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Pattaya

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in pattaya

Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in pattaya, Bed and Breakfast!


Pattaya (?????) is a popular resort on the North Gulf Coast of Eastern Thailand, 150 km south-east of Bangkok. Most famous for its go-go and beer bars, it's also one of Thailand's best locations for all manner of sports and activities. Some of the beaches are lacklustre (by Thailand's high standards) and rampant overdevelopment has long since destroyed any natural charms it once had, but its plethora of hotels and guesthouses and convenient location with quick and easy access from the capital make it a popular weekend getaway. With over five million tourists packing in yearly Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating choices and a wide variety of things to do and see.


View of Pattaya Bay (Ao Pattaya) from Soi 12View of Pattaya Bay (Ao Pattaya) from Soi 12
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View of Pattaya Bay (Ao Pattaya) from Soi 12

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pattaya Travel Guide :

Pattaya

Understand

Pattaya's name was originally Thap Phraya, meaning Army of the Phraya - after the surrender of Nai Klom's army to Phraya Tak (later King Taksin the Great) without a fight. Thap Phraya became Phatthaya (the name of the northeasterly wind at the beginning of the rainy season), and Phatthaya became Pattaya.

Since 1978, Pattaya has been administered under a special autonomous system with a status comparable to that of a municipality by the mayor of Pattaya City, who has overall responsibility for policies, public services, and supervision of all Pattaya City Administration employees.

Tourism

Once a sleepy fishing town, Pattaya boomed as an R&R spot during the Vietnam War and has been a sex tourism destination trying to improve its image ever since. It's popular with both Thai and foreign tourists, not only as a beach resort and for its entertainment, nightlife and shopping, but also for the broad selection of pastimes it caters for, from golf and horseback riding to bungee jumping, karting and shooting - not to mention a wide variety of watersports such as scuba diving, jet-skiing, sailing, water skiing, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and a whole lot more.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) (http://www.tourismthailand.org/destinationguide/list.aspx?provinceid=11) Information Office is just outside the centre - head south along Second Road then continue straight into Phra Tamanak Road, and when the road turns sharp right part way up the hill, turn left into the small side-soi. Worth a visit if you're in Pattaya for an extended period and want to browse for fresh ideas for new things to do/see. Open daily 08:30-16:30, tel. +66-38428750 / 8990 / 7667 - tatchon@tat.or.th (mailto:tatchon@tat.or.th)

Immigration

Most maps show the old location of the Immigration Bureau - the new location (as of December 6th 2005) is near the junction of Jomtien Beach Road and Soi 5. Applications for entry permit extensions are processed on a same day (if applied for in the morning) or next working day (if applied for in the afternoon) basis. For most nationalities, a 30 day entry permit stamp will usually be extended to 45 days (whereas in Bangkok only an additional 10 days will be given) and a 60 day entry permit stamp will usually be extended to 90 days (further extensions beyond 90 days are also possible). In all cases, the fee for an entry permit extension is 1900 baht, and two passport photos must be supplied. Note that entry permit extensions are discretionary, must be applied for in person, and that shorter extensions are likely to be issued to nationalities who do not qualify for "Visa Free" entry.

News

Local foreign language newspapers:

  • Pattaya Blatt (http://www.pattayablatt.com) - in German - 25 baht, weekly
  • Pattaya Mail (http://www.pattayamail.com) - in English - 25 baht, weekly
  • Pattaya People (Pattaya Aktuell) (http://www.pattayapeople.com) - mainly in English, some German, a little Thai - 25 baht, weekly
  • Pattaya Today (http://www.pattayatoday.net) - in English - 20 baht, fortnightly
Pattaya

Orientation

Map of major roads in Pattaya (not to scale)Map of major roads in Pattaya (not to scale)
</a
Map of major roads in Pattaya (not to scale)

Central Pattaya is easy to get around. Beach Road (Thanon Hat Pattaya, sometimes also referred to as First Road) runs north-south alongside the beach (Hat Pattaya), and is parallelled by Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya Third Road, and the main Sukhumvit highway, each one a few hundred metres from the next. Running east-west, there are three major roads - North Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Nua), Central Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Klang) and South Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Tai) - and between them a large number of smaller streets (sois).

The numbered sois run from 1 to 16, from north to south; there are also quite a few unnumbered sois. Sois 1-6 are between North Pattaya Road and Central Pattaya Road; sois 7-13 are between Central and South Pattaya Road (along with the Pattayaland sois just north of South Pattaya Road); sois 14-16 are south of South Pattaya Road.

Beach Road south of South Pattaya Road is closed to vehicles in the evenings, and is also called Walking Street; it's a major tourist area, both for nightlife and shopping. Other major tourist areas include the section of Second Road between sois 1-4, and the sois immediately north of South Pattaya Road.

Flanking the city centre are Jomtien, to the south, which is considerably more sedate and family-oriented, plus the beach here is in better shape too; and Naklua, to the north, which is also quieter than central Pattaya, but not as well known for its beach as Jomtien.

Pattaya

Get in

Most visitors arrive by road from or via Bangkok, many having flown in to Don Muang (BKK). Much smaller numbers arrive direct by road from the north and east, by rail from Bangkok, and by air via U-Tapao from Ko Samui or Phuket in Southern Thailand or Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Pattaya

By road

Pattaya

First class bus

1st class buses from Bangkok's Eastern, Northern, and Southern Bus Terminals to the North Pattaya Road bus station are air-con, almost always have an on-board toilet, are essentially direct (ie no stops), and cost 110 baht. Services from the Eastern (Ekamai) Terminal and Northern (Moh Chit) Terminal are frequent (every 20-40 minutes, depending on the time of day) and usually take 2-2.5 hours; those from the Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Bus Terminal are less frequent and take a little longer.

Departure times:

- Ekamai (East) to Pattaya - first 05:20, last 23:00
- Pattaya to Ekamai (East) - first 05:20, last 21:00
- Moh Chit (North) to Pattaya - first 05:00, last 20:00
- Pattaya to Moh Chit (North) - first 05:20, last 20:00
- Sai Tai Mai (South) to Pattaya - 05:30, 08:30, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:30
- Pattaya to Sai Tai Mai (South) - 06:00, 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00

All 1st class services to/from Bangkok use the recently redeveloped bus station on North Pattaya Road. These buses are usually full when they depart, and must be boarded at the terminus. Tickets are sold at the bus station and in most cases it's not necessary to pre-book.

From the North Pattaya Road bus station, songthaews (a cross between a pickup truck, a share-taxi, a local bus and two pews) depart when full (every few minutes). The fare to anywhere on Beach Road ("the beach") is 20 baht; press the buzzer button on the underside of the roof when you want to get off.

Pattaya from/to Don Muang: take the Northern (Moh Chit) Terminal bus; a taxi from Moh Chit direct to the departure concourse doors should be less than 100 baht by meter, 50 baht more in the opposite direction (this surcharge can be avoided by taking a taxi from outside the arrivals concourse).

Pattaya from/to Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Bus Terminal: if the direct bus is fully booked, take the Eastern (Ekamai) Terminal bus instead, and use the #511 (air-con, every 30 minutes 24/7, 20 baht) bus to connect between Ekamai and Sai Tai Mai.

Pattaya to Eastern (Ekamai) Terminal: if requested, this bus will stop at the On Nut Skytrain Station (station map (http://www.bts.co.th/en/images/Station%20Map/E9.gif)) on Sukhumvit. Depending on your final destination and the traffic conditions, you may want to transfer to the Skytrain (system map (http://www.bts.co.th/en/map.asp)) there; if so, wait until the bus departs Pattaya and then confirm with the crew that you want to be dropped off at "On Nut". NB: this bus does not stop to pick up passengers at On Nut on the outbound leg.

Pattaya

Second class bus

2nd class services (air-con, usually no on-board toilet) don't use the expressways and make frequent (and sometimes lengthy) stops, hence they take considerably longer than their 1st class counterparts (which at worst will only halt momentarily once or twice to let passengers jump off on the final approaches to their destination). Although they depart more frequently, you'll still arrive sooner if you wait for the next 1st class bus, and the difference in price doesn't amount to much (85 baht - only 25 baht less than 1st class)

Many 2nd class busses from Bangkok continue on to Jomtien, so may be worth considering if that's your final destination and you're not in a hurry; when travelling from Jomtien to Bangkok they have the advantage that they can be flagged down and boarded as they crawl along Jomtien's seafront road (Jomtien Beach Road - Thanon Hat Jomtien), avoiding the need for a preliminary trip to the bus station.

The terminus for 2nd class services to/from Bangkok and other short-haul destinations is on South Pattaya Road, but in practice these buses pick up and drop off the majority of their passengers en route. Tickets are sold both at the bus station (although advance booking may not be possible) and on the bus itself.

Most services to/from the north and north-east (Isaan) operate from a cluster of locations around the junction of Central Pattaya Road and Sukhumvit. It's always worth considering pre-booking long-haul bus tickets, however more often than not seats will still be available an hour or so prior to departure.

Pattaya

Minibus

Direct minibus services from Pattaya to Don Muang take around two hours in good traffic. Prices vary, but 400 baht/person is typical - or you can charter an entire minibus for around 2000 baht. There are several operators, and between them they provide departures from Pattaya about every 60-90 minutes from 06:00 through to 20:00.

Curiously, the same service in the opposite direction has become difficult or even impossible to arrange - the operators currently appear to be out of favour with the powers that be at the Don Muang terminals. It might be worth trying the travel agencies at Don Muang Train Station (directly opposite the airport - follow the signs for the overhead walkway to the train station and Amari Hotel from Terminal 1).

