Pattaya

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Pattaya is a seaside resort on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand, about 150 km southeast of Bangkok. Pattaya is mostly famous for its go-go and beer bars, but local authorities have made some efforts to provide more family-friendly attractions and activities. Although the sex industry is still going strong and sex tourism remains the key money earner for Pattaya, the resort also attracts local families and holidaymakers from around the world. If you are going to be offended by the sight of fat old men hand in hand with young Thai women, then Pattaya is probably not the place for you. Efforts by local authorities over the past few years have improved the quality of the beaches, but they are still lacklustre by Thailand's standards, and overdevelopment has long since destroyed some of the natural charms the area once had. However, the plethora of hotels and guest houses, and easy access from the capital and airport, make it a popular weekend getaway. Catering for over five million annual visitors, Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating options and a wide variety of things to do. Its population is a colourful mix of nationalities and ethnicities from near and far. Pattaya occupies most of the coastline of Bang Lamung District (one of the eleven districts that comprise Chonburi Province). This article only deals with Pattaya proper, which spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach and Pattaya Beach, plus the Buddha Hill headland (which is immediately south of Pattaya Beach). Jomtien is covered in a separate article, and contains Jomtien Beach and the areas east of it, including Dongtan Beach. The beaches of Jomtien are much broader and generally in a better shape, and the atmosphere locally is more sedate and family-oriented than at Pattaya Beach. (less...) (more...)

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Points of Interest in Pattaya

Animals and zoos

  • The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm (อุทยานหินล้านปีและฟาร์มจระเข้พัทยา), Chaiyaphonwithi Rd (15 minute drive from central Pattaya),  +66 38 249347(-9). Daily, 08:30-18:30. Features an exotic zoo and crocodiles, fire-swallowing and magic shows, as well as the garden and stone park. Its grounds are landscaped with flowering and rock gardens. Hundreds of crocodiles as well as some rare animals, including albino bears and horses, are kept. There are crocodile shows, magic performances and animal shows 7 times a day from 09:00-17:00. 300 baht/adults, 150 baht/children.
  • Pattaya Elephant Village (หมู่บ้านช้างพัทยา), 54/1 Moo 2, Tambon Nong Prue,  +66 38 249145(-7). This elephant camp focuses on the daily lives of elephants and their keepers and also offers stage shows demonstrating how to catch wild elephants, elephants-at-work in the jungle, elephants playing football, and a grand war elephants parade. The shows are held daily at 14:30 and last one hour. A one-hour elephant ride is available from 08:00-17:30 for 900 baht/person and rafting/trekking for three-hours is available from 10:00-15:30 at 1,800 baht/person. 500 baht.
  • Underwater World (อันเดอร์วอเตอร์ เวิลด์), 22/22 Moo 11, Sukhumvit Rd,  +66 38 756879. Daily, 09:00–18:00, feeding times 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00. This is an aquarium where there is a collection of marine species from the Gulf of Thailand. Visitors can walk through the acrylic pedestrian tunnel and witness various kinds of fish swimming all around. The tunnel is 105 m long divided into 4 zones. The first zone holds beautiful and rare fish such as angel fish, cleaning wrasse, and butterfly fish. The second zone displays soft-boned creatures such as sharks, stingrays. The third zone stars Napoleon fish, groupers, pomfrets, hawksbill turtles, and green turtles which reside around a replica of shipwreck. The fourth zone is a special one where fish from the Amazon River are on display. There are marine life feeding shows, both on the surface of the water and underwater in each zone. 400 baht/adults, 200 baht/children.

Beaches

The three kilometre long Pattaya Beach runs alongside the city. The beach is full of life with hotels, restaurants, shopping malls all along the road facing the beach. The street south of Beach Rd, Walking St, comes alive with rock music as the night sets in. People throng the street to experience the night life, which is unique in all respects. There are hundreds of beer bars, go-go bars, discothèques around the area. Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing, in open arenas in some of the beer bars adds to the carnival atmosphere.

Jomtien Beach, more popular among family vacationers, is in the southern part of the urban area, and separated from Pattaya Bay by Buddha hill. Jomtien, a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, is calmer and more serene compared with Pattaya. Jomtien is also popular for its amusement park and tower, to keep children entertained. The 1 km long, Wong Phrachan Beach, at the north end of Pattaya Beach is a favourite among swimmers.

There are acres of sand jam-packed with recliners and umbrellas (usually with an "in-house" supply of drinks), serviced by an army of laid-back but tenacious hawkers offering anything and everything from food (especially seafood, fruit, ice cream) to massage, manicure/pedicure, tattoos, lottery tickets, newspapers, herbs, flowers, gems, perfumes, sunglasses, CDs, watches, lighters, clothes, toys, souvenirs, handicrafts and so on. Eventually you buy a pair of very dark sunglasses and just pretend to be asleep.

Pattaya Beach is almost 3 km long and bordered by Beach Rd. Due to its central location and proximity to several hundred hotels, and because it's a relatively narrow strip of sand, it's crowded at the best of times (and even more so at high tide). Hefty fines for littering help keep the sand neat and tidy, however the sea is not so clean around here.

The north end of Pattaya Bay is occupied by Wong Amat Beach, which is accessed from Naklua; and beyond the southern end, around the Buddha Hill headland that separates Pattaya Bay from Jomtien, are several more smaller beaches.

Naklua Bay is immediately north of Pattaya Bay, with Rachvate Cape separating the two. Naklua Beach, to the far north, is the main strip, with the smaller Crescent Moon Beach and then Palm Beach further south. Beyond them is Wong Amat Beach which occupies the northern end of Pattaya Bay, but is accessed from Naklua. All are generally cleaner and more suitable for quiet relaxation than Pattaya Beach.

  • Wong Phra Chan Beach (หาดวงพระจันทร์). This small tranquil 1 kilometre beach is on the north side of Pattaya Bay. The serene atmosphere here is attractive to those longing for a complete rest and privacy.

