Complete Guide To Pattaya

Sexy, stunning, sultry… all generous words used often about the sizzling city of Pattaya on Thailand’s east coast.

Notorious as a destination for sex tourism, Pattaya has a reputation for crazy nightlife, sex shows, Go Go bars, ladyboys, and massage parlours — but there’s a lot more to this city than just satisfy carnal temptation.

Away from Pattaya’s seedier side are a wealth of other more savoury attractions for people all ages to enjoy, such as lush tropical gardens, fun water parks, temples, beaches and much more.

Can this sleazy city be making a name for itself as a family destination?

Let’s find out…

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Pattaya Weather

Blessed with a scorching average annual temperature of 29 degrees, Pattaya can become bilsteringly hot during the months of February to May, with temperatures often reaching up to 35°C.

With that much tension and humidity in the atmosphere, it’s not surprise that the monsoon season follows right on the tail of these hottest months, bringing brief but intense downpours, but with temperatures still remaining in the high 20°C to low 30°C range thanks to plenty of bursts of strong sunshine.

pattaya beach

By Kimmam (public domain)

This is low season for tourists, which means that things are less crowded and prices sometimes lower, making it a good time to visit Pattaya if you’re on a budget (and you can handle a bit of rain).

The most popular time to visit is during the cool season from November to February, during which time temperatures drop a little to a less sticky range of between 23°C to 31°C and there is a minimal amount of rainfall.

Weather wise this is the most agreeable time of year to come to Pattaya, but it’s also the most expensive, and the time when the streets and the beaches are heaving with tourists.

Bangkok to Pattaya

With a mere 90 odd miles separating Bangkok and Pattaya, it’s hardly worth getting on a plane.

The favourite way for most people making the journey between the two destinations is to take the bus or a private taxi.

Buses are cheap (expect to pay between 120 THB and 400 THB) and convenient. There are numerous daily departures from Bangkok’s southern Sai Tai Mai, northern Morchit and eastern Ekkamai bus stations and the journey takes around 3 hours to reach Pattaya’s Northern Bus Station just outside of the city, from where you’ll need to get ongoing transport such as a taxi to get you to exactly where you want to go.

Taxi is another popular method of travel from Bangkok to Pattaya. Yes, it’s more expensive than the bus, but you can’t beat it for comfort and door to door service.

Taxi prices start at around 1700 THB for a 3 person car.

It is possible to get to Pattaya by train and tickets are very cheap, but the journey is 4 hours long with many stops and not much in the way of comfort in 3rd class carriages.

The train from Bangkok to Pattaya leaves at 6:55 am from Hua Lamphong Station — but be warned that trains are rarely on time. That said, there is a new weekend 2nd class, air conditioned tourist train service currently on trial which departs Bangkok Hua Lamphong train station at 06:45, and arrives in Pattaya at approximately 09:15, after which it continues and stops at some popular tourist spots.

pattaya thailand

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Things to do in Pattaya

Walking Street Pattaya

pattaya thai

By FritzDaCat (CC BY-SA 4.0 licence)

Ablaze with a riot of colour, neon lights, sounds and sights, Pattaya’s Walking Street is a world famous destination for fun, partying, and sex.

Always electric, this 1 kilometre strip and the surrounding streets is crammed with beer bars, restaurants, live music venues, nightclubs, Go Go bars, and ladyboy bars.

With something to suit every taste, Walking Street is the place to be to indulge your hedonistic desires and get your rocks off until way into the wee hours.

Sanctuary of Truth

pattaya hotels

Far removed from the buzzing craziness of Walking Street, this beautiful and intricately carved wooden temple on the beach in north Pattaya really is a sanctuary for the soul.

Still under construction, this amazing building has a team of woodcarvers working daily to hand carve each tiny detail that makes up the immense structure which towers more than 100 metres into the sky.

The architectural style is inspired by Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, and is designed to be a place of appreciation for philosophy, art, culture and faith, for multiple religions.

Jomtien Beach

pattaya beach

By Pescov (CC BY-SA 4.0 licence)

Six kilometres of powdery sand stretch alongside the clear azure sea at Jomtien Beach in southern Pattaya.

This popular seaside location is frequented by tourists but is also a big hit with local Thais who come here to soak up the sun on the shore, swim, and snack on the delicious street food sold by the many beach vendors.

Less rowdy than many other large Pattaya beaches, the atmosphere on Jomtien Beach is chilled and family friendly, and the area around the beach itself offers a wealth of restaurants, bars, shops and other activities to enjoy.

Koh Larn

things to do in pattaya

Also known as Coral Island, this perfect island paradise just west of Pattaya Beach boasts wonderful unspoilt beaches where you can laze for hours, beach bars for sipping cocktails, excellent seafood restaurants, and the opportunity to get an adrenaline rush with sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, and banana boats.

