The vibrant and colourful beach restaurant town of Pattaya has over the years earned a reputation of a popular holiday destination, both for thrill seekers and families looking to enjoy a place in the sun. Pattaya, during the Vietnam war, was just an unheard of the sleepy village, till the US soldiers discovered it’s natural beauty and placed it firmly on the tourist map of Southeast Asia. The rapid spate of development since the 70’s, has transformed Pattaya into an attractive city, with lots of activities for everyone.
1. Visit Nong Nooch Village
A perfect place for the adults and children to spend a day watching cultural shows and animal performances. The sprawling Nong Nooch village, in fact, is a heady mix of activities like Thai boxing, cockfights, elephant shows set amidst the background of a superb orchid garden.
2. Jomtien Beach
If you are on the lookout for a more secluded beach location, especially when travelling with family, then the Jomtien beach is the best alternative. Though less crowded than the main beach of Pattaya, Jomtien too offers a wide range of outdoor activities like parasailing, windsurfing, jet skiing among others. For the food lovers, restaurants serving authentic local seafood abound in the area.
3. Revel in the Sanctuary of Truth
Built to honour the ancient religions and philosophies of the world, the Sanctuary of Truth displays the magnificence of the different styles of Thai architecture. Intricate wooden carvings occupy every available space possible, as guests are invited to watch cultural shows, in the splendour of the massive building. Visitors can also opt for elephant trekking, Thai boxing or horseback riding.
4. Four Regions Floating Market
This first of a kind, and the only one in Pattaya, this floating market is a beehive of activity, offering visitors chances to savour the Thai cuisine and experience the way of life of the locals. You have a choice of casually walking around in the market or opting for a boat tour to see the rice fields as you pass leisurely by traditional Thai houses.
Pattaya is located about 200 km from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and can be accessed by various means of transport like local buses and taxis. The problem is that while travel by bus involves a lot of waiting time, the taxis tend to overcharge most of the time. A private transfer, by a reputed agency like KiwiTaxi, is the fastest and most comfortable way of getting to Pattaya.
KiwiTaxi also operates to Pattaya from Chonburi, Hua Hin and Kanchanaburi in an economical manner in car for 4 or minivan for larger groups. You can also travel from Pattaya to Koh Samui by KiwiTaxi, at a prearranged cost, which is even cheaper than public transport.
While a majority of travellers to Pattaya prefer staying near the entertainment centre on Walking street, there are other places like Pattaya Hill, which offer relaxation outlets. Away from the busy downtown crowds, Pattaya Hill has plenty of upmarket hotels for the discerning tourist.