Pattaya is always switched on and fun. This vibrant coastal city shot to fame in early 1980s, and stayed there. From sunrise to sunset, Pattaya’s beaches are constantly brimming with life, as water sports lovers and sun worshippers take to the waters. After dark, the action shifts to the streets, as revellers explore its electrified nightlife scene, where drinking and partying continue until dawn.
Apart from water sports and nightlife, Pattaya offers endless possibilities when it comes to accommodation and entertainment. It has outgrown its image as a seedy beach town to a destination for a wider audience; whether couples, families or business travellers, Pattaya has something for everyone. Only 147km from Bangkok, Pattaya is the closest of Thailand's major beach resorts to the capital city.
Pattaya is a popular place for both Thais and foreigners because the city has everything tourists need. Traveling there is easy as you can take your own car or ride a bus, a van, or a cab from Bangkok. There is also a ferry service from Hua Hin to Pattaya, which takes about an hour.
Interesting Places to Go
Khao Chee Chan Buddha mountain opens 06:00 – 18:00 hrs. Dress modestly and please follow exactly as the rules state. Plus, you shouldn’t get too close to the Buddha because it may cause an accident.
If you want to visit Koh Lan, you can do it in a one-day trip. On the Island, there are mini buses and motorbike taxis in services. But if you are feeling adventurous, you can rent a motorbike to ride for yourself.
There are so many different kinds of places for you to stay in Pattaya such as big hotels, resorts, guest houses, condominiums, and apartments. Most of these places are right next to the Beach.
There are many things you can do in Pattaya such as water sports, sunbathing, go-karting, bungee jumping, horse riding, golf playing, diving, cabaret show watching, and many more.
During the night time, all the way down Pattaya road is full of various entertainment options. Here you can always find something to eat, drink, and just somewhere to Chill Out.
Pattaya is a popular beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand, just 150 km southeast of Bangkok –a mere two-hour drive. Pattaya’s pulsating nightlife is well known, but local authorities have, in recent years, improved the quality of the beaches and reinvented the resort as a more family-friendly destination. Today, hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn each year to Pattaya to windsurf, water ski, swim, sunbathe, snorkel, sail, or take trips to nearby islands. Other activities include Bungee jumping, Cycling, skydiving, go-Karting, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and Paintball. Golfers, both novice and expert, are well catered to as well, with a wide selection of golf courses around Pattaya. Another major draw for visitors to Pattaya is the wide selection of restaurants serving some of Thailand's freshest Seafood. Due to the high number of expatriate foreigners in Pattaya there is also an excellent selection of authentic foreign eateries serving French, Italian, Swiss, German, Hungarian, Scandinavian, English, Indian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. Drawing such a large number of diverse visitors from across the world, it’s no surprise that Pattaya also boasts an incredible choice of accommodation. Those on a tight budget and those with money to spend are equally able to find rooms to suit their needs. Visitors can always find some peaceful beach time at nearby Jomtien Beach, just 3 kilometers south.
Just over one hour from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Pattaya is a lively beach town that draws visitors from around the world. With activities that include a wide array of water sports, golf, Shopping, cabaret shows, an elephant Village, and fascinating museums, it’s impossible not to have an action-packed Pattaya holiday. Unless of course it’s relaxation you crave, in which case there are beach chairs and umbrellas lining the Pattaya shore, where wandering vendors will cater to your every need: from barbequed shrimp to a foot massage. Pattaya is certainly a Thai beach resort that meets the needs of any visitor on any budget.
• Only fish during the appropriate Fishing season.
• Dress politely and take off your shoes before entering Buddhist temples.
• Examine rental motorbikes and cars thoroughly before renting.
• Drive motorbikes and rental cars with extreme caution.
• Beware of con-artists who prey on new tourists to Thailand. While most Thai people are just being friendly, be careful of those offering to do you too many favors or promising you incredible bargains.
• Beware of pick pockets, especially on Walking Street when it's crowded.
• Beware of entertainment venues that have poor signage or are poorly lit inside; some venues offer free admission and then refuse to allow visitors to leave until they have paid exorbitant bar bills.
• Do not purchase or consume illegal drugs or participate in illegal gambling.
• Show respect to the local Thai people and the Thai police. Guilty or not, your display of anger will only make things worse.
• Haggle in a good-natured way with small shop vendors. A polite “no thank you” will be more effective than a loud display of emotion.
• Ask for the price first when ordering food and before getting a massage or manicure on the beach. Do likewise before renting a jet ski or getting in a tuk tuk or taxi.
• The sun in Pattaya is very strong; apply sunscreen liberally and frequently.
• Tap water in Thailand is not safe to drink; however, bottled water is cheap and readily available.
• While illegal, the sex industry is a reality in Pattaya. It is strongly advised to protect yourself accordingly, both from sexually transmitted diseases and from theft.
