Introduction to Pattaya
Get ready to uncover the vibrant life in Pattaya, Thailand, the city that never sleeps! Set on the pristine eastern Gulf coast, Pattaya acts as an adrenaline cocktail that blends idyllic beaches, nightlife, and spectacular scenery. It’s not your usual laid-back beach town – this place buzzes with energy!
- Exquisite Nightlife: What sets Pattaya apart is its exhilarating nightlife. From bustling night markets to lively nightclubs, the city never fails to keep you entertained.
- Diverse Nature: Pattaya’s location is a bonanza for nature lovers with its proximity to lush forests and riverine landscapes that rival Thailand’s big cities.
- A Cultural Melting Pot: With a large expat population, Pattaya has fostered an intriguing mix of cultures, enriching its food, traditions, and attractions.
Stay tuned as I unravel the captivating side of Pattaya that goes beyond its notorious labels. Dare to venture into the beauty and excitement that await you in this invigorating metropolis!
Here are the 17 Best Things to do in Pattaya!
17 Things to Do in Pattaya
1. Get some sun on Pattaya Beach
Eager to catch some rays during your 2023 travels? Engage in a sun-soaked experience at Pattaya Beach, Thailand’s premier beach haven. Here’s how to get the most out of it.
Secure a spot under an umbrella or spread out on the faultless white sand to soak up the warm tropical sun.
Your bucket list should include:
- Lounging in the sun with a cool drink
- Trying out a fun water sport
- Indulging in fresh seafood at a seaside eatery
- Capturing Instagram-worthy sunset snapshots
- Exploring vibrant marine life through a diving or snorkeling excursion
Remember, nothing compares to the simple joy of basking in the sun against the refreshing ocean breeze at Pattaya Beach.
2. Visit Wat Huay Yai Temple
As a seasoned traveler, I can assure you that a visit to the majestic Wat Phra Yai in Pattaya, Thailand is an experience to treasure!
Nestled within the enchanting Pratumnak Hills, this Buddhist temple, founded in the 1940s, boasts the region’s largest golden Buddha statue, a landmark visible even from afar.
The mesmerizing artistry and intricate architecture offer a beautiful blend of history and spiritual ambiance, making it a must-visit spot on your Pattaya itinerary.
Here are the exciting activities to explore at the Wat Phra Yai Temple:
- Dive into its rich history.
- Behold the masterpiece Buddha statue and its accompanying smaller idols.
- Experience the spiritually-charged atmosphere accentuated by the pleasant aroma of incense sticks.
- Visit the pavilion hall graced with exquisite mosaics.
The temple is open daily from 7 am to 10 pm. Be sure to wear modest, respectful attire that covers shoulders and knees as per temple norms. Happy visiting!
3. Party on Pattaya Walking Street
Pattaya’s Walking Street is the pulsating heart of the city’s nightlife scene, and quite honestly, the party never stops here!
Once the sun sets, it transforms into an electrifying hotbed of action where fun-seekers like me can’t help but get drawn in.
- Get your senses captivated by the numerous bars, clubs, and live shows featuring both local and international DJs.
- Surprise your palate with Thailand’s lip-smacking street food; nothing beats that after a rocking concert.
- Want to party in sub-zero temperatures? Head to The V Lounge and The Ice Cube. I can vouch it’s a unique experience!
Expert tip: Hit the street after 10 PM when the crowd starts rolling in, and always stay alert.
But whatever you do, don’t skip Walking Street. Pattaya’s party spirit is incomplete without it!
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4. Explore the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden
Imagine strolling across a fantasy world teeming with vibrant blooms, intricate topiaries, and lush landscapes, with every step unveiling a new wonder.
That, my dear friend, is precisely what you get at Thailand’s world-renowned Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, an Eden-like paradise that spans a whopping 500 acres.
Accessibly situated in Pattaya, this Garden offers an unforgettable journey into Thailand’s diverse flora, fauna, and culture.
Spend a day – trust me, you’ll need it – meandering thoughtfully curated gardens that hail from across the globe.
Bring your most comfortable shoes, rent a bike, and prepare for an outing unlike any other!
Here are the highlights you should not miss:
- Bonsai and topiary gardens meticulously shaped artistic explorations of the plant kingdom.
