Pattaya is one of the most popular and famous resorts in Thailand.
It is located in Chonburi province and is around 150km south east of the capital Bangkok. The resort has increased in popularity over the years which have seen a rapid expansion within the city in terms of the numbers of hotels, condominiums and the general infrastructure such as World class hospitals and international schools.
Brief History of Pattaya
Pattaya first came to prominence in the early 1970’s when in became a popular destination for US troops looking to enjoy some R&R. At that time the Pattaya was a small, sleepy fishing village, nothing like what we see today. The influx of US Troops saw an increase in the number of bars and hotels which of course brought an increase in the number of girls coming to the city from rural areas looking to take advantage of the Western money.
As time went by the city started to develop a reputation of being something of a ‘fun city’ and with that came the reputation that Pattaya is trying to shake off today. The 1980’s and 90’s saw Pattaya become a single mans paradise. The beer and the girls seemed to be free flowing and relatively cheap compared to Western prices. Pattaya was once described as ‘Disneyland, only for adults’ and this notorious reputation stuck for a number of years.
Since the turn of the Millennium the area has seen an increase in the number of international companies moving to Pattaya, the Eastern Seaboard and other industrial estates in the area. This has resulted in more families coming to the area from overseas and helped to start changing the demographics of the city. The city now had a number of professional families living here and as a result these people needed to be catered for. High quality restaurants, shopping centres and housing quickly became available to cater for the market demands and Pattaya started to change into ore of what we see today.
In the past 5 years we have seen a rapid increase in the number of visitors coming from Eastern Europe, particularly Russia as well as other parts of Asia such as China and Korea. These visitors are usually families and here for short term, 2 week visits. This has seen more hotels and condominiums being built to cater for this market and has certainly resulted in more revenue coming into the city.
The Areas of Pattaya
Naklua See Property Listings for Naklua
Naklua is located to the north of Pattaya itself and is one of the most popular areas of the city. The area has a number of upmarket condominiums and hotels with a large selection of restaurants and boutique shopping. Most of the bars are located on Naklua Road which is easy to get to regardless of where you stay in the area but far enough away to ensure that you will not be disturbed. The beach area is of a reasonable standard with small restaurants running along it. The area is popular with working expats and Russian tourists.
North Pattaya See Property Listings for North Pattaya
North Pattaya is the area that runs from Dolphin roundabout to Central Pattaya Road. The area is known in Thai as Pattaya Nua. There are again a number of restaurants, hotels and condominiums in this area with the beach being the quietest part of the 3 main Pattaya beaches. Deckchairs and umbrellas are available along the beach. In effect, the area stretches back from the beach to Sukhumvit Road.
Central Pattaya See Property Listings for Central Pattaya
As the name suggests, this is the central part of Pattaya and is known as Pattaya Klang in Thai. The area runs from Central Pattaya Road to South Pattaya Road and again from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Road. In this area you can find the excellent Central Festival and Mike’s shopping Malls. Between 2nd Road and 3rd Road you will find the ever popular Soi Buakow and the streets running off there such as LK Metro and Soi Diana. The area has an abundance of bars and a buzzing nightlife. During the daytime there is also a market held on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is a popular area for Westerners.
South Pattaya See Property Listings for South Pattaya
Pattaya Tai as it is known in Thai is at the southern part of Pattaya Beach and includes the World famous Walking Street. At the far end of Walking Street is Bali Hai Pier where you can catch ferries to the nearby Koh Larn which has some excellent beaches. Again the area has a number of high class hotels and condominiums. The area is popular all groups although is particularly popular with Arabic and Muslim community.
Phratumnak See Property Listings for Phratumnak
Phratamnak is the peninsula between Pattaya and Jomtien. Some of the best beaches in Pattaya can be found in this area with Cozy Beach perhaps being the best and most popular. There are a number of high class condominiums and hotels in the area as well as a number of restaurants and shops. This is one of the quieter areas of the city but still within easy reach of downtown Pattaya or Jomtien. This is again area that is popular with the Russian community but similar to Naklua in that there are a number of other nationalities also living there.
Jomtien See Property Listings for Jomtien
Jomtien Beach stretches for approximately 6 km and has a wide variety of water sports available. Jomtien is quieter than Pattaya although there are still plenty of bars and restaurants for those looking to enjoy the entertainment. Like all districts in Pattaya, Jomtien has a large number of condominiums and hotels that are varying in price. Transport to downtown Pattaya is easy to find but for those looking for a peaceful break, Jomtien is perhaps the answer.