The Pattaya area of Thailand’s eastern seaboard is host to a beguiling range of attractions. The range includes anything from ancient Thai traditions to modern adventures. You can find the simple pleasures of the nation’s most lively party street or be humbled by unique religious treasures. Explore nature, art, science and culture in ways you would never have imagined. Enjoy the raw beauty of the rainforest canopy or the glitz and glamour of the cabaret stage.
Our list of the 10 best attractions in Pattaya is just a sample of the amazing variety you can find in the area. These are the absolute must-see features which every itinerary for every visitor should include. Many of the items on our list are unique in Thailand while some are unequalled in the entire world.
Walking Street South Pattaya
The sights and sounds of Walking Street are quite unlike anything else in Thailand. Other towns and cities try to claim to have their own version, but nothing comes close to matching the 500 metres of fun which is found at the end of Pattaya’s Beach Road. Taking its name from the fact that it is closed to vehicle traffic after 18:00, almost every building on both sides of the road – as well as many in the side streets around it – is a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar to the extent that the road is almost completely deserted during daylight hours as virtually everything is shut. At night, however, the road comes alive with neon lights, thumping music from different genres, food vendors, street performances and party animals from around the world.
Opening Hours: Closed to road traffic 18:00 - 02:00. Bar opening times vary
Location: South Pattaya
Sanctuary of Truth Banglamung
This one-of-a-kind teak structure is a truly awe-inspiring sanctuary to a philosophical truth, which tells of the importance religion, philosophy and art has played in human development and the folly of neglecting morality and spiritual contentment in the pursuit of materialism. It is a beautiful and humbling demonstration of human endeavour and skill, particularly when you realise that none of the wood being used has been treated or chemically protected. This means that, as one section is completed, another has succumbed to the tropical conditions and must be replaced.
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00
Location: 206/2 Soi Naklua 12, Naklua
Tel: +66 (0)3 836 7229
Tiffany Cabaret Show
Tiffany's Cabaret Show takes place in a grand theatre that, with its huge faux-marble lobby, manages to be almost as spectacular as the dazzling costumes. Performers make their entrances dressed in everything from long sweeping ball-gowns and plumes of feathers, to elaborate headdresses and skimpy polkadot swimwear. A breathless hour-long riot of sound, colour and light ensues; a show that spans the entire hemisphere through song, dance or skit. Scenes include a Bollywood musical take on the Indian Raj, a traditional Korean fan dance, homage to China's Imperial past and progress, Siam's history told through graceful Thai dance, Broadway show tunes, and slapstick burlesque.
Opening Hours: Daily, 18:00, 19:30 and 21:00
Location: 99/1-2 Pattayasaisong Rd, Pattaya, Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150
Tel: +66 (0) 38 421 700
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Na Jomtien
The 2.4sq.kms of Nong Nooch are full to bursting with some of the most remarkable flowers, displays and landscaped gardens in Thailand, if not the world. The team behind them have repeatedly won international awards for their designs, which include 17th-century-French-style gardens, a recreation of Stonehenge, creative topiary displays and gardens created exclusively with cacti, bonsais and tropical palms. It is also the home of over 670 native and hybrid species of orchid and regular displays of classic Thai dancing, boxing and drumming.
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00
Location: 34/1 Sukhumvit Road, Na Jomtien
Tel: +66 (0)3 870 9358
Pattaya Floating Market Jomtien
Correctly known as the “Four Regions Floating Market”, the sub-sections of this 100,000sqm development represent the four major areas of Thailand – the north, northeast, central and south. This representation comes in the form of shops and stalls selling souvenirs, fruits, food, art, handicrafts, postcards and clothing as well as regular cultural shows and demonstrations. Some of the 114 vendors do indeed float, selling their wares from traditional boats and canoes. The rest are built into a sturdy stilted village, with covered walkways and stout bridges connecting them.
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
Location: 451/304 Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien
Tel: +66 (0)3 870 6340
Wat Phra Khao Yai (“Big Buddha Hill”) South Pattaya
The so-called “Big Buddha” certainly deserves its name, being the biggest in the region at 18 metres in height. Positioned nearly 100 metres above sea level, it watches over Pattaya and Jomtien Beaches from its position on the hill dividing the two. The temple complex around the highly detailed golden seated Buddha creates a reflective mood in its many visitors thanks to its many bells, burning incense, numerous smaller statues and impressive views over the area. Not just tourist attraction, the site is an active temple, with locals frequently visiting to pray.
Opening Hours: 06:30 – 17:00
Location: Phratamnak Hill
Pattaya is home to a choice of outstanding water parks, including the largest in all of Thailand, with dozens of slides and rides between them. The biggest and best, including Ramayana Water Park and Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark, are located just about 20 minutes away from Pattaya City. Each park has on-site restaurants and a range of helpful facilities for families.