- A surreal 17th-century-inspired French garden.
- The breathtakingly beautiful orchid garden, home to 670 species.
- The color-filled Butterfly garden, perfect for the kiddos.
- Dinosaur Valley, where history comes alive- in a huge way!
- The astonishing car collection.
Ultimately, your Nong Nooch Tropical Garden exploration isn’t just about seeing plants.
It’s about experiencing the transcendent beauty that Mother Earth has to offer. So, are you ready to pedal through paradise?
5. Enjoy the Alcazar Cabaret Show
If you’re a fan of theater and find yourself in Thailand, you simply can’t pass up the chance to witness the Alcazar Cabaret Show in Pattaya.
The minute the performers step onto the stage, you’ll be astounded by the grandeur of their costumes and makeup, each outfitted with intricate sequin detailing that’ll make your eyes sparkle just as much.
But it’s not all about the shimmer and shine; the captivating music, dance, and humor make for an awe-inspiring performance.
You’ve never seen a cabaret show quite like this – a blend of energy, drama, and flamboyance that truly showcases the city’s talented transgender community.
Here are a few key tips to consider:
- The Alcazar Cabaret show is most recommended when it’s newly set at the start of every month.
- There are four shows you can attend daily: 5 pm, 6:30 pm, 8 pm, and 9:30 pm.
- If you want a great view, go for the VIP seats for 600 Baht ($17) per person. They’re worth it.
- Don’t overlook the importance of getting there a bit early for good seating.
Remember, enjoy every second; it’s not just a show, it’s an unforgettable experience!
6. Reflect at The Sanctuary of Truth
I’ll never forget the time I stepped into the enchanting world of The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya, Thailand – a place where spirituality and craftsmanship intersect remarkably.
Tucked away on Pattaya’s western coast, it is unlike any temple – it’s a realm of reflection carved entirely from teak wood.
Let me spill a few secrets to elevate your visit:
- Stand a while and absorb the Ayutthaya style architecture teeming with Buddhist and Hindu influences.
- Pause to watch the skilled craftsmen at work, their expertise is captivating.
- Don’t just stick to the indoor allure, the scenic gardens outside provide spellbinding views.
Visiting this place truly felt like heaven recreated on Earth!
7. Experience the Crocodile Farm
If you’re an adrenaline junkie with a love for nature, the Pattaya Crocodile Farm in the Million Years Stone Park is an unforgettable adventure waiting to happen! It’s a fusion of thrill, awe, and beauty that will get your heart pumping.
To truly savor the experience, plan to arrive early in the morning when the park opens at 8:00 AM. Don’t miss the crocodile shows where you can learn about these impressive creatures and even get the chance to feed them.
The park is also home to a plethora of other exotic animals, so make sure to check out the giraffes, elephants, and rare albino bears. For a moment of calm, unwind amidst the park’s scenic rock gardens and 100-million-year-old trees.
Your visit to the Pattaya Crocodile Farm is sure to be a thrilling splash of adventure, so dive in and don’t hold back!
8. Visit the Dolphinarium Pattaya
During our trip to Pattaya, we were thrilled to visit the Dolphinarium Pattaya in the Bang Lamung District.
It was an exceptional experience, watching the adorable dolphins perform lively tricks, spin, and dance rhythmically was truly awe-inspiring.
The highlight was the post-show chance to take pictures with these intelligent creatures and the unforgettable 10-minute dolphin swimming session.
To get the most out of your visit, here are a few tips:
- Arrive early, the Dolphinarium opens from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Plan your travel, it’s advisable to rent a private taxi or scooter if you’re in western Pattaya.
- Pre-book your tickets, it can get crowded, and VIP tickets give you a front-row seat.
In all, the Dolphinarium Pattaya gives a fantastic, fun-filled experience that’ll leave you with lifelong memories. It’s definitely a must-visit for any tourist in Pattaya!
9. Ride the Slides at The Aquaverse
Feel the thrill of cascading down unique movie-themed slides at The Aquaverse in Pattaya, Thailand.
As one enthusiastic visitor, immerse yourself in the world of cinematic fun with high-adrenaline slide experiences that you’ll relish!