Minibuses also run between Pattaya and Bangkok's hotels and Khao San Road, offering the convenience of a door-to-door service for around 400 baht/person. Driving time is about 2 hours, but overall can take quite a bit longer (especially if you're the first to be collected and the last to be dropped off). One such service runs direct between Pattaya Dynasty Inn (Soi 13) and Bangkok Dynasty Inn (Soi Nana), and can be arranged through their reception desks.

Direct minibus services also connect Pattaya with U-Tapao Airport (near Sattahip, <1 hour, 200-250 baht), Ban Phe (gateway to Ko Samet, ~1.5 hours, 150-200 baht), and Laem Ngop (gateway to Ko Chang, ~3 hours, 400-500 baht) daily. It's also possible to travel semi-direct to Hat Lek (for the southern-most border crossing between Thailand and Cambodia, ~4 hours via Laem Ngop) but not every day of the week - enquire locally for current schedule.

Travel agencies (ubiquitous throughout Pattaya) plus many hotels/guesthouses sell minibus tickets, and tourist-oriented services such as these invariably include collection from your hotel/guesthouse/wherever.

see also the Get out | Cambodia | Visa runs section

Pattaya

Taxi

Taxis from Bangkok (or directly from Don Muang Airport) cost between 1500 baht (the official meter-taxi price) and 1000 baht. Arranged car services will tend toward the higher end, but licenced meter-taxis should be negotiable to the lower end of the range. When agreeing the price, confirm that it already includes all the highway ("motorway" or "expressway") taxes. Allow about 90 minutes, more around rush hour.

Taxis to Bangkok are widely advertised in Pattaya at 800 baht (the lower price is because it'll be a Bangkok cab returning home) and can be arranged through most travel agencies and many hotels/guesthouses. Minibuses can also be chartered taxi-style for around 2000 baht.

Pattaya

By plane

airstrips: see the Do | Sports | "flying & skydiving" section

Pattaya

U-Tapao

Formerly a US airbase and largely responsible for Pattaya's initial transformation, U-Tapao (UTP) is the closest airport fielding commercial passenger flights - but only to three destinations. Often decribed as "Pattaya Airport", it's actually at Sattahip, just off the main Sattahip - Chanthaburi highway, about 60 km south of Pattaya.

Schedules (all daily, as at January 1st 2006):

Bangkok Airways (PG) (http://www.bangkokair.com) flies to/from Ko Samui (USM) and Phuket (HKT) - the flight to Ko Samui is usually slightly less expensive than from Don Muang (BKK)

- PG272 - UTP (12:10) to HKT (13:50)
- PG271 - HKT (14:20) to UTP (16:00)
- PG252 - HKT (09:20) via USM (10:40) to UTP (11:40)
- PG285 - USM (13:10) to UTP (14:10)
- PG286 - UTP (14:40) to USM (15:40)
- PG284 - UTP (16:30) to USM (17:30)

PMTair (U4) (http://www.pmtair.com) flies to/from Siem Reap (REP) (Angkor, Cambodia)

- U4241 - REP (11:00) to UTP (12:00)
- U4242 - UTP (12:30) to REP (13:30)

The easiest way to travel between U-Tapao and Pattaya is by direct door-to-door minibus - it normally takes well under an hour.

Alternatively it's feasible to hop on virtually any bus on Sukhumvit Road. Going south, if it's a bus that terminates at Sattahip you'll have to finish the journey by songthaew; if it's going further east it'll drop you off at the airport entrance as it goes by. Going north, wait for a bus that's going further than Sattahip and then you won't need to change. There are also songthaews that ply Sukhumvit between Pattaya and Sattahip.

Or to buck the trend big time, go by rail (3rd class, weekdays only) between Pattaya and Sattahip, and connect with the airport by songthaew. The fare for the 40-50 minute train ride is 6 (yes, six!) baht - depart Pattaya 10:18, arrive Sattahip 11:00; depart Sattahip 13:30, arrive Pattaya 14:21 - and don't forget, weekdays only.

Pattaya

via Bangkok

Don Muang on the northern outskirts of Bangkok is currently the nearest major airport. There are no commercial passenger flights between Don Muang (BKK) and U-Tapao.

bus/minibus/taxi/train transfers: see the Get in | By road and Get in | By train sections

Suvarnabhumi is nearing completion and is currently due to be officially inaugurated on June 20th, 2006. It's located some 40 km closer to Pattaya, less than an hour away by taxi, on Bangkok's eastern outskirts.

Pattaya

By train

Provided it's a weekday, the most economical way to travel between Pattaya and Bangkok by public transport is by rail - the one-way fare is just 31 baht, and if you've never experienced a 3rd class Thai train, this is a good one to try.

From Monday to Friday, a single daily 3rd class (non-aircon) train departs Bangkok's Hualamphong Train Station at 06:55 and arrives in Pattaya at 10:18, before continuing on to Sattahip; it then returns via Pattaya at 14:21 and terminates back in Bangkok at 17:40 (on Saturdays and Sundays it turns back to Bangkok at Chachoengsao, so is of no practical use for getting to or from Pattaya at weekends).

If you have a penchant for trains, time to kill, a late flight to catch, and it's not a weekend, then you can get from Pattaya (depart 14:21) to Don Muang (BKK) simply by changing trains at Hualamphong (this isn't feasible in the opposite direction because the only departure to Pattaya is at 06:55). Don Muang Train Station is alongside the airport, and directly connected to Terminal 1 by a short enclosed footbridge.

Pattaya train station is located a little to the east of Sukhumvit, just north of the South Pattaya Road intersection - from Beach Road, budget around 40-50 baht for a motorbike taxi. Regardless of direction, simply turn up and buy a ticket at the station - this train can't be pre-booked.

Pattaya

By region

Pattaya

South

The options for Southern Thailand are to fly U-Tapao (near Sattahip) direct to/from Ko Samui or Phuket, or else to go via Bangkok. Note that a direct bus service between Pattaya and the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok was introduced in 2005; also that it may be worth considering using the one daily (weekdays only) train to/from Pattaya and connecting with a southern line overnight train at Hualamphong (pre-booking is advised for berths on overnight trains).

Pattaya

North

It's possible to travel direct by bus to/from numerous locations in Northern Thailand, however it's often quicker overall to go the Northern (Moh Chit) Terminal in Bangkok. Much depends on final destination, time of travel, and available services; but if in doubt, the safest bet will usually be to stick with the 1st class buses and go via Moh Chit. Alternatively, consider using the one daily (weekdays only) train to/from Pattaya and connecting with a northern line overnight train at Hualamphong (pre-booking is advised for berths on overnight trains).

Pattaya

North-East

For most (if not all) destinations in Isaan, it's not necessary to go via Bangkok. If a direct service isn't available, it's usually possible to connect via Khorat.

Pattaya

Cambodia

see the Get out | Cambodia section

Pattaya

Get around

Pattaya

By songthaew

Apart from a handful of privately operated examples, Pattaya has no tuk-tuks and most ad hoc local transport is undertaken by a flotilla of over 700 songthaews (pickup trucks converted to buses, also called baht buses or simply taxis). The official "bus" fare is 5 baht for trips within Pattaya, but foreigners are universally expected to pay 10 baht; on very rare occasions a driver might demand even more. Longer trips to Jomtien might cost two to three times that amount. Flat fares only apply when operating as a bus; a stationary songthaew, especially an empty one, might assume you want to charter - in which case expect a much higher fare of 100 baht or more depending on your negotiating skills.

The most common route is the beach loop: south along Beach Road, east on South Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Tai), north on Second Road, and east on North Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Nua). But the routes often vary, with a left turn (from Beach Road or Second Road) into Central Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Klang); or no turn at the Dolphin Circle roundabout (where Second Road, Beach Road and North Pattaya Road meet) and going straight on to Naklua (or even a right turn to the bus station). The only way to know the route for sure is to ask (but don't let the driver mistake your asking as a charter request). Sometimes the driver will just decide to turn down a random soi for no apparent reason, or because he's just been hired as a taxi, but you'll still be expected to pay your 10 baht if you've ridden for more than a soi or two - however surprises such as these are very few and far between.

It's also easy to catch songthaews along Central Pattaya Road or South Pattaya Road. North Pattaya Road usually has a songthaew waiting at the Dolphin Circle roundabout. From Naklua you can catch the white songthaew out to Sukhumvit and on to Si Racha.

If you're heading south, Jomtien bound songthaews wait on Pratamnak Road (the continuation of Second Road) at the corner with South Pattaya Road.

From Sukhumvit, colour-coded songthaews go as far as Si Racha and Sattahip, and full-size buses to destinations as far away as Trat and even Chiang Mai stop and pick up passengers here too.

If you're overcharged by a songthaew driver, note the vehicle number and report the problem to:

  • Pattaya City Manager: dial 038429216
  • Banglamung District Baht Bus Cooperative: dial 038221271 / 038423554
Pattaya

By local bus

After long delays, a public bus system was test-launched in August 2005. The long-term plan is to operate air-con buses from 06:00 to 02:00 on three set routes (map (http://www.pattayamail.com/631/news.shtml#hd1)) with scheduled stops; tickets 30 baht/trip, 90 baht/day, 180 baht/3-day and 900 baht/month. For updates, call 038757340/1 or e-mail pbb_bus@yahoo.com (mailto:pbb_bus@yahoo.com).

Pattaya

By motorbike taxi

The quickest way around is by motorcycle (motosai). A moto-taxi will be less expensive than a songthaew charter, but arguably less safe. Easily identified by their coloured vests, their drivers will often call out "Taxi, Sir?" or clap their hands to attract the attention of potential passengers. Roadside moto-taxi stands are scattered throughout town, or of course you can just flag down the next available one that cruises by. Some will even take two or more passengers; foreigners can expect to pay around 30-40 baht for trips around the inner parts of town.