Museums and galleries

  • Anek Kuson Sala (Wihan Sian) (เอนกกุศลศาลา (วิหารเซียน)) (entrance is a bit prior to Wat Yanasangwararam, 800 m from the intersection at the reservoir),  +66 38 238367. 08:30-17:00 daily. Anek Kuson Sala is an art gallery with high-class Chinese architecture and fine arts constructed in 1987 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King’s birthday. Inside is an exhibition displaying precious antiques such as the large white jade Bodhisattva Kwan Yin's image, terracotta soldiers and horses from the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, an emperor’s golden throne, ancient paintings, and pottery. 50 baht.
  • Liam's Gallery, Soi 4 Pratamnak Rd, Moo 12,  +66 38 251808. Exhibits and sells original art works from Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.
  • Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Second Rd or Beach Rd (on the third floor of Royal Garden Plaza),  +66 38 710294(-8). 11:00-23:00 daily. At the same location there's also a "Haunted Experience" show, a 4D movie theatre and "Infinity Maze" game. Various combination tickets available to enter all four. Foreigners 380 baht/adult and 280 baht/child, Thais 280 baht/adult, 230 baht/child.

Sacred places

  • Ban Sukhawadee (บ้านสุขาวดี), 219 Moo 2, Sukhumvit Rd,  +66 38 223536(-9). M-F 08:30–18:00, Sa-Su, hols 08:00-18:00. This is the residence of Dr. Panya Chotithewan. Visitors can enter the house to pay respect to the Bodhisattva Kwan Yin, to see the spacious conference room and the roof. 300 baht/adults, 50 baht/children.
  • Buddha Hill (เขาพระตำหนัก หรือ เขาพระบาท Khao Phra Tam Nak) (between Thap Praya Rd and Phratamnak Rd; 5-10 mins by songthaew). Buddha Hill 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 Phra Tam Nak Rd, has the best Pattaya Bay coastline viewpoint and is also worth a visit, especially for sunsets. The locals come here to pay homage to Wat Khao Phra Bat atop the hill and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the founding father of the modern Thai navy.
  • Chaloemphrakiat Park (สวนเฉลิมพระเกียรติ). A park at the foot of Khao Pattaya. With an area of 6 acres, the park was dedicated to commemorate His Majesty the King's sixtieth birthday on 5 Dec 1988. The gardens of the park boast a wide variety of flowering plants and offer a scenic view of Pattaya. There are also multi-purpose grounds and winding trails for walking or jogging and standard exercise facilities. It is not at all obvious how to access the gardens of the park from the summit, and those from overseas should ask a local for guidance.
  • Sanctuary of Truth (ปราสาทสัจธรรม), 206/2 Moo 5, Soi 12, Naklua Rd,  +66 38 367229(-30). 09:00-18:00 daily. This huge ancient-style wooden temple is by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, north Pattaya. The entrance is at Soi 12, Na Kluea Rd. The Sanctuary of Truth was first begun in 1981 by Mr. Lek Wiriyaphan, the founder of the Ancient City in Samut Prakan Province. With exquisite an unique architectural features, the building was conceived out of the vision that human civilisation has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth. It is an unfinished project, but worth a visit even now. 500 baht.
  • Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan (วัดญาณสังวรารามวรมหาวิหาร) (turn left from Sukhumvit Rd at km160 for 5 km). It was constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present Supreme Patriarch, and later was supported by His Majesty the King. At the entrance are situated international pavilions presenting each country’s national architectural style around the pond. Within the compound of the temple are the mondop where a replica of the Buddha’s footprint is enshrined, a large chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha, as well as, his enlightened followers, and Wihan Phra Yanaret. It is open from 08:00-16:00 For more information, Tel.+66 38 237506. Moreover, there is a place where the Royal Project for Agricultural Training Centre and Wildlife Preservation Area are located.

Theme parks

  • Mini Siam (เมืองจำลองพัทยา) (on Sukhumvit Road, surrounded by Soi 33),  +66 38 421628. 07:00-22:00 daily. Mini Siam features miniature replicas of iconic structures from Thailand and all over the world. It is one of the most famous model villages in the world. It celebrates the heritages of Thailand with miniature replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, Prasat Hin Phimai, etc. Miniature replicas of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called "mini-world". 250 baht/adults, 120 baht/children.
  • Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, 163 Sukhumvit Rd (15 minutes east of town centre),  +66 38 429321. Beautiful gardens with waterfalls, elephant shows, "Cultural Extravaganza" performances 4 times a day, restaurants and so forth - enough to fill an entire day. Foreigners 500 baht, Thais 200 baht.
  • Siriphon Orchid Farm (สวนกล้วยไม้ศิริพร), 235/14 Moo 5, Noen Phlap Wan Rd (turn left for 800 m from Sukhumvit Rd, diagonally across the Pattaya Klang intersection),  +66 38 429013. Inside the farm are various kinds of orchids to be admired and purchased such as Pompadua, Vanda, Golden Shower, and Cattleya.
  • Three Kingdoms Theme Park (อุทยานสามก๊ก), 100 Moo 9, Tambon Pong (adjacent to Horseshoe Point, 20 minutes from Pattaya),  +66 38 421428(-9). 10:00-17:00 daily. 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. 150 baht/adults, 80 baht/children.

Royal Garden Plaza

Walking Street

Central Festival Pattaya Beach

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden

Pattaya Pier

Ripley\'s Believe It or Not

Art in Paradise

Hard Rock Cafe

Wat Yan Temple

Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Memorial Hospital

Tiffany\'s Show

Central Festival Shopping Center

Pattaya International Hospital

Alcazar Cabaret

Silverlake

The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm

Bangkok Pattaya Hospital

Pattaya City Hall

Pattaya Hill

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Popular events in Pattaya in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Pattaya

History

Pattaya's name was originally "Thap Phraya", meaning Army of the Phraya - commemorating the surrender of Nai Klom's army to that of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin the Great), without a fight. Thap Phraya became Phatthaya (the name of the north-easterly wind at the beginning of the rainy season), and then Phatthaya (the true phonetic spelling).

American GIs serving in in Thailand and Vietnam made Pattaya the most popular R & R destination and eventually a world-famous tourist magnet. From its beginning in 1959 with a small private bungalow where American officers on leave took turns to come and rest, this sleepy village by the sea has grown and changed dramatically into one of the world's tourism hot spots. The opening of the new Suvarnabhumi Airport (to the east of Bangkok, alongside the expressway to Pattaya) has made visiting easier than ever.

Pattaya is popular not only as a beach resort and for its entertainment, night life 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. Pattaya is also very popular as a conference, convention and seminar venue, and the grapevine hosts rumours of future developments of varying degrees of plausibility, such as a horse racing track, casinos, and a tram system.