Begin your adventure at the Ghostbusters zone; conquer the 75-foot long Proton Stream and prepare for an exhilarating ghost-trapping adventure.
In the Jumanji zone, adventure beckons from the Jaguar Mountain’s crowd-pleasing climax to the high-speed, heart-pounding descent of Viper.
Be sure to try these features:
- The Ghost Trap Adventure: a water slide that tears through the spectral world of Ghostbusters.
- Jungle Stampede: Simulating a real-life stampede, this slide in the Jumanji zone will send your heart racing!
For optimal enjoyment, arrive early, preferably around the park’s 10AM opening time, to avoid the afternoon rush.
Remember to balance adventure with relaxation – consider renting a Cabana for restful respites between the action-packed rides.
10. Indulge at a Thai Cooking Class
Imagine spending a day savoring and creating culinary delicacies in Thailand – a gastronomical paradise! Add to that the feeling of being nestled in bustling Pattaya, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable adventure.
In a Thai cooking class, I found myself exploring the authentic Thai culinary culture, surrounded by a global tribe of food enthusiasts.
It was a delightfully immersive activity, packed with guided tours of neighborhood markets, unraveling the secrets behind selecting the perfect Thai ingredients.
The experience was truly unique, emphasizing hands-on practice, where I crafted Thai classics like Green Curry and Pad Thai from scratch.
The highlights included:
- Mastering the core techniques of Thai cooking
- The opportunity to prepare and relish a heavenly lunch/dinner
- Fun interactions with locals and foodies
The class turned out to be a splendid blend of education and entertainment, providing an enriching first-hand taste of the Thai culinary soul.
It reminded me – food, after all, has a language of its own.
11. Take a Daytrip to Koh Larn
Visiting Koh Larn, lovingly also known as Coral Island, is nothing short of a tropical dream come true.
Just a stone’s throw from Pattaya, this paradise offers the perfect blend of tranquility and thrilling aquatic adventures.
Hop on a 30-minute speedboat from Pattaya (or a 45-minute ferry if you aren’t in a rush), and brace yourself for a remarkable island getaway.
Your day at Koh Larn can be filled with vibrant ventures:
- Luxuriate on six different beaches, each presenting its own unique aura of beauty.
- Try adrenaline-rushing activities like jet skiing, parasailing, or windsurfing.
- Discover the colorful underwater world by snorkeling or by taking a coral spotting tour in a thrilling glass-bottom boat ride.
- Sample delectable Thai seafood at bustling beach restaurants.
Whatever you seek, be it calmness or excitement, Coral Island promises a day trip filled with unforgettable vivid experiences.
12. Explore the Pattaya Night Bazaar
If you’re in Pattaya, the Night Bazaar is one spot you simply can’t miss! It’s a vibrant covered market, brimming with over 250 diverse stalls and shops, offering a truly exhilarating Thai shopping experience.
Once you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a bustling atmosphere filled with unique finds and local delights.
Look out for handmade fabrics, quirky accessories, stylish beachwear, classic Thai souvenirs, various apparel, and footwear.
A striking feature of the Night Bazaar is its air-conditioned structure, a rarity among street markets, making your bargain hunt a comfortable affair.
- Take a stroll through the intricate maze of stores and discover rare artifacts.
- Engage your bargaining skills to bag incredible deals.
- Don’t forget to indulge in local Thai cuisine from the sprightly food vendors.
- If you’re not in the mood to shop, just enjoy the energetic vibes around you.
A night at the Pattaya Night Bazaar is more than just shopping; it’s an unforgettable Thai cultural experience!
13. Enjoy a Thai Massage
Nothing beats the pure bliss of a Thai massage in Pattaya. Trust me, it’s an absolute game-changer! Ready to let loose? Here’s the lowdown.
Start your search for the best Pattaya spas online, looking for good reviews and suitable prices.
Now, get ready to melt into the massage table. Let the pros knead out those knots, or try a dreamy facial scrub.
- Oasis Spa,
- Devarana Spa,
- Marina Massage,
- Yunomori Onsen & Spa.
P.S. – Don’t skip the Thai Lanna therapies or Ayurvedic massages, they’re worth every penny!
