of this lovely little garden. There are fake boulders and water running around them, arranged in a perfect manner which will give you the feel as if it is a real jungle. There are plenty of crocodiles present in the farm for you to witness along with many other reptiles and animals including the might water monitor lizard and even some monkeys. You can enjoy the daily crocodile show that happens there in the park as it is marvelous to see how the performers interact with the animals.

Sriracha Tiger Zoo

Pattaya has a very close connection with animals and the Sriracha Tiger Zoo is a special place where you can find many kinds of animals in full display. More than a zoo this is a place where you can see some animals in action. The zoo got its name from the large number of tiger collection as you can also enjoy a mind-blowing tiger based shows in this park. Apart from tigers the place also have other animals like kangaroos, crocodiles, camels, ostriches, and also some colorful exotic birds. Nothing can take your minds out of things like a funny pig racing show. Then you have the crocodile egg hatching fest in months between May and August. Apart from that there are also many other kinds of animal shows happening round the year.

Mini Siam

For people who adores the miniature architectures from around the world this place is a real treat. Mini Siam offers a chance for the tourists to view all the famous international destinations in their small miniature forms and each of the models is accurate and designed to perfection. You can see Bangkok's Victory Museum in its smaller version and if you are traveling to Pattaya from Bangkok you can actually check how accurate and detailed the model is. Apart from that there is also the model of Wat Arun of Thailand along with other models of international destinations like Sydney Opera House, the L'Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Statue of Liberty, and also a beautiful replica of the Tower Bridge of London.

When To Reach

The best time to visit Pattaya is between November and February. The weather remains relatively cooler and the humidity is less. More importantly it does not rain. Pattaya enjoys a tropical climate and being so close to the sea it does not experience the extreme temperatures. The months betweem March and May also attract a fair number of tourists, mostly due to all the festivals going on around the Chonburi province. However, the weather remains a bit sticky and the temperature is on the higher side. That is why people tend to enjoy mostly during the evening. June to October is not very hot but the land experiences a lot of rainfall and that is why the beaches are mostly empty.

Seasonality

High Season: The cooler months between November and February are the peak season for traveling to Pattaya as the temperature remains around the 20 degree Celsius mark and there is no rainfall.


Low Season: The months between June and October are treated as the lowest season as the area experiences heavy rainfall though the temperature is not that high.


Shoulder Season: The months between March and May is regarded as the shoulder season as even though the temperature crosses 33 degree Celsius mark, tourists come here to enjoy the festivals.

How To Reach

There are many connecting flights which will take you to Pattaya via Bangkok or Koh Samui or Phuket. Some of the flights also connects India and Pattaya via Kuala Lumpur. Pattaya has an international airport and that is why you can directly land in that destination without commuting via bus or train. However, if you are planning on reaching Pattaya after completing your trip at Bangkok then you can commute via road as well. Your tour operator will help you design the perfect trip plan which will help you reach Pattaya in the most comfortable manner. Airlines like Emirates, Bangkok Airways, Thai AirAsia, AirAsia, and THAI are the few flights which have connecting flights to Pattaya from India.

Why should you go?

Located in the Chonburi province of Thailand, the beach destination of Pattaya is known as the party capital of the country. Which was once a rather calm and peaceful fishing village is now turned into a destination known for its wild beach parties and exuberant night-life. Pattaya, as a destination, has a little bit of everything. Starting from lovely beaches to quaint little islands, from massive shopping malls to the art museums to Buddhist shrines, from botanical gardens to magnificent animal reserves and zoos, you will not run out of options once you reach Pattaya. Pattaya also has a very multi-cultural vibe with a lot of expats staying here for many years now. With music in the air and fantastic eateries, Pattaya is one of the most entertaining destinations of Thailand.
10 Reasons to visit Pattaya -
  • Pattaya is regarded as the party capital of Thailand with a very vibrant and wild night-life.
  • Pattaya has very fascinating beaches which offers plenty of opportunities for the tourists to enjoy the water.
  • Pattaya is known for its multi-cultural environment and you can meet a lot of foreigners here in Pattaya.
  • Pattaya is known for its famous Indian restaurants along with other budget-friendly eateries.
  • Pattaya's floating markets are indeed a site to visit because of its appeal and uniqueness.
  • Pattaya is one of the most affordable destinations in entire Thailand making it the ultimate favorite of all the Indian tourists.
  • Pattaya offers a very varied range of food alternatives and that is why you will never run short of options.
  • Pattaya is the home of the beautiful Sanctuary of Truth which has beautiful wooden architectures and depicts many tales of Buddhist mythologies.
  • Pattaya has a fascinating botanical garden and a whole lot of animal reserves and zoos. From tigers to elephants, kangaroos to emus, you will witness many kinds of animals here.
  • Pattaya also houses the family-friendly Tiffany cabaret show along with many popular musical events.