The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) Information Office is just outside the centre, exactly 1 km south of the junction of Second Rd and South Pattaya Rd. Proceed along Pratamnak Rd, continue straight up the hill, and where the road bears sharp right part way up, turn sharp 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 38 428750 / 8990 / 7667 or use the TAT freephone number: dial 1672 or e-mail: [1]

Activities

Pattaya's main beaches are popular and busy places for activities. Some of these include banana-boat rides, jet-skiing, water-skiing, para-sailing, windsurfing, and the like; anyone who just wants to enjoy a simple swim or a good splash around with a Frisbee or rented inner tube will always find themselves with plenty of company as well.

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 Cabaret (อัลคาซ่าร์ คาบาร์เร่ต์), Pattaya 2 Rd (across from Soi 5),  +66 38 410225(-7). Showtime 18:30, 20:00, 21:30. A VIP seat closer to the front costs 200 baht extra. Directly after the show the performers come outside for a few minutes photo session. 40 baht per photo with each performer of your choice or 200 baht for an instant Polaroid photo taken by their own photographer. 600-800 baht.
  • Tiffany's Show (ทิฟฟานี่ โชว์), Pattaya 2 Rd,  +66 38 421700(-5). Showtime 18:00, 19:30, 21:00. Tiffany's is a family-friendly ladyboy cabaret show. The 19:30 show is generally deemed to be the best of the night. After the show there the ladyboys would gather outside available for photos sessions with interested audience. However, be aware that taking photos with the ladyboy means you are obligated to give the ladyboy tips as much as 40 baht to 100 baht depending on the rank of the ladyboy (front row ladyboys are more costly to take photos with than the back rows). Some ladyboys offers free photos session though. In May Tiffany's Show hosts the annual Miss Tiffany's Universe Pageant [5] beauty queen competition, for contestants born as men. If you've got testosterone left over, visit the shooting range in the basement! Contact Tiffany's directly for a complimentary pick-up from your hotel. 500, 700, 800 baht.

Cinemas

Cinemas in Thailand tend to be severely air conditioned - bring a long sleeve shirt, or jacket, or both! Otherwise, the four 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. Visitors must stand up during the King's anthem.

  • Major Cineplex, The Avenue (second road across from Soi 13).
  • SF Cinema City, Central (Big-C),  +66 38 361500. This cinema has six theatres with ticket prices around 90 baht, slightly more at weekends; this has increasingly been showing Thai-soundtrack-only films (including dubbed versions of foreign films and no-English-subtitle releases of Thai films).
  •    SFX Cinema, Central Pattaya Beach. Multiplex with 10 theatres on the 6th floor of the Central Festival shopping complex. Regular ticket for 120 baht (100 baht on Wednesdays), larger seat 160 baht, sofa seat 500 baht. One theatre has first class seats for 600 baht (including popcorn and a soft drink).

Diving

As with most coastal towns in Thailand, Pattaya is a good place for diving. The diving is done mostly on the near islands, Ko Larn, Ko Sak, Ko Krok. Once in a while the dive centres go out to the far islands, Ko Rin and Koh Wichai.

The diving off Pattaya is also known for its numerous wrecks: the HTMS Kut, HTMS Kram, the Bremen, and the Harddeep.

  • Aquanauts Dive Center (Aquanauts CDC), 437/17 Moo 9, Soi 6/Beach Rd,  +66 38 361724, e-mail: aquanauts@aquanautsdive.com. daily from 09:00-18:00. Aquanauts Dive Center is one of the oldest dive centres in Pattaya, which are running daily trips to the near islands, far islands, and wrecks.

Entertainment

  • Bowling Plus (previously Pattaya Bowl), Second Rd (at the junction with Soi Regent Marina),  +66 38 429908. Daily, 10:00-02:00. 20 bowling lanes. Also has 6 pool tables plus 2 full-size snooker tables for 120 baht/hour. 70-90 baht/person.
  • O.D. Bowl, Pratamnak Rd. Daily, 08:00-01:00.
  • Paintball Park, 248/10 Moo 12, Thep Prasit Rd,  +66 38 300608. Daily, 09:00-18:00. 50 rounds ammo/400 baht.
  • Pattaya Kart Speedway (พัทยาคาร์ท สปีดเวย์), 248/2 Moo 12, Thep Prasit Rd (5 km from the centre of Pattaya to the south),  +66 38 422044. Daily, 09:00-18:00. A kart racing circuit where there are separate lanes for professionals and amateurs, and there is a separate "off-road" track. 250+ baht/10 mins.
  • P.S. Bowling (junction of Central Pattaya Rd and Second Rd, above TOPS Supermarket), P.S. Plaza,  +66 38 420965. Daily, 11:00-02:00. 70-90 baht/person.
  • Tiffany's Shooting Range, GF, Tiffany's Show Building, 464 Moo 9, Second Rd,  +66 38 421700(-5). Daily, 09:00-21:00. The only indoor shooting range in Pattaya with 19 lanes. Minimum age 18.
  • Video games. Video games are a popular pastime in Thailand, hence PlayStation and computer game shops are everywhere in Pattaya. The usual rate is 20 baht/hr, 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 Chaiyaphum (right off Soi Buakhao across from Soi Diana Inn) that's open 24/7 and has more comfortable chairs. 20 baht/hr.

Festivals

  • New Year's Day. 1 Jan has been adopted as New Year's Day. On the first of January, people offer food to monks at the temple or at a particular site designated by government offices of private organizations.
  • Songkran. Mid-April. Songkran is the Thai New Year, celebrated primarily by everyone throwing prodigious quantities of water at anything that moves. Pattaya officially celebrates Songkran on later dates (April 18–19) than most of the rest of the country (April 13–15) - but in reality the fun just starts early and keeps on going that much longer. During this period many hotels and guest houses have high occupancy levels, and public transport services (especially buses to/from Bangkok) are very busy, with more frequent than normal departures but also with appreciable delays due to the general mayhem on the roads. Songkran in Pattaya follows the same overall pattern as seen elsewhere in Thailand, but is especially vigorous in areas such as Soi 7 and Soi 8. Expect to get very wet indeed and you're unlikely to be disappointed - regardless of where you go or what else you actually plan to do. Although things calm down considerably after dusk, it's still worth keeping anything that could easily be damaged (especially cameras, mobile telephones, passports etc) in plastic bags.
  • Pattaya Festival. Mid-April. The Pattaya Festival has floral floats, a Miss Pattaya Beauty contest, a traditional aquatic sports competitions, castles, a fireworks display, fire crackers, arts and cultural performances, exhibitions and souvenirs for sale. Don't expect an "authentic" festival, this is basically a festival to promote Pattaya as a popular seaside destination for tourists.

