Eco-friendly travel guide to Pattaya advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Pattaya, Thailand.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
- Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
- Parks: 2.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 1.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $200
- Budget per day: US$65 - $400
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Pattaya is a city in Thailand on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. A quiet fishing village as recently as the 1960s, it’s now lined with resort hotels, high-rise condos, shopping malls, cabaret bars and 24-hour clubs. Nearby, hillside Wat Phra Yai Temple features an 18m-tall golden Buddha. The area also features several designer golf courses, some with views of Pattaya Bay. Pattaya is known for its lively party atmosphere, but that’s not all there is to this famous coastal city. Stretching along Thailand’s eastern seaboard, Pattaya is split into three main areas – Naklua, Pattaya Beach and Jomtien – with a few other districts within easy reach.
The most common form of transport in Pattaya is a songthaew, a dark blue pick-up truck with two benches in the back and a cover on top. Called 'baht buses' by most people, the official fare within Pattaya is B5, but foreigners are expected to pay B10. Although two-tier pricing irritates many people, fighting the system probably isn't worth the effort. The fixed fare only applies when the songthaew is following a set route like a bus. If you want it to take you somewhere off its route, you'll have to negotiate a price.
Some of the ways in which one can travel responsibly and support local initiatives while touring Pattaya are:
• Avoid the huge resorts and all-inclusive breaks, and stay in locally owned accommodation.
• Be cautious in your water use, and on the smaller and less developed islands be aware of the lack of waste disposal options – avoid using plastic bottles or bags where possible, and always dispose of litter in bins.
• Thailand’s minimum wage is less than £6 per day, so by leaving a small tip for serving staff, porters and drivers you can contribute to how much they take home to their families each day.
• If you do see anything suspicious like child prostitution in a restaurant, bar or hotel, report it to the manager. If the manager refuses to investigate, go elsewhere and if possible, notify the police.
Air Quality and Pollution
The three major sources of air pollution in Pattaya are vehicular emissions in cities, biomass burning and trans-boundary haze in rural and border areas, and industrial discharges in concentrated industrialized zones. Pattaya City officials are mobilizing their departments to fight the region’s smog woes. Air pollution has plagued the Chon Buri province in the recent past. Pattaya currently sees smog blanketing the city especially from high buildings and at the beaches. The islands and boats in the ocean are currently obscured due to air pollution.
Respect the Culture
Despite the modernization and transformation into a premier tourist destination, Pattaya has managed to retain parts of its rich and vibrant history and culture. Visitors who wish to see traditional Thai customs and culture in Pattaya only need a little awareness of their surroundings to identify the subtle characteristics of Thai customs, culture, tradition and spirituality.
Thai people greatly admire and look up to their royal family that you'll see pictures of them everywhere, including in shops and people's homes. To respect the Thai family is one of the most important pieces of cultural etiquette in Thailand – the country has a lese majeste law, whereby it’s illegal to insult the royal family. This law is taken extremely seriously and the breaking of it has been known to result in lengthy prison time, even for foreigners. Never say anything, either in person, private messages, or on social media, to insult the Thai royal family.
Temples in Thailand are extremely holy places and should be treated as such when you're visiting one. Even if you're in a particularly touristy destination where it's acceptable to walk around in beach gear, you should always cover up when you enter a temple. This means throwing a top or shawl over your shoulders and chest, and covering your knees too if possible. Keep a big scarf in your bag at all times to make sure you're prepared.
When entering temples, private homes or even some shops and offices, take off your shoes. You will know when it’s appropriate to do so because you will see lines and piles of shoes outside the front door. Feet are considered the dirtiest part of the body in Thailand, and shoes even more so. Therefore, it’s considered a big no-no to point at anything with your feet, put your feet up on the table, or touch anyone with your feet.
Thailand is a primarily Buddhist country, and any statues and sites that include the image of the Buddha should be treated with the utmost respect. Don’t climb on Buddhas in temples as it is deemed offensive and in some cases, this can even more a punishable offense by law. It is also technically illegal to take images of the Buddha out of the country without special permission.
In Thailand, the head is considered sacred and the cleanest part of the body, so it's deemed offensive to touch people's heads or hair. If you slip up and do this accidentally, apologize as soon as you can and you'll find most Thais will quickly forgive you for it. Be especially mindful of this custom if you're volunteering with or teaching children in Thailand – it's easy to forget and ruffle a child's hair. You might see a Thai local touch a child's head now and then, but it's not appropriate for foreigners to do so.
Thailand’s wai greeting – where you bow your head and place your hands together in a prayer position – is a common way of saying hello and being friendly. To fit in with the local way of life, return this gesture when it's directed at you, and smile while doing so. Thai people are warm and welcoming characters and will appreciate the same attitude reciprocated back to them in this simple way.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Pattaya has developed a colorful reputation over the years. Located less than 150 kilometers from Thailand's capital city of Bangkok, it is a convenient place to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Pattaya has drawn tourists and expatriates from all over the world ever since US soldiers "discovered" the once-sleepy getaway destination during the Vietnam War. Since then, its profile has steadily increased, and it is now one of the most popular beach destinations in Southeast Asia.