Pattaya

By taxi

The only metered taxis of the sort found in Bangkok will be the handful that have just delivered passengers from that city. There are also some car services and conventional taxis that operate on an on-call basis, and minibuses can also be chartered. These services are suited primarily to longer trips outside the core of the town or to another city, and can be arranged through most travel agencies and many hotels/guesthouses. Expect to pay considerably more than the cost of a songthaew charter, probably in the order of a few hundred baht.

Pattaya

Rentals

If considering renting a vehicle, bear in mind that traffic in Thailand can seem very erratic by Western standards, and driving on the left can be confusing for those who have previously only ever driven on the right.

Motorbikes and scooters can be rented at countless locations, including many hotels and guesthouses. It's a popular way to get around for many, but not the safest, especially in the case of visitors with limited previous experience of motorcycling and Thai traffic habits.

Rates start at around 150 baht/day for a basic 100-125cc semi-automatic (or less if paying up front for more than a week or so); larger capacity models can also easily be found, although the rates reflect the risks - around 2500 baht/day for large capacity sport bike such as a Honda CBR1000RR. Foreigners are often required to deposit their passports as security. Bear in mind that both motorcycling accidents and motorbike thefts are common, and that motorcycle rentals do not include insurance.

When motorcycling, wearing a safety helmet is mandatory, and the police in Pattaya do enforce this. A helmet (or two, on request) is invariably included in the rental, however they are usually ultra-basic models with very flimsy chin-strap fasteners - if you're intending to travel extensively by motorcycle and you have a good quality helmet at home, it would be a good idea to bring it with you. Motorcyclists should also carry their driving licence, and keep their headlight turned on, at all times.

  • East Coast Choppers (http://www.customharleyrental.com/rent-a-harley-davidson.html) - tel. +66-38303113 (Harley Davidson rentals)

Cars and jeeps can also be rented with ease, with prices starting around 800 baht/day; however this isn't such a practicable way to get around the busiest areas as traffic is often congested and parking space limited.

  • Avis (http://avisthailand.com/home/location.htm#PATTAYA) - tel. +66-38361627 (Dusit Resort) or +66-38428755 (Hard Rock Hotel)
  • Budget (http://www.budget.co.th/locations_details.php) - tel. +66-38710717 (Beach Road)
  • Chalee Car Rent (http://www.pattayacarrental.com) - tel. +66-38720413 (Third Road)
  • Hertz (http://www2.hertz.com/locations/displaylocs.cfm?cc=TH) - tel. +66-26542553 (Marriot Resort) / tel. +66-38716693 (Sukhumvit)
  • Holiday Car Rentals (http://www.pattayacar-rent.com) tel. +66-38723814 (Second Road) / tel. +66-38426303 (Third Road)
  • National (http://www.smtrentacar.com/home.htm) tel. +66-38416125/6 (Liabchayhard Road)
  • Q Cars (http://www.qcars.net/contact.htm) - tel. +66-38231694 (Jomtien)
Pattaya

See

Pattaya

Animals & Zoos

  • Aquariums & Submarines
  • Underwater World Pattaya, 22/22 Moo 11 Sukhumvit Road (15 minutes from town centre); tel. +66-38756879. Aquarium full of tropical creatures. Open 09:00-18:00, last admission 17:30, feeding times 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00. Different prices for Thais (adult 180 baht, child 120 baht) and foreigners (adult 360 baht, child 180 baht).
There are two submarines (yellow ones, of course!) with tour operators in Pattaya:
  • Hynix of the Sea 1 (http://www.hynixofthesea.com/en/main.html) - ticket office in Tipp Plaza on Second Road near Soi 10.
  • Vimantaitalay 2 (http://www.thaisubmarine.com/eng/) - tel. +66-38415234 or contact any Pattaya travel agency.
  • Dolphins
  • Oasis Seaworld, Paknam, Laemsing, Chanthaburi - full day guided trips including 45 minutes swimming with dolphins - approx. 2000 baht/adult 1500 baht/child - available via travel agencies.
  • Sanctuary of Truth 3 (http://www.sanctuaryoftruth.com/activity.html) - see the See | Sacred places section
  • Elephants
Elephant shows & trekking offered by several operators, most located on Sukhumvit Road. These include Ban Chang Thai tel. +66-03870628/91, Utthayan Chang tel. +66-38716379, Thin Chang Thai tel. +66-38756516 / +66-38756577, Suan Chang tel. +66-38756517, Farm Chang Thai tel. +66-38237825.
  • Elephant Village, 54/1 Moo 2, Tambol Nong Prue; tel+fax. +66-38249818, +66-38249853 4 (http://www.elephant-village-pattaya.com) offers shows, elephant trekking and jungle tours (including a four-day/three-night tour in Phrae Province).
  • Monkeys
  • Monkey Training Centre, Soi Chaiyaphruk (off Highway #3) tel. +66-38756367 / +66-38756570. Features monkeys trained to harvest coconuts and undertake other tasks. Also stages cockfighting (a traditional Thai bloodsport) and a snake show. Open daily, shows 09:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 17:00 - admission 250 baht.
  • Zoos
  • Khao Kheow Open Zoo (35 km north of Pattaya) tel. +66-38298270 5 (http://www.khaokheowopenzoo.com/main_eng.php). A huge zoo with about 8000 animals of 300 species. Open 08:00-18:00; night safari 19:00-20:00. Adult 50 baht, child 10-15 baht, university student 30 baht. Night safari: adult 100 baht, child 50 baht.
  • Sriracha Tiger Zoo, 341 Moo 3, Nongkham, Si Racha (30 minutes from town centre); tel. +66-38296556 6 (http://www.tigerzoo.com). A zoo with various shows.
Pattaya

Gardens

  • Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, 163 Sukhumvit Road (15 minutes east of town centre); tel. +66-38429321 7 (http://www.nongnoochtropicalgarden.com). Beautiful gardens with waterfalls, elephant shows and "Cultural Extravaganza" performances 4 times a day. One can easily spend a whole day; restaurants etc.
  • Saithip Butterfly Garden, 79/5 Moo 11 Bangpra-Khaokheow Road, Bangpra Sriracha; tel. +66-99365339. Open 08:00-17:00. Admission for foreigners: adult 100 baht, child 60 baht.
Pattaya

Museums

  • Bottle Art Museum, 79/15 Moo 9, Sukhumvit Road, Nongpler; tel. +66-38422957, +66-38415783 8 (http://www.bottlemuseum.com). More than 300 miniatures in bottles, open 08:00-20:00.
  • Open Eyes, 2nd floor of Pattaya Bazaar, 266/52-53 North Pattaya Road; tel. +66-38362077. "The Great Experience Behind The Magical", a lot of technological magic and illusion shows. Open 15:00-23:00; show time 15:00-23:00; Spy Zone show time 15:00-22:00.
  • Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum (tel. +66-38710294/8) is located on the third floor of Royal Garden Plaza. Access from both Second Road (you can't miss this side - there's a large aeroplane protruding from the upper floors) and from Beach Road. Different prices for Thais (adult 280 baht, child 230 baht) and foreigners (adult 380 baht, child 280 baht); at the same location there's also a "Haunted Experience" show, a 4D movie theatre and "Infinity Maze" game. Various combination tickets available, all dual-priced - for Thais (adult 480 baht, child 380 baht) and foreigners (adult 580 baht, child 480 baht) to enter all four. Open daily 11:00-23:00.
Pattaya

Sacred places

  • Buddha Hill (between Thappraya Road and Phratamnak Road; 5-10 minutes by songthaew) is one of the highest points in Pattaya. At the summit is the biggest Buddha statue in Pattaya, and nearby is a beautiful Chinese-style sacred area dedicated to Confucius and Lao-zi. The next hill, just across the Phratamnak Road, has the best Pattaya Bay coastline viewpoint and is also worth a visit, especially for sunset.
  • Sanctuary of Truth, 206/2 Moo 5 Naklua 12 Naklua Rd; tel. +66-38225407 / +66-38367229 9 (http://www.sanctuaryoftruth.com). An unfinished project, but worth a visit even now. The main attraction is a huge ancient-style wooden temple; nearby is a small dolphinarium with dolphin shows at 11:30 and 15:30.
Pattaya

Theatre

  • Alangkarn Theatre Extravaganza Show, Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien; tel. +66-38256000 10 (http://www.alangkarnthailand.com/main.htm) features a 2000 seat theatre with 70 metre Hexa stage, 11x15 metre movie screen, 30 metre water track for "Modern Thai Multi-Dimension Show" with pyrotechnics, multi-colour laser show, real surround system and more. There's also a cultural rostrum and a 1000 seat restaurant. Open daily (except Monday) at 18:00, outdoor performance 19:00, Extravaganza Show 20:45, Alangkarn Band 22:00.
Pattaya

Theme parks

  • Gems Gallery, 555 Moo 6, North Pattaya Road; tel. +66-38371222. One of several "World's Biggest" jewelry stores, this one also has a theme park.
  • Million Years Stone Park & Pattaya Crocodile Farm (15 minute drive from central Pattaya) 11 (http://www.thaistonepark.org). Features an exotic zoo, and crocodile, fire-swallowing and magic shows, as well as the garden and stone park. Open 08:00-18:30.
  • Mini Siam, located on Sukhumvit Road, surrounded by Soi 33, features miniature replicas of iconic structures from Thailand and all over the world.
  • Pattaya Park 12 (http://www.pattayapark.com) on Dong Tarn Beach includes a large water park with giant slides and a tower with a revolving restaurant which offers a panoramic view of Pattaya. Good fun for families with children. Tel. +66-38251201/8 / +66-25799612/4 / +66-29412056.
  • Three Kingdoms Theme Park, 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong; tel. +66-38421428 13 (http://www.3kingdomspark.com). Adjacent to Horseshoe Point (20 minutes from Pattaya), this is a Chinese-style garden filled with pagodas, murals and figures from the Chinese epic San Guo Zhi, and more an expression of filial piety than a theme park. Perhaps worth a quick look on a slow day, but unlikely to offer much to visitors not familiar with the story. Adult 60 baht, child 30 baht.
Pattaya

Do

Pattaya

Beaches

Pattaya beaches are for relaxing and for various activities on day-time only. One can have chairs and umbrellas and enjoy the service: food, drinks etc. A lot of additional services will be offered by local people around: jet-skiing, parasailing, riding on rubber dolphins, etc. An endless stream of hawkers offer massage, manicure/pedicure, tattoos, ice cream, lottery tickets, newspapers, seafood, fruits, herbs, flowers, gems, perfumes, sunglasses, CDs, watches, lighters, clothes, toys, souvenirs, handycrafts and, believe it or not, even more...