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14. Explore Underwater World Pattaya
Get ready for a deep dive into Thailand’s aquatic kingdom at Underwater World Pattaya! Set sail on a one-hour voyage that will literally submerge you in the spectacle of 2,500 vibrant sea life species, stingrays, and even sharks!
Visiting with your little sea explorers? Brace yourself for a night of ‘Sleepover with Sharks & Rays Camp.’ Trust me, it’s as thrilling as it sounds!
Not only is this Thailand’s first modern aquarium, but it also boasts the largest collection of jellyfish.
You can also hand-feed koi fish and learn about various species in the touch pool.
Don’t forget to jot down these top attractions:
- Touch & Feel: Get friendly with sea cucumbers and touch starfish.
- Underwater Tunnel: A whopping 330 feet of unadulterated sea life view.
- Come face-to-face with the giants of the sea at the Open Ocean Zone.
Remember, the Underwater World Pattaya experience goes beyond just watching. It’s about interacting, learning, and appreciating our marine friends!
15. Snap a Picture at Phra Tamnak Viewpoint
Need an amazing photo for your Instagram? You can’t afford to miss visiting the Phra Tamnak Viewpoint, also known as Khao Pattaya Viewpoint, as it’s labeled the best viewpoint in the region.
A jewel in the heart of Pattaya City, this exuberant spot offers a panoramic view of the cityscape, bay, and Pattaya’s stunning crescent-shaped coastline.
For shutterbugs, it’s a dreamy spot – ideal for capturing mesmerizing sunrise or sunset images or the city sparkling in twilight.
Here’s a pro tip: Visit at the break of dawn for clear views of the Pattaya City Sign, or wait until evening when it’s all lit up for that perfect click!
16. Visit Tiger Park Pattaya
Thrilled to share my extraordinary experience at Tiger Park Pattaya in Thailand – a rare gem for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts!
Nestled amidst lush natural settings, this unique park allows intimate and safe encounters with some of the world’s majestic cats, specifically tigers, gone nowhere near commercialization. A must-visit!
Here are some awesome things to do on your visit:
- Relish up-close interactions with tigers in near-natural habitats.
- Enjoy the engaging presence of well-trained and professional handlers.
- Opt for a photo session with these big cats for a small additional fee.
- Ride around the park to make the most of your visit.
- Immerse in the serene wilderness while honing your knowledge of rare cat species!
Get ready to embrace the adventure, beauty, and tranquility that await you at Tiger Park Pattaya!
17. Explore the Big Buddha Temple
The Big Buddha Temple is an awe-inspiring destination that will take your breath away from its grand Buddha statue to panoramic city views.
Perched atop Pratumnak Hill in Pattaya, Thailand, it’s a spiritual sanctuary offering a unique combination of religious reverence, stunning architecture, and tranquil ambiance.
Upon reaching the temple, pay respect, receive a blessing from a monk, and soak up the magnificent views of Koh Lan Island and nearby beaches.
Here are some temple highlights:
- the 60-foot-high golden Buddha statue
- seven smaller Buddhas around the main figure
- the ornate, dragon-flanked staircase
- sweeping views of Pattaya city from the temple’s vantage point.
Pack your camera while visiting, and remember to dress respectfully, covering your knees and shoulders. Visit early to enjoy a serene, crowd-free experience!
How far is Pattaya from Bangkok?
Traveling from Bangkok to Pattaya only takes about 90 miles on a road trip!
If you’re lucky with the traffic, it’s practically a breezy 2-hour drive down scenic highways.
Related Article: Top Things to Do in Bangkok.
Are there any theme parks or shows in Pattaya?
Yes, Pattaya is brimming with a host of exhilarating theme parks and shows that are sure to make your visit a memorable one.
- First up, there’s the world’s first cartoon network-themed amusement and water park, offering thrilling rides like Alien Attack, Banana Spin, and Mega Wave.
- For water adventure lovers, don’t miss Ramayana Waterpark, Pattaya Water Park, and Columbia Pictures Aquaverse.
- Also, make sure you catch the famed Tiffany’s Show and the KAAN Show for some stellar performances.
- A visit to the Pattaya Underwater World and the Pattaya Sheep Farm would make for some unique experiences.