In recent years, the government has made efforts to attract families to Pattaya, and you'll find a host of kid-friendly attractions, like water parks and an aquarium. Still, it remains more of an adult's destination - especially the area along Walking Street, the main entertainment hub in town. If you are traveling with the family or are seeking a more subdued location, check out Jomtien Beach or Naklua. These areas are still touristy, but quieter than the bustling center of town.
• Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden: The park offers a variety of activities for all the family. Walkways wind among colorful themed gardens, including a topiary garden; a 17th-century French garden; a European Renaissance garden; and species-specific gardens featuring plants like tropical palms, succulents, and bonsai. Live shows at the Thai Cultural Hall add to the line-up with performances of traditional Thai dancing, sword-fighting and Thai kickboxing.
• Walking Street: Taking its name from the fact that it is closed to vehicle traffic after 18:00, almost every building on both sides of the road – as well as many in the side streets around it – is a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar to the extent that the road is almost completely deserted during daylight hours as virtually everything is shut. At night, however, the road comes alive with neon lights, thumping music from different genres, food vendors, street performances and party animals from around the world.
• Wat Phra Khao Yai: This 18-meter-tall golden statue of the Buddha looking peaceful and relaxed perches atop the wooded Pratamnak Hill south of Pattaya. Climb the steep stairs, adorned on both sides with golden Naga snakes, to see the statue up close and admire the several smaller Buddhas surrounding it. Many locals come here to pray for good health, happiness, and prosperity.
• Pattaya Viewpoint: Khao Pattaya View Point on Pratumnak Hill is the best viewpoint in the region and the place to visit day or night to get that classic shot of Pattaya’s sweeping, crescent bay. The main view looks north and has uninterrupted views of Pattaya Bay right up to the headland separating Pattaya beach from Naklua beach, but there are also views south looking out over Jomtien Beach and straight out to sea.
• Sanctuary of Truth: Billed as "the magnificence of heaven recreated on Earth," this massive monument, built entirely of wood, is a study in Thai architectural styles. Every available space is intricately decorated with wooden carvings, and the entire structure was built to pay homage to ancient religions and philosophies. The cycle of life, Utopia, and humanity's relationship to the universe are some of the themes reflected in the artwork here.
• Wat Yansangwararam: Wat Yansangwararam (known as Wat Yan) offers insight not only into Thai design and architectural traditions but also into the society's values. Surrounded by sprawling palm-studded gardens, the temple was dedicated to King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1988 to commemorate the 42nd year of his reign.
• Art in Paradise: The family-friendly Art in Paradise is an illusion art museum and the perfect place for fun photo ops. Tickle a whale's belly, touch a rhino, or tackle a marlin in life-like artwork and capture the moment in a photograph to share with family and friends later. The different themed zones include classic art, Egypt, the underwater world, safari, dinosaurs, and fantasy.
• Ramayana Water Park: Billed as "the biggest and best water park in Thailand," Ramayana Water Park offers an exhilarating day out for travelers of all ages, with 21 different water-themed rides. A riot of colorful, serpentine slides spiral around the park, including a heart-stopping freefall and more gentle slides for the little ones. Other highlights include the double wave pool, a kids' Aquasplash Park with fountains, and even a green maze.
• Khao Chi Chan: Khao Chi Chan or Buddha Mountain as English speakers refer to it is the biggest engraving of Buddha in the world. The Limestone hill that has the Buddha engraved on it used to be an active site for the construction industry before it was closed down. In 1996 a laser was used to etch the carving into the rock as part of a celebration for His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 50th year on the throne.
• Leng Kee: Leng Kee is a Chinese restaurant in Pattaya, it opens twenty-four hours a day and is the only restaurant that serves Seafood and Chinese, Established for many years it is a favorite among the expatriates and Chinese locals. The restaurant sits in the thriving Chinatown part of the city and all year long it serves its main menu, the exception being Chinese New Year when it turns vegetarian and serves up a specialty known as ‘Golden Good Luck Noodles’.
Most of Pattaya Beach’s hotels, clubs, bars and shops are condensed into an area that spans little more than a few kilometers, so it's perfectly possible to get around entirely on foot. However, the transport facilities here are so regular, reliable and affordable that you'll probably see little point. Getting to any of the nearby beach areas, like Jomtien or Naklua, is also a cinch.
• Pattaya Park: Pattaya Park, a landmark on Jomtien Beach, is best known for its 240-meter tall observation tower, which doubles as a jumping tower. The tower hosts three revolving restaurants serving international buffet, all with 360-degree views of Pattaya. There's also a separate water park and amusement park.
• Herb Garden: The Herb Garden in Pattaya is one of the most interesting places to see. As soon as you enter the Herb Garden, you will be welcomed by colorful tropical flowers and lush greenery. The exotic variety of Thai flowers, verdant lawns, tranquil surroundings and serenity make it an excellent picnic spot which makes it a favorite among kids. You can also stop by to buy some exquisite varieties of herbs and flowers that are on sale here.
• Mini Siam and Mini Europe: One of the most popular model villages in the world, the Mini Siam and Mini Europe features miniature replicas of famous structures from Thailand and all over the world. These include the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Temple of Emerald Buddha, Sydney Opera House, and the Bridge over the River Kwai, among others.
• Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm: Specializing in the ancient, as the name suggests, the top exhibits include fossilized trees and the closest genetic relatives to prehistoric monsters: crocodiles. The other half of the park is the crocodile farm and zoo. Unlike in western zoos, the animals in the Million Years Stone Park can be quite closely interacted with.
• Jomtien Beach: Jomtien Beach is the best place to be as it is counted among the clean beaches in Pattaya. The sun-kissed beach fringed by palm trees is an ideal place to chill out with family and friends. Moreover, the beachfront lane is lined with bustling shops, cafes, and restaurants offering sumptuous Thai seafood. Considering all the things this beach has to offer, Jomtien is one of the best beaches in Pattaya.
• Pattaya Beach: Among the finest beaches of Pattaya, this beach is divided into north, central, and south zones. The Pattaya Beach in Thailand with its 4 km long crescent-shaped coast, offers ample water activities. The happening beach road is dotted with numerous restaurants and shops. There are also several resorts and hotels at Pattaya Beach.
• Wong Amat Beach: Wong Amat, located next to northern Pattaya Beach, is one of the cleanest and the best beaches in Pattaya. It is mostly visited by families and you can see kids playing with sands & families engrossed in day picnic on the beach. With a spectacular view of the azure sea, the beach has many luxury sea-facing hotels and restaurants for travelers.
• Bang Saen Beach: Bang Saen Beach is one of the most romantic beaches in Pattaya. It boasts of lush green coastal vegetation, sizzling sand, and scenic shoreline. One can hire rigs for swimming and beach chairs & loungers for sunbathing. One can also visit Laem Taen cape — a public park located at the northern part of the beach for strolling.
• Sriracha Tiger Zoo: Sriracha Tiger Zoo is just 30 minutes away from the city center. It allows visitors the chance to get up close and personal with these amazing animals. There is the opportunity to feed baby tigers, have photos with older ones and watch adult tigers from a distance. Other animals here include scorpions, crocodiles and elephants.
• Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum: Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum owns one of the weird and bizarre memorabilia from all over the world. The Ripley’s Museum is like a giant circus show from shrunken heads to stuffed versions of weird animals, with amazing abilities and two-headed cows to people. A huge range of unbelievable things here and you are sure to come across. It is just the main exhibit. On the premises, there are several other attractions. • Mimosa Pattaya: This building in Pattaya provides an oriental European touch to explore Pattaya’s history. Mimosa Pattaya is the place to visit for experiencing the rich culture and past of the town. Spread out over a vast area this place is styled beautifully. The designer outdoor shopping malls with bold and bright colors and boutiques with beautiful and varied collections of items being sold are some of the best experiences you can enjoy especially if you are a shopping geek.
Pattaya may be famous for its idyllic beaches and pumping nightlife, but it is also home to a selection of informative, engaging and fascinating museums.
• Asian Spice Museum: The Asian Spice Museum is located in the Asian Garden of Spices and Medicinal Herbs. The Asian Spice Museum will take you on a magical journey through Asia’s spices. Learn ancient spice growing and processing methods and the history of spices in Asia. While you are here you can also check out the Botanical Garden, the onsite shop selling spices, herbs and teas and visit the Hall of Opium.
• Parody Art Museum: The Parody Art Museum is a fun and quirky place to visit. It mixes iconic artworks with common day-to-day modern items or symbols. The museum questions your perceptions and evokes humor. Parody Art Museum is also open in the evenings and is a popular and fun place to spend a night out.
• Baan Sukhawadee: Baan Sukhawadee, also known as Eden House, is a historic mansion that spans the beachfront. Here you can see both Asian and European sculptures, including a large Buddha image, King Taksin the Great and the Goddess of Mercy. Baan Sukhawadee is ideal for historical and cultural enthusiasts.
• Naowarat Textile Museum: Thailand is renowned for its intricate and beautiful textiles. The Naowarat Textile Museum opened in celebration of 70 years on the throne of Thailand’s late king, His Majesty King Bhumibhol. On display are Thai silks, linens and traditional attire from Thailand’s diverse regions. The museum provides an insight into Thailand’s national heritage, and also the opportunity to purchase beautiful authentically Thai souvenirs.
Regionally known for its dynamic and well-represented expatriate population, Pattaya offers no shortage of excellent dining options, covering every cuisine imaginable. The selection includes a cornucopia of national cuisines and a full spectrum of prices. Enjoy Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, British, American, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian, French, Italian, German, and even Scandinavian dishes, with first-rate ingredients, sublime preparations and unbelievable value to be found.
Traditional Local Restaurants
• Moom Aroi Seafood Restaurant: Located a little way to the north of town, Moom Aroi is right in the midst of the fishing communities which provide the fresh seafood on the menu. Well-known among the Thais and Thai food-loving expatriates of Pattaya, it has an unbeatable beachfront location, with about 100 tables enjoying the cool sea breeze down on the sand or in the open-sided simple building.
• Suttangrak Pattaya: The second in a small local seafood franchise, Suttangrak has won national awards for being the best tourist restaurant for several years running. It is also very popular with the locals for its high quality fresh Thai seafood. The best-known dishes include their signature fried cabbage with fish sauce, steamed blue crabs with dipping sauce, and steamed whole seabass in lime chili broth, all for impressively low prices.