Pattaya

Jomtien

Jomtien Beach is the main (and longest) beach in south Pattaya, with countless places to eat, shop, and stay just a few steps away. Beach chairs are 20 baht/day and you'll find a lot of Thai families enjoying day outings. The northern end has a traffic free promenade and features a gay beach.

Pattaya

Pattaya

This is the "central" beach, bordered by Beach Road. It's a narrow and often crowded strip of sand at the best of times, and even more so at high tide. The sea is not very clean around here.

Pattaya

Naklua

Naklua is cleaner and more suitable for relaxing, and comprises:

  • Crescent Moon Beach
  • Naklua Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • Wong Amat Beach
Pattaya

Dong Tarn

Dong Tarn Beach and several other small beaches are located around the Buddha Hill.

Pattaya

Islands

  • Ko Laan (or Lan or Larn, or Coral Island) is about 7 km west of Pattaya. The ferry from Bali Hai pier costs 20 baht and takes about 30 minutes - departure times: from Pattaya 07:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:30, 17:00, 18:30; from Ko Laan 06:30, 07:30, 09:30, 12:00, 14:00, 17:00, 18:00. Alternatively speedboats can be chartered just about anywhere along the main beaches for 1500-2500 baht. This small island is about 4 km long and 2 km wide, and has six beaches with a decidedly "touristic day-trip" flavour that offer banana boat rides, jet-skiing, parascending, and various underwater activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, and submarine rides. There are also numerous restaurants, some accomodation, and a shooting range.
  • Ko Sak, some six hundred metres from Ko Laan, is a small horseshoe shaped island with two connecting beaches to the north and south. Along the south shore are ranges of corals.
  • Ko Khrok, some 8 km off Pattaya Beach, is an islet almost totally surrounded by rock formations. A gap of 100 metres to the east is occupied by a stretch of sandy beach from which visitors can view coral reefs. This private island can be reached by chartered boat from South Pattaya.
  • Ko Phai, Ko Manwichai, Ko Luam and Ko Klungbadan (or Phai), 23 km from Pattaya (about two hours). The area is supervised by the Royal Thai Navy. Daytime visitors are allowed for relaxation, swimming and diving; however overnight stays are not permitted.
  • Ko Samet can easily be reached by minibus/ferry in about two hours, and agencies arrange same day (Pattaya-Samet-Pattaya) round trips - however as Ko Samet has lots of accommodation options, for most visitors it makes more sense to stay at least one or two nights - see the Get Out | Islands section for more information
Pattaya

Entertainment

see also the Drink (nightlife) section

Cinemas in Thailand tend to be severely air conditioned - bring a long sleeve shirt, or jacket, or both! Otherwise, the two large mall cinemas in Pattaya are mostly up to Western standards. Some (but by no means all) Thai-language films are subtitled in English (check the billing at the theatre) and some films will have both subtitled and non-subtitled showings.

Cinema patrons must stand during the King's anthem; singing along is generally frowned upon.

  • SF Multiplex - Central Festival (Big-C) - tel. +66-38361500 (current movie showtimes (http://www.movieseer.com/DisplayPerTheater.asp?Channel=2&tID=69)) has six theatres with ticket prices around 90 baht, slightly more at weekends. The unripe mango for sale here are generally quite tasty.
  • SF Multiplex - Royal Garden Plaza - tel. +66-38428057 (current movie showtimes (http://www.movieseer.com/DisplayPerTheater.asp?Channel=2&tID=73)) has two theatres, with prices 10-20 baht lower than the Central Festival location.

Live music - especially popular rock oldies - can be heard at several open-air venues along Walking Street.

  • The Blues Factory on Soi Lucky Star (just off Walking Street) features the Lam Morrison Band and is considered by some to have the best live music in Pattaya.

Video games are a popular pastime in Thailand, and PlayStation shops and computer game shops can be seen all over Pattaya. The usual rate is 20 baht/hour, making for pretty cheap entertainment, but expect things to get very crowded and loud in the hours after school lets out. There's a big shop on Soi Chaiyapoon (right off Soi Buakaow across from Soi Diana Inn) that's open 24/7 and has more comfortable chairs.

There are a couple of arcades in town - one is behind the cinema at Central Festival (Big-C), the other is in the Tesco Lotus complex on North Pattaya Road (but neither is worth getting excited about) - and touch-screen amusement machines are scattered throughout the shopping malls.

Pattaya

Massage

Pattaya has an abundance of massage shops; some are strictly non-sexual, others are not. The most common types of massage include Thai massage, foot massage, oil massage and reflexology massage. Three large "soapy massage" parlors clustered on Second Road, near Big C, offer a combination of bathing with a girl, body-to-body soap massage and sex.

  • Spa View, 436/61 Moo 9, Beach Road, Soi 1; tel. +66-38362099/101. One of the largest massage and spa complexes in Pattaya, offering aromatherapy oil massage, herbal steam sauna, skin whitening treatment, body treatment with aroe vera herbal, mineral water treatment, body treatment with milk & honey, milk bath treatment, physical massage, foot massage etc. Facial treatments: hair wash & care, nail care & treatment, hand & foot therapy by soaking with herbal water and wash and foot massage, facial massage/scrub/ozone/fruit skin treatment/lotion etc.
Pattaya

Sports

Pattaya can provide for an entire holiday of sports and activities.

Pattaya Sports Club 14 (http://www.pattayasports.org) is primarily an organisation for local sportsmen/women and has good online resources for those seeking to play golf or other sports while in the area.