Khao Pattaya View Point on Pratumnak Hill is the best viewpoint in the region and the place to visit day or night to get that classic shot of Pattaya’s sweeping, crescent bay. Be warned though, this is anything but an insider’s tip so expect to share your view with an almost ceaseless conveyor-belt of package tours and the local traders who follow them touting cheap souvenirs and expensive refreshments. This might sound off-putting but the reality is tours will usually stop for 10 to 15 minutes and once they have been called back to the bus, the view point becomes quiet and peaceful – perfect for enjoying the stunning scenery.
Opening Hours: 07.30 - 21.00
Location: Soi Rajchawaroon, Pratumnak Hill
If told to imagine a cerulean blue sea and a long stretch of pristine beach void of high-rise buildings and away from the claws of civilization, Pattaya would probably be the last place to conjure up in your mind’s eye. Well, that would be the case until you’ve discovered Koh Larn (Larn Island), a little piece of paradise beyond the hustle and bustle of Pattaya… Also known as Coral Island, Koh Larn – situated 7.5 kilometres west of Pattaya Beach – has long been an alternative retreat for those who have become jaded with Pattaya’s overdeveloped and overcrowded beaches. Since the island is not so far away, visitors can easily go there in the morning, stay for a couple of hours and then come back to Pattaya Beach late afternoon. And the most convenient way of doing this is by taking a guided tour – complete with hotel
Art in Paradise North Pattaya
Art in Paradise takes the traditional assumptions of what an art gallery should be and completely ignores them. Instead, the art is brought to life and the visitors can become part of it through the use of optical illusions and playing with perspective. Stand in the right position and take a picture from the right angle – all of which are clearly marked out for you – and it looks like you are flying a magic carpet in the desert, crossing a rickety bridge in the jungle, swimming with dolphins in the ocean or putting the finishing touches to famous masterpieces.
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00
Location: 78/34 Moo 9, Pattaya Second Road Soi 1, North Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 842 4500
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not South Pattaya
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! contains over 300 exhibits which will boggle the mind. Telling only true stories and facts, the surprising and shocking displays prove that the truth really is stranger than fiction. Alongside this museum of the marvellous are several fun rides, a waxworks museum, a 12D Moving Theatre and the extremely popular Sky Rider – the yellow and white balloon which can be seen rising above Pattaya Beach, offering unique views of the city and the surrounding area.
Opening Hours: 06:00 – 23:00
Location: 3rd floor, Royal Garden Plaza, Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 841 1285
Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan)
The largest engraving of Buddha in the world, the gold-embossed image was carved out of the side of a limestone mountain with a laser and is 130 metres in height and 70 metres across at its widest. The area in which it resides – commonly known as “Silverlake” – is one of remarkable natural beauty, with a couple of other nearby attractions.
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00
Location: 6km from Kilometre 160, off Sukhumvit Road, Na Jomtien
BEST SHOPPING AREAS IN PATTAYA
The best shopping options in Pattaya create a varied list of malls, markets, stalls and even a bazaar. One thing is for sure: it is not lacking in places to shop. In fact, the area is home to an impressive collection of malls, catering to a range of budgets and needs. Most have some sort of gimmick or quirk which sets them apart and makes them fun as an attraction instead of being just a collection of stores. You don’t need to be a shopaholic to enjoy a day of retail therapy.
Our pick of the 10 Best Shopping in Pattaya showcases a selection of the best places to go for high street names and amazing bargains. Naturally, a certain degree of cynicism is needed when it comes to making a purchase in markets and, if the price seems too good to be true, don’t be too surprise if that “genuine” watch or shirt falls apart within a week.
Central Festival Pattaya Beach Road Open: 11:00 – 23:00
Since its opening in 2009, CentralFestival Pattaya Beach has dominated the city’s skyline. It is easily the tallest structure on the beachfront and, with over 300 shops housed within, it also dominates the area’s shopping scene. It is the home of many high street fashion brands, including Calvin Klein, H&M, Marks & Spencer, Nautica and Zara. There is also a wide selection of food outlets, from the Central Food Court on the bottom floor to Oishi Ramen on the top, with Middle Eastern Italian and western cuisines represented in between. Electrical stores include PowerBuy, Canon and Samsung outlets while the Central Department Store covers five floors of the Second Road end of the building. With the addition of a cinema and bowling alley, CentralFestival is one of the main social hotspots in the city as well as being a shopper’s paradise.
Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Address: 333/99 Moo 9, Pattaya Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 300 3999
Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya South Pattaya Open: 10:30-23:00
What CentralFestival has in height, Royal Garden Plaza has in width. Stretching out along the southern end of Beach Road, it is a distinctive landmark for the bright red aircraft stuck out of the Second Road entrance and the yellow balloon rising out of the roof, both of which belong to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum which takes up most of an entire floor. The remaining three floors, however, are the home of an array of high street brands including Levi’s, Esprit, Von Dutch and Converse. There is also an impressive range of souvenirs, jewellery, beachwear, electrical goods and dining options.
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 23:00
Address: 218 Pattaya Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 841 6972
Pattaya Floating Market Jomtien Open: 10:00 - 23:00
A combination of living museum, live show and shopping centre, Pattaya Floating Market is an extremely popular attraction as well as being a great place for souvenir shopping. Being an artificial reconstruction of the popular floating markets in Bangkok, it is considerably safer and easier to navigate and is home to a great selection of high quality wares such as clothing, handicraft, art and jewellery. There is also the option to scoot around the stilted village in a small boat, enjoy some of the cultural demonstrations or dine at the great selection of small eateries offering Thai meals and snacks from across the country.
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
Address: 451/304 Moo 12, Sukhumvit Road Pattaya
Outlet Mall Pattaya Jomtien
While the selection of local and international brands on offer in Outlet Mall Pattaya is impressive, the huge savings available are even more so. Up to 70 per cent has been known to be knocked off the prices of original products from Levi, Camel Active, Adidas, Nike, Timberland, Warner Bros. Studio and Lacoste, amongst others. The downstairs Premium Fashion Mall features a recreation of a street market layout, but with names like Clarks, Samsonite, Speedo and Crocs on sale. Amongst the few on-site eating options is one of the finest low-cost, high-quality Thai restaurants in Pattaya.
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
Address: 666 Moo 12, Thepprasit Road, on the corner of Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien
Tel: +66 (0)3 842 7764-5
Mimosa Na Jomtien Open: 10:00-22:00
This colourful recreation of the French city of Colmar is almost impossible not to notice as you drive along Sukhumvit Road. Amongst the recreation Renaissance-era buildings, the windmill, the canals and the musical water fountain are more than 300 shops selling a selection of souvenirs, clothing, jewellery and Thai handicrafts. There is also a 45-minute family-friendly cabaret show around the fountain, street performances throughout the day and a small collection of rides and attractions in the Funland Amusement Park, making for a great day out for the entire family.
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 22:00
Address: 10:00 – 22:00
Tel: +66 (0)3 823 7318
Central Center Pattaya North Pattaya Open: 09:00 – 23:00
The most tropical experience in our list of the 10 Best Shopping in Pattaya, Central Center Pattaya has an open design with a colourful, plant-strew courtyard surrounded by over 130 shops. The biggest is the supermarket which gives this place its more common name of “Big C North”, but others include boutique and brand name stores selling an impressive selection of clothing, jewellery, accessories and electrical goods, particularly in the ‘IT Corner’ area. There is also a five-screen cinema and a good selection of food outlets, including local and international brands.
Mike Shopping Mall South Pattaya
Mike Shopping Mall combines the air-conditioned environment of big shopping malls with the excellent prices of street markets. It has a selection of smaller brand stores such as Maybelline, Nike and Pierre Cardin, but these are vastly outnumbered by the vendors selling unbranded or copied clothing. It is also a great place to go looking for souvenirs and has a selection of cheap local dining options in and around it. Uniquely amongst the shopping options in Pattaya, it has a rooftop pool which is available for public use for a small fee.
Opening Hours: 10:00 - 23:00
Address: 262 Moo 10, Pattaya Second Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 841 2000
One Tambon, One Product Naklua Open: 10:00 – 20:00
If you want to make sure that your holiday souvenirs are made by local craftspeople instead of a giant factory (and that those craftspeople get the money you spent on their products), the “OTOP Shop” is the place to go. Part of a government initiative to support local communities, the wares in OTOP all come from around Pattaya (a ‘Tambon’ being a regional subdivision, such as a town or village). Items on offer in the 1,500sqm showroom range from those as small as scented soaps to as large as wardrobes and other items of furniture, all showing a remarkable level of skill in their construction and prices which are fair and reasonable.
Thepprasit Road Night Market
One of the biggest and certainly amongst the most popular of the local markets, it attracts tourists and locals alike each weekend. Sometimes known as “Kankheha Thepprasit Market”, it is home to an impressive range of clothes, jewellery, mobile phone accessories, make-up, toys, gadgets, souvenirs and Thai cuisine. As is to be expected of a street market, most of the wares are cheap copies, particularly the CDs and DVDs, but there are still some excellent bargains to be found on surprisingly good non-branded items, particularly if you haggle the prices down a bit.