• Rimpa Lapin: Rimpa Lapin enjoys one of the finest views of any Thai restaurant in Pattaya. Diners can enjoy great local cuisine with a refreshing sea breeze and an unrivaled view along the Jomtien coastline. The owners are an international couple with lots of experience with Thai and fusion food, providing popular signature dishes like stir-fried rock lobster with salted egg, shrimps baked with cheese and Rimpa chicken stir-fried with onions, butter and cream sauce.
• Jeto Restaurant: This restaurant was previously located in town and enjoyed great popularity among locals. Despite moving to an inconvenient location out by the side of an exit ramp near the start of the Chonburi-Bangkok Highway, that popularity doesn’t appear to have waned and it seems to be packed at any time of the day.
Vegetarian and Vegan
• Kitchen J: Kitchen J is a terrific place for veggies to enjoy Thai cuisine without worrying about hidden meat ingredients. The restaurant serves jay food, a diet that follows Chinese Buddhist vegan principles with no animal derivatives.
• Five Star J: Most dishes at Five Star J follow jay principles and are suitable for vegans. The restaurant doesn’t use any MSG, chemicals or palm oil so you really can treat your body like a temple! Dishes are also free from onion and garlic for those following a strict jay diet. Enjoy pizza, veggie burgers and risotto, or tuck into ‘chicken’ massaman curry, pineapple fried rice, and soy ‘duck’ noodles for more of a local flavor.
• Govindam: A homey and welcoming restaurant with an intimate vibe, Govindam dishes up pure-veg Southern Indian favorites. The chefs hail from India, so you can be assured of authentic tastes from the subcontinent. All curries are made fresh to order and you can specify your preference when it comes to levels of spiciness.
• Yes! Vegan: Yes! Vegan is a small restaurant and hostel. The setting is simple but a great deal of care goes into preparing flavourful and attractive vegan meals, combining both Thai and Chinese influences. There are mock meats to dig your teeth into, such as ‘pork’ cutlet, ‘chicken’ burger and roasted ‘duck’.
• VT Six Indian Vegetarian Restaurant: Located within the large VT Six condo building, VT Six Indian Vegetarian Restaurant (formerly known as Vegetarian Paradise) serves delicious and authentic cuisine from North India. Close to Central Festival Mall, it’s a top spot to refuel after a shopping bonanza. Meals are available for both vegetarians and vegans.
• Suan Eakaparp Vegetarian: The large open-air and nature-surrounded Suan Eakaparp Vegetarian is a welcoming restaurant with vegan dishes on the menu. Dishes make full use of ingredients grown on-site, including herbs and edible flowers for pops of color on your plate. There’s plenty of protein from the tofu and soya-based mock meats. Tuck into popular dishes Thai dishes such as spicy papaya salad, drunken noodles, and morning glory, all without any animal derivatives.
• Khao Gaeng: The literal meaning of Khao Gaeng is "cover rice with a topping", which is popular street food in Pattaya. The Thai people refer to this quick eatery as a dish that is already prepared and ready to be served. Commonly found at every corner of the streets in Pattaya, this local dish is served with stir-fried curried rice and vegetables or meat stacked on top.
• Gai Yang with Khao Niao: This is one of the simplest Thai delicacies available at every nook and corner of Pattaya. Made with just grilled chicken and sticky rice, this dish is served with a small collection of dip sauces which ranges from mundane sweet chili sauce, a popular dip in Asia along with super-spicy local dips. Served at every wandering food cart in the streets, this delicious Pattaya street food makes a good and fulfilling meal for an appetizing lunch.
• Pad Thai (Thai-Style Fried Noodles): A staple dish in Thai cuisine, the Thai-style fried noodles is one of the classic delicacies which are served worldwide. An easy and quick preparation, this generic dish is made with wide noodles, eggs, onion, meat, (usually prawn, which is quite famous in Pattaya) as its base. To add an extra crunch to this delicious meal, crunchy bean sprouts are added.
• Pla Pao: It is quite a common sight to witness a fish being grilled at the streets of Pattaya and lemongrass shoved in its mouth. Quite a popular meal among the Pattaya street food, this dish is made of coating a thick crust of salt over the fish which keeps its flesh succulent and moist under the heat of the grill. The lemongrass is used to infuse a fruity and sour flavor to the fish which can be eaten along with garlic chili seafood dipping sauce which makes a perfect meal for the evening.
• Som Tum: Another authentic Thai dish that is popular in the streets of Pattaya is som tum, which can be translated as green papaya salad. The dish is made of shredded unripe papaya, peanuts, beans, dried seafood, tomatoes, fish sauce, and chili—which gives it an unexpected spicy taste. The salad is quite refreshing, and just like Thai food in general, it offers a unique blend of elements that you wouldn’t usually put together but creates an explosive taste full of flavor.
• Kai jeow (Thai-style omelet): Another must-try dish while wandering the streets of Pattaya, kai jeow is a Thai reinterpretation of the popular omelet we find all over the world. Here, the local delicacy is served on a platter and consists of a fluffy omelet with cooked rice, flavored with chili and fish sauce. All you need are two ingredients: eggs and fish sauce. Some recipes also suggest adding tomatoes, green onions, or shrimp, but they’re not mandatory.