Getting Around

It is quite odd that for a lively and happening city like Pattaya to have such a limited transportation option. The main modes of commute are songtheaws and few local buses whilst the taxis are a bit more expensive. However, staying in a quality hotel often adds to the advantage as they will help you arrange for the taxis which might take you to the different destinations nearby. If you are really free-spirited and confident you can also hire some songtheaws and go from one place to another. You can visit the different nearby islands in the various ferries available in Pattaya.

Songtheaws

These local open-air buses are very popular in Thailand and in Pattaya they are known as "Baht Buses". They are easily available all over the Chonburi Province and you will have no problem commuting from one end of the beach to the other in these little beauties. The most important part of songtheaws are that they are affordable and they are regular.

Buses

Some local buses are available in and around Pattaya but their routes often change making it somewhat impossible for the tourists to keep track of the timing. Locals however, are dependent on the buses. But as you will see that more number of locals prefer the songtheaws over the normal buses.

Taxi

Taxis are a life-savior for the tourists especially when they arrive at the airport or aiming at going to any particular destination. There are no meters in the taxi and so you need to decide the fare in advance. Check with your tour operators about the desired rates of taxi fare before booking your cab. Some of the taxi drivers might try to cheat you by charging more.

Ferries and Boats

Various kinds of boats and ferries are available from the beaches of Pattaya helping you to reach many of the nearby islands. Starting from speed-boats to long-tailed boat taxis, from ferries to normal boats for hire, there are many kind of cruises that you can avail for going to one destination to another. There are provisions for hiring a boat for the entire day.

Weather

Pattaya experiences a sub-tropical climate with hot and humid summer, cool winter, and heavy monsoon. Being close to the sea the temperature of the place does not vary by a great extent during any part of the year. The summer months of March to May experience an average temperature of 32 to 33 degree Celsius with 4 to 6 days of rainfall. However, during the monsoons the things change quite a bit as it rains every alternate days in the months between June and October. The temperature however, remains a bit low reaching the 30 degree Celsius mark. The winter months between November and February experience an average minimum temperature of 26 degree Celsius with only 1 or 2 days of rain.

What to pack in your suitcase?

  • Pack a lot of t-shirts, loose shirts, and tops when you are traveling to Pattaya. Even if you are traveling in winter you are bound to sweat a bit and that is why you need changes.
  • If you are traveling during the months of November to February then carry a light jacket or a sweater only if you are planning on spending some time around the beach during the evening.
  • Carry a single pair of jeans and mostly shorts or casual trousers, which are not too tightly hung to your legs.
  • Carry your flip-flops along with a single pair of heavy boots because you might need them for light trekking.
  • Definitely carry an umbrella or two along with some rain-coats beacuse even in winter it rains for a couple of days in Pattaya.
In the Spotlight

Pattaya has the highest expat population just after Bangkok and that is the reason why the food and restaurant scene of this city is quite vibrant. Besides authentic Thai food hubs you will find a hint of New York food along with a taste of Italian and French cuisine. Then there is also the strong influence of Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, and also Indian cuisines. The chefs of Pattaya are experimental and open to new ideas and that is what makes the eateries here so very interesting. From delectable sushi to mouth-watering curries the span of restaurants is really quite enormous when it comes to Pattaya.