East Pattaya See Property Listings for East Pattaya
East Pattaya or the ‘Dark side’ as it is often referred to is all the area to the east of Sukhumvit Road. The area is where most of the housing projects are located. East Pattaya is popular with long term expats and families. There are a selection of bars and restaurants available with local shops and supermarkets in plentiful supply. This area of town is far quieter than Pattaya itself and offers a sense of normality to those living there.
Bang Saray See Property Listings for Bang Saray
Bang Saray is located further to south between Na Jomtien and Sattahip. The beaches are excellent in this district with some exclusive housing projects and a few condos available. The area is far quieter than Pattaya although there are a few bars and restaurants. The area gives off a feeling of tranquillity although can be very busy with Thai nationals on Public Holidays. The new Cartoon Network water park is located close to Bang Saray.
Huay Yai See Property Listings for Huay Yai
Huay Yai is another popular location within Pattaya and is just minutes away from Na Jomtien. Popular with long term expats, the area has a number of quality restaurants that are situated along the beachfront that is lined by pine trees. The housing projects are all mid to high range with no condos to speak of. The Mimosa entertainment complex is close by.
Banglamung See Property Listings for Banglamung
Banglamung is the general name given to the Pattaya area although locals tend to associate this with the area north of Naklua, heading out towards Laem Chabang. This is a predominantly Thai area although some upmarket condominiums are available. The location is convenient for the 36 Highway.
Infrastructure in Pattaya
The infrastructure in Pattaya is improving all the time in terms of road improvements, internet connection and things like that. Throughout Pattaya there are a number of high quality hotels and condominiums. Pattaya has a selection of international schools with perhaps Regents and St. Andrews being the pick of the bunch. There are 3 international hospitals in Pattaya; these are Memorial Hospital, International Hospital and Bangkok Hospital – all of which have a good reputation. Large shopping centres are also available for those looking for a little retail therapy. These contain well known brands as well as a few boutique stores.
The transport network in Pattaya is excellent. The roads are generally of a good quality with easy access throughout the city. The 7 and 36 Highways are close by for those looking to travel a little further afield. Motorbike taxis, taxis, buses and Songtaews (baht buses) are plentiful throughout the whole of Pattaya.
Things to do in Pattaya
One thing that is for certain in Pattaya is that there is always plenty to do. The area has around 20 championship standard golf courses with golf societies running for a number of bars and clubs in the city. Water sports are also available with a selection of dive schools located around the city. The waters are clear and clean with coral reefs and artificial reefs attracting divers, both experienced and novices alike.
There are also a number of places to visit in and around Pattaya. These include:
- The Sanctuary of Truth located at Naklua. This is an ornate wooden structure that is quite unique in it’s design.
- The Floating Market that is located in the Na Jomtien area. As the name suggests this is a market that you go around on small boats. The attraction is popular with tourists but is well worth a visit if just for the novelty value.
- Nong Nooch Gardens are close to Bang Saray, to the south of Jomtien. The tropical gardens have won a number of awards and are superbly kept. This is a great way to spend a day with the family away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and Khao Kheow Open Zoo are a bit further afield. Both attractions are around a 45 minute drive and are to the north of Pattaya. These are again fun filled family days out.
There are of course plenty of other things to do in the area. Guides are available in many places but it is well worth speaking to long term visitors or expats to find out what suits you the best.
If there is perhaps one thing that Pattaya is most famous for it is the nightlife. Where ever you go in Pattaya you won’t be far away for a bar where you will be welcomed by a selection of attractive hostesses. Local beers are well priced and certainly a lot cheaper than you would pay back in your home country. Imported spirits and wines can be on the expensive side as can lady drinks but this is all part of the enjoyment in coming to Pattaya.
The main entertainment areas are focused around Walking Street and Soi Buakow. Walking Street and a number of bars, agogo bars and nightclubs catering for all tastes and nationalities. Soi Buakow is slightly cheaper with few nightclubs. Soi Diana has a wide selection of open air bars and LK Metro has Irish Bars, Sports Bar and agogo bars so again everything is taken care of. Soi 7 and Soi 8 are also popular venues.
Regardless of how long you stay in Pattaya you will not be short of things to do, places to visit or people to meet. Pattaya has something for everyone so if one thing doesn’t appeal to you, something else certainly will.