Forest canopy zip lining

For those who want adventure combined with the experience of seeing a rain forest canopy, this adventure tour is ideal. It involves zip lining over the forest canopy and getting a thrill that is in a league of its own. The tour operates twice daily: one starting around 07:00 and the other around noon. Total time including travel is about 5 hours of which about 2–3 hours will be spent in the forest. Can be booked through one of the many tour operator shops or on-line at [6] Cost can vary from 2,100-2,500 baht depending on where you book, your ability to negotiate and the supply-demand situation.

Golf

  • The Golf Club, 33/133 Soi L.K. Metro (Near Soi Diana and Soi Buakhao, about 100 m from Areca Lodge),  +66 85 4343377. A popular sports bar & restaurant that runs regular golf competitions on M, Tu, Th, and F. They have contracts with the local courses and offer highly discounted green fees either through the Pattaya Sports Club or they can book your private tour of up to 120 golfers. They are the only bar golf society with a TAT License. Transportation, club rentals, free Wi-Fi and golf lockers are available. Have 4 rooms available to golfers and non-golfers alike, from 600-900 baht depending on room and season.
  • The Mini Golf Pub, Thappraya Rd (On the left just past the flyover when headed to Jomtien). Daily, 10:00-23:00. 18 holes, refreshments available; their cat sometimes acts as a self-propelled obstacle. 100 baht/person.
  • Pattaya City Golf (at the Nova Lodge Hotel on Beach Road, next to the junction with Pattaya Central Road). Daily, 09:00-01:00. 18 holes, plus chipping, driving and putting areas for the more serious golfer; refreshments served at the waterfront bar; caddy service available. 140 baht/person.

Island day-tripping

  • Ko Khrok (or Krok). 2 km east of Ko Laan, is an isolated rocky islet with a single 100 metre stretch of sandy beach to the east, where visitors can see coral reefs.
  • Ko Phai (หมู่เกาะไผ่ or Bamboo Island). Ko Phai, and other islands in the Ko Phai group, Ko Klung Badan (or Krung Badan), Ko Luam (or Leom), Ko Man Wichai and Ko Rin (or Lin) - are preferred destinations for scuba divers, and are also popular for general relaxation, fishing, swimming and snorkeling day trips. This area is controlled by the Royal Thai Navy, and overnight stays are not permitted. For a return speedboat charter from one of the mainland beaches or Bali Hai Pier (approx. 23 km/2 hours), expect to pay 2,500-4,000 baht; possibly less from Ko Laan.

Massage

  • OneRoyale (Origin of Thai Traditional Massage), Central Rd (across from Leng Kee Restaurant, Central Pattaya Rd),  +66 38 423326. Clean, comfortable, and quiet atmosphere. Body massages include foot, Thai, oil, aroma, head/shoulder, and four hands. Also do body scrubs and sun burn treatment. Special treatments for ladies include: intimate repair treatment, vagina firming treatment, post-birth treatment, firming & anti-cellulite treatment. Water, tea, or coffee afterwards.
  • Serenity Massage (across from LK Pavilion, South Pattaya Rd and Third Rd),  +66 87 5386120. One of the few massage shops in this section of Pattaya. It offers a clean, comfortable and quiet atmosphere inside, combined with talk and laughter with the girls outside. Massage services include foot, Thai, oil, powder, salt body scrub, aromatherapy, four hands massage and more. Water, tea or coffee afterwards. The overall experience is fun, unrushed, and relaxing.
  • Spa View (at the Mark-Land Hotel, Soi 1),  +66 38 411203. One of the largest massage and spa complexes in Pattaya, offering aromatherapy oil massage, herbal steam sauna, skin whitening treatment, body treatment with aloe vera herbal, mineral water treatment, body treatment with milk and honey, milk bath treatment, physical massage, foot massage, and others. Facial treatments include nail care and treatment, hand and foot therapy by soaking with herbal water, foot massage, facial massage, scrub, ozone, fruit skin treatment, lotion, and others.

Muay Thai

  • Pattaya Muay Thai Academy (พัทยา มวยไทย สถานศึกษา เมืองพัทยา ประเทศไทย), Soi 7 North Rd (about a third of the way down Soi 7 from North Rd, on the left side.). A popular muay Thai camp that is open to everyone for fitness, self-defence and fighter training. The gym is fully matted, including a large open training area, a boxing ring, several punch and kick bags as well as fitness equipment. Accommodation is available in camp, the instructors are multilingual, free Wi-Fi for customers, and the option of fighting at muay Thai stadiums.

Performances

  • Open Eyes Show (เปิดหู เปิดตาโชว์), 2F, Pattaya Bazaar, 266/52-53 North Pattaya Rd (opposite the Tiffany Show),  +66 38 362077(-79). Daily, 15:00-23:00. "The Great Experience Behind The Magical", a lot of technological magic and illusion shows. It is a magic performance in various styles such as Aladdin, the Mermaid, Invisible Woman, the Wonderland, etc. 600 baht/adults, 300 baht/children.
  • Tuxedo Magic Castle (ปราสาทเวทมนต์ ทักซิโด), 78/16-17 Pattaya Sai 2 Rd,  +66 38 488880. Daily, 19:00, 20:30, 22:00. It is a magic theatre in the form of a split-level restaurant. There are series of shows such as making an umbrella out of cards. 450 baht.

Watersports

Speedboat-towed parachute rides are available along the main beaches, and in Pattaya Bay from several large floating platforms with speedboats ferrying customers out from the shore. Typically about 500 baht.

Food

There are many restaurants, food carts, food courts, food markets, motorcycle-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 favourites as well.

Chonburi Province has a lot of fresh seafood and dried fruits. As there are a lot of people from the Isaan region living and working in Pattaya, there is an abundance of northeastern favourites such as spicy papaya salad (som tam) and spicy-sour chopped pork salad (larb).

