Thailand Pattaya Guide
Pattaya might have started as a sleepy village for fishers. However, it woke into its full potential as a top tourist destination and choice of retirement for American war veterans from the Vietnam war. Slowly, but inevitably, this led to the expansion of the small village into a cosmopolitan Pattaya City, boasting one of the best nightlife scenes in all of Thailand. Blessed with a wide array of beautiful beaches and befitting parties, the full range of tourists and locals from different backgrounds contribute to the magical nature of this intriguing Thai holiday destination.
Covering a landmass of 22.2 square kilometers, Pattaya finds a nestling place on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. This resort city is about 100 km close to Bangkok. However, it has managed to form an independent identity of its own in all the years since inception.
Pattaya has long been an ideal holiday location – long before it even got as developed as it is today. Currently, Pattaya beaches are not even the best things to see during the holidays. From all of the unique floating markets to the walking street, Pattaya has become a tourist hotspot in recent times. The location also offers some of the most pristine spots for fine wining, dining, and partying too. Families are also welcome to enjoy the abundance of historical centers, family-friendly beaches, and all-round wholesome experience, which this location brings to the table. Add that to the tranquility of some of Pattaya’s surrounding islands, and this instantly transforms into the ideal romantic getaway location.
Pattaya is known for its wet and dry tropical climate type throughout the year, making the choice of when to visit much more straightforward. In March-May, the city can get too hot for comfort. This could negatively impact the vacation experience, but you don’t want to travel when it’s raining substantially instead (June-September). Thus, the best time to have the most fun in Pattaya is between October and March, during which the summer season is in full swing with perfect weather.
Single travelers will want to enjoy the action at the very heart of Pattaya City, making Walking Street more than ideal for them. This recommendation also follows the bustling nightlife on Walking Street, providing the right companionship – and the chance to meet new people too. Couples, especially new ones, can also enjoy from what Walking street has to offer. However, they will be better off at either of Naklua and Wong Anat beaches. Above all other things, these locations are serene enough to allow for better emotional and romantic connections between partners. Families will enjoy a mix of mild serenity and action, so they will find the most suitable accommodations in Jomtien beach.
Pattaya also has its fair share of surrounding islands, benefiting from the presence of Koh Samet and the Khram Yai peninsula nearby. You would also love to check out the beaches and amazing locations on both of Koh Larn (Coral island) and Koh Ped (Monkey Island) before heading back home. Possibly the most beautiful island near Pattaya, Koh Khram Yai offers white sandy beaches, crystalline waters, and seductive coves, which make for a magical cruise. There are substantial limestone drop-offs to the south of Khram Yai, reminiscent of Phuket’s fabulous Phang Nga Bay. Khram Yai is a must-visit destination from Pattaya.
Pattaya’s proximity to Bangkok means it is bound to see a lot of human traffic and bustle, making it a less relaxed location as compared to Phuket. Likewise, Phuket is fAmed for its assortment of beautiful beaches, quickly edging Pattaya out when it comes to the ultimate beach experience across different locations. On the flipside, Phuket is nowhere near Pattaya when it comes to the quality and richness of dining and wine establishments.
Not to overflow the issue of population, but Pattaya is not the place to be if all you want is a laid-back location for your vacation. Of course, Krabi is a much smaller province, so you won’t get to enjoy all the fantastic sights and extras (café and restaurant treatment, amazing nightlife, and more), which Pattaya has to offer. At the same time, Krabi promises more of the exciting island-hopping itineraries due to its proximity to Koh Phi Phi and the islands across Phang Nga Bay.
Just like it is with every other location here, the beach life on Koh Samui is way better than the crowd situation we have at Pattaya. This is not a huge drawback for those seeing the Pattaya beaches for the first time, and they get rewarded with a much better nightlife than they could get over at Koh Samui too.