  • aerobics:
  • A free open-air aerobics class is held alongside the beach next to the junction of Beach Road and Soi 6 daily at 18:00.
  • archery
  • badminton
  • beach volleyball
  • bowling:
  • PS Bowl, tel. +66-38420965 / +66-38420966, 15 (http://www.psbowling.com/pattayabowl.html) has two locations - one above the Tops Supermarket (junction of Central Pattaya Road and Second Road), the other on Second Road near Soi Zero.
  • O.D. Bowling is on Pratamnak Road in south Pattaya.
  • bungee jumping:
  • Bungee Jump, 248/10 Moo 12 Thepprasit Road; tel. +66-38300608 - open 08:00-18:00.
  • Jungle Bungy Jump (15 minutes from town centre) tel. +66-78336655 16 (http://www.thaibungy.com). Located in a beautiful tropical setting, 165 feet (50 metres) over a jungle lagoon. Will provide collect/return transport anywhere in Pattaya; open 09:00-18:00.
  • climbing
  • croquet
  • fishing:
  • Deep Sea Fishing excursions by Nature Service Tour (tel. +66-38427660) leave New Pier (Balihai) Saturdays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 09:00, and return at 17:30. The 1220 baht/person price includes breakfast, lunch, a visit to a nearby island beach and swimming opportunities.
  • Jomtien Fishing Park (pictures (http://geocities.com/zoomfishing/JomtienFishingPark.html)) is at Jomtien Beach Road Soi 14 and charges 100 baht/own rod, 200 baht to rent house rods. Guides are available, as is food (including your catch!) and drink. Competitions on Saturday and Sunday 15:00-17:00 (100 baht/rod).
  • North Pattaya Fishing Park (pictures (http://geocities.com/zoomfishing/Soi3FishingPark.html)) also known as "Soi 3 Fishing Park" charges 100 baht/house rod, bait 20 baht/packet - and serves food and drink and has live music after dark.
  • flying & skydiving:
  • Eastern Flying Club 17 (http://www.flythailand.com/id31.htm) airstrip is 5 km east of Pattaya, off Sukhumvit Soi 87.
  • Pattaya Airpark 18 (http://www.pattayaairpark.com/) airstrip is 20 km south of Pattaya, adjacent to the Phoenix Golf Club.
  • Thai Flying Club 19 (http://www.thaiflyingclub.com/) is based at Bang Phra Airport, just north of Si Racha, about 30 minutes drive from Pattaya. Their website is a good resource for further information on recreational aviation in Thailand.
  • football
  • golf:
  • Green Way Driving Range, Sukhumvit Road - tel. +66-38232083
  • Pattaya Driving Range, Third Road - tel. +66-38370462
  • Tommy Driving Range, Thepprasit Road - tel. +66-38251564
  • Bangpra International Golf Club - tel. +66-38341149/50
  • Burapha Golf Club 20 (http://www.buraphagolfthailand.com) tel. +66-38345151/2 / 38345611/13
  • The Century Golf & Country Club (Rayong) - tel. +66-38602889/3999
  • Chonburi Century Country Club - tel. +66-22606000
  • Eastern Star Resort Country Club - tel. +66-38630410/17
  • Great Lake Golf & Country Club - tel. +66-13211913
  • Khao Kheaw Country Club 21 (http://www.thailandgolfparadise.com/KhaoKheaw) tel. +66-38298224
  • Laemchabang International Country Club 22 (http://www.laemchabanggolf.com) tel. +66-38372273
  • Legacy Crystal Bay Golf Club 23 (http://www.legacygolf.com) tel. +66-38349370/80
  • Legacy Mountain Shadow Golf Club 24 (http://www.legacygolf.com) tel. +66-38393001/8
  • Noble Place Golf Resort & Country Club 25 (http://www.laemchabanggolf.com) tel. +66-14849066 / 14849069
  • Pattaya Country Club & Resort 26 (http://www.pattayacountryclub.net) tel. +66-12112491 / 12120278
  • Phoenix Golf & Country Club - tel. +66-38239391-8
  • Plutaluang Navy Golf Course 27 (http://www.geocities.com/plutaluang1969) tel. +66-38431189
  • Rayong Green Valley Country Club - tel. +66-38603000/5
  • Royal Lakeside Golf Club & Resort - tel. +66-38573275/9
  • Siam Country Club Golf Course - tel. +66-38249381/6
  • Soi Dao Highland Golf Course - tel. +66-39322831/2
  • Sriracha Golf Club 28 (http://www.srirachagolf.com) tel. +66-38338375/8
  • St. Andrews 2000 Golf Club - tel. +66-38893807/8
  • Treasure Hill Golf & Country Club - tel. +66-38420766
  • gyms:
  • Central Pattaya Gym (in front of Central Pattaya Hotel, near Pratamnak Hill - tel. +66-38364573/80) is a small non-aircon weights-orientated gym. Open daily 08:00-23:00. 60 baht/day, 250 baht/week, 700 baht/month (includes limited free use of swimming pool), 7000 baht/year (includes unlimited free use of swimming pool).
  • horse riding:
  • Horseshoe Point, 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong; tel. +66-38735050 29 (http://www.horseshoepoint.com). One of South-East Asia's largest and most respected riding schools, catering to all experience levels and offering private lessons for 1600 baht/hour (discounts available for groups of 5+ and multi-lesson packages).
  • hot air balloon flights:
  • Funk's Ballonfahrten 30 (http://www.pattayaballoon.com) offers a 4-5 hour experience including collection at around 05:00, refreshments, one hour baloon flight, champagne breakfast, certificate, and transport back to your hotel around 11:00 for 8500 baht. Daily from November through March.
  • jet-skiing rentals are available along all the popular beaches, with rates starting around 500 baht for 15 minutes. A common scam involves some operators attempting to collect surcharges for supposed damage - call the Tourist Police (1155) if necessary.
  • jogging and walking around Pattaya is a mostly unpleasant affair: crazy drivers, traffic fumes, non-existent sidewalks or loose pavements, low-hanging electric wires and awnings, and dogs are just a few of the hazards you'll encounter. Your best bet might be Naklua - less crowded beaches, wider streets, less traffic and even a few trees - but take care at night as it's poorly lit. There's a new walkway around the ocean side of the Dusit Resort that connects the north and south beaches.
  • kitesurfing - see windsurfing & kitesurfing, below
  • motorsport:
  • Pattaya Kart Speedway, 248/2 Moo 12 Thepprasit Road; tel. +66-38422044 31 (http://www.karting-thailand.com/). Open daily 09:30-18:30.
  • Bira International Circuit (tel. +66-22803547 / +66-25221731/8) is about 15 km from Pattaya on the Pattaya-Rayong Road (Highway #36) and hosts 2 and 4 wheel race events at weekends.
  • mountain biking
  • Muay Thai:
  • Thai boxing matches can be seen at numerous locations, including several of the beer bar complexes off Beach Road and one complex on Walking Street.
  • Pattaya Kombat Village (Muay Thai Training School), Darapan 3 93/123 Moo 12, Soi 8 Khoatalo Nongprue Banglamung; tel. +66-95433450 32 (http://www.kombatgroup.com). Certified courses, for everyone to learn and practice Thai boxing.
  • paintballing:
  • Paintball Park, 248/10 Moo 12 Thepprasit Road; tel. +66-38300608 - open 08:00-18:00
  • Paintball World, Jomtien Beach Road; tel. +66-38232796 33 (http://www.thailandpaintball.com/)
  • parasailing, parascending, paragliding:
  • Parachute rides are available at the main beaches, and in Pattaya Bay from several large floating platforms with speedboats ferrying customers out from the shore - typically about 500 baht per flight.
  • pool:
Every second or third bar in Pattaya has a pool table - that's a heck of a lot of tables - and there are numerous inter-bar/club pool leagues. Places to try if you're looking for a really good table include:
  • Mega Break 34 (http://www.megabreakpool.com) on Soi 13 (Soi Diana Inn) east of Second Road has air-con and 11 tables and is open daily 11:30-01:00 - 120 baht/person/hour.
  • Tim Bar Beer 35 (http://www.timbarbeerpattaya.com) on Second Road (opposite Soi 12) has twelve tables and air-con and is open all day until around 02:00 - 140 baht/person/hour.
  • There are three full-size tables at the very back of the cluster of outdoor beer bars on Soi Made In Thailand (next to the Made In Thailand market) on the east side of Second Road - 20 baht/table/game or 60 baht/table/hour.
  • sailing:
  • Gulf Charters Thailand tel. +66-38237752 fax. +66-38237751 36 (http://www.gulfchartersthailand.com) manages a fleet of ten 32 foot to 70 foot catamaran and keelboat sailing yachts based at Ocean Marina (near Pattaya) and at Ko Chang. Bookings accepted direct and via travel agencies.
  • Siam Sailing, 668/10 Naklua Road; tel. +66-38427269. Offers a number of packages including full/half day trips, beach and island trips, sunset dinner cruises and private charters.
  • Scuba dive training and trips for a wide range of ability levels and interests, certified by a number of different organisations, including both NAUI and PADI, are available through numerous dive shops.
  • shooting:
  • Pattaya Shooting Club and Fishing Park, 1/6 Moo 4 Soi Wat Huay-Yai, Sukhumvit Road (10 minutes from town centre) tel. +66-38255488.
  • Tiffany's Shooting Range, 464 Moo 9, Second Road (Tiffany's Show building, ground floor) tel. +66-38421700/5 fax. +66-38421711 tiffany@tiffany-show.co.th (mailto:tiffany@tiffany-show.co.th). The only indoor shooting range in Pattaya - 19 lanes, minimum age 18, open daily 09:00-21:00.
  • squash & tennis
  • sports clubs:
  • Bamrung Sport Club (Huai Sak Nok reservoir, off Sukhumvit Road - tel. +66-38249841) provides facilities for canoeing and kayaking, horse riding, para-motor and para-gliding, sailing (including catamarans), and windsurfing.
  • swimming:
  • Honey Inn (Soi Honey Inn, off Second Road) has a fairly quiet pool which is open 24/7. There's also a bar, a pool table, and an assortment of sun loungers. Non-guests: 50 baht/day.
  • Mike Shopping Mall (see Malls) has a large rooftop pool - take the elevator or stairs up to the 10th floor (the escalators don't go that far). There's a very small snacks counter and a good view of most of Pattaya Bay. Get there early to grab one of the sun loungers, and don't forget your swimming costume (shorts are not permitted). Open 11:00-19:00, adult 80 baht, child 60 baht, or 1600 baht for a one month pass.
  • water skiing & wakeboarding:
  • Lakeland Water Cable Ski (Highway #3 - tel. +66-38232690/2) about 5 km from Pattaya has cable ski facilities on a large freshwater lake. Open daily 10:00-21:00.
  • windsurfing & kitesurfing:
  • Cuttlebone Kiteboarding School 37 (http://www.cuttlebone.net/schools.php?step=schools)
  • Club Loong Chat Watersport Club 38 (http://www.clubloongchat.com)
Pattaya

Volunteering

  • Care For Kids Charity Drive (http://www.care4kids.info/) is a well established and respected group raising funds for worthwhile causes and having as much fun as possible while they're at it. Their events are always worth a visit - make contact through their website.
  • Fr. Ray Foundation (http://www.fr-ray.org/) (map (http://www.fr-ray.org/dynamic/view.php?src=50/500000&lang=en)) manages several social projects in Pattaya and volunteers (both short and long term) are essential to their work. Donations and sponsorships are also welcome and appreciated - contact them through their website or tel. +66-38716628 fax. +66-38716629.
  • Pattaya Orphanage Trust (http://www.pattayaorphanage.org.uk/home/index2.cfm) welcomes volunteers of all ages (but must speak fluent English and be prepared to stay 6 months or longer). Visits can be arranged - tel. +66-38438717.
Pattaya

Buy

You're in Thailand, so you know shopping is never far away. There are numerous large malls, small malls, supermarkets, bazaar-style markets, and thousands of other shops. Sadly, you'll be seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over again - there's no endless variety here.

Pattaya is not a good place to go shopping for hi-tech products such as cameras, computers, etc - as a very rough guide, expect to see prices around 50% higher than the best prices advertised in the west.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged for Thai baht at the many exchange booths which can be found in all areas popular with tourists. Note that the majority of these booths will buy foreign currency but will not sell it - if you need to obtain USD (for example if you're going to Cambodia) use one of the larger branches of a major bank (eg the Bangkok Bank branch on Second Road).