Mantra Bar and Restaurant : Located on the Beach Road of Pattaya the Mantra Bar and Restaurant is one of the most popular eating houses of Pattaya. With a wide range of cuisines available here,
including Chinese, Thai, and Japanese, this place draw a decent enough crowd comprising of the locals and the tourists alike. From sushi to pizza various kinds of comfort foods are available in this place as the restaurant itself has different chefs tackling the different branches of the menu. The seafood is fresh as expected as the dark red and black color scheme of the eatery evokes a classy appeal. The wagyu steak is quite fancy in this place as the sushi are the most popular items of the menu.
Indian By Nature : Isn't there a comfort in the name itself? We bet that there is! This family-run Indian restaurant has rescuied many Indian travelers who were craving for some Indian food during their trip to the orientals.
So venture inside this restaurant without hesitation as the extensive menu of this place will offer you some delightful vegetarian option for you to choose and savor. The award-winning chef of this place is known for his twist in the tale recipes as you can enjoy some scrumptious Achari Gobis along with soft and succulent Naan. There are option for non-vegetarians also as the chef himself has a signature dish known as the Sashi kofta curry- a typical Mughlai minced meat recipe.
The Bistro : Didn't we tell you that Pattaya is full of European and American expats? Well now it is your turn to taste the Thai version of the European eateries in Pattaya.
The Bistro is a classic example of a Swiss restaurant serving the finest variety of cheese and wine in the town. Wine loving expats and tourists flock to this place to enjoy the grand selection of red and white wines whilst the variety of cheese are even better. Apart from the typical wine and cheese there are also a different kinds of chicken, seafood, vegetarian, and meat sandwiches available at this place as the salads are prepared from the freshest of ingredients from the markets. With a nice bottle of red you can try out the chicken madras with wild rice or the pan seared duck breast.
Bruno's Restaurant and Wine Bar : Pattaya's love affair with wine does not end at the Bistro's as here at Bruno's you will also get to witness another fine display of wine cellars tempting you to have a fantastic dining experience.
The specialty of Bruno's is that they blend the local seafood with wine pretty well and everything starting from salmon to tuna are fresh and scrumptious. The chef of this place also has a knack of experimenting with the vegetarian dishes as well as you can enjoy the avocado sour cream and the beetroot-radish capracio. The restaurant will greet you with a glass of wine and a light tapas menu upon your entry as you can also explore the huge variety of cheese available at this place.
Bronx Pizza : Want to slice a pizza and pick it with your hands? Pattaya offers you that option too at Bronx. The namesake of a famous New York pizza-joint this place has a very distinct American vibe to it.
This is another fine example of how Pattaya has molded itself to welcome the expats the tourists from the States. However, that does not mean that the Indian tourists should be deprived from having a nice cheese-filled crust pizza at this marvelous outlet. The place boasts its authentic recipes of dough and sauce and the combination is truly exceptional. The meat and the vegetable used for the toppings are sources locally as the whole 18 inch pizza will certainly prove to be a delight for you and your family.

Over the years Pattaya has witnessed many immigration from Asian and as well as Western countries. As a result the cuisine scene of this wonderful beach destination has evolved in the last two decades or so. From Japanese delicacies to crispy Chinese wantons options galore when you enter any random eatery of Pattaya. Due to its vast coastlines the food scene of Pattaya has a very closely-knitted relationship with seafood. That is why do not get surprised to see some sprinkles of prawn or mussels in your salad. The people here also heavily dependent on sticky rice and spicy Thai soup making it an absolute delightful destination to taste various kinds of foods.

Som Tum: Som Tum is a popular vegetarian side with most Thai dishes. It is a spicy greed papaya salad.

Tom Yum Goong:This spicy prawn soup is very famous Pattaya along with other parts of Thailand.

Yum Woon Sen: This glass noodle is very common in Pattaya as you can have shrimps and vegetables sprinkled on it.

Pad Krapow Moo Sap: Pork is very popular in Pattaya and this basil and fried pork ball is their particular favorite.

Gai Yang with Khao Niao: With fried chicken with sticky rice recipe is a delight for every Thai in Pattaya whilst of the expats have also fallen in love with this food.

Shopping in Pattaya is a whole new experience as the markets here are quite different than what you might experience in Bangkok or some other place in Thailand. Pattaya, as a shopping destination, has provisions for all kinds of buyers. There are shopping malls and wet markets, walking streets and floating markets. You will find all sorts of shopping channels from where you can buy souvenirs, antiques, and even cooked food. One other thing is Pattaya is that the price of the items are the cheapest in entire Thailand and so if you are planning on making some heavy purchases, then do it in Pattaya.