It’s also a fabulous spot for kayaking, snorkelling, or hiking into the lush jungle interior. Take a speedboat to get there or a a short ferry ride — it’s the perfect tranquil day trip from mainland Pattaya.

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden

pattaya weather

The largest and arguably most beautiful botanical garden in Southeast Asia, Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is simply stunning.

Six hundred acres of themed gardens filled with rare and exotic plants and flowers – including an outstanding collection of orchids — sculptures, topiary, cultural shows and entertainments, and eateries, delight the senses.

Take a leisurely stroll around the grounds or hire a bicycle to make the most of the enchanting surroundings.

Khao Chi Chan Buddha

pattaya thai

By I, Endimione (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

In an incredible feat of art and technology, the 170 metre high Khao Chi Chan Buddha was carved out of the sheer rock face of Khao Chi Chan mountain using a powerful laser.

Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, the Buddha image was created in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession the the throne.

Once the laser etching was finished, a team of artisans worked for months to fill in the etched lines with gold leaf on this, one of the largest Buddha images in the world.

Flight of the Gibbon

One hours drive from Pattaya in the spectacular setting of Chompoo WIldlife Reserve, thrill seekers of all ages are in for a treat at Flight of the Gibbon.

This is an extreme zipline experience over 50 metres high up in the treetops of the rainforest canopy consisting of 3 kilometres of ziplines (including one that’s 300 metres long), bridges to cross, and vertical descents, offering a unique view over the forest and it’s sure to set your pulse racing.

Take the plunge and throw yourself off the wooden platforms and fly like a gibbon!

Koh Phai


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A small and exquisite uninhabited archipelago dotting the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand can be found just 21 km to the west of Pattaya.

The largest island of the group is Koh Phai, and it has everything you could dream of for an island idyll — pristine white sands, warm ocean waters teeming with marine life, and barely anyone else in sight — it’s the perfect location for swimming, snorkelling, and chilling.

In order to preserve the natural unspoilt beauty of Koh Phai there are no overnight stays permitted, but you can still be Robinson Crusoe for the day by chartering a speedboat for the day from Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier.

Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark

pattaya waterpark

By CNAmazone (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

This family friendly waterpark attraction near Jomtien Beach offers 30 exciting water rides, wave pools, aqua playgrounds and slides in a theme park setting complete with daily entertainments, restaurants, and life size mascots of the Cartoon Network’s most popular kid’s characters.

Great fun for children of all ages (even adults will get a kick out of it too), the park is split into separate sections for younger children and teens, and some of the most hair-raising rides include the 350 meter long Omnitrix with steep drops and sharp turns, and Goop Loop which features a 12 metre free fall.

Phra Tamnak Mountain/Pratumnak Hill

pratumnak hill

By D. Nijpels (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

This small hill just south of Pattaya Beach boasts incredible panoramic views of Pattaya City and Pattaya beach.

Easy to access on foot (it’s a 50 minute walk up hill) or on wheels, Phra Tamnak Mountain makes for a magnificent spot to watch the sun sink below the rolling ocean.

It’s also a religious site, and the temple of Wat Phra Yai can be found at the top, as well as plenty of vendors selling food, drink, and trinkets.

Pattaya Beach

beaches in pattaya

By KayEss (CC BY-SA 3.0 licence)

Pattaya Beach is the island’s most popular and lively beach thanks to its city location, proximity to other attractions, and its 4 kilometres of crescent shaped bay perfect for sunbathing, beach games, swimming, and watersports.

Beachside shacks and floating restaurants dish up tasty snacks to keep your energy levels topped up, and beach bars offer cocktails and other drinks.

As night falls Pattaya Beach becomes a place to party, with bars open late into the night.

Art in Paradise

Enter into a world of illusion and imagination at Art in Paradise, where over 100 mind bending interactive works of art create clever 3D tricks which make for some first rate photo opportunities.

Pose with the paintings and in your photos you will be gliding along the canals of Venice in a gondola, surfing a gnarly wave, or pursued by fire breathing dragons!

A trip to the gallery is a great way for kids and adults to spend a fun couple of hours.

Wat Phra Khao Yai


Situated at the summit of Phra Tamnak Mountain, Wat Phra Khao Yai features an immense 18 metre tall golden Buddha statue, as well as a wealth of other impressive architectural features.

Entering the temple complex requires climbing a wide staircase flanked by gilded seven-headed mythical snakes called Nagas, and once at the top 7 statues of the Buddha in different postures which represent the different days of the week surround the giant Buddha himself.

