A Guide to Overseas Travel

Pattaya Guide for First Time Visitors

Pattaya Walking Street

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If you have decided to go to Pattaya, you are in for an adventure. However, you might need a little bit of guidance since there is so much to see and do.

What should you know about Pattaya? Pattaya is full of things to do, whether you prefer nature or city life. However, you need to make sure that you are prepared to deal with the costs and prepare adequately for the visit.

You can have a great vacation if you choose Pattaya as your destination. However, you need to make sure that you are prepared for the good, the bad, and the ugly that this city has to offer.

How Pattaya Became a Tourist Destination

Pattaya City is located on the eastern coast of Thailand within the Chon Buri province.  Chon Buri has a diverse landscape that includes beaches, plains, and mountains.

Just five decades ago, Pattaya was a quiet little village. However, it became a popular military location when American GIs arrived on leave. The town became developed as it tended to the needs of these soldiers. This was the start of the tourist industry in Pattaya.

After this, Pattaya became more popular with both people in Thailand and visitors from overseas. Pattaya grew so fast that the local government could not keep up. Therefore, Pattaya ended up merging with Naklua and became Pattaya City.

Today, Pattaya is home to numerous festivals and events, including the Wan Lai Festival in April, and the Chonburi Buffalo Races during October. Five million people visit this beach resort on an annual basis. There is no shortage of things to do, and people who come here can enjoy traditional Thai hospitality.

Of course, where you go in Pattaya makes a difference as well. There are three major parts of this city–Pattaya, Naklua, and Jomtien. Pattaya is constantly booming, full of life, and a popular party destination. Naklua is probably where you want to go if you want to experience the traditional Thai lifestyle and some of the best beaches. Jomtien is also quiet and mellow.

Pattaya Weather

The weather in Pattaya is warm throughout the year.  The average annual temperature is 82 Fahrenheit (28 Celsius).   However, the best time to visit is typically going to be between November and April. This is because the other months of the year constitute the rainy season.  September typically averages 12 inches (300 millimeters) of precipitation, with October around 9 inches (230 millimeters).

However, if cost is a consideration, it is cheaper to visit Pattaya during the rainy season, when the hotel rates will typically be half of what they are when the weather is better.

Transportation in Pattaya

The most efficient way to get to Pattaya City from the airport is by using a taxi service. It’s usually best if you book the service a few days in advance so that the driver can be waiting for you when you are leaving the airport.

As for getting around the city, the cheapest and most convenient ways would be bus and motorcycle. Renting a motorcycle in Pattaya is straightforward.

Things to Do in Pattaya

There are plenty of things that you can do in Pattaya. These would include

  • a day trip to one of the islands, such as Ko Phai or Ko Khrok,
  • get a massage
  • go to a museum
  • relax at one of the many beaches

The beaches in all three major parts of Pattaya are close to a variety of hotels and resorts. You can visit the very well-known botanical gardens and water parks around Jomtien Beach, eat at a floating restaurant or go parasailing at Pattaya Beach, or enjoy the finest quality fresh fish and produce that you’ll find at Naklua Beach.

This place is also known for the thriving nightlife. There are multiple nightclubs that you can visit, such as Mixx Discotheque. There are two rooms at this popular destination; you can enjoy either hip-hop and R&B or house/trance music.

There is also the famous Tiffany’s Ladyboy Cabaret, which will allow you to see a colorful and extravagant theater performance starring talented transgender actors.  Another cabaret option is Colosseum Show Pattaya.  Performances are in the colosseum-styled theater.

If you want to go shopping, there are plenty of options in Pattaya as well. Central Festival Pattaya Beach is a huge shopping center with a variety of high-fashion clothing stores, in addition to restaurants, electronics stores, a movie theater, and a bowling alley. There is also the Pattaya Floating Market, which is home to vendors in boats who are selling items from the four major parts of Thailand (north, northeast, central, and south); here, you can get food, souvenirs, and local art. 

You will have to pay a small fee to enter, but it is well-worth it.

Other Places to Go

There are also various other options if you are looking for something to do in Pattaya. In addition to all the fantastic restaurants, there are countless tours to experience. There are also a lot of fun sites and attractions to explore.

The Cartoon Network Water Park, for example, is a great place to go for anyone who wants to enjoy the cool fun of a water park with themes from popular cartoons, such as The Powderpuff Girls and Darwin. There is also Buddha Hill, the location of a major temple, where you can enjoy a view of the entire city. Walking Street is also a major location of interest for the tourists who are interested in seeing the bars and shopping hotspots of Pattaya.

You can read our article about Pattaya’s Walking Street here.

Things to Keep in Mind When Visiting Pattaya

There are a few tips that you should keep in mind if you are visiting Pattaya. You should make sure that you always have a copy of your passport on you. It’s also a good idea to carry a small bottle of mosquito repellent, since there are lots of mosquitoes around, and they can make your vacation miserable without protection.

To easily find your way around, you should have a navigation app on your phone. A Thai SIM card would also be a good idea so that you will not have trouble using your phone on vacation.


Your budget will depend on exactly what you plan on doing while you are in Pattaya City. You can have a relatively cheap and fun vacation if you just decide to spend it on the beach. If you want to enjoy the nightlife and do some shopping, you will probably have to spend more. How much you have to spend depends entirely on your choices of activities.

However, you can rest assured that hotel accommodations are relatively cheap. Of course, you will get the best deals when you book your hotel room at least a few weeks in advance. Usually, you will be able to pay 200 baht per night for a room in one of the cheaper hotels, or a few thousand baht per night if you want the more luxurious five-star option. One Thai baht is the equivalent of approximately three cents in US dollars, so most people would say this is not a bad deal at all.

Beware of These Things!

There are a few things that you should be wary of when you are visiting the city. One is the “jet ski scam.” It isn’t the menace that it once was, but there is always a risk that you could fall victim to it. Basically, the scammers would perform their service in Pattaya Beach—people would rent jet skis, return them, and have them pay for damage that had already been there.

Be on the look out for robbers and pickpockets since these are common. Make sure that you only carry valuables when necessary, and do not carry them out in the open.

Additionally, when driving in Pattaya, you should make sure that you know how to stay calm on the road. The roads can be unpredictable since there could be untrained drivers there.

Keep in mind that you will typically get better rates when you exchange your foreign currency in Thailand, versus exchanging it at home. However, you need to make sure that you can use your bank card and Thailand if this is the way you want to go.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you have considered vacationing in Pattaya City before, you have now seen that it has a lot to offer. For a very reasonable price, you can truly get a lot out of your vacation and make memories that you will remember for a lifetime. You just need to make sure that you are familiar with safety precautions that you need to take so that you won’t encounter any unnecessary unpleasantness. You are not going to run out of things to do in Pattaya. No matter what your interests are, you will be able to find something that appeals to you. All you need to do is take the time to do the appropriate research and planning, and you’ll be able to put together a fantastic vacation.

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