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.
  • Big C Extra Food Court, Pattaya Klang Rd (Near Third Rd). It has good food including cheap Isaan treats, such as som tam (papaya salad) and khao neow (sticky rice). The Big C Extra stand, usually near the parking garage entrance, has inexpensive sandwiches.
  • Kiss Food & Drink serves cheap and cheerful Thai and Western favourites 24/7 at two semi-open-air locations - one on Second Rd opposite Mike Shopping Mall, the other facing the Dolphin Roundabout.
  • Sailor Bar and Restaurant (About 30 m up Soi 8 from Beach Rd). 07:30-03:00. This is the best kept secret in Pattaya. Terrific restaurant (also a bar) notable for its 60 baht breakfasts (2 eggs, ersatz bacon, ham, toast/jam/butter, juice, coffee). Swiss-Thai establishment with all the cleanliness and efficiency you would expect from the Swiss, all the and good tasting food you would expect from the Thais. Service is fast and efficient, but brusque and cold. Free Wi-Fi. Hamburger 60 baht; khao pat 30 baht; t-bone with fries, potato salad, 120 baht; beer 50 baht, including Heineken.
  • The food court in the basement of Tuk.com (see the Buy | Malls section) has stalls with a wide range of cheap Thai dishes.
  • S&P Coffee Shops, various locations, has inexpensive sandwiches, like tuna sandwiches for 45 baht.
  • Food courts at all Big C and Tesco Lotus locations have inexpensive food.
  • Several outdoor food stalls along Soi 15 (just off Walking Street). Foreigner friendly and cheap prices (e.g., fried rice, 50 baht; chicken, rice and soup, 30 baht).

Mid-range

  • British Pubs. There are several spots for fish and chips or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding: The Sportsman (Soi 13). They have a quiz night every Thursday, 21:00. The Pig and Whistle (Soi 7) and The Queen Victoria Inn (Soi 6).
  • Cool Kitchen (In the PS Bowl/Tops Supermarket complex (junction of Central Pattaya Rd and Second Rd)). 24/7. Good Western and Thai food including narm tok mu (spicy pork salad) and yum pla dook fu (crispy catfish salad).
  • Cosa Nostra (North side of Soi 7). Dinner only.. Italian-style pizzeria.
  • Maikan Majatalo. Finnish restaurant, huge portions. On some of the dishes "if you're still hungry, you get the second one free."
  • Nachrichtentreff, 157/128 Moo 5, Naklua Rd,  +66 38 370173. Serves pretty good Austrian food.
  • Parsa Restaurant. Iranian restaurant serving high quality modern and traditional Persian food including kebab and khoresht. Iranian drinks like doogh as well.
  • Sraan Resttaurant, 315/423 Moo 12, Thepprasit Rd (A 5 min drive outside the city),  +66 38 303039. Serves Thai and Western foods. Set in a garden which is ideal for a relaxing dinner or a small party. Recommended dishes include sautéed salted roasted duck, the shell in hell, chilled prawns, and goong lava (deep fried prawn with Thai herbal dressing and whipped cream on top).
  • Slices (North side of Soi Diana Inn, corner of LK Metro). Open very late. An American-style pizzeria. Also burgers and subs. Two slices of pizza, 100 baht.
  • Tequila Reef Pattaya, Soi 7 (Off Beach Rd). Open very late. Serving Tex-Mex favourites including burritos, enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, quesadillas, and free chips with salsa, as well as American favourites including burgers, steaks, hoagies, Cajun, and seafood.

Splurge

  • Benihana (second floor of Royal Garden Plaza). Japanese steakhouse restaurant chain. 1,000+ baht per person not including drinks.
  • Breezeo, Royal Cliff Beach Hotel & Royal Cliff Beach Terrace. 11:00-23:00. The restaurant serves excellent seafood and Thai dishes.
  • Bruno's Restaurant (on Thappraya Rd). Fine dining restaurant serving both European cuisine and some Thai dishes. Multi-course set menus from around 400 baht/person, à la carte also available.
  • Hard Rock Cafe (in Hard Rock Hotel, Beach Rd). 11:00-02:00. American chain restaurant. The reason to go here is that some beautiful Thai ladies seem to think it's cool. Starters 99-377 baht, salads 199-266 baht, mains 277-810 baht, deserts 111-222 baht, beer 122-255 baht/bottle.
  • Manhattan Steakhouse (near the junction of Thappraya & Pratamnak Rd). Steakhouse. 2,000+ baht.
  • Mantra Restaurant & Bar (near Amari Orchid Resort & Tower north Pattaya beach road). Asian and Mediterranean fusion. Sunday brunch. 1,500+ baht.
  • Ticino Restaurant and Vespa Bar (east side of Sukhumvit Rd close to Mabprachan Lake). Garden restaurant with Italian and Swiss cuisine. If the eating is as interesting as the website, it's pretty good. 400+ baht.

Vegetarian

  • Chinese Vegetarian Cafe (3rd Rd near turn to Thappraya Rd, in the Blind Massage Center building). Very cheap. 30-60 baht.
  • Five Star J. Restaurant ("jay"="vegetarian") (At the junction of South Pattaya Rd and Third Rd),  +66 38 421105. 09:00-21:00. A small middle-range indoor place that's 100% lacto-vegetarian and has a vegetarian owner/manager who speaks good English; also caters for vegans.
  • J Vegetarian Restaurant, 256/10 Moo 5, Soi 20, Naklua Rd (Next to Sousiree Massage, near Dusit Resort Hotel),  +66 38 428305. 08:00-20:00.
  • Thammachart Vegetarian Restaurant, 56/36 Moo 5, Amorn Market, Naklua Rd,  +66 38 726911. M-Sa, 05:30-17:00. Basic café-style budget place, also has a very small vegetarian supplies shop. Not much English spoken, but does have a bilingual menu.
  • Vegetarian Cafe on Central Rd (Between 2nd and 3rd Rd, it has a big yellow-red sign). 30-60 baht..
  • Vegetarian Club of Pattaya +66 38 710805. Meets at 18:00 on the second Tuesday of every month for an "international vegetarian adventure buffet" (199 baht, reservations required - at Café New Orleans, Soi Pattayaland 2 (Soi 13/4).

Drinks

Pattaya is internationally known for its nightlife—you might want to think twice before heading into the insanity that's called Pattaya. Obviously famous as a sex tourist destination, you don't necessarily have to partake in order to experience Pattaya's nightlife. More and more visitors come over just to see what the fuss is about. There are ample opportunities to dance, drink, and observe humanity even if paid sex is not of interest. Steer clear of the staid hotel bars and head into the warrens of central Pattaya, where nightclubs, transvestite cabarets, coffee shops, karaoke bars, open-air bars and restaurants with live music and entertainment compete for attention. Most of these establishments are located along Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya 2 Road, and in South Pattaya, which is also the city's major shopping area.