This is a popular working temple revered by the Thai’s and Buddhist who come here to pray and make offerings, and it can get crowded later in the day, so it’s best to visit in the morning.

Pattaya Floating Market

pattaya market

By Horiuchi (public domain)

The vast Four Regions Floating Market in Pattaya City has over 110 different shops selling fresh produce, authentic Thai cuisine, handicrafts and souvenirs, fabrics and clothing, and works of art.

The shops are installed in quaint traditional wooden houses perched above the water, or on boats steered by smiling vendors wearing wide brimmed rice hats.

The market is divided into four sections, each one representing the culture and architecture of one of the four regions in Thailand, and in addition to the unmissable shopping experience, there are also demonstrations of cookery, silk manufacture, massage, wood carving, and other cultural offerings, as well as daily shows including traditional Thai music and Thai boxing.

Explore the wooden walkways on foot or take a trip in a long tail boat to see the market from the water.

Pattaya Hotels

Dusit Thani Pattaya


Experience the ultimate in Thai luxury and hospitality Situated amidst a tropical garden and boasting stunning panoramic views over Pattaya Bay at the 5 star Dusit Thani Pattaya.

457 tasteful rooms and suites all boast private balconies overlooking the hotel’s gardens or the waters of Pattaya Bay.

The hotel offers 7 different restaurants and bars, each offering a distinctive cuisine delicately prepared using only the freshest ingredients to provide guests a memorable gastronomic dining experience, including international, Chinese, and local Thai specialities.

There are 2 outdoor swimming pools with direct beach access, 4 tennis courts, a kid’s club and playground and a state of the art fitness centre, ad the luxury spa sites in a lush tropical garden with cascading waterfall.

  • Beachfront location
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa and wellness centre
  • Fitness centre
  • Choice of 7 bars and restaurants
  • Panoramic views
  • Kid’s club


Hilton Pattaya

pattaya hotels

This award-winning 5 star hotel offers guests contemporary luxury alongside instant access to beaches, shops, restaurants and attractions in the heart of Pattaya Beach with panoramic ocean and Pattaya bay views.

Each of the spacious guest rooms and suites feature private balconies, rain showers, HDTVs and Wi-Fi access.

The landscaped outdoor infinity pool has heavenly views out across the ocean, and the stylish spa features a range of treatments and packages guaranteed to make you take leave of your senses and dissolve into a state of deep relaxation.

Dining at the Hilton Pattaya takes place at the spectacular rooftop restaurant and bar with breathtaking views, or in one of the hotel’s two other restaurants, where guests can sample elegant international, Asian and Thai cuisine as well as fresh seafood.

  • Close to the beach
  • Rooftop restaurant and bar
  • Choice of dining venues
  • Fitness centre
  • Spa and wellness centre
  • Swimming pool


U Pattaya

pattaya thailand

Poised on the beachfront between Jomtien and Bang Saray the 5 star U Pattaya resort is ideal for discerning travellers who seek serenity and privacy.

Charmingly designed to resemble a contemporary fisherman village using rustic wood and bamboo in the interior design, the 19 villas and 25 rooms at the resort feature exterior jacuzzi baths and private balconies with sea or garden views, and some villas benefit from private pools and multiple bedrooms.

The resort’s Papillon restaurant presents French bistro style cuisine using fresh daily produce served right next to the ocean, and the La Vela rooftop bar offers a variety of sumptuous snacks, beverages and cocktails.

The beachfront swimming pool is the perfect place to cool off or relax with a poolside drink or snack, and the U Spa features private treatment rooms offering massage therapies that embrace the most effective Thai & European styles of massage to promote a sense of well being and nurture the spirit.

  • Beachfront location
  • Swimming pool
  • Restaurant
  • Rooftop bar
  • Spa and wellness centre
  • Fitness centre
  • Library


Wave Hotel Pattaya


The stunningly elegant 5 star Wave Hotel Pattaya is an 18-room luxury Art Deco boutique hotel ideally located on Beach Road on the shorefront of Pattaya Bay.

This flashy and fabulous hotel combines hip and edgy décor, service and amenities with a great location and unique offerings.

Spacious rooms and suites feature 42-inch LED TV, private balcony for admiring the world-class sea view, and extra-large open-plan bathroom with rain shower.

The Cadillac Café & Bar boasts exuberant décor evoking the glamour of 1940s South Beach, and serves up American, Thai, and seafood dishes.

The poolside Cabana Bar has a colourful beach vibe and makes for a hip hangout where guests can drink, dine and lounge the day away.

  • Beachfront location
  • Swimming pool
  • Fitness centre
  • Restaurant
  • Bar


What’s your favourite thing about Pattaya?



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