Central Festival Pattaya: Dominating the skyline of the Pattaya beach this massive shopping mall is an absolute delight for the local shoppers and also the foreign tourists. Housing more than 300 different shops,
inside it, this shopping mall has attracted big brands like Calvin Klein, Zara, H&M, Mark and Spencer, and Nuatica. So, now you do not have to hunt for replicas in the narrows alleyways of Thailand as you can get original branded items in Pattaya itself. Since its inception back in the year 2009 this shopping mall has stood as a shopping landmark for people coming from abroad. The variety of cuisines available in the restaurants of this mall ranges from Middle Eastern, South-East Asian, Italian, and also Indian.
Pattaya Floating Market: From an air-conditioned shopping to an open floating market on the boats, the wide range of Pattaya markets will never seize to amaze you.
This one-of-a-kind Thai market is a museum, a live show of sellers on the boats, and also a shopping destination at the same time. You will find a huge number of items being sold in hundreds of boats ranging from clothing to jewelry, antiques to small handicraft made by the local artists. It is mostly like the Bangkok floating markets but the prices are much more affordable. The floating markets also come with floating eateries selling hot and scrumptious Thai delicacies to the curious spectators. You can easily hit a bargain in these floating markets as the sellers are eager to sell before they sail off again.
Naklua Fish Market: Pattaya has a very close connection with the sea and the seafood comprise of most of their traditional dishes.
Now if you are wondering from where do they source these wonderfully fresh crab and mussels then you have to visit the Naklua Fish Market. Here there is a wide array of stalls selling only the freshest of seafood caught by the local fishermen on that very particular day. It might not sound that interesting at first but when we add the fact these vendors actually grill and barbecue these fish and seafood right in front of you so that that you can taste these delectable delicacies then it makes all the sense of driving north of Pattaya to visit this market.
Mimosa: Feel a bit of French connection in this ornate shopping destination of Pattaya. Housed in a colorful French-styled building this shopping destination has a very European appeal to it.
You can see the windmills and the canals and more than 300 different shops selling all the items that you can imagine. The ambiance is truly amazing whilst the items sold in the shops range from Thai handicraft, jewelry, and a wide variety of clothes. The place also hosts different kinds of cultural shows which often draws a decent enough crowd from the city. There are some street performances, an enchanting fountain show and also a 45 minute long family-friendly cabaret which keeps the place lively all throughout the year.
Mike Shopping Mall: There are huge number of shopping malls in Pattaya but Mike Shopping Mall deserves a mention because it brings street market kind of prices of items in a air-conditioned shopping mall environment.
It is the idyllic shopping mall for Indian tourists who loves to buy their things in a bargain. Located in southern Pattaya the shopping mall is the melting pot of some high range brand stores and some shops run by the local vendors. Variety of items are available in this place and you will not face the hustle and bustle of a busy Thai market on a leisurely holiday afternoon. It is indeed a good place if you are hunting for some authentic Thai souvenirs for your family and friend back home and the dining options of this place are also very affordable.

Thai Baht is most definitely the main currency that is acceptable in Pattaya and as a cash dependent economy all the local shops and restaurants accept only cash. That is why it is important that you hit the nearest FOREX office as soon as you get down from your flight and convert your currency in order to have a great time at Pattaya. Some of the major shopping malls and high-end restaurants do accept the international debit or credit cards but you will be amazed to see that the Western expats also prefer to pay by cash. From tasting local foods to entering into one of the beautiful gardens or parks, from paying the taxi to going on an island hopping experience, everything needs to be paid by Thai Baht in Pattaya.

Special Tips

  • The Thai foods are available at a cheaper price, even more so if you are buying from the street-side food stalls. For two people they will charge around 80 Bahts or so.
  • In a mid-range restaurant the price of food for a couple of people will reach to around 1000 to 1200 Bahts depending on the food you choose.
  • A ride on a taxi will cost you around 80 to 90 Bahts whilst a songthaew ride will cost you around 30 Bahts.
  • There are plenty of ATMs available around the prime locations of Pattaya making it easier for you to withdraw cash.
  • If you are planning to take a trip to any tiger zoo, elephant village, or crocodile park there also you need to pay in cash ranging between 500 Bahts to 1500 Bahts depending on the nature of your experience.

The good news for Indian tourists is that they can apply for the Visa on Arrival to enjoy their stay in Pattaya. This kind of visa will enable them to stay in the country for 14 consecutive days at a stretch. In order to avail this visa you need to make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months or more. Once you get down from your flight you need to fill-up the Visa Application Form and wait in the queue in order to get your visa. You also need to carry your airline boarding pass during the time of the application. Depending on the length of the queue the entire time for the visa application will take around 10 minutes to an hour. Carry sufficient number of photographs of pre-specified measurement because you might need them during the time of application.