Beer and go-go bars

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 on Second Road, Beach Road, Soi Buakhao, and in smaller numbers just about everywhere else, including along the southern end of Naklua Road. Although the staff of a typical beer bar will usually include many working girls, customers who have no wish to pay a "bar fine" and take a lady are welcomed and indeed make up the majority of the clientèle. 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 drink are welcome.

Go-go bars differ from beer bars as they have bikini-clad girls dancing around chrome poles on stages. The main concentrations are along Walking Street and Soi LK Metro (see below), with more dotted around the most popular beer bar areas. Sightseeing tourists are welcome in go-go bars, however, cameras are not. Signs prohibiting photography are widespread, and a minority of venues require patrons to deposit their cameras with security staff as they enter. This rule is enforced: if caught snapping shots, you'll be lucky if you're only thrown out and not beaten up.

The official closing time in "entertainment zones" is 01:00, although in practice usually somewhere between 01:00 and 03:00, depending on location—however, "closing" is defined as switching off the music and non-essential lighting, and numerous beer bars remain open 24 hours. Bars outside of these zones close around midnight. So, you're passing through Pattaya and you've set aside a few hours to check out the bar scene—but where to go? The most popular (and generally the most densely concentrated) beer bar and go-go bar locations (listed south to north) are:

  • Walking Street. Should have been named "Walking, Shopping, Eating, Drinking, Dancing and Ogling Street" as there's plenty of almost everything here—including around 100 beer bars and at least 30 go-go bars, plus many more in the side-sois that lead east towards Pratamnak Road. Worth a look in the daytime, but best visited in the evening, and has loads of restaurants if you're bridging the gap between the two. Gets really packed in places when the nightclubs empty, so watch your pockets.
  • Pattayaland. Soi Pattayaland 2 (Soi 13/4) features on many Pattaya postcards—when lit up at night, the go-go bar signs are a memorable and photogenic sight, although there are only eight go-go bars here (two of which feature guys, not girls), plus a half-dozen bars and the Penthouse Hotel. Worth a look in the evening (it's almost a ghost town the rest of the time), but get there before 01:00 as that's when the lights go out.
  • Boyz Town (Soi Pattayaland 3, no direct access from Beach Road, runs from the middle of Soi 13/4 to Second Road) features only male dancers and bars that cater for the gay crowd; Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3) has even more all-male go-gos (eight), but does have a couple of girl-go-go bars as well. Pattayaland 1 is relatively dead in the daytime, but Pattayaland 3 has a handful of places to eat and drink that keep it ticking over in the afternoon. There is also a small lesbian scene in Pattaya, with local butch girls called "tom" girls and femme girls called "dee".
  • Soi L.K. Metro. Between Second Road and Soi Buakhao lies this relatively new complex. Connecting Soi Diana with Soi Buakhao, Soi L.K., as it is called (not to be confused with Soi Leng Kee) is for the largest part a pedestrianised street. Cars are parked willy nilly, but that actually serves as a traffic calming system so it is safe to walk down. There are lots of outdoor bars and cafes spilling out onto the street, giving it a "bit" of a European feel. The Metropole Hotel and the Areca Lodge are here.
  • Soi 7 and Soi 8. There's always something going on here—in the evening and early hours, there are about 120 well-staffed beer bars to choose from, plus a handful of go-go bars; in the morning there are several places that serve breakfast; in the afternoon it's a popular place for those who like to get started early; and at Songkran (Thai New Year) it's unmitigated mayhem. There are several large hotels (light sleepers beware), and Soi 8 also has a few travel agencies, convenience stores, etc.
  • Soi Yodsak (Soi 6). Imagine a kerb-crawlers paradise—and then pedestrianise it. Arguably Pattaya's most colourful street (as well as the most notorious one), Soi 6 has about 50 bars (mostly "short time" bars, with names such as "Butterfly", "Love Club", "Route 69" and "The Eager Beaver") which all get going at 13:00 and close pretty much on the dot at 01:00. It's not really a pedestrian-only street (but it is one-way), however walking — preferably in broad daylight — is undoubtedly the best and most popular way to experience it. Go in the middle of the afternoon and just wander from one end to the other (if coming from the south, walk from the Second Road end down to the Beach Road end if you want to get there and back by songthaew). It's much, much more "sex-tourist" than "tourism" oriented, but anyone is welcome everywhere provided they're buying a drink or three. The curiously named "Hi Boss! 2002 Pub" is where the ladyboys hang out, there's one go-go - "Mandarin" (dancing from 17:00-01:00), plus a couple of "pub" food possibilities; and neighbouring Soi 6/1 has a handful of "ordinary" outdoor beer bars.
  • Second Road - around the Soi 2 & Soi 3 junctions. On the west side of Second Road opposite the Central Festival Centre is a collection of about 35 very popular beer bars, which start to fill up from about 16:00, and several of which remain open long after the lights go out around 01:00-02:00. "Atlantic Bar", at the far end of the five-bar strip to the south of Soi 2, always draws a substantial crowd. The only go-go ("Classroom 2", 19:30-02:00) is a lively one, and while there's not much in the way of food in amid the bars themselves, there are numerous eating options close nearby (including outlets for most of the major fast-food chains directly opposite on the other side of Second Road).

Same-same but different

The following go-go and beer bars are a little different from the usual:

