Known as Thailand's "Riviera", this internationally renowned resort is within an easy drive of Bangkok and is a popular pleasure-seekers paradise. Once a sleepy fishing village, Pattaya today is a city full of diversions: great beaches, brilliant shopping and a colourful nightlife.
Pattaya Beach's crescent shaped bay is comprised of three sections: north, central and south. Of the three, north Pattaya is the most peaceful, yet far from secluded, with hotels, restaurants, bars and shops lining the sandy shores. Central and south Pattaya represent the hub of the resort and is where you'll find an abundance of hotels and resorts, shopping malls, markets, restaurants and entertainment venues.
When you tire of lazing by the pool or on the sands there are seemingly endless watersports to tempt you, including windsurfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, snorkelling, banana boat rides, scuba diving and deep sea fishing. Landlubbers aren't left out either, with activities such as golf, tennis, bungee jumping and go karting to keep you occupied.
There are numerous places of interest in and around Pattaya including the Sanctuary of Truth (Prasat Satchatham), a giant wooden temple, situated right on the seafront, adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures; Big Buddha Hill has its very own golden "big Buddha" statue while the road leading up there has panoramic views over the bay. Other options include Ramayana Water Park, Underwater World, Flight of the Gibbon (a zipline canopy tour) and Mini Siam.
After Bangkok, Pattaya is Thailand's top destination for shopping. Aside from traditional Thai-style markets and large modern shopping malls, the best areas are the southern stretch of Pattaya Beach Road and on Pattaya Second Road, which are literally packed with hundreds of tourist-friendly shops and stalls.
When it comes to nightlife, Pattaya comes alive. Walking Street is one long entertainment zone and filled with loud music and neon-lit signs advertising the pubs, open-air bar complexes, go-go bars, ladyboy shows and nightclubs which vie for your attention and your Baht! Dining is definitely a treat and all around Pattaya there are dozens of food vendors and noodle stalls along with trendy restaurants featuring Thai and international cuisine such as Mexican, Italian, Greek, Scandinavian and Japanese.
A few miles south of Pattaya is Jomtien, an ideal option for those seeking a quieter resort with a beautiful stretch of coastline popular with watersport enthusiasts. Its sandy beach is fringed with pine trees and a selection of restaurants and cafes border the beach. The nightlife of Pattaya is just a short drive away if you don't want to miss out on the nightlife!
GMT +7 hours
There are no direct flights from the UK to Pattaya. From Bangkok the road transfer takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to Pattaya or 1 hour 15 minutes to Jomtien.
Pattaya and Jomtien enjoy year round hot weather and has three seasons: cool, hot and rainy. The cool season is November to February and considered the best time to visit with average high temperatures of 31C and low humidity. The hot season is between March and May with average high temperatures of 33C, and June to October is the rainy season when you can expect brief heavy downpours as well as sunshine.