Special Tips

In case you are intending to stay longer than 14 consecutivedays in Thailand as a tourist you can also apply for a regular visa by applying directly to the Royal Thai Consulate General. The consulate is available in three major cities including New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai. For that purpose your tour operator will help you write a Cover Letter mentioning the purpose of your visit and along with that you need to obtain a No Objection Letter from your employer, granting you leave for the holidays in Thailand. You also need to showcase your bank statement for the last 3 months, from the day of your application.

What used to be a very quaint fishing village Pattaya is now truly an international destination with people from all over the world coming and staying together. However, all the people dwelling in Pattaya are not friendly or helpful. So as a tourist you need to be cautious about certain things. There are many fake artists selling products at a higher cost and make sure that you do not fall in the trap of those. Some of the areas in Pattaya are not family-friendly and make sure that you do not venture out there with your kids. Also make sure that you do not offend the locals and abide by the rituals. The people of Pattaya are normally friendly and helpful by nature they are also very sensitive about their culture and religion.

  • Police and General Emergency: 191
  • Medical Emergency: 1669
  • Fire: 199
  • Tourist Police: 1155

Entertainment & Event

The ultimate destination for party animals, Pattaya, is an animal loving city full of life.

  • Flora and Fauna

    Party capital of Thailand, Pattaya, is rich in its natural resources and forest reserves. The Nong Nooch National Park is a treasure-chest of various species of plants and it is regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens of the world, all for the right reasons. From various kinds of tropical plants the garden houses different species of palm trees, orchids, and bonsai. Palm and coconut trees are also available in the coastlines of the province, near the sea. All the islands surrounding the coastline are also covered in virgin rain forest and are habitats of many birds and animals. Reptiles like monitor lizard, water monitor, crocodiles, and snakes are found in plenty in Pattaya.

    Larger mammals like elephants and tigers can be observed in captivity in the natural reserves spread across Pattaya. Orangutans, languors, and golden monkeys can be seen hanging from the trees whilst there are also some gibbons in some islands surrounding the coast. Some of the preserved habitats also provide home for animals like giraffes, emus, ostriches, and llamas. The forestland also offer home to many exotic birds like horn-bill. The rivers and lakes running through Pattaya also has a rich marine life and catfish are seen in plenty in those lakes.

  • Festivals

    Pattaya is the ultimate destination for the tourists as there are many vibrant and fun festivals and events are celebrated in this place. Maya Music Festival of Pattaya is a perfect example of how the local Thai culture has perfectly blended with the Western counterparts and created a happy harmony of lights and music. The Burapa Bike Week, also known as the Pattaya Bike Week, is also an event which grabs a lot of international attention. Held in the middle of February this event turns out to be quite a celebration as the local bikers gather here to participate. Live rock music and good food add to the flavor of this festival. Then in the month of March there is the Pattaya Music Festival where hundreds of local rock and pop bands perform.

    Apart from the festivals and events of international flavor Pattaya is also known for its traditional Thai festivals like Songkran. This mid-summer's event brings out the happiest people of Pattaya to celebrate out on the streets. Being a coastal region Pattaya also celebrates a lot of maritime events and occasions. The annual Top of the Gulf Regatta is one such marvelous event where you can witness racing yachts on the Gulf of Thailand. The four day event attracts a decent enough crowd from around the country. Then there is also the Ocean Marina Pattaya Boat Show where you can witness the luxury boats and yachts of the land.

  • Culture

    Pattaya is a land with lots of ambition and it is one of the most internationally exposed provinces of Thailand. In many aspects Pattaya has surpassed Bangkok and has became a real party hub for the young tourists from India. The city has a fabulous multi-cultural vibe and you can encounter equal ratio of locals and expats in and around the beach areas. Pattaya is very westernized in its appeal with western restaurants, pubs, and clubs entertaining guests from around the world. The people of Pattaya are very open to the foreigners as you can enjoy a nicely woven fabric of multiple nationalities and cultures staying together in this beautiful paradise.

    Thai is definitely the main language of Pattaya whereas people here also well-versed in English, Cantonese, Italian, and French. So, you can well imagine the range and diversity of people staying in this places of Thailand. Along with people from Europe and America many expats from China, Japan, Malaysia, and India also stay here in Pattaya. So you will encounter a lot of Indian communities and Indian restaurants in this place. The beaches are full of food stalls and there are always some party or event happening there during the evenings.