When thinking about tea in Pattaya, the first thing that springs to mind for most is the strongly-brewed, red-colored, sweet tea poured over ice and drunk with a straw out of a bag. Cha Yen, or Thai iced tea, is adored and generously consumed by the locals as well as tourists who find themselves sweltering in the mid-morning heat. The fact that this tea, commonly known as Cha Yen, is sold from rickety carts on any given street corner is also an ode to its popularity and local fame. Other than Cha Yen, Thai people have not developed a tea culture of their own until rather recently.
The do’s and don’ts of drinking alcohol in Pattaya will differ from place to place and is much dependent on whether you’re socializing with Thai people, which Thai people, the type of place, area and part of the country. Beers are extremely popular, and the most famous brands are quite inexpensive. You can find industrial or craft beers – both kinds are ideal during the long tropical nights. Thailand is the fifth-biggest consumer of alcohol per capita in the world. The most popular drink is beer, followed by local whiskey. Wine is becoming increasingly popular. The boom began when the royal doctors recommended to the king to drink a couple of glasses of red wine a day for heart problems.
Virtually all tap water in Thailand is unfit for consumption even in 5-star hotels. This is why they provide bottled water. There are no water treatment plants in Pattaya so just never drink tap water! In central Pattaya water produced by the water authority is perfectly drinkable when it leaves the plant, but it travels through old, dirty, and often broken pipes before it reaches your tap, so it could contain anything.
The number of organic food consumers has increased significantly in recent years because chemical-free products are healthy and friendly to the environment. This trend has seen an increase in the number of cafes and restaurants dedicated to providing organic food. These are some of the organic food outlets in the city:
• JNA Food
• Wooden Box
• Rasayana Raw Food Café
• Beerfest Brewery
• Wizard Beer
• Hops Beer House
• Brewery House
There is a long list of activities in Pattaya that promises to keep young and old alike entertained during their stay. The natural place to start is at the beach! Pattaya Beach is great for watersports, and nearby Jomtien Beach one of Thailand's best spots for windsurfing. Be ambitious! Learn to sail or parasail. Ride a boat, go snorkeling to offshore islands.
Away from the beach, Pattaya activities include go-karting, golf and waterparks. With attractions like elephant villages, panoramic viewpoints, orchid farms and quirky museums up its proverbial sleeve, as well as many lush spas, Pattaya is just as fun for those wishing to play the humble sightseer or get pampered.
Yoga and Retreats
Many things are associated with wellbeing in Asia and yoga is one such practice. Being at one with body and mind has numerous benefits and this is why it is so popular. As a result, it is hardly surprising that it is so popular here in Pattaya with several excellent yoga schools available.
Some of the yoga retreats in Pattaya include:
• Ashtanga Yoga Pattaya
• Lek Yoga Live
Whether you are visiting Pattaya for a vacation with the family or on a romantic holiday for two, Pattaya offers tourists plenty of hotel options for all budgets and tastes. Pattaya is a resort town with accommodation both in the central downtown area, which extends from the beachfront back for a few kilometers and in a few different areas south of the city center.
If you want to be away from the hustle and bustle and on a lovely beach, consider heading south to the Royal Wing Suites & Spa or Royal Cliff Grand Hotel, which is part of a four-hotel complex on two private beaches, about 10 minutes from downtown Pattaya. Another popular beach, especially with families, in the Pattaya area, is Jomtien, which is about five kilometers south of downtown Pattaya and is a prettier and less chaotic option than Pattaya Beach.
• Eco Hotel by Thammasat
• Access Inn
• Sunshine Garden Resort
Hostels and Guest Houses
• Nonze Hostel: Nonze Hostel is a great option for travelers who want a clean, comfortable, and quiet place to stay. It is very safe and secure and it has a welcoming atmosphere. The hostel has 110 beds in total that are spread between single rooms, two-bed dorms, and eight-bed dorms. Every morning they serve a delicious breakfast. There's also an outdoor area where guests can relax with a cold drink and a book. Internet access is available as well.
• The Five-O: The Five-O is another option in Pattaya for backpackers and budget travelers. The atmosphere feels a bit more like a hotel than a hostel, but some dorms sleep four or six people. There is also a private room available that can sleep as many as five people. This is a good option for a small group of friends. There's also a dining area and a small kitchen. The on-site bar offers drinks for a reasonable price and the swimming pool is a nice place to relax, soak up some sun, or meet other guests.
• Qinglian Youth Hostel: Located at a little distance from Pattaya, this is a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The rooms are clean with comfortable beds and curtains for privacy. The common areas are well maintained and kept clean like the kitchen and the laundry. The property is secure and maintains a keycard system to enter one’s staircase and rooms. Further, there are lockers available too. It is one of the cheap hostels in Pattaya.
• Anna Hostel: If you are looking for Pattaya hostels near the beach, Anna's hostel is a perfect place for a comfortable retreat. The rooms are clean and welcoming after a tiring day of sightseeing. The kitchen is fully equipped and you get some amazing coffee that too for free! The host is friendly and manages the hostel well. The location of the property makes it convenient to walk to all the nearby places like the beach and Walking Street. Buses too are easily accessible from here.
