Although most people know Pattaya for its notorious nightlife scene, this ‘sin city’ is not only all about smoky-eyed go-go girls or spectacular transsexual shows. An array of attractions dots the city, depicting Pattaya’s excellent tourist infrastructure, which is usually hidden behind its scandalous and seedy side. More on Pattaya activities.
A variety of tourist venues are in fact well worth exploring, with notable destinations including several interesting museums, impressive temples and a fantastic aquarium.
Recommended Pattaya attractions
Sun loungers will be happy to find that Pattaya is home to many beaches. Pattaya Beach is usually very busy and probably the most popular among tourists with a wide range of facilities and water sports. Jomtien Beach is cleaner and quieter, with better quality water. It’s also here where you can find a number of sailing clubs and it is also the only gay beach in Pattaya.
Those looking for ultimately clean beaches, head to Koh Lan, located within a short ferry ride away from Pattaya, with sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
If you travel with children, do not miss Underwater World, located near Tescos on Sukhumvit Road, while the quirky Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum (218 Royal Garden Plaza) will excite your little ones with a variety of exhibits.
Another noteworthy museum is the Museum of Bottle Art (Open: 11:00-20:00, admission 100 baht., Kingston Park, Sukhumvit Rd., tel: (038) 422 957, mobile: 088 299 0759), boasting fascinating collections of miniature pieces including Thai temples and Dutch windmills, all marking their territory inside glass bottles.
Khao Kheow Open Zoo boasts most animals you would expect to see in the wild – such as tigers and monkeys – roaming relatively free. There is also a petting zoo where children can handle safe and friendly animals and a Flight of the Gibbon canopy tour. Open: 08:00-18:00, 235 Moo 7, Tumbom Bang Phra, Umphur Sri Racha in Chon Buri Province, tel: (02) 363 6663.
The beautiful Sanctuary of Truth (206/2 Moo5, Naklua 12 Naklua Rd, tel: (038) 367 229-30) in Naklua soi 12 was built to reflect the grandeur of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, while Mini Siam (Open: 07:00-22:00; 387 Moo 6, Naklua, tel: (038) 727 666) on Sukhumvit Road boasts a plethora of mini-sized tourist venues including the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon and New York’s Statue of Liberty.
A convenient getaway for Bangkokians and foreigners who want to hit the beach or take a peek at the starry-eyed go-go girls, Pattaya is a thriving oasis of activities both for thrill-seekers and the lazy lot.
Water activities are also aplenty in Pattaya, most of which are operated by tour companies or agents located in Walking Street or along the waterfront. Opportunities to have fun in Pattaya are endless. Here’s the lowdown on what’s on the offer in this electrifying city.
Amusement parks: Pattaya has the best selection of theme parks in Thailand, ranging from a ‘mini Siam’ to water parks, an aquarium and even a tiger zoo. This makes Pattaya a surprisingly good destination for families. More details on various parks attractions.
Bungy-jumping: a favourite activity among tourists, the city’s 50-metre bungy jump is located next to a small lake in busy Jomtien. International jump masters are there to give advice and assist first-timers. There’s a small bar providing drinks and snacks to onlookers.
Cycling: is an ideal way to explore Pattaya at your own pace. Along the waterfront are many bike ranks where you can rent a wide range of bicycles including BMX, ladies’ and mountain bikes.
Go-karting: the Pattaya Kart Speedway in Jomtien offers three tracks for exciting go-karting experiences for both newbies and karting professionals.
Golfing:Pattaya is a golfing paradise, boasting more than 20 courses of international standard where you can practice a Tiger Woods swing on holiday. The fees range from 500 baht to 2,500 baht for international venues; caddies and golf carts extra.
More on beaches in Pattaya.