  • Beach Club (towards the Walking St end of Soi 15) is not the only "table dance" format a-go-go in Pattaya, but it's probably the most popular. Patrons are seated around industrial-strength tables which have mirror tops, upward facing spotlights, and of course the obligatory chrome pole; the girls dance on each table in turn, wearing short skirts and...   - well if you can't guess the rest then you should probably steer well clear of any Pattaya establishment that mentions the words "table dancing" alongside its name.
  • Beach Inn Beer Garden on Walking St (opposite the FLB Bar) can usually be found blindfolded. Head through to the back and out into the bars that target visitors from the Middle East, and feel the sound - some of the speaker systems here are bigger than a budget hotel room, and it's not difficult to position yourself so that you're being deafened by three or four of them (each one playing something different) all at the same time. (At the other extreme, there used to be a "Quiet Bar" on Second Rd - but it closed not long after it opened, apparently due to lack of demand.)
  • Carousel Beer Bar is a pair of circular outdoor bars in the centre of Soi Diamond (directly off Walking St) which spin from 17:00 until 03:00. A couple of drinks here and the world really will start to revolve around you.
  • Casino Club at the Pratamnak Rd-end of Soi Diamond is a go-go with a difference. Not only do the girls dance with their clothes on, but there are no chrome poles! Whatever will they think of next? Update: they also have several shows each night, with girls dancing topless. Despite the name, it's not a casino; maybe it's a disco-a-go-go? The atmosphere is lively, the music is house/techno, the dancing is energetic, the hours are 21:00-07:00 (apparently able to close later than most due to the non-conforming format).
  • Jenny Star Bar Walking St (below Peppermint Palace) is wall-to-wall transvestites. Seeing is believing, especially late in the evening and in the small hours. It's an open-air bar that spills out onto the pavement, and there's often quite a crowd gawking intently from a safe distance, so mind your pockets.
  • Peppermint Palace on Walking St (underneath Marine Disco) is probably the largest go-go in Pattaya. Several stages with young women in various different states of attire. Always full of energy, and always packed (you may be turned away if it's full). Good value drinks-wise.
  • Siren Bar Complex (Beach Rd, on the sea side, just before the Walking St entrance archway) is a crush of about 25 open-air beer bars (open 16:00-03:00) surrounding a boxing ring (exhibition matches at various intervals between 22:00-01:00) The boxers will canvas the punters for tips after each "fight". Get there early in the evening and it looks like there must be a prize on offer for whoever is able to squeeze the greatest number of bar girls into the smallest beer bar. If you sit down here, don't forget to shake the cockroaches out of your clothes as you leave.
  • Tim Bar Beer on Second Rd (opposite Soi 12) is an otherwise relatively run-of-the-mill go-go that plays nothing but DVDs, with a very strong bias towards live performances of rock 'n roll classics. Requests welcome. If in doubt, ask for Meatloaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light". Stage and screen come to life at 18:00 and keep going until at least 02:00 (closing hours not so strictly enforced here as it's not among a bunch of other bars), but get there early as it's a popular place and their army of dancers thins out with prodigious speed.

Bars and pubs

There are many roadside bars dotted around Pattaya. Live music (especially popular rock oldies) can be heard at several open-air venues along Walking Street, and at various bars elsewhere.

  • Blues Factory, Soi Lucky Star (Just off Walking Street). Features the Lam Morrison Band.
  • Horizon (Hilton Hotel) (Hilton Hotel at Central Festival, Beach Rd, Soi 9). 34th floor rooftop bar. Very high-end, for taking someone special. Great views, particularly at sunset and after dark.
  • Lovely Corner Bar (Corner of Beach Rd and Soi 7). 08:00-open as long as there are customers. Clean, airy, well-run beer bar in a great location to view the passing scene before plunging into Soi 7. Very accommodating and gracious, relaxed (not pushy) bar girls. Best feature is strong, free Wi-Fi. Beer 60 baht.

Nightclubs

Pattaya has two types of nightclubs—those that are on or near Walking Street, and those that are further away. Those on Walking Street are more popular with Westerners accompanied by bar girls, and with bar girls looking for customers.

The best known are:

  • Club Insomnia - now on Walking Street - House music, cheap drinks, late license, European DJ's.
  • Lima Lima - This club is known for bringing the world's top 10 DJs to Pattaya and also for its live R 'n B band. The place to go from 22:00 to 00:30 thanks to the Happy Hour. All drinks as cheap as 45 baht. Free entry.
  • Lucifer. Popular with young Thai people, although this is not a typical Thai discothèque. Only R 'n B, sometimes with special guest DJ's. A good place to go at about 02:00-03:00. Extremely crowded after midnight. Free entry, expensive drinks.
  • Marine Disco (on Walking Street) - large dance floor and plays house music (it's the house music counterpart of Lucifer). Free entry, but drinks are expensive.
  • Marine 2 (just off Walking street) - the same music as Marine Disco; this was "the place to go" before Insomnia opened.
  • MIXX (at the end of Walking Street) has R 'n B and house rooms (two rooms in one disco). Drinks are expensive.
  • Tony's Entertainment Complex (on Walking Street). Has an attractive and stylish interior, great live music and service. Free entry, but incredibly expensive drinks - and a 5,000 baht fine if you're caught bringing your own in!
  • Tony 2 - not as well known as Tony's Entertainment Complex, but also very pricey.

The ones further away from Walking Street are generally more typical Thai nightclubs: no special area for dancing, but lots of shows and great atmosphere. Admission is usually around 300 baht and includes one free drink.

  • Chivas Palace (formerly Palladium, on Second Road)
  • Hollywood Disco (recently moved to a new location in North Pattaya)
  • Star Dice Entertainment on Naklua Rd (not Star Dice Beach on Beach Rd) - one of the few discos in Pattaya that doesn't dual-price foreigners.
  • Xzyte Entertainment, Third Rd.

There is also one club which is not first type, neither second:

  • The Beach Club, is the open air venue, it hosts afternoon parties with the best view of sunsets in town each Friday and each second Saturday - grand fiestas, each of them has a different theme - Brazilian, disco, house, etc.

Shopping

There are numerous 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 in Pattaya. Also, Pattaya is not a good place to go shopping for hi-tech products, such as cameras and computers—expect to see prices around 50% higher than the best prices advertised in the West. Also beware of buying fake branded and designer goods, since these could be confiscated by customs officers at the airport.

Foreign currency can easily be exchanged for Thai baht at the many exchange booths which can be found in all areas popular with tourists — there are even mobile exchanges/ATMs in specially adapted minivans that are set up as and when and where the need arises. Note that the majority of exchange booths will buy foreign currency but will not sell it — if you need to obtain US dollars, for example if you're going to Cambodia, use one of the larger branches of a major bank, such as the Bangkok Bank branch on Second Rd (almost opposite Soi 6).

ATMs are widely available around the city, however, the vast majority of them now charge a steep 150 baht fee for using foreign cards, on top of what your home bank normally charges. The only exception is Aeon bank, their ATMs are located at the ground floor of Carrefour near KFC, Central Pattaya Rd (around 400 m up from the Second Rd crossing), near Homework Furniture Mall entrance (just behind Big C on South Pattaya/Sukhumvit Rd intersection, accessible by 10 baht songthaews parked near Second Rd intersection), and in Tesco Lotus at South Pattaya. Also at Tesco Lotus on North Pattaya Rd on the ground floor.

