Pattaya: Prime location, the second city of Thailand
Pattaya is not so far from the capital of Thailand, Bangkok. Only 2 hours journey (around 150 Kilometers) to the centre. It is also very near to Pattaya U-Tapao International Airport which will be around 20-30 minutes from Pattaya when the new highway shortly opens. It’s also easy to travel south west to 2 of the loveliest islands in Thailand- Ko Samet near Rayong, 45 minutes’ drive and 30 minutes by boat- so easy for weekends, then right near the border of Cambodia is Koh Chang, a protected island roughly 4-5 hours drive and 30 minutes on car ferry- wonderful for a more extended stay with natural beauty and many attractions.
Pattaya also has a local marina named, “Bali Hai Pier.” It is located at the Southern end of Walking Street, South Pattaya. This marina is normally full with people who want to travel to Koh Larn (see below) or are off to scuba diving, fish, or to go on a private charter boat trip.
Koh Larn is a very popular place to go for the day with its clean water and stunning beaches. There are a lot of Foreigners and Thais traveling to the island daily and it takes around 45 minutes by normal ferries from Pattaya to the 2 major piers: Naban and Tawaen. If you prefer to see the most beautiful viewpoints on the Island and some private natural beaches, Naban Pier is on your way. Tawaen Beach is normally crowded with tourists, but the bay is large and is considered to be the beach that has the most beautiful landscape in the island. Next to Tawaen beach there are another 2 beautiful beaches which are Sang Wan Beach and Thong Lang Beach. Those beaches are within walking distance. They are the ideal for enjoying privacy.
Pattaya has 4 major beaches which are Pattaya Beach, Naklua Beach, Wongamat Beach, and Jomtien Beach. Each one has its own characteristic. Pattaya beach is the beach that has a lot of people coming and going every day. It is near restaurants, bars, supermarkets, and shopping malls. You can enjoy good food and relaxing on the beach chairs with umbrellas. It’s not really private, but you will never be lonely.
Jomtien beach is a lot quieter than Pattaya. This 6 kilometers long beach normally has less tourists except at week-ends when it’s popular with the locals, but there are still many shops, a night market, and bars and restaurants where you can find good food and drinks from every corner of the world. Jomtien is well known as the place to go for water sports such as jet skis, banana boats, and wind surfing.
Naklua and Wongamat Beach are quieter beaches but in the area have a marvelous fish market that is a must visit- go between 5am and 11am.
The Pattaya City sign is one of the most famous landmarks in Pattaya and is on Pratumnak Hill. The whole area around it is popular with joggers and walkers due to its purpose built paths that meander through the greenery, there is also a popular outdoor gym on the hill. Another great viewpoint is on the Sor Tor Ror 5 Hill which has the status of HRH Prince of Jumborn, the father of Royal Thai Navy.
Away from tourist attractions, Pattaya is also full of shopping malls, restaurants, shops and services. Future Shopping Centre’s are also planned in Soi Siam Country Club, East Pattaya and in Na Jomtien.