Opening Hours: Fri – Sun 17:00 – 23:00
Location: Thepprasit Road, Jomtien
Pattaya Night Bazaar South Pattaya
What was once a rag-tag collection of street stalls under a stifling corrugated metal roof is now an air-conditioned edifice containing a good selection of stalls selling wares ideal for tourists. Also known as the “Made in Thailand Market”, the vendors within sell everything from discount clothing and souvenirs to mobile phone accessories and small electrical gadgets – basically, everything you would normally find in a street market, with a few bonus extras like tailor shops and luggage stalls. The prices are perhaps few baht higher than you would expect to pay at one of the street markets, but paying for wider paths between stalls and a constant flow of cool air is well worth it.
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 23:00
Location: Pattaya Second Road, South Pattaya
If you really want to experience Thailand, you have to do so with all five senses. The most enjoyable of these to indulge is the sense of taste, which means eating what the locals like. With such a large expatriate population and dozens of expat-run restaurants, you could arguably do this by dining on fish and chips, though you would missing out on some excellent Thai food.
Pattaya is quite a multicultural place, attracting Thai nationals from across the country, each of whom brings the best of their region’s cuisine. A lot of people have moved here from the rural province of Issan, bringing their spicy and sour specialities with them. The coastal city also enjoys the fresh seafood of the Gulf of Thailand, making the 10 Best Local Food in Pattaya a diverse selection of flavours to enjoy. Have a look at our list below if you want to really eat like a local.
Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
Originally from Issan, this is a love-it or hate-it sort of a dish – almost all Thais in Pattaya can’t get enough of it, though visitors are very much divided. It is made with garlic, chillies, green beans, cherry tomatoes and shredded raw papaya and is a mix of extreme sweet, sour and spicy flavours. Popular additions include salted crab, dry shrimp and peanuts. Som Tum is available anywhere you can see the distinctive large pestle and mortar, including on some street vendor carts.
Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
Practically the national dish of Thailand, the lemongrass, chilli, lime leaves, galangal, shallots and fish sauce flavours all add up to a spicy, sour, herby, aromatic soup. It is the smell and the taste you think of when you imagine Thai food. Fresh local prawns and straw mushrooms provide the meat of the dish which is universally popular among Thais and tourists. It is widely available at Thai restaurants throughout Pattaya.
Yum Woon Sen (Spicy Glass Noodles)
A popular salad throughout Thailand, and sometimes thought of as a diet food, Yum Woon Sen uses the relatively plain clear or glass noodle as its base. Ingredients added to this include garlic, dried shrimp, peanuts, onion, limes, Chinese celery and a lot of chilli, giving it a crunchy, spicy and very sour flavour. Ground pork is a popular addition, though it is a bit of a diet-breaker. Many restaurants also add large cooked shrimp, too.
Pad Krapow Moo Saap (Fried Basil and Pork)
A one-plate dish popular for lunch and dinner, fried basil and pork has a full, meaty and spicy flavour. It is heavy on the holy basil, with minced pork, fresh chilli, green beans, soy sauce and a little bit of sugar. All of this is stir-fried in a piping hot wok and served on steamed rice, usually with a fried egg (kai dao) on top. The fat and juices from the pork add a wholesome extra flavour to the plain rice, making it a very moreish meal.
Gai Yang with Khao Niao (Chicken with Sticky Rice)
This dish is exactly as simple as it sounds – it really is just grilled chicken with sticky rice. It usually comes with a small collection of dipping sauces, which range from the relatively mundane sweet chilli sauce popular throughout Asia to super-spicy local dips in a disquieting brown colour. Generally eaten entirely by hand, it is filling, tasty and quite messy and generally available from wandering food carts as well as local restaurants.
Pla Pao (Salt-Crusted Grilled Fish with Lemongrass)
It is a little bit disconcerting to see a whole fish with a bundle of lemongrass sticks shoved deep into its mouth, gently grilling in a Pattaya market, particularly when that fish is a ghostly white colour. What you are actually looking at is a very popular and tasty meal, though. The colour comes from a thick crust of salt, which keeps the flesh succulent and moist under the ravages of the grill while the lemongrass infuses the whole of the tilapia fish with its fruity, sour flavour. Eaten with garlic chilli seafood dipping sauce, it is a popular evening meal.
Khao Pad Gung (Fried Rice with Prawns)
Fried rice is something of a staple of Thai cuisine, popular with Thais and tourists for its ability to fill. Topped with a fried egg in the American version, the genuine article has the egg mixed in among the onion, herbs and, in some versions, carrot and peas. While you can have it with practically any meat, the popularity of local seafood makes the prawn version particularly common. Locals and seasoned expats will often add a lot of condiments to enhance the flavour, including fresh lime juice, chilli flakes and chilli-infused fish sauce.
Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Sticky Mango Rice)
This is the sweetest of the sweets and, without a doubt, Thailand’s best-known dessert. Entire stores and wandering vendors devote their whole trade just to Sticky Mango Rice, the vibrant yellow fruits brightening up a street. It is an extremely simple dish – slices of mango with a serving of sticky rice, all coated in a thick coconut sauce – but the freshness of each component makes it a powerful flavour. Locally-grown mangos are already very sweet and the sugar-heavy sauce can make it almost sickly sweet.
Pad Thai (Thai-style Fried Noodles)
Pad Thai is another of those classically-Thai dishes which makes the cuisine so famous around the world. It is, in fact, the one they gave the country’s name to! A quick and easy preparation, it uses wide noodles, onion, egg, and a meat of your choice (prawn is popular in Pattaya) as its tasty base. Crunchy beansprouts add an extra texture dimension, as does the traditional collection of condiments, which include ground peanuts, chilli powder, sugar and fish sauce.
Khao Tom (Rice Soup)
A fairly basic breakfast (though it isn’t that usual to find it eaten at any time of the day), Khao Tom is a rice-based broth. The base is a simple gloopy porridge made from jasmine rice. This has ginger, spring onion, lemongrass, shallots, eggs, meat and fish sauce. The popular choice of meat is pork, which can be either minced or served in balls. It isn’t particularly appetising to look at and the consistency puts a lot of tourists off, but the flavour is a welcome surprise.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS IN PATTAYA
Our list of the best restaurants in Pattaya showcases just a fraction of the great selection of top-class eateries in the city, which serve a wide range of cuisines to meet the needs of a multinational resident and tourist population. With a large proportion of the local expatriate community being from Europe and America, these are the flavours which dominate many menus, though there are plenty of alternatives and most establishments also offer at least a page of Thai favourites.
Hungry visitors looking for fresh seafood would be advised to head to Jomtien or Naklua, but for variety Pattaya Bay is the premier dining destination in the city. From French to Far Eastern and delicate haute cuisine to gut-busting breakfasts, there is a restaurant for any palate and any price. Our list of the 10 best restaurants in Pattaya covers an equally wide range of options and includes some of the big names and the hidden gems, including international brands and local heroes.
Mantra Restaurant & Bar, Amari Ocean Pattaya
With an eclectic blend of cuisines on offer, calling Mantra Restaurant & Bar an “international” eatery hardly covers the experience. Top chefs can be seen hard at work in the seven open kitchens in a variety of disciplines - including preparing sushi, pizzas, Indian curries, Thai delights and more – helping to create what is widely accepted to be the best buffet in town. The a la carte menu also covers a broad spectrum, from grain-fed Australian sirloin steak to deep fried tofu with vegetarian Szechuan sauce. The decor is as sleek as the service at Mantra and it makes for an all round sophisticated meal.
Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
Location: Amari Ocean Pattaya, Beach Road, North Pattaya.
Tel: +66 (0)3 842 9591
Seafood is taken very seriously at Casa Pascal. The salmon used, in particular, is of an internationally high standard and unique treats are often brought in specially, including Atlantic lobsters and ‘jet-fresh’ French oysters. It is also the only restaurant to specially import Chanterelle mushrooms and white asparagus. The barbecue breakfast buffet is extremely popular and features a grill station for freshly-prepared eggs and meats along with a selection of European breads, cold-cuts, cheeses and salads and hot dishes from Thailand and the west.
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 14:00, 18:00 – 23:00
Location: 485/4 Pattaya Second Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 872 3660
Cuisine: European, Thai
Cadillac Café & Bar, Wave Hotel
The fantastic Art Deco style of the Wave Hotel is modelled off Miami Beach and the Cadillac Café menu mirrors the multicultural nature of the Florida city. Alongside traditional American favourites like surf ‘n’ turf, corn on the cob and barbecue spare ribs are Mexican flavours such as nachos and quesadillas and an American twist on Japanese food with the signature wagyu burger. These can be enjoyed in the cool and comfortable surroundings of an eclectic art deco dining room with a view right across Beach Road and out to sea.
Opening Hours: All day
Location: Wave Hotel, 310/2 Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 841 0577
Cuisine: American, International
Horizon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, Hilton Pattaya
Horizon Rooftop Restaurant is surely the most spectacular place to dine in Pattaya, and with a prime location, high viewpoint and special cocktail deals between 17:00 and 19:00, the Horizon Bar is the best place to savour the sunset. It boasts an impressive haute cuisine menu to savour while you enjoy the view from the 34th floor of the Hilton Hotel. The menu includes “Sophisticated Caesar” salad, “Indecisive Chicken” (with different cuts prepared in different ways) and a selection of high-quality imported meats such as Atlantic salmon, Maine lobsters, New Zealand mussels, French oysters and Australian beef.
Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
Location: Hilton Pattaya, 333/101 Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 825 3000
Ruen Thai Restaurant
Taking its name from the distinctive building style it is housed in, Ruen Thai serves up a highly authentic Thailand experience, featuring traditional music and dance shows and, of course, fantastic Thai cuisine. This includes the likes of spicy duck curry, crumbled shrimp and pork rolled and deep-fried, and roast chicken with vegetable tips. The friendly staff can help out with other recommendations if you find yourself overwhelmed by the extensive menu. There are also some western and Chinese choices, with the Hong Kong-style steak being particularly noteworthy.
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
Address: 485/3 Pattaya Second Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 842 5911
Cuisine: Thai, International
Although the menu includes a host of British “pub grub” favourites, the Sportsman is the undisputed king of the carvery in Pattaya. From 12:30 to 20:30 on Sundays, there are two soups, five roasted meats, a steak and kidney pie and all of the trimmings; all of the finest quality, freshly prepared and being continuously freshened and topped up. The English-style bar also has an impressive selection of draft beers, bitters, lagers and ciders to enjoy while watching live sports on the four large televisions.
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 02:00
Location: Soi 13, Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 871 0609
Cuisine: British, International
Hopf Brew House
Amongst literally hundreds of beer bars in Pattaya, Hopf Brew House is unique in making their own beer. Inspired by the beer halls of Bavaria, their home-brew wheat beer, dark beer or lager is available in glasses from 0.3 litres to 3 litres. The menu also includes a range of top-class European-style food such as German sausages and meats and Italian pastas and pizzas. With a live house band playing every night, there is a lively and fun atmosphere to enjoy, too.
Opening Hours: 14:00 – 02:00
Address: Soi 13/1, Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 871 0653
Siam Elephant Bar & Restaurant, Siam Bayshore
Mere steps away from the frenetic party atmosphere of the Bali Hai end of Walking Street, the Siam Elephant Bar & Restaurant is a gardened oasis of calm, elegance and fine Thai cuisine. Along with the well-known favourites like Red or Green Curry and Phad Thai, there are some more obscure regional dishes and some unique creations from the skilled executive chefs. These include Ma Hor, which consists of spoon-shaped slices of pineapple topped with sautéed pork, ginger and fresh herbs - a must-try appetizer.
Opening Hours: 18:00 – 23:00
Location: Siam Bayshore, 559 Beach Road, South Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 842 8678
Valentino Italian Thai Restaurant
Even in the heart of the city, by one of the busiest roads, Valentino succeeds in creating an Adriatic atmosphere with the creative use of architecture, authentic materials and fantastic Italian food. Taking its name and the vibrant yellow of its signage from Italian racing legend Valentino Rossi, the quaint eatery is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in Pattaya for pasta dishes, with sauces including Bolognese, Napoletana, Carbonara, Puttanesca and Frutti di Mare. The pizza selection is equally varied and prepared in genuine Italian style under the supervision of the Italian proprietor.
Opening Hours: 12:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 23:00.
Address: 192-192/1 Soi 4, Pattaya Central Road, North Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 842 8210
Cuisine: Italian, Thai
The Big Fish, Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya
Amongst the idiosyncratic design which is the hallmark of the Siam@Siam Hotel, equally obscure and creative seafood dishes from Thailand and around the world can be found at The Big Fish. Appetising dishes include are the spicy baby squid salad, grilled skate wing and spotted Babylon (snails) with Café de Paris butter. More recognisable offerings include a range of western foods such as pizzas, pastas and burgers as well as unusual Thai dishes like stuffed baby squid with minced pork in Thai green curry sauce.
Opening Hours: All day
Location: Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya, 390 Pattaya Second Road, North Pattaya
Tel: +66 (0)3 893 0600
Cuisine: Thai, International
Nightlife in Pattaya entirely deserves its international reputation. This is a carefree party town where people seek for endless fun. There are other aspects of its reputation which it perhaps deserves less, but it cannot be denied that it is the place to go for a rollicking good time. Almost every part of the entire region has some form of nightlife, whether it’s naughty nightlife in gogo bars, live rock bands, international DJs, cabaret shows, pool parties, rooftop bars or just a quiet pint at your local away from home.
Some of these Pattaya nightlife spots are family-friendly, though most are not. There is a lot of variety to be found in and around the city, with radically-different kinds of venues found within a very short distance of each other – sometimes side-by-side on the same street!
Pattaya Walking Street South Pattaya
If you’ve heard of Pattaya, you’ve more likely than not heard of Walking Street. This half-kilometre beach-side street takes its name from the fact that it is closed to motorised traffic from 18:00 every night, at which point it immediately becomes thronged with party-going pedestrians. Almost every building on both sides of the road is a nightclub, bar or gogo bar of some description, with many of the surrounding small sois being much the same. Great nights out can be found from the so-called “Red Car Bar” – Gulliver’s Walking Street – at one end of the street to Mixx Discotheque at the other, with The Pier Disco Club, 808, Club Insomnia, Candyshop, Marine Disco, Play and Lucifer Disko amongst the best in between. On the racier side, Airport Club, Alcatraz, Baccara, Iron Club and X Zone are all highly-rated gogo bars amongst the very wide selection.