• Chilling Home: The hostel boasts of a great location, as there are many restaurants close by. The bus stop is in the vicinity to make this place accessible by local transport. The dorms are air-conditioned, have TVs, as well as a fridge. They have bicycles too on their property which you can hire for free to roam around Pattaya. The host is polite and welcoming and you would feel totally at home here.
• Fun Dee Hostel: The hostel is close to the Jomtien beach and easily accessible via public transport. It is close to South Pattaya and getting to the town is easy due to the great transport facilities available from here. The place is quiet and the rooms are clean and tidy and a great pick for both solo travelers and groups. The staff is hospitable and friendly.
• At Mind Residence: At Mind Serviced Residence is known for its prime location in Sukhumvit, a very busy part of Pattaya, with great shopping and entertainment available. It is four-star accommodation and the buildings are designed in a modern and appealing style. Top security makes sure that the guest can enjoy themselves and not have to worry about their processions and a safe deposit box provides an added layer of insurance for guests valued items.
• Woodlands Suites Serviced Residences: Woodlands Suites Serviced Residences is a property located in Central Pattaya, with quick access to Pattaya's many attractions, and an extensive list of amenities. The Woodlands Suites Serviced Residences are located in the heart of Central Pattaya, less than 90 minutes from Suvarnabhumi International Airport, and within walking distance of the Art in Paradise attraction, and the famous Central Festival Shopping Centre.
• Amari Nova Suites: Amari Nova Suites offers luxury amenities within walking distance of the beach. Located meters away from Pattaya Beach, the Amari Nova Suites are within walking distance of attractions like the Alcazar Cabaret, and the Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya. The Central Pattaya location offers shuttle service to any of Pattaya's many attractions, none of which are more than a twenty-minute drive away, ensuring that there will be activities for every type of traveler.
• G Residence: G Residence is located at G Block of Diamond Suites Condominium on Thappraya road, between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach. The location is a perfect place for those looking for a quiet place to stay and have a good sleep after a day or night full of action. There are plenty of restaurants and convenient stores within walking distance. A short bus ride on the main road will take you to supermarkets, local markets, beaches and many other shopping facilities.
• Metro Apartments: Metro Apartments Pattaya is centrally located and offers quality, value-for-money accommodation. It is a small, friendly, family-run guesthouse located in one of the newer and nicer streets in Pattaya and has been welcoming guests since 2005. There are numerous restaurants, bars, Go-Go bars, convenience stores, ATMs and travel agents all around. It is possible to spend an entire evening in the street and not manage to visit all venues on offer.
Even though Thais are generally conservative people, Couchsurfing is becoming common in the region. Part of the reason for this is because the capital city of Thailand, Bangkok is the single most-visited city in the world. This popularity has spread down to the other cities including Pattaya. Many locals in Pattaya are ready to open up their homes to tourists and other foreigners as couchsurfers. However, due to the conservative nature of the locals, it is important to be aware of the etiquette and common practices so that one does not end up offending one’s hosts.
Camping in Thailand can be a great outdoor experience for those nature-loving travelers who like to rough it and want to sleep under the stars. It is not all that popular to pitch a tent in the country due to the abundance of inexpensive hotels and hostels available for travelers. Camping in the Land of Smiles, however, is a great way to experience the country’s amazing landscapes up close and personal. The lush greenery and mesmerizing views make it a perfect spot for camping and having a nice and memorable time away from the noise and bustle of a city.
Some of the best camping sites around Pattaya are:
• Kitjanusorn Camp
• Wonderfruit Boutique Camping
• Vajiravudh Scout Camp
• Baan Boss Camping
How to Get There
Pattaya, 147km southeast of Bangkok, is one of the easiest cities to get to, as it is well connected via Highway 7 and Highway 3. Several long-distant buses depart from Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal every half hour. And should you wish to arrive in style, you can even fly from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to U-Tapao Airport in Sattahip.
The nearest airport to Pattaya is the U-Tapao Airport located 30 kilometers away from Pattaya at Sattahip and offers limited connectivity to a handful of destinations. The Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is about 120 km away from Pattaya and a drive of an hour and a half approximately. There are taxis available from Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya and are fairly reasonably priced. An international airport serving the popular holiday destination of Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi is well-connected with most international and domestic airlines operating in and out of the airport.
Pattaya is served by bus services from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal and the Eastern Bus Terminal, connecting to Pattaya's main bus terminal on Pattaya Nuea (North Pattaya Road) near Sukhumvit Road.
There are two airport bus services. The 389 Bus airport Pattaya bus service connects Pattaya with Suvarnabhumi Airport. It uses modern, air-conditioned buses, and takes around one and a half hours to reach the airport. The trip from the airport to the bus terminal in Pattaya makes three stops at North, Central, and South Pattaya intersections before going to their last drop off point, the office on Thappraya road. Buses from a terminal on Sukhumvit Road near Pattaya Klang (near the Central Pattaya intersection) connect Pattaya with many destinations in the north-east.
Pattaya is well-connected to Bangkok by rail. A daily train service operates between the main train station in Pattaya and the Hualamphong Station of Bangkok. Although third-class and without air-conditioning, this daily train service is an economical way to travel between Bangkok and Pattaya. Tickets can be purchased directly at the station and must be bought at least 30 minutes before departure.
