When you first think about a city that offers luxury and something for everyone, it is fair to say that Pattaya might not be the first name on many people’s lips. However, if you dig a little deeper then you start to appreciate all the fantastic things that this often maligned city has to offer. The superb year round climate, the world-class restaurants along with the nightlife and entertainment that many destinations will undoubtedly be jealous of.
Within a 45 minute radius of Pattaya, you will find over 20 championship standard golf courses and the city is just one and half hours from the country’s major international airport. Once you get to Pattaya you will find luxury resorts synonymous with all the major players in international hotel industry along wide a vast selection of very reasonably priced, good quality hotels. You could easily be fooled into thinking that the city was a larger metropolis than what it actually is.
It is very hard to imagine that just a few of decades ago, this was a small fishing village that was largely unknown. Now, it is a world-famous city famed for its nightlife and nearby beaches. Pattaya has certainly evolved and can be very proud of itself, attracting visitors from all four corners of the globe including singletons, couples, families and groups, all of which happily intermingle together. The city is unique and that is why it appeals to so many people.
We were recently asked why Pattaya is so popular with so many people and in reality that is a very hard question to answer because there is just so much to see and do. The first place that always springs to mind when you hear the name ‘Pattaya’ is Walking Street because it is so closely associated with the city’s nightlife. Walking Street is the perfect collaboration between the wild, the weird, the fun and the casual, with amazingly this all takes place in a non-intrusive, safe environment.
Of course, there is so much more to Pattaya than just the nightlife. Here are some of the other things that you should consider when you think about the city.
There are so many luxury resorts and high quality hotels in Pattaya that it would be impossible to name them all. You have the larger international hotels along with a fine selection of boutique places to stay so here are just a few that we have picked out.
Centara Grand Mirage
Located on Wongamat Beach to the north of the city, this 5-star, 555 room hotel offers some of the best facilities that are available in Pattaya. All the rooms come complete with sea views and you will find a wide selection of restaurants offering international, Thai and other Asian cuisine. The hotel organises activities for children so you won’t have to worry about entertaining them all day making this a wonderful family-friendly hotel.
Formerly known as the Sheraton Pattaya, the InterContinental situated on the Pratamnak Hill in the south of the city and is another 5-star resort that offers garden, ocean and poolside terraced rooms as well as some more exclusive villas. The restaurants are quite simply superb with an amazing choice of dishes but it is the Amburaya Spa that stands out for many guests.
Situated next to The Avenue Shopping Centre on Pattaya second Road, this is a boutique hotel that has a very modern feel with a contemporary design. It has a rooftop pool and bar area that is very popular and in the evenings, the hotel’s famous Deep Bar’s huge window is lit with amazing blue lighting.
The Hilton is located at the Central Festival Shopping Centre between Pattaya Beach Road and Pattaya Second Road. It offers some fabulous views across Pattaya Bay and these are best seen from the 16th floor where you will find restaurants, bars and an infinity pool. The place simply oozes class and sophistication.
This is located to the south of Pattaya between Jomtien and Bang Saray and is a 5-star boutique resort boasting 19 villas and 25 rooms. It has a rustic romantic feel and is ideal for couples looking to get away from it all and indulge themselves in some serious luxury without being too far away from all the fabulous attractions that Pattaya has to offer.
Speaking of attractions, Pattaya has so much to offer just about any age group with interests in absolutely anything. This is one of the main reasons why Pattaya has become so popular with such a wide demographic of people. What suits
one may not suit another but you can be confident that you will find plenty that appeals to you. Below we have listed things that are in or very close to Pattaya but there is plenty more if you travel for less than 30 minutes!
Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is perhaps one of the most iconic structures in Pattaya and can be found on Naklua Soi 12. Standing 105 metres high, the entire structure is carved teak wood and is designed to pay homage to Eastern philosophy, art and culture with no connection to any religion. Although the Sanctuary looks old, it was only commissioned in 1981 by an affluent individual and is due to be completed in 2050.
Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens
Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens are located on the Sukhumvit Road heading south of Pattaya towards Sattahip. The gardens are set on 1,500 rai and have been inspired by some of the world’s top botanical gardens and have won numerous awards for their efforts. The glorious gardens can be viewed on foot, by bus or as part of an elephant ride. You will also find a selection of shops restaurants and cafes on site.
Four Regions Floating Market
Located close to Nong Nooch, Pattaya’s only floating market is an opportunity to take in how life used to like by offering the opportunity to view the market by boat as well as visiting paddy fields and traditional Thai houses. Some authentic crafts are on show such as wicker crafting and the kite museum. Although it is largely aimed at tourists, it does give an accurate reflection of a bygone era although maybe some of the products on sale don’t reflect this.
Pattaya Elephant Village
This is a not for profit elephant sanctuary that gives visitors a small insight into the role these magnificent creatures have played in Thailand’s development over the centuries. The animals are seen in their natural habitat, carrying out their regular daily work in the jungle and there is even an elephant kitted out in full regalia as if it were about to go to war.
Pattaya is well known for having a large transgender or transvestite scene and Tiffany’s show is a family friendly ladyboy cabaret show that has become world famous. The show has been going on for over 40 years, starting on New Year’s Eve 1974 as a one-man performance. Over the years, Tiffany’s has been voted 4th best show around the world – some achievement when you consider the competition in some of the entertainment meccas around the globe.
Art in Paradise
This is once again a family-orientated attraction as it is an interactive art museum and was the first of its kind in Thailand. Guests can view artwork as well as being pieces of art themselves. There are more than 100 3D paintings amongst the 10 different zones that are all based around a given theme. All the artwork is painted on the flat surface and each piece allows visitors to creatively pose for their best shots.
Another of the remarkable things about Pattaya is the vast selection of high quality restaurants that are available. Almost every country’s cuisine is represented somewhere in the city and all budgets are catered for. If you are looking for an exceptional, luxury dining experience you won’t have to search too far.
In North Pattaya and Naklua, you will find Ronim Japanese Restaurant on Naklua Soi 16/2 as well as the breath-taking Mantra Restaurant that can be found at the very northern end of Pattaya Beach Road.
In Jomtien, you will find the highly rated Bruno’s as well Casa Pascal. In South Pattaya, you will find Café des Amis and in Central Pattaya, you could visit the Hilton hotel which offers one of the best buffets around along with offering an A La Carte menu. There are numerous excellent Thai restaurants with some superb Indian, Italian and Scandinavian venues also available in various quarters of the city.
Golf is one of the most popular sporting activities available in Pattaya and indeed the city has the greatest concentration of golf courses in all of South East Asia. There are over 20 championship standard golf courses all with a 45 minute drive of the city as well as a few cheaper ones that may appeal more to beginners or those looking more at the social aspect rather than the golf.
Arguably, Siam Country Club’s Old Course is the top course around and is only a few minutes’ drive from Central Pattaya. This course is perhaps best known for hosting the Honda LPGA Classic each year and is always kept in pristine condition. At Siam Country Club you will also find The Plantation course and The Waterside which opened in 2008 and 2013 respectively. As you would expect, the facilities are world-class and the caddies are truly outstanding and know the courses inside out.
Other courses that always prove popular are the Laem Chabang International Country Club that has three separate nine-hole courses known as Mountain, Lake and Valley that all offer magnificent scenery. In addition, you can also try Pattana, Burapha, Phoenix and Khao Kheow. Golf is still relatively cheap in Thailand when compared and contrasted to other countries in the region or Europe. As a result, Pattaya is a popular Thai and international golfing groups.
It isn’t just golf that makes Pattaya such an attractive proposition and luxury destination in terms of sports. Water sports are hugely popular in the area with plenty on offer including sailing, paragliding, jet-skiing, snorkelling and of course, scuba diving. Many of these activities take place around Jomtien or close to some of the nearby islands.