Pattaya

Malls

  • Central Festival Centre is a large mall on Second Road across from Soi 2. It includes the Big-C department store, and an IT Corner with mobile phones and accessories but no computers.
  • Mike Shopping Mall is on Beach Road between Soi 11 and Soi 12, with another entrance on Second Road. The ground floor has many small stalls selling clothing, tourist souvenirs and many other inexpensive items. Above that there's a department store, and on the roof there's a public swimming pool (see Do | Sports · "swimming").
  • Outlet Mall is at the corner of Thepprasit Road and Sukhumvit; the prices aren't any cheaper but it has great air conditioning! You'll also find some soft drink vending machines - a rarity in Thailand. The weekend Thepprasit Market is nearby.
  • Royal Garden Plaza is a large upscale mall adjacent to the Pattaya Marriott Hotel on Beach Road between Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2) and Soi Pattayaland One, with another entrance on Second Road (just look for Ripley's aeroplane).
  • Tuk Com on South Pattaya Road is a new and predominantly IT mall with many vendors selling computers and handheld electronics, mobile phones, computer software and MP3 compilation CDs. In the basement is a food court and more (mostly clothes) shops as well as a spare parts department that sells a variety of electronic (e.g. transistors) and other parts (e.g. clothes washing machine lint filters).
Pattaya

Supermarkets

Pattaya has a veritable trolley-load of supermarkets, including Carrefour (http://www.carrefour.co.th/english/location18.php), Big-C (Central Festival) (http://www.bigc.co.th/en/branch/Store.asp?StoreID=5), Big-C (South Pattaya Road) (http://www.bigc.co.th/en/branch/Store.asp?StoreID=34), Tesco-Lotus (http://www.tescolotus.net/), Tops (http://www.tops.co.th/map_pattaya.html), Best, Foodland on Central Pattaya Road near Sukhumvit, and Friendship on South Pattaya Road just west of Third Road. Friendship is the most westerner-oriented and has large selections of cheese, bread, wine etc.

Pattaya

Markets

There are many bazaar-style markets in Pattaya where you can haggle 'till you drop, including:

  • Thepprasit Market on Thepprasit Road near the junction with Sukhumvit - Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.
  • Soi Buakhao Market on the corner of South Pattaya Road and Soi Buakhao, across from the Friendship supermarket - daytime, Tuesday and Friday; plus an evening market further along the same road.
  • Made in Thailand Market on Second Road near Soi 10 - daily 08:00-23:00.
  • The Market Pattaya on Second Road near Soi 5 is a little lonely but some evenings has students giving music or dance performances on a small stage.
  • ...any many more, including one on Second Road near Soi 2 next to Tiffany's Show.
Pattaya

Shops

Convenience stores are everywhere, especially 7-Eleven and Family Mart shops, plus countless independents. If you use the family run shops the prices aren't always marked but should be the same, or just a baht or two higher, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing your money isn't flowing back to the USA or Japan.

Pharmacies are plentiful and for most medications a prescription is not required. Viagra (etc.) is available from most. The international Boots and Watsons chains each have locations at Central Festival (Big-C) and Royal Garden Plaza malls, and their pharmacists tend to have above-average English skills.

  • Fascino, North Pattaya Road 39 (http://www.fascino.co.th/). A huge store and a good place to try if you're having trouble finding what you need. Also has also some medical equipment (e.g. wheelchairs & walkers).

Gold shops abound, with concentrations around the market on South Pattaya Road and around Central Pattaya Road near Second Road, plus numerous jewelry shops towards the south end of Beach Road.

Tailor shops are everywhere. Are there any good ones?

Pattaya

Eat

You're in Thailand, so you know food is never far away. There are heaps of restaurants, food carts, food courts, food markets, motorcyle-sidecar hotdog and meatball vendors, fruit sellers both mobile and stationary, even a roaming coffee peddling tuk-tuk. OK, so the germ theory of disease doesn't yet seem to be widely accepted but don't let that stop you from ordering the sushi.

Many (although not all) non-Thai-cuisine restaurants also have at least a limited menu of Thai favorites as well.

Pattaya

Budget

  • The noodle stall next to the entrance to the North Pattaya Road bus station does a passable ba mii moo daeng (egg noodles with red pork) for 25 baht.
  • The food court in the Carrefour on Pattaya Klang (near Third Road) has good food including excellent & cheap Isaan treats like som tam (papaya salad) and khao neow (sticky rice).
  • Kiss Food & Drink serves cheap and cheerful Thai and Western favourites 24/7 at two semi-open-air locations - one on Second Road opposite Mike Shopping Mall, the other facing the Dolphin Roundabout.
Pattaya

Mid-range

  • Apex Hotel on Second Road (adjacent to Soi 11; see the Sleep | Budget section) serves all-you-can-eat buffets - American breakfast from 07:00-13:00 (adult 110 baht, child 60 baht) and dinner from 18:00-22:00 (adult 180 baht, child 100 baht).
  • Bier-Kutsche German Restaurant in Walking Street between Soi BJ and Soi Lucky Star is a good German restaurant with moderate prices.
  • Cool Kitchen in the PS Bowl/Tops Supermarket complex (junction of Central Pattaya Road and Second Road) has good Western and Thai food including narm tok mu (spicy pork salad) and yum pla dook fu (crispy catfish salad), and is open 24/7.
  • Cool House (next to PS Bowl/Tops Supermarket) is Cool Kitchen's sister restaurant, with much the same menu but more ambiance.
  • Food Wave food court, top floor of Royal Garden Plaza, is an upscale food court with decent views of the ocean. There's even an Orange Julius (http://www.orangejulius.com) nearby - Mmmmm!
  • Lek Hotel in Soi 13 serves a large variety of Thai, Western and international favourites and is open to non-guests. The 95 baht buffet breakfast is especially popular, and the 160 baht buffet dinner also draws a crowd.
  • MK Restaurant has locations in various malls including Central Festival (Big-C). A chain of Suki restaurants whose jingle translates as "Eat what? Eat what? Eat what? Go eat MK!" (it loses something in the translation) and that's just what you should do. Here you'll get to boil raw ingredients right at your own table with your own utensils. And don't worry about putting those chopsticks in your mouth after touching that raw chicken - just dip them in the boiling water for a few moments.
  • Nachrichtentreff, 157/128 Moo 5, Pattaya-Naklua Road; tel. +66-38370173. Serves pretty good Austrian food.
Pattaya

Splurge

  • Art Café, Pattaya Naklua Road Soi 16; tel. +66-38367652 40 (http://www.artcafe-thailand.com) is housed in a colonial-style house set in its own gardens, with the "...ambience of the good old days combined with the comfort of the new era..."
  • Benihana 41 (http://www.benihana.com/locator_detail.asp?id=77) international Japanese steakhouse chain has a location on the second floor of Royal Garden Plaza. Expect to pay around 1000 baht/person, excluding alcoholic drinks.
  • Bruno's Restaurant 42 (http://www.brunos-pattaya.com) on Thappraya Road is a fine dining restaurant serving both excellent European cuisine and some Thai dishes. Multi-course set menus from around 400 baht/person, à la carte also available.
  • Hard Rock Cafe 43 (http://www.hardrockhotels.net/pattaya/fnb.htm) (in the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel resort on Beach Road) serves American food from essentially the same menu as elsewhere in the world. Expect to pay around 600-800 baht/person, not including alcoholic drinks.
  • The Green Bottle on the ground floor of the Diana Hotel has good steaks and other food.
Pattaya

Vegetarian

  • Vegetarian Club of Pattaya meets at 18:00 on the second Tuesday of every month for a "vegetarian adventure buffet" (99 baht, various locations, reservations required) - tel. 018154580 / 018619361 (mobiles) or e-mail dragone@loxinfo.co.th (mailto:dragone@loxinfo.co.th) / arora53@ji-net.com (mailto:arora53@ji-net.com)
Pattaya

Drink

see also the Stay Safe | Drinking section

Pattaya is internationally known for its nightlife. Although it's infamous as a sex tourist destination, there are ample opportunities to dance, drink, and observe humanity even if paid sex is not of interest.

Pattaya

Bars

Open-air beer bars on Beach RoadOpen-air beer bars on Beach Road
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Open-air beer bars on Beach Road

Pattaya is especially famous for its beer bars, staffed by "bar girls" who are "for hire" to the tourists and ex-pats who drink there. Popular beer bar pastimes include pool, connect-four and shut-the-box.

Open-air beer bars can be found all over Pattaya, with the biggest and best known concentrations being along and around Soi 7 / Soi 8 and Walking Street, at numerous points along Second Road and throughout the southern end of Naklua, and in smaller numbers just about everywhere else, including Jomtien. Although the staff of a typical beer bar will usually all be prostitutes, customers who have no intention of paying a "bar fine" (money paid to the bar so that the girl can leave with the customer) are generally very welcome and indeed make up the majority of the clientele.

Indoor beer bars can also be found all over Pattaya, the most notorious areas being Soi Yodsak (Soi 6) and parts of Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2). While some of these bars are much more "bar fine" oriented, in most cases customers who simply want to buy drinks are still welcome.

The official closing time is 01:00 (in practice usually somewhere between 01:00 and 02:00, depending on the location) - however "closing" is defined as switching off the music and non-essential lighting, and numerous beer bars remain open 24/7.

A proposal to permit bars in the Walking Street area to remain "fully" open until 03:00 (and for the pedestrian-only restrictions to be extended to suit) is likely to be implemented some time in February 2006.

Go-go bars are predominantly concentrated along Walking Street and the three Pattayaland streets, with more dotted around the most popular beer bar areas and a handful at Jomtien; most come to life at around 20:00, and all close between 01:00-02:00. Soi Pattayaland 3 also has male dancers and a focus on gay customers.

Note that cameras are not welcome in go-go bars, and signs prohibiting photography are widespread.