Hitchhiking in Thailand is relatively simple and safe, contrary to what some people might tell you. Using the usual protocol of standing with your thumb out, where traffic is slow and leaving enough room for drivers to pull over is all you need to do. The nature of the Thai people makes Thailand a really good country to use a hitchhiking letter if you can't speak Thai. You will often find yourself surrounded by locals who are willing to help you, but who are not familiarized with hitchhiking and cannot speak any English, which may lead to you being dropped at police offices or bus stations. The letter makes these situations much easier, and the hitchhiking in Thailand drastically faster.
A passenger-only ferry service from Pattaya to Hua Hin began operation on 12 January 2017 and is operated by Royal Passenger Liner. By road, the journey takes five to six hours. The ferry shortens travel time to about two hours, subject to sea conditions. The ferry moves at 27 knots on the 113 km journey across the Gulf of Thailand with a maximum passenger capacity of 150 persons.
Public transportation options are limited, with mainly songthaews and a few local buses, but there’s enough to discover the city’s highlights. A large part of Pattaya, especially if you live in the center, you can explore on foot. The length of the promenade in Central Pattaya, where almost all the entertainment of the city is, is a little less than 3 kilometers. If you live in the North or on Jomtien beach, want to explore other parts of the city, visit the sights close to town or you are just too lazy to walk, you can take a taxi, motorbike taxi, taxi or public transport.Public transportation options are limited, with songthaews and a few local buses, but there’s enough to discover the city’s highlights. A large part of Pattaya, especially if you live in the center, you can explore on foot. The length of the promenade in Central Pattaya, where almost all the entertainment of the city is, is a little less than 3 kilometers. If you live in the North or on Jomtien beach, want to explore other parts of the city, visit the sights close to town or you are just too lazy to walk, you can take a taxi, motorbike taxi, taxi or public transport.
Walking is one of the best ways of moving around Pattaya. As mentioned earlier, the main commercial and entertainment area of the city is within a short distance. Unless one is in a hurry or due to unfavorable weather conditions, getting around the city by walking is relatively the best way around.
Many travelers suggest that the best way to explore Thailand is through cycling. Thailand is one of the best places in the world to enjoy a perfect cycling tour. But you need to know the perfect routes, so you can enjoy cycling while avoiding the city traffic. The resort capital of the country, Pattaya has quite many of them. Many of the routes in Pattaya do allow you to spend time off the main roads that will make your journey more relaxing and enjoyable while being safe at the same time.
Thailand has the biggest automotive industry in Southeast Asia and the 12th largest in the world. Most of those coming out of Thai factories are standard internal combustion engines with a few ‘hybrid’ models sprinkled in there as well. The hybrids include electric motors and charging systems which save fuel and load on the petrol engines. But there is a strong tilt to electric cars as a future for Thailand’s massive auto industry. There are currently 19 major auto manufacturers in Thailand, all trying to move towards manufacturing electric vehicles.
Pattaya has few local buses and routes change and are canceled fairly frequently. Generally, buses serve the main roads through Pattaya, Jomtien, and Naklua, with stops at Big C supermarket. Buses are usually color-coded for ease. Although cheap, the hassle of finding out whether buses are operational combined with the fact that services, when running, are infrequent, means that most visitors will be better off mastering the songthaews instead.
Also known locally as Baht Buses, songthaews are the main form of transportation in Pattaya. They are pickup trucks that have been re-purposed for transporting people, with two benches in the back and space for standing (if you're brave!) at the end. Cheap and efficient, even if sometimes crowded, songthaews operate on fixed routes around the city.
Tram, Train and Subway
Currently, there is no train service linking various parts of the city. The train stations in Pattaya are mainly used by the inter-city trains connecting Pattaya and Bangkok. The main train station is not on any regular public transport routes, you will need either to hire a baht bus, take a motorcycle taxi or use a taxi-hailing phone app.
Thailand is known for tropical weather, tasty cuisine and friendly people, while its capital of Bangkok is particularly famous for buzzing markets and even street eats. Unfortunately, it’s also true that Thailand has a single-use plastic problem of epic proportions. All that delicious street food that was once served in banana leaves or traditional bamboo baskets is now served in plastic containers or bags with plastic spoons and forks. The issue is finally coming to the attention of the masses and several earth-conscious shops, restaurants and initiatives are leading the way to change.
Street shopping in Thailand is nothing short of an extravaganza and what better place to experience this than the night markets of Pattaya. These lines of bustling stalls are where you go for exotic Thai cuisine. But more than anything, it’s the lively atmosphere, the riot of colors and the overwhelming aroma of lip-smacking food that draws you in:
• Jomtien Beach Night Market
• Pratumnak Night Market
• Lanpho Nakluea Market
The opportunities for shopping in Pattaya are varied and extensive. Admittedly not in the same league as in Bangkok, there is nonetheless a range of options, stretching from popular street markets to plush malls. You can find great bargains on anything from unique souvenirs to top brand clothes. Naturally, this includes the cheap copies available at most of the country’s markets, alongside an array of street food, cosmetics, electronics, toys, novelties, curios, DVDs, plants, pets and practically anything else you can think of.