Books

  • Book Variety. Many branches, at Big C, South Pattaya Rd, Carrefour, Central Pattaya Rd; Tuk.Com (Com City).
  • Bookazine. There are many branches of Bookazine, including those at Central Festival Centre; Royal Garden Plaza; and The Avenue.
  •    Canterbury Tales Cafe, Guesthouse, & Bookshop, Soi Chaiyapoon,  +66 86 575466. Daily, 08:00-20:00. Probably Pattaya's largest second hand book store. It's run by an Englishman called Dave. Also has a restaurant and rooms for 500-800 baht.
  • D.K. Book Mart (corner of Beach Rd and Central Pattaya Rd),  +66 38 429359. 09:00-00:00 daily. A medium-size bookshop with lots of English titles, including a sizeable cookbook section, and a worthwhile selection of second-hand paperbacks at 99 baht.
  • Jeremy's Bookshop, 383/111 Soi Chaiyaphum,  +66 38 411266. Daily, 09:00-22:00. An immaculate library-style English language paperback exchange, large selection, mostly priced around 100-250 baht. If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
  • Pattaya Beach Books, 1F, P.S. Plaza, 369 Moo 9, and 316/137 Moo 10, Soi Buakhao,  +66 38 362175. Daily, 10:00-20:00. Both branches of this book shop have a huge selection of used English language books and magazines. Magazines around 50-60 baht, paperbacks 140-160 baht, hardbacks 180+ baht. If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
  • SE-ED. This store has several branches, at Big C, South Pattaya Rd; Carrefour, Central Pattaya Rd; Tesco-Lotus, North Pattaya Rd; Tesco-Lotus, Sukhumvit Rd.
  • Star Books, 138/213 Soi Khao Noi,  +66 16 368189, e-mail: books@starbookworm.com. 09:00-19:00 daily. A well designed paperback exchange, large selection of used and new, mostly priced around 100-240 baht. Fresh coffee and tea, If you buy a book here and then return it in good condition, you'll get a credit of 50% of the original price towards your next purchase.
  • Swan Book Shop, 210/6 Soi Buakhao. M-Sa 09:00-21:00. A large selection of second-hand foreign language paperbacks, mostly priced 100-180 baht.

Malls

  • Central Festival. Daily, 11:00-23:00. One of the largest malls in Asia. It is the best shopping mall in the region and now attracts customers from all over, adding to the traffic chaos of Beach Rd. Fashion, electronics, health & beauty, kids activities and food are all here. With the obligatory cinema complex and bowling alley on the top floor, this mega-mall is styled on the big Bangkok destination shopping areas like Siam Paragon. The Food Loft has the best view of the bay and great variety at reasonable prices. The anchor store is Central Department Store itself, offering high-end designer labels from abroad and Thailand. A supermarket and budget food hall is in the basement. Enter from Soi 9, Pattaya Beach Rd or on Second Rd after the new View Talay complex. Easy to find, just look for the traffic jams.
  • Mike Shopping Mall (on Beach Rd between Soi 11 and Soi 12). The ground floor has many small stalls selling clothing, tourist souvenirs and many other inexpensive items; above that there's a department store; on the 5th floor there's a food court; and up on the roof (10th floor) there's a public swimming pool.
  • P.S. Plaza (at the junction of Second Rd and Central Pattaya Rd). A Tops supermarket and a cooked food outlet occupies most of the ground floor; billiards, books, massage, and a handful of other shops on the first floor; and P.S. Bowling on the second floor.
  • Royal Garden Plaza (adjacent to the Pattaya Marriott Hotel on Beach Rd between Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2) and Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3)).
  • Tuk.Com (Com City), South Pattaya Rd. A predominantly IT mall. In the basement is a Tops supermarket, a food court, and various other (mostly clothes) shops as well as a spare parts department that sells a variety of electronics (e.g., transistors) and other parts (e.g., washing machine lint filters), and the ground floor hosts an assortment of regular shops. However the upper floors are almost exclusively mobile phones (1st floor), computer software and MP3/video CDs (4th floor), and computers and handheld electronics (2nd/3rd/5th floors). Prices are significantly higher than in Bangkok though.

Markets

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

  • Made In Thailand Night Bazaar, on Second Rd near Soi 10. 08:00-23:00. Despite the name, it is also open in mornings.
  • The Market Pattaya (on Second Rd near Soi 5). This market is a little lonely, but some evenings it has students giving music or dance performances on a small stage.
  • Soi Buakhao Market (on the corner of South Pattaya Rd and Soi Buakhao, across from the Friendship Supermarket). Daytime on Tuesdays and Fridays; plus an evening market further along the same road.
  • Thepprasit Market (on Thepprasit Rd near the junction with Sukhumvit Rd). F-Su 18:00-00:00. You can find the cheapest books in Pattaya at this night market.

Miscellaneous

  • Gems Gallery, 555 Moo 6, North Pattaya Rd,  +66 38 371222. One of several "World's Biggest" jewellery stores, this one also has a theme park.
  • Jo Fishing Tackle Shop, 259/42 Moo 5, Soi Pothisan,  +66 38 367556. Daily, 08:00-20:00. Small/mid-size shop absolutely packed to the gills(!) in a well-organised fashion with all manner of fishing tackle, owner doesn't speak much English, but is very friendly and helpful.
  • KC Gallery, Walking St. The best and biggest art gallery shop.
  • Narai Art Gallery, Soi 6, Phratamnak Rd. A local crafts shop which doubles as a nice restaurant.

Shops

  • Art galleries are also considered to be rising business in Pattaya, most of the places will offer variety works and services including custom orders and art reproductions. These galleries in Pattaya have reputations in affordable prices and fine quality artist skills.
  • Convenience stores are everywhere, especially 7-Eleven and FamilyMart shops (all open 24/7), 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.
  • Gold shops abound, with concentrations around the market on South Pattaya Rd and around Central Pattaya Rd near Second Rd, plus numerous jewellery shops towards the south end of Beach Rd. Small jewellery shops can also be found as part of supermarkets.
  • Tailor shops Are everywhere, offering men's clothes, but quality is variable. Ideally, make sure you get two fittings before buying.
  • Tea Village. The best teas in Pattaya, more than 80 flavours of tea and they sell coffee beans, more that 6 flavours. Prices on herbal teas start from 39 baht per 100 grams, on green Oolong tea from 70 baht, coffee 30 baht per 100 grams. You can find them shop in shopping mall Central Centre, on second floor.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Pattaya on Wikivoyage.

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