Pattaya is a seaside destination well known for its effervescent nightlife and enchanting beach situated on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand.
This resort town has come a long way from being a deserted beach to one sprawling with markets, hotels, nightclubs and other fun places.
It was previously called ‘Tappaya’ because Phraya Tak war troops rested there on their way to Chantaburi and later named after the wind that blows from the south-west at the beginning of the rainfall season.
Rumor has it that Pattaya was made famous by American soldiers during the Vietnam War. After resting and relaxing on this long beach, 500 American soldiers couldn’t keep it secret.
They told their fellow soldiers, friends, and family about their magical, week-long stay and Pattaya became more popular as the years wore on. Today, tourists prefer it to Bangkok.
Pattaya Walking Street
Walking Street is a 1km long party hot spot in Thailand, lined with nightclubs, massage parlors, beer bars and restaurants and it is not uncommon to find yourself spending the entire vacation trying out new spots and nursing massive hangovers.
No vehicles are allowed on this street after sunset, only human traffic, deafening music and neon lights. Tour groups, expats, and tourists come here to party. Period.
Friendly Thai ladies welcome you with warm greetings hoping to lure you into a night of sin at their venue, where they keep you company as you enjoy your drink for about 70 baht. Each venue has a small bar, seating area, pool tables and sports TVs.
For more excitement, visit a Go Go bar. Usually closed to the public, these bars feature a central stage filled with skimpily dressed Thai ladies who dance around and may keep you company if you wish for about 150 baht.
Acrobats, pro dancers, and performers also strut their stuff on stage depending on the theme at that particular venue (they need different shows to distinguish themselves from other venues and to attract more customers)
There are also open-air bars where live bands perform different genres of music and seafood restaurants are found in plenty which ensures that you’re always stuffed and ready for a good time. You can pick fresh seafood from the display and have it cooked while you wait.
Pattaya nightlife & tips
It is easy to get intimidated by Pattaya’s world-famous nightlife and the expressions and practices only found in Thailand do not make it any easier. It is important to ensure your safety after dark and avoid offending the wonderful people of Thailand.
- Do not be a cheap Charlie: This is a reveler that refuses to buy a Thai girl drinks and is often shunned and ignored by bar staff
- Buy a lady drink for a Thai girl: It is usually expensive because she gets a cut of the cost, but you will have more fun knowing the bar staff don’t regard you as a cheap Charlie
- Only ring the large brass bell when you have lots of money: Revelers ring the bell hanging on every bar if they are buying drinks for everyone at the establishment
- The darker the night, the more you’ll pay: Taxis and motorbikes charge more as the night progresses
- Keep your valuables close: Pickpockets and purse snatchers are common so carry as little of value as possible. Be careful of drink spiking. Do not allow drinks from strangers especially if you’re a male tourist
- Reach out to the Tourist Police Volunteers: These are mostly westerners and act as translators and intermediaries when you have an issue. You will find them on patrol on Walking Street
- Age of consent is 18: Do not get romantically involved with someone who is less than 18 years old.
Sample the world’s tastiest seafood dishes while you’re in this magical beach.
Fishermen bring lobster, prawns, fresh fish, squid, octopus, shrimp, and crabs from the open sea and fill the fish markets with kilos upon kilos of soon to be mouthwatering food.
Guests must treat their palates to horseshoe crab papaya salad, edible seaweed, grilled shrimp, barbecued squid, and deep fried sea bass.
Things to do in Pattaya
- Diving, parasailing, jet skiing & other water sports
- Visit Wat Phra Yai temple in Pratumnak
- Excursions to islands and shipwrecks on the shore
- Drink up at any of the 1500 – 2000 beer bars in the town
- Go up Buddha Hill and see the Big Buddha as well as Pattaya from a bird’s eye view
- Visit the galleries at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Ripley’s Haunted Adventure
- Take an elephant ride through the bushes
- Tee off in any of the 20 golf courses
- Sunbathe at Jomtien, Coral Island, Naklua, Bang Sae, Dong Tan, Wong Amat and other beaches found in this resort town
- Hire a banana boat and take it out to sea
- Windsurf at Naklua Beach
- Snorkel at Coral Island
- Watch acrobats and dancers perform at a Go Go bar
- Play Connect Four or Jackpot with the Thai girls on Walking Street
- Play with perspectives and optical illusions at the Art in Paradise gallery
Hotels & lodges in Pattaya
- Grand Bella Hotel
- Holiday Inn Pattaya
- Pattaya Discovery Beach Hotel
- LK The Empress
- Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort
- Mercure Pattaya
- Golden Sea Hotel
- Travelodge Pattaya
- The Whisper Hotel
- Blue Ocean Suite
- Hilton Pattaya
- Sunshine Hotel & Residences
- Four Seasons Place
- Amari Ocean Pattaya
- Baywalk Residence
- Sri Racha Tiger Zoo
- The Million Years Stone Park
- Crocodile Farm
- Funny LandAmusementt Park
- Silverlake Winery
- Bottle Art Museum
- Cartoon Network Amazone Water Park
- Rama Yana Water Park
- Mini Siam miniature model village
- Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan
- Thepprasit Market
- Teddy Bear Museum
Pattaya points of interest
- Intricately carved Sanctuary of Truth
- The colorful and dramatic Tiffany’s Cabaret show
- Award-winning Nong Nooch Tropical botanical garden
- 100,000km2 Four Regions Floating Market
- Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanfront Tower (tallest building in town)
If Sin City is on your wish list, check out the Pattaya tour packages available or call an agent to customize your trip.