The most common flea market in Pattaya is Soi Buakhao. Soi Buakhao Market, known as the Tuesday/Friday Market, is set up, as the name suggests, on Tuesdays and Fridays at Soi Buakhao, one of the most popular, vibrant streets in the heart of Pattaya. Soi Buakhao Market is filled with shops selling flowers (fake and real), food, jewelry, paintings and souvenirs. There are also several tailor shops where you can get clothes custom-made at affordable prices:
Pattaya Floating Market: A combination of living museum, live show and shopping center, Pattaya Floating Market is an extremely popular attraction as well as being a great place for souvenir shopping. Being an artificial reconstruction of the popular floating markets in Bangkok, it is considerably safer and easier to navigate and is home to a great selection of high-quality wares such as clothing, handicraft, art and jewelry.
Thepprasit Road Night Market: One of the biggest and certainly amongst the most popular of the local markets, it attracts tourists and locals alike each weekend. Sometimes known as “Kankheha Thepprasit Market”, it is home to an impressive range of clothes, jewelry, mobile phone accessories, make-up, toys, gadgets, souvenirs and Thai cuisine.
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand markets are booming in Pattaya. Many of the items for sale are four or five times cheaper than their new equivalents. Shoppers say second-hand items are not always bad, and they are affordable to many. The markets offer a variety of items like shirts, trousers, shoes, electronic gadgets and more. Even more popular are dishes, plates, glasses, used TVs, computers and household items.
• Case Secondhand Shop
• Ngek Ziane Second hand shop
• JK Books Pattaya
• Siam Discount Furniture
• Ebisu Japan
Green” is not usually the word that comes to mind when speaking of Thailand, especially when you are speaking through a PM2.5 face mask. But with recent attempts to improve the environment and tackle waste, here are some positive changes. According to the Global Wellness Summit (GWS), the fashion industry in Thailand is shifting to a new era of sustainable clothing. The GWS listed Well Fashion, as one of this year's biggest trends, in its report. Other fashion brands in Thailand making the shift include:
• Maison Craft
In Thailand, there is, however, no law concerning recycling. There is no incentive for the consumer to separate solid waste for recycling, as the prices of waste in Pattaya are low and inconsistent. In 2018, the Public-Private Partnership for Plastics (PPP) was launched to help the Thai government achieve its environmental goals with resources and funding from Dow and other leading companies in Thailand such as SCG and PTT Global Chemical. Through the project, plastic segregation has become a career for some locals while others create and sell products from recycled plastic. Older residents and those without jobs, now have a purpose.
According to Greenpeace, Thailand is ranked sixth on the list of countries that generate the largest amount of waste into the sea, leaking more than 1 million tons of waste into coastal waters a year. In Thailand, 75% of wastes are mismanaged and the country produces 2 million tons per year of plastic waste. On average, Pattaya manages 460 tons of waste a day with food, plastic, and paper is the top sources of wastes making up 85% of total waste in Pattaya. Most of the garbage collection of Pattaya city is outsourced to the private sector that transfers it to other provinces like Rayong, which is the center for garbage management in the East of Thailand.
Work and Study Abroad
A Non-immigrant ED visa allows for study alone, it is not a teaching visa and it does not permit working in Thailand in any capacity. The visa allows international students to learn and study in the country but nothing else, the idea to seek outside employment to finance your studies on your student status is not the safe way following Thai laws. Work permits allow you to work legally in the country and come with the benefits of employment, however, some employees request that you already have one before applying while others file one for you.
Thailand is a huge destination for temporary work stints, especially those involving English teaching. To work legally in the country, you need a non-immigrant visa and a work permit – which legitimate institutions should be able to provide. The standard of living in the country is pretty much favorable and inexpensive so you can earn a decent living to be able to support your studies and living expenses.
Thailand offers a lot to students wanting to experience something completely different. From unique courses and an affordable cost of living to tropical surroundings and a culture that permeates all aspects of life, Thailand sets the scene for an incredible semester abroad that is truly mind-opening. Pattaya has several institutions of higher learning that are open to both local and exchange students:
• Kingston Vocational College
• Asian University of Science and technology
• Burapha Phatthanasart School
• Dusit Thani College
• Thammasat University
• Mahadthai University
With its large influx of foreigners coming in not only as college students but also as tourists and expatriates, au pair are increasingly becoming a common feature in Pattaya. The au pairs are in high demand due to the growth of the city that has seen both parents taking up full-time jobs and unable to be present for the children all the time. Au pairs provide an easier way for them to work as they provide accommodation to the person offering the services.
Thailand is a beacon for volunteers; whether you're interested in working at a refugee camp or volunteering with stray dogs, the opportunities for volunteers in Thailand are widely varied. Volunteering in Thailand lets you step outside the normal tourist bubble. Working with an NGO lets you settle into a daily rhythm that shares the Thai daily rhythm of work and celebration. Thais work hard yet smilingly acknowledge you as you walk through ancient and modern entrepreneurial activities.
Because Thailand shares borders with Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and Cambodia, all of which have a history of human rights abuses, scores of human right agencies have been long established in this area -- and it's easy for you to make these neighboring countries part of your volunteer plans.