Pattaya Travel Guide - with Wired Destinations
Pattaya Travel Guide – with Wired Destinations
South along the Gulf of Thailand coast, Pattaya offers vast beaches, vivacious Pattaya nightlife, and superb waters just a 90 minutes’ drive from downtown Bangkok. Once the resort gem of Asia, Pattaya has somewhat slid into the shadow of Koh Samui and Phuket. But it is undergoing an overhaul in both image and facilities, and may one day regain its dominant resort standing.
Pattaya has always been known as a small and quaint fishing village. In 1959, the city's beauty and tranquility was first recognized internationally by American GI's who had been there during the Vietnam War. By the 1970s, others were beginning to discover its charms. A new road cut travel time to two hours, bringing the resort within easy reach of Bangkok. Big Pattaya hotels, shopping centers, entertainment houses and activities bloomed at an unstoppable rate along Pattaya beaches. As the industry developed, so did tourism. In 1976 Pattaya and nearby Naklua combined into one administrative district.
By 1980, Europeans flocked to its beaches, and those of Jomtien 4 km south. In the capitals of Asia, a beach vacation anywhere but in Pattaya was unheard of. It fell on shady times, but Pattaya is attempting to change its reputation from a party town to a family resort. Indeed, with 20,000 Pattaya hotel rooms and nearly 3 million visitors annually, Pattaya may soon again be a world-class beach resort.
Getting around Pattaya
There is no commercial airport in Pattaya. The most common way of travel to Pattaya from Bangkok is by car, as it takes only a couple of hours to get there. International travelers can get to Pattaya easily from Suvarnabhumi International Airport via mini buses and taxi at reasonable rates. First-class buses from the Eastern bus terminal (Ekkamai) provide trips to Pattaya, as well as to Rayong and Trat. The duration of the journey is approximately 1.5 – 2.5 hours, depending on traffic. First-class buses are also available at the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) but the trips are less frequent and the journey takes longer.
There are public trains available for those who are interested in traveling by rail. A weekend excursion train on weekends departs from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station and it takes around 4 hours to Pattaya.
Getting around Pattaya is most convenient by mini-bus (Songtaew by the locals), found operating along the strips of Pattaya beaches and downtown. Similar to Bangkok, other means of transportation include metered taxis and motorbike taxis. For those who prefer to be independent, rental services are available throughout, such as motorcycles/scooters, cars/jeeps and bicycles.
Plenty of Pattaya hotels and accommodations are available to suit all types of visitors to Pattaya. From comfortable guesthouses to five-star Pattaya hotels, there is a wide selection of accommodations in this beach resort town. Here are popular Pattaya hotels we recommend.
Not only is Pattaya easy to travel to, but it also has many activities on offer for everyone, with a multitude of outdoor activities, Pattaya sightseeing, Pattaya shopping and dining to choose from.
Pattaya has both cultural and modern sites visit. Mini Siam near Central Pattaya is a theme park displaying miniature replicas of domestic and world-famous structures. The Elephant Village provides shows, Pattaya elephant trekking and jungle tours within the region. Buddha Hill is one of the highest points in Pattaya. At the summit lies the biggest golden Buddha statue of the city. The adjacent hill, across Phratamnak Road, has the best sunset view of the Pattaya Bay coastline.
Numerous shopping malls, supermarkets, bazaar-style markets and thousands of other shops can be found in Pattaya. A few of the many popular Pattaya shopping attractions include, Central Festival Center, the famous Mike Shopping Mall, Royal Garden Plaza, and Made In Thailand Night Plaza.
With so many restaurants, cafes, bars, country clubs and an endless selection of street vendors available in so many forms, great food is never in short supply. Pattaya has excellent seafood, prepared in Thai style for western taste. Don't miss a stroll around Pattaya Walking Street for some tasty seafood from street vendors. Delicious local food can be found at the highly acclaimed Baan Thai and the equally delicious
Larn Thong Restaurant in the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel. Siam Elephant is also highly recommended as it serves Thai dishes with a view across the ocean from the Bali Hi Pier. Major Pattaya shopping complexes offer international restaurants and the usual selection of fast food chains for travelers on the go. There are also many good food courts in the shopping malls, the highlight of which has to be in the Royal Garden Plaza, which not only has a wide selection of restaurants to choose from but also a splendid view of the beach from the food court and which is located right next to the Pattaya Marriott Resort and Spa.
Nighttime pursuits that Pattaya has to offer its visitors are endless - from glamorous cabarets to crude entertainment - there is always something for everyone.