Pattaya Thailand – Party Town
If you are planning on visiting Thailand and you like to party, then Pattaya without a doubt should not be missed. 24-hour go-go and beer bars, nightclubs, street parties, walking streets, night markets and the beach is what Pattaya is all about.
Where is Pattaya?
Pattaya sits on the East Coast of Thailand, only 150 kilometres from Bangkok. The city itself runs along a 3 kilometre stretch of beach, where the party meets the foreshore. The nightlife carries on through the night and then through the day, with open-air beer bars lining the streets and rarely closing.
Go-go bars are also in concentration around the pub areas, with many friendly bikini-clad working girls dancing and greeting passers-by to encourage customers into the venue. It does not matter the time of day or night, you will always see people drinking in bars, working girls dancing and hanging around bars and nightclubs.
Walking Street is where the party is at, with over 100 beer bars and many go-go bars crammed into the street, as well as the many bars filled streets surrounding the area. There is loud music, nightclubs, ladyboys, bars and girls, lots of girls dancing and singing wearing bikinis, bra tops and other rather revealing items of clothing. This area is aimed at male visitors, although regardless of gender it is still worth a look just to see the vibrant nightlife of the area.
There are also nightclubs throughout the city with no go-go girls, no pole dancing, as well as bars with live music, pub meals and sports bars showing all the main sports that you would normally watch at home (although gambling is illegal in Thailand so don’t expect to find betting facilities in any sports bar).
So, What does Pattaya offer other than a Party?
1. Pattaya beach
Pattaya beach is perfect for a stroll or a relaxing break to escape the city, although the beaches in the area are by no means on par with the stunning island beaches and coastlines of the South.
2. Jomtien Beach
The next beach on from Pattaya Beach is Jomtien Beach, which is a more relaxed and less intense area that sees more families holidaying in the area than in Pattaya. Jomtien is a short distance from Pattaya city and is considered part of Pattaya. It is home to a cleaner foreshore and beach, as well as more relaxed bars and cheaper restaurants and guesthouses lined the streets leading up the Jomtien Beach Road.
3. Koh Laan
From the Pattaya Pier, ferries and small speed boats make daily trips to Koh Laan, a small island a short distance from the mainland.
The island itself feels like a small village island, with the older style pier and shack-like shops that line the narrow roads that dart around the buildings and across the scrub to different areas of the island.
It is possible to stay on the island, with many guesthouses, hostels as well as small general stores and family-run restaurants on the island.
4. Buddha Hill
Buddha Hill, situated between Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach, on Khao Phratamnak. The large golden Buddha statue overlooks Pattaya City and is a popular place for visitors. There is a nice garden and Chinese styled statues, ponds and temples as well as an excellent view over Pattaya Beach and the city from a nearby hill just across Phratemnak Road.
Here you will find a monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, believed to be the founder of the Thai navy, that locals come to visit.
5. Mini Siam
Mini Siam is a theme park that is home to mini replicas of famous buildings and is located on the main highway (Sukhumvit Road). Buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty as well as its focus on Thai structures such as the Democracy Monument and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha feature in this park. Mini Siam is one of the well-known miniature model villages in the world, and it is worth a look, with ticket prices for adults costing 250 baht.
6. Underwater World
Underwater World is an aquarium on the main highway (Sukhumvit Road) that features marine life from the waters of Thailand, with one small display of fish from the Amazon River. There is a large tunnel where visitors can walk through and observe a 180-degree view of the aquatic life, including rare fish, sharks, stingrays, turtles and many more species. The entrance to the aquarium is 500 baht for adults and 300 baht for children.
There is also an area where visitors can opt to dive underwater with wetsuits and scuba equipment and view the marine life from within the water (This costs an extra 2500 baht for 30 minutes in the water).
Getting to Pattaya Is Fairly Simple
The U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport is located at Sattahip (30 kilometres from Pattaya) and services to Phuket and Koh Samui are available although often more expensive than other domestic flights in Thailand.
There are local buses to Pattaya from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Ekamai Station, Mo Chit Station, and Sai Tai Mai Station in Bangkok. Travelling to Pattaya by bus is cost-effective rather than flying or by minibus, with tickets costing 113 baht and taking around 2 to 2.5 hours.
Minibus tickets are available for around 120 baht if purchased from the Victory Monument Transit area and leave every 20 minutes, or alternatively from companies exclusively servicing Khao San Road and charge from 400 baht for the journey to Pattaya.
Although Pattaya is a well-known party zone, the city has a lot more to offer everyone. There are indoor and outdoor entertainment complexes with cinemas, shopping centres, indoor and open-air restaurants.
Pattaya is a great place for everyone, although if you have a family and wish to visit the area I would recommend staying in Jomtien, being more family-friendly and still within a short distance to Pattaya city itself.
I personally chose to stay in Jomtien while living in Pattaya, and as a solo female felt safe and enjoyed both Jomtien and Pattaya although preferred Jomtien as there was no music and nightlife going on 24/7.