Rest assured, in Pattaya, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to theme parks and shows!
Ensure you have everything you need on your vacation by reading My Ultimate Thailand Packing List.
What is Pattaya famous for?
Pattaya is well-known for its vibrant nightlife and stunning beaches.
It’s a city that never sleeps, offering a plethora of activities and experiences, from enchanting cabaret shows and watersports on beach hotspots to exploring sacred temples and indulging in exquisite Thai cuisine.
For instance, you can start your evening by savoring a local Thai meal, then head out to a cabaret show and end your night at a high-energy nightclub.
Moreover, the city also offers tranquil moments at peaceful beaches like Jomtien Beach.
Truly, Pattaya is a delight for adventure seekers and tranquility lovers alike!
What is the best way to get around Pattaya?
There are several options to get around Pattaya, including:
- Car & Motorbike Rentals: Freedom! Rent a car, jeep, or motorbike and cruise through Pattaya streets at your own pace. Plenty of rental companies are ready to serve.
Expert tip: Check your insurance coverage before diving into the wild ride.
- The Beach Bus: Economical and hustling, hop on one of these and voyage through Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach Road, Dolphin Roundabout, and many more.
Expert tip: Keep change handy for fares that are as low as 30 THB ($1).
- Boat Tours: Combine sightseeing and commuting through enthralling boat tours. Explore coastlines and villages and enjoy the nightlife on cruise ships.
Expert tip: Don’t miss the exceedingly popular fishing trips where you catch, grill, and enjoy your meal!
Is Pattaya more expensive than Phuket?
No, Pattaya is cheaper than Phuket when it comes to hotels, restaurants, and transportation.
Phuket is an island, and naturally, everything is more expensive, but even beyond that, Phuket is getting a reputation for being the premium destination in Thailand, and the prices are adjusting.
While Pattaya is not the cheapest place to visit in Thailand, on a global scale, it’s still extremely affordable.
Are there any nearby islands to visit?
Absolutely, Pattaya, Thailand, is surrounded by remarkable islands that are perfect for day trips or extended stays:
- Merely 4 miles off Pattaya, you’ll find Koh Larn Island, renowned for its verdant forests and idyllic beaches. Also known as Coral Island, this place, just 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, is adored for its six stunning beaches, each with its unique personality.
- Nicknamed Monkey Island, Koh Ling is home to hundreds of wild Thai macaques. Accessible only by boat, you can expect an interactive experience with these lively creatures who absolutely love fruits.
- For snorkel and scuba diving enthusiasts, head out to Koh Phai, which is known for its abundant marine life and thriving oceanic ecosystems.
- Unspoiled Koh Sak, resembling a horseshoe and boasting white sands and shallow waters, makes it an ideal place for beginners interested in diving or snorkeling.
Are there any unique cultural experiences in Pattaya?
Pattaya, Thailand presents an enchanting mosaic of mesmerizing cultural experiences that are sure to delight and surprise!
From traditional Thai traditions to modern adventures, this city is a vibrant treasure trove of unique experiences.
Here, one can savor the taste of local delicacies at the Pattaya Floating Market, delve into the intricacies of Thai culture through stunning performances, or explore ancient marvels at the Sanctuary of Truth.
Top cultural experiences in Pattaya include:
- Floating through Pattaya’s Venice-like market, sampling divine Thai delicacies, and reveling in the diversity of the Northern, Southern, Central, and Northeastern regions of Thailand.
- Feeling the spiritual serenity of the Big Buddha Temple, a beautifully calming experience.
- Ravishing in the vibrant hustle and bustle of Walking Street, Pattaya’s most lively party hub.
- Observing the awe-inspiring Tiffany’s Cabaret Show, a true testament to Pattaya’s vibrant cultural expression.
Also read my complete Travel Tips for Thailand.
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Conclusion: Things to Do in Pattaya
Explore the best of what the Land of Smiles has to offer by reading My Top Places to Visit in Thailand.
Pattaya is an exciting city that boasts a vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and a plethora of activities for all ages. Its radiant energy, combined with its vast array of attractions, makes it the perfect destination for anyone looking for a memorable trip.
So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Pattaya!
If there is anything I forgot to include on this list, please let me know in the comments below!