Opening Hours: Closed to road traffic 18:00 – 02:00. Bar opening times vary
Cabaret Show North Pattaya
Alcazar Cabaret Show Pattaya is widely regarded as one of the best ladyboy cabaret shows in Pattaya, which is saying a lot given the amount of high-quality competition for such a title. A 400-member team presents a 70-minute extravaganza of glitzy and glamorous entertainment in the well-established theatre by Pattaya Second Road. The Alcazar Caberet first opened in November 1981 with a 350-seat theatre, but that was replaced in February 1990 with the current 1,200-seat theatre with state-of-the-art light and sound systems. The facilities and show itself are continually being updated and improved, making sure that the performance remains fresh and entertaining, dazzling audiences year after year.
• Opening Hours: Shows start at 17:00, 18:30, 20:00 and 21:30
• Location: 78/14 Pattaya Second Road, North Pattaya
• Tel: +66 (0)81 781 1703, +66 (0)3 842 2220
Horizon Bar, Hilton Pattaya
34th Floor, Hilton Pattaya, 333/101 Beach Road, South Pattaya
The Hilton Pattaya building dominates the city’s skyline, being easily the tallest building on Pattaya Beach Road, if not the tallest in the whole area. Right at the top – on the 34th floor – is the Horizon Bar – presumably so named because it’s so far up that you can see the curvature of the Earth from the balcony. The very best place to enjoy a drink with a view, the buy-one-get-one-free offer on selected cocktails (including old favourites and house specials) from 17:00 to 19:00 makes it a fantastic place to enjoy the marvellous sunsets. While there are comfortable sofas available, it is the high bar stools and the tables by the railings that you’ll see most people rushing to claim.
• Opening Hours: 17:00 – 01:00
• Tel: +66 (0)3 825 3000
FFlic Cliff & Pool Club
286/5 Rajchawaroon Road, Soi Kasetsin 11, Phratamnak
Fun, wet and social spot with a great view across to Koh Larn, FFlic Cliff & Pool Club is one of the top places to enjoy a sundowner and then to keep the party going under the stars. A relative newcomer to the nightlife scene, it has dramatically woken up the sleepy Phratamnak area, being an instant hit with visitors and locals. It boasts an extensive main bar and a second smaller one by the side of the infinity-edge pool, international guest DJs playing funky R&B tunes, a lively atmosphere and a great selection of food. Don’t forget your swimming costume, though, because you’re almost guaranteed to get wet at some point.
• Opening Hours: 10:00 – 02:00
• Tel: +66 (0)88 498 6165, +66 (0)81 892 8114
Hard Rock Café Pattaya
Hard Rock Hotel, 429 Beach Road, North Pattaya
The Hard Rock franchise is well-known the world over for its quirky style and great music. From the iconic giant guitar head and “no drugs or nuclear weapons allowed inside” neon sign over the door to the collection of music and movie memorabilia inside, it certainly has the style. The music starts every evening at 18:00 on the Sun & Moon deck, which looks out over Beach Road. The house band starts up at 21:30 and plays into the early hours. The excellent rock groups are frequently rotated, with special guest bands also making regular appearances. The attached Hard Rock Hotel also hosts some of the best foam parties in the region, the Miss Hard Rock beauty contest and the annual guitar festival.
• Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs 12:00 – 01:00, Fri – Sun 12:00 – 02:00
• Tel: +66 (0)3 842 8755
Muay Thai Boxing
Thai kickboxing is world-famous and Pattaya has more ways to enjoy the sport than most. You can see the professionals at work in shows or championship matches at Max Muay Thai and Pattaya Boxing World on Sukhumvit Road, see rising stars in the amateur leagues at the Fairtex Stadium on Thepprasit Road or watch a bout over a beer on Walking Street, with two rings along the famous road, both surrounded by beer bars. In the last of these options, brave punters can even get in the ring themselves and try their luck against the house fighters! It’s a fast-paced and aggressive sport, which is probably best enjoyed as a spectator.
Planet Earth Beach Club
Soi 16, Jomtien Beach Road
While there are several venues around Pattaya which promise to recreate Ibiza’s beach parties, Planet Earth Beach Club comes the closest. The place boasts great dance music from resident and international guest DJs, huge sun loungers, designer swimwear on sale, a swimming pool, a foam machine, amazing drinks deals and authentic Italian gelato. The big weekend parties attract the local high society and a young crowd of fun-loving Thais and tourists, including muscle-bound guys and bikini-clad girls. Jomtien Beach is also only just over the road to complete the