Pattaya

Cabaret

Pattaya is well known for its katoey cabaret (aka ladyboy or transvestite) shows. Two of the best known (expect busloads of Asian tourists) are:

  • Alcazar, on Second Road across from Soi 5.
  • Tiffany's Show 44 (http://www.tiffany-show.co.th) on Second Road near signless Soi Srinakhom (one soi north of Soi 1) has performances at 19:00, 20:30 and 22:00 (plus 17:30 high season) and also hosts an annual Miss Tiffany's Universe Pageant 45 (http://www.misstiffanyuniverse.com). If you're got testosterone left over, visit the Shooting Range (see Sports) in the basement!
Pattaya

Disco

  • Chivas Palace (formerly Palladium, on Second Road), Hollywood Disco (South Road) and Xzyte Entertainment (Third Road) are typical Thai discotheques: no special area for dancing, but lots of shows and great atmosphere. Admission: around 300 baht, including one free drink.
  • Marine Disco on Walking Street has a large dance floor and live music. Free entry, but drinks are expensive.
  • Tony's Entertainment Complex on Walking Street has an attractive and stylish interior, great live music and service. Free entry, but drinks are incredibly expensive - and a 5000 baht fine if you're caught bringing your own in!
  • Lucifer on Walking Street is very popular among young Thai people, although this is not a typical Thai discotheque. Extremely crowded after midnight. Free entry, expensive drinks.
  • Hard Rock Cafe 46 (http://www.hardrockhotels.net/pattaya/fnb.htm) (in the grounds of the Hard Rock Hotel resort on Beach Road) isn't technically a disco, but does have live music and dancing in the evenings.
  • Star Dice Entertainment on Naklua Road (not Star Dice Beach on Beach Road) is one of the few discos in Pattaya that doesn't dual-price foreigners.
Pattaya

Karaoke

Many of the Karaoke places you might see are a little seedy.

  • Rugby Karajuku Karaoke off the Dolphin Circle roundabout (down the soi to the right of the Dusit Resort) has non-seedy communal and private karaoke rooms.
Pattaya

Sleep

Pattaya has an extensive selection of inexpensive mid-range accommodation, and a good variety of more upmarket options. Very cheap (under 400 baht) accommodation can also be found, and generally there's no need to book in advance. Standard rooms (double bed, air-con, cable TV, refrigerator, hot shower) start from 400 baht/day (6000 baht/month), and rates are invariably per room, not per person. For families or small groups, three bedroom bungalows from 30000 baht/month can be found at Jomtien. For better rates for longer stays, enquire at real estate offices.

Like all resort areas in Thailand, hotel pricing is highly seasonal. High season dates vary from hotel to hotel, but typically prices go up considerably during the Christmas-New Years period, and are lower between February and October/November. In addition to higher rates during the holiday period, guests staying over Christmas and New Years Eve will often be required to pay for "Compulsory Gala Dinners" which can substantially increase the cost of the room. Unless otherwise noted, prices quoted here are low season.

With the exception of large resorts or international chains such as the Hard Rock and Marriott, the lowest rates available from abroad are typically those available from the hotels directly. Except for the least expensive, many will handle reservations via email or a web form.

While some hotels do not allow prostitutes to accompany guests to their rooms, this is uncommon in budget and midrange hotels in Pattaya. Some "upmarket" hotels may charge a "joiner fee" for unregistered visitors.

Pattaya

Budget

  • Apex Hotel, Second Road (adjacent to Soi 11) tel. +66-38428281 / 9233 fax. +66-38421184 47 (http://www.apexhotelpattaya.com). All rooms have air-con, cable TV, 'fridge/minibar, hot shower, security box and telephone. There's also a pool (guests only) and buffet breakfasts/dinners (guests & non-guests welcome - see the Eat | Mid-range section). Rates: 450 baht (9 "first come first served" rooms) / 500 baht (100 rooms).
  • Day & Night Hotels, South Pattaya Road, Soi Day & Night, offers air-con rooms at 500 baht (low season) / 850 Baht (high season). Day & Night II Hotel further down the same soi has slightly bigger rooms (same rates). Monthly rates from 3800 baht.
  • Lek Hotel Jomtien, Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 12, offers clean but very basic air-con rooms with breakfast for 350 baht.
  • Queen Victoria Inn, Soi 6, 48 (http://www.queenvictoria-inn.com) has rooms from 550 baht.
Pattaya

Mid-range

  • Dynasty Inn group 49 (http://www.dynastyinn.com/) has two locations in Pattaya: Dynasty Inn, Soi 13; tel. +66-38415941 and Dynasty Resort, South Pattaya; tel. +66-38250721. Free minibus transfers between the Pattaya locations and Dynasty Inn Bangkok (Sukhumvit, Soi Nana) for guests. Dynasty Inn was built in 2003, and is located in the central shopping area, close to the main nightlife areas; Dynasty Resort is further south, a short songthaew ride from the main tourist areas. Both have a single class of room for 1200 baht (as at January 2005).
  • Flipper House Hotel, Soi 7 50 (http://www.flippergroup.com/flipperhouse) and Flipper Lodge Hotel, Soi 8 51 (http://www.flippergroup.com/flipperlodge). Located in the heart of the best known cluster of beer bars in Pattaya, with rooms starting at 1000 baht.
  • Lek Hotel, 284/5 Soi 13 Pattaya Road; tel. +66-38425550 (lek_hotel@hotmail.com (mailto:lek_hotel@hotmail.com)). Standard rooms in the semi-hi-rise new building cost 1200 baht and rooms in the old building are 750 baht.
  • Pattaya Centre Hotel, Soi 11 52 (http://www.pattayacentre.com/). This high-rise hotel is popular with Chinese tour groups, and conveniently located for the central shopping areas. While furnishings are on the older side, rooms are spacious, and those on the higher floors have very nice views.
  • Penthouse Hotel, Soi Pattayaland 2; tel. +66-95441430 53 (http://www.penthousehotel.com/). Marketed as an "adult fantasy" hotel featuring "theme rooms" and located right in very centre of the main go-go district (and directly attached to a go-go bar), it's an older property that's somewhat the worse for wear. Rooms from 700 baht, suites from 2300 baht.
  • The Residence Garden 54 (http://www.theresidencegarden.com/). This is a popular out-of-the-way location, a short walk from the intersection of South Pattaya Road and Pattaya Second Road, and is a good choice for those looking for somewhere quieter. It has relatively new facilities, with 1 and 2 bedroom suites from 1600 baht directly; discounted lower rates are sometimes available through other sources.
  • Sabai Group operates a pair of hotels on opposite sides of Soi 2, the Sabai Lodge 55 (http://www.sabailodge.com/) and the Sabai Inn 56 (http://www.sabaiinn.com/), both of which offer a wide range of room classes between 700 and 3000 baht.
  • Sandy Spring Hotel, Soi 13, 57 (http://www.sandyspringhotel.com/). This is a new moderate priced hotel, located in the central shopping area, close to the main nightlife areas.
Pattaya

Splurge

  • Club Aviva, 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong (20 minutes inland from Pattaya, free pickup on request); tel. +66-38735050 58 (http://www.club-aviva.com/). Part of Horseshoe Point (see Do | Sports | "horse riding · Horseshoe Point") and intended primarily for riders; also has a tennis court, swimming pool and basic spa. The buildings and grounds are charmingly decorated in a faux-Spanish style with all expected facilities, including two decent restaurants. Doubles with breakfast from 2300 baht.
  • Hard Rock Hotel, 429 Moo 9, Pattaya Beach Resort; +66-38428755 59 (http://www.hardrockhotels.net/pattaya/). Located between Central Pattaya Road and Soi 6, it has extensive private grounds, a 2000 square metre outdoor pool with an imitation beach, and an outdoor rock climbing wall. Direct rates from around 5000 baht/night, but discount rates may be available through travel agencies.
  • Pattaya Marriott Resort and Spa, 218/2-4 Moo 10, Beach Road; tel. +66-38412120 60 (http://marriott.com/property/propertypage/PYXMC). Directly adjacent to Royal Garden Plaza, in the heart of the central shopping district, and very convenient for the entertainment areas.
Pattaya

Contact

Most telephone numbers in this article are shown in "international" format. To dial these numbers locally, replace the +66 with a zero.

  • international: tel. +66-38428750
  • from a Thai 'phone: dial 038428750

see also: Thailand | Telephone

Overseas calls can be made from many agencies and Internet shops, as well as guesthouses/hotels and the like - most advertise a rate of 10 baht/minute (or 20 baht/minute to mobile 'phones).

  • Pattaya area code: 038
  • overseas operator: dial 100

Internet access is very widely available, and speed and reliability of connection is generally good. Prices range from 120 baht/hour down to 20 baht/hour. One baht per minute is typical for predominantly tourist-oriented shops, many of which also offer lower rates for pre-paid blocks of time. Most tend to open late and close late; some are open 24/7. Printing (black/white) is usually 10 baht/page (30 baht/page for colour).

Pattaya

Stay safe

Pattaya

Accidents

For most people, the most hazardous aspect of visiting Pattaya is the traffic. The top three accident black spots are:

  • Dolphin Roundabout (intersection of Beach Road, Second Road, and North Pattaya Road)
  • junction of Beach Road and Central Pattaya Road
  • junction of Beach Road / Walking Street and South Pattaya Road

Most accidents in Pattaya involve motorbikes, and are especially common late at night and in the early hours of the morning, when drink-driving is a significant problem. Be careful on the roads, even if you're just crossing one on foot (and be equally careful both on and off pedestrian crossings, as Thai drivers generally ignore them, and many foreigners seem to approach them with the hope of scoring double points). When riding in the back of an otherwise empty songthaew, it's probably safest to sit directly behind the cab.

In the event of an accident, the injured are usually bundled into the back of the next available songthaew or pickup truck or onto the back of a motorbike (now you know why Pattaya has so many songthaews, why so many Thais ride motorbikes, and why Thailand is the world's biggest pickup truck market).

Bangkok Pattaya Hospital (on Sukhumvit Road) Trauma Centre operates an emergency ambulance service and has a dedicated emergency calls line - dial 038259911

Pattaya International Hospital (on Soi 4) also has a 24-hour emergency service - dial 038428374 or 038428375

Pattaya

Crime

Like most of Thailand, Pattaya is generally safe for tourists and violent crime such as mugging or robbery is unusual, with the exception of jewelry and bag snatching (usually with the thieves on motorcycles, and often with the victims on motorcycles too) which is endemic.

The nightlife/entertainment areas have a lot of activity and are generally very safe - however pickpockets are a problem, especially on Walking Street when it's crowded. Late at night, visitors should stick to the inland side of Beach Road except where organised events are taking place, as the beach side is a popular haunt for "freelance" prostitutes (especially those of questionable gender), many of who are notorious pickpockets. As always, travellers should take extra care in all poorly lit or more remote areas.

Pattaya

Drinking

The legal minimum age for customers in drinking establishments and discos is 20. This is rarely enforced for foreigners, but is frequently enforced for locals, including those accompanying foreigners. Raids to enforce closing times and/or check for drugs and underage patrons or employees occasionally occur, usually at or around closing time (normally 01:00). Foreigners are generally not the target of these raids and are usually asked to produce ID (photocopy of photo/ID page of passport will usually suffice) and then allowed to leave; however there is a small chance that they may be tested for drugs.

Pattaya

Drugs

As with all of Thailand, the penalties for possession and/or distribution of drugs are harsh.

Pattaya

Gambling

Gambling is illegal in Thailand, and the local press reports Pattaya Police as having a "zero tolerance" policy for gambling offences.

Pattaya

Prostitution

Thailand's age of consent is 15 61 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_consent#Asia) but a higher minimum age of 18 applies in the case of prostitutes 62 (http://www.ageofconsent.com/thailand.htm). The penalties for sex with minors are harsh.

All adult Thais must carry an identity card, which will state that they were born in 2530 or earlier if they were over the age of 18 on January 1st 2006 (in the Thai calendar, AD 2006 is the year 2549). Many hotels retain the ID cards of prostitutes for the duration of their visit.

Some prostitutes are "freelancers", but most are employed by bars or similar businesses. Petty theft and other problems are more common with "freelancers".

Technically, some aspects of prostitution in Thailand are illegal (eg soliciting, pimping), however enforcement is liberal and brothels are commonplace. It's not illegal to pay for sex or to pay a "barfine".

Pattaya

Scams

As with most tourist districts, Pattaya does have more than its fair share of scams and touts, although generally less overall than found in the Bangkok.

Many visitors will encounter young Thai ladies armed with a clipboard and a smile enquiring as to their nationality, often with an aside something like "please help me to earn 30 baht". The suggestion is that the visitor completes a tourism questionnaire (which includes supplying their hotel name and room number) with the incentive that they just might win a price - the reality is that everyone gets a call to say that they are a "winner", however the prize can only be collected by attending a very lengthy time-share presentation. Note that the lady with the clipboard doesn't get her 30 baht if you don't attend the presentation; also that only English-speaking nationalities are targetted.

From time to time there are reports of tourists being drugged and then robbed - usually by something being slipped into their drink (drink up before going to the bathroom!), and even by prostitutes supposedly applying mysterious substances to their nipples (which was blamed for a spate of heart attack deaths a few years back).

Pattaya

Cope

Police

  • Emergencies: dial 191

To contact the Tourist Police (http://www.tourist.police.go.th/eng/index.php) dial 1155 or visit their station on Second Road (almost opposite the junction with Soi 6). Their sub-offices include one at the northern end of Jomtien Beach Road, plus a mobile office which is set up every evening at the junction of Walking Street / South Pattaya Road / Beach Road, and their e-mail address is tourist@police.gov.th (mailto:tourist@police.gov.th).

The main police stations are on Beach Road (between Soi 7 and Soi 8), and near the junction of Jomtien Beach Road and Chaiyaphruk Road.

Fire Brigade

  • Pattaya: dial 038425943
  • Naklua: dial 038221000

Major hospitals

  • Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Sukhumvit Road - website (http://bph.co.th) / inquiry@bph.co.th (mailto:inquiry@bph.co.th) tel. +66-38259999
  • Banglamung Hospital, Sawang Fah Road, Naklua - tel. +66-38429244/5
  • Pattaya International Hospital, Soi 4 - website (http://pih-inter.com) / picpih@loxinfo.co.th (mailto:picpih@loxinfo.co.th) tel. +66-38428374/5
  • Pattaya Memorial Hospital, Central Pattaya Road - tel. +66-38429422/4
Pattaya

Get out

Pattaya's countless travel agencies advertise endless lists of "same day" trips and longer tours that include accommodation elsewhere before returning to Pattaya. The most popular destination for overnight stays is Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai - prices vary, but are around 3000 baht/person for a 2 day / 1 night tour, 4500 baht/person for a 3 day / 2 night tour. Shop around the agencies for details and the best deals for this and for alternatives too numerous to mention.

Pattaya

Islands

see also the Do | Beaches | Islands section

Ko Samet (Samet or Samed Island) in Rayong Province is about 90 minutes away by direct minibus to Ban Phe (150-200 baht) and then a further 30-40 minutes by ferry (50 baht, frequent departures until dusk). It's a fairly small island with great beaches and copious accommodation (however pre-booking is virtually essential on Thai public holiday dates). Most of it belongs to a National Park.

Ko Chang (Chang Island) in Trat Province is about three hours away by direct minibus to Laem Ngop (400-500 baht), plus 30 minutes for the ferry crossing and then another 20-30 minutes to get to the west coast beaches. It's a relatively large island with numerous beaches and lots of places to stay. Parts of Ko Chang, and several smaller nearby islands which also have accommodation, belong to a National Park. It's now more developed than Ko Samet, but budget accommodation can still be found.

Ko Si Chang (Si Chang Island) is a 25 minute ferry ride from Si Racha. It's inbetween Ko Samet and Ko Chang in size, but not a beach destination and much less focussed on tourism.

Ko Samui and Phuket are both popular onward destinations from Pattaya, because Bangkok Airways (http://www.bangkokair.com) offers direct flights from U-Tapao.

Pattaya

Cambodia

Pattaya

Visa runs

Day trips to the border with Cambodia (invariably for the purposes of leaving and then immediately re-entering Thailand - so called "visa runs", although it's a new "entry permit stamp" that is issued, not a visa) are big business in Pattaya.

Travel agencies sell tickets for daily guided same-day-return trips, and for longer trips to Phnom Penh if you actually need to visit a Thai embassy and apply for a Thai visa but don't want to do so independently.

The same-day "entry permit stamp" trips usually include the price of the visa for Cambodia in the package (the operator will use a border crossing where an "arrangement" has been negotiated with the Cambodian immigration officials stationed there) and come in various flavours - sardine-style minibus, luxury "armchair" minibus, big bus, depart when the bars close and arrive at the border when it opens, depart late and return in the evening, smoking, non-smoking, breakfast included, and so on. Prices vary to suit, typically between 1700 and 2500 baht - cruise along Soi Buakaow and you'll see many signs quoting prices for these services. Confirm that you're eligible to enter Thailand "Visa Free" before attempting this (most Western passports qualify), as it's not possible to get a Visa-on-Arrival for Thailand when entering (or re-entering) overland from Cambodia.

Pattaya

Border crossings

The nearest border crossing to Pattaya is Pakkard / Prum, but the closest with daily direct public bus transport is Aranyaprathet / Poipet. All border crossings between Thailand and Cambodia open at 07:00 and close at 20:00.

From Pattaya, the most direct routes are:-

For Koh Kong and Sihanoukville

  • Hat Lek / Koh Kong border crossing - 2nd class bus from Sukhumvit to Trat (4-5 hours) and minibus from there (1.5-2 hours, every 45 minutes from 06:00-18:00, 110 baht); then by sea (4-5 hours) or unsealed road (variable) to Sihanoukville; good sealed road from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh (4-5 hours)

For Siem Reap and Angkor (it's also possible to fly direct from U-Tapao to Siem Reap)

  • Aranyaprathet / Poipet border crossing - 2nd class bus from Sukhumvit direct to Aranyaprathet (5-6 hours); then by unsealed road to Siem Reap (about 3 hours by share taxi)
  • Pakkard / Prum border crossing - via 2nd class bus from Sukhumvit to Chanthaburi (3-4 hours to Chanthaburi; 1-2 hours from Chanthaburi to Pakkard); then by unsealed road to Pailin (30 minutes by share taxi or motorbike), unsealed road to Battambang (about 2 hours by share taxi), good sealed road to Sisophon (one hour), unsealed road to Siem Reap (about two hours by share taxi) - or by boat direct from Battambang to Siem Reap (variable)

For Phnom Penh (or Battambang)

  • Pakkard / Prum border crossing - as described above to Pailin; share taxi direct to final destination from there
  • Aranyaprathet / Poipet border crossing - 2nd class bus from Sukhumvit direct to Aranyaprathet (5-6 hours); then by unsealed road to Sisophon (1-2 hours); then good sealed road to Battambang (1 hour) and Phnom Penh (another 4-5 hours)
Pattaya

Visa for Cambodia

All Thai/Cambodian border crossings have Visa-on-Arrival facilities when entering Cambodia, but you'll be asked to pay over the odds for the privilege - usually 1000 baht (around USD25) instead of the official USD20 price. To have any chance of paying the USD20 price you'll need to be polite, patient, persistent, and have with you USD20 in USD notes (the Bangkok Bank branch on Second Road usually has USD notes in stock - but note that availability of USD is less predictable elsewhere, even in the major banks of relatively large cities such as Chanthaburi and Trat). Don't forget to take a couple of passport photos too (very easily organised in Pattaya).

The Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok charges USD20 (Thai baht not acceptable) to issue a Tourist Visa in 2 working days, or USD25 (but 1000 baht is acceptable) for same day processing. Applications accepted 09:00-12:00, processed applications returned 09:00-12:00 and 17:00-18:00, Mon-Fri (except holidays); take passport photocopies and photos (no facilities for either at the embassy).




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