Things to Do in Pattaya

Things to Do in Pattaya
Things to Do in Pattaya

Things to Do in Pattaya: Pattaya, a beach town about 90 minutes south of Bangkok, is famous for all the wrong reasons. This is true not only among foreign visitors but also among the Thais themselves. This word can make people shout out loud – why would anyone come to Pattaya, a place that looks like Las Vegas virtuoso. Below, you’ll find the top 14 things to do in Pattaya, Thailand, that will dispel any misconceptions you may have about the city.

Top 14 Things to Do in Pattaya, Thailand

  1. Visit Pattaya Walking Street—Or Don’t

Don’t be fooled by the innocuous name of Pattaya Walking Street: Most people come here to do anything but walk. While it’s true that you could theoretically just stroll here to take photos, or just sit and enjoy a cocktail in a bar, this is where most of the things that Pattaya is notorious for, happen. Be alert if you visit Pattaya Walking Street – and don’t say we didn’t warn you!

  1. Snorkel in the Crystalline Waters off Ko Lan

Although Pattaya sits on the coast, it is not home to any of the best beaches in Thailand – not on the mainland, at least. However, you can take easy day trips by boat from Pattaya Ghat, which will take you to the islands of enchanting beauty. The most popular of these is Ko Lan, which means “Coral Island” in Thai. As its name suggests, Ko Lan is a paradise for snorkelers. Other islands within day-trip distance of Pattaya include Ko Phi and Ko Sak.

  1. Marvel at Art in Paradise

The beautiful beaches are the first way Pattaya has sabotaged its reputation – the art is the second. And not just any art. True to its name, the Art in Paradise Museum has several paradisiacal scenes depicting tropical animals, tall palm trees and the water is almost as beautiful as if it were shining in front of you. But it’s not just a pretty face. Art in Paradise features three-dimensional art that is highly interactive and allows you to be a part of the exhibition. Needless to say, if you are looking for the best Instagram spots in Pattaya, this should be at the top of the list.

  1. Shop at Pattaya’s Floating Market

When you think of floating markets in Thailand, you usually imagine boat canals north and west of Bangkok, such as Amphawa and Damnoen Saduk in Samut Songkhram Province. However, if you don’t get a chance to visit any of the floating markets near Bangkok, do visit Pattaya. Located in Bang Lamung, about 20 minutes from the city by taxi, take a leisurely stroll through Pattaya’s floating market and maybe even buy some produce.

  1. Luxuriate at Nong Nuch Botanical Garden

Want to experience some of the lush nature of the Pattaya region, but not feel in the mood for the beach, and don’t want to eat pad thai that was cooked on a long-tail boat? Take a taxi to Nong Nuch Botanical Garden, about 30 minutes west of Pattaya.

Including an impressive variety of orchids, plants native to Thailand, this specially landscaped garden would not be out of place in Europe or the United States. Well, except for the ornate Buddhist sculptures that dot its landscape and the “spirit houses” where the ghosts of previous structures reside.

  1. Skip Pattya’s Main Beach for Jomtien

Few people stumble upon Pattaya’s aforementioned Walking Street after watching the sunset from the city’s main beach. One way to avoid such a misstep with all due respect to the main beach is to get your dose of Vitamin C at Jomtien Beach. Located just south of the main strip and home to a growing variety of luxury condos, high-rise hotels, and upscale eateries, Jomtien is the ideal place to kick off the day.

  1. Beat the Heat at Ramayana Water Park

Then again, you don’t need to hit the beach to beat the heat. After all, Pattaya has the largest water park in Asia: Ramayana, located about 30 minutes south of the city center. With a swaying pool, a lazy river, and dozens of water slides, this water wonderland itself is based on the mythology of the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic poem containing central tenets of Hinduism, a precursor to Thailand’s national Buddhism (And one that is still represented throughout Thailand, including Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine.)

  1. Discover Thailand’s Wine Scene

As is the case with many bars in Thailand, the quality of the wine served in Pattaya can vary dramatically. One way to get a clean, delicious buzz is at Silverlake Vineyards, a winery only a short taxi ride from the center of Pattaya. In addition to the opportunity to drink the delicious white wine produced right here in Thailand (they also make red, but it will be too hot to enjoy it), you can take a tour of the winery grounds, where the vines that seem to be more suitable for Thailand Certainly Europe and California exist amidst the tropical landscape.

  1. Step into the Sanctuary of Truth

An intricate, 300-foot-tall teak wood structure that presented a mythical, Impressionist vision of human history, heavily influenced by Buddhism, the Sanctuary of Truth is truly an architectural masterpiece. Located off the Art In Paradise just north of Pattaya’s main beach, the Sanctuary of Truth is a great way to spend an afternoon or to practice your photography skills.

  1. Go to Heaven at Sukhawadee House

Pattaya Walking Street is the city’s most famous source of controversy, but it is not the only one. Baan Sukhawadi, whose name literally translates to “House of Heaven”, is a good example of this phenomenon, even though many may consider it distasteful.

Built-in 2000 by a private architect, the place is far from pristine, and arguably lacks the architectural integrity (or connection to history) you find in the aforementioned Sanctuary of Truth. On the other hand, many tourists (especially Chinese tourists, lately) find its over-the-top colors and design interesting, as you’ll find when you search social media for pictures taken here. Of course, the only way to know how you will feel is to plan your trip here.

  1. Discover a Literal Underwater World

Want to discover the wide world of Pattaya’s underwater life, but don’t have a SCUBA license or care to snorkel? One of the best aquariums in Thailand, Underwater World more than lives up to its name. With dozens of species of fish and marine mammals including whales and dolphins, Underwater World allows you to get up close and personal with the colorful, precious landscapes nestled off the coast of the city of Pattaya. This is a great Pattaya destination for families and lovers of aquatic animals.

  1. See Ancient Siam in Replica Form

Want to see all the most important sights of Thailand but are short of time? Pattaya has the antidote to it! Known as Mini Siam, this replica park just outside the city center is home to miniature models of Thailand’s most famous attractions, from the Grand Palace in Bangkok to the Doi Suthep Temple in Chiang Mai.

Surprisingly, you’ll also find replicas of non-Thai things here, including Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. Note that most of the replicas in Mini Siam are closed, which means you, unfortunately, won’t be able to take a picture of yourself atop Phuket’s Big Buddha-like Godzilla.

  1. Take in a Priceless Panorama

Technically known as Pratumak (although most locals refer to it as “viewpoint”) the hill south of Pattaya’s main beach is the best place to get a bird’s eye view of the city, especially at sunset and Even after night. It is also an important place for Thais, as it is home to a memorial to fallen Thai Navy soldiers. (Coastal Pattaya, not surprisingly, has often played an important role for the Marine Corps of Thailand’s military.)

  1. Explore the Rest of Southeastern Thailand

Pattaya is often a weekend trip for Bangkok residents (and visitors), but it can be too much. In fact, you could easily argue that Pattaya is the gateway to southeastern Thailand, one of the country’s most under-rated regions.

The closest destination to Pattaya is the island of Koh Samet, which is located on the coast of Rayong City in the province of the same name, about an hour by bus from Pattaya. A trip down the coast takes you to Trat Province and the Koh Chang archipelago, which includes the islands of Koh Mak, Koh Wai, Koh Kood, and of course, Koh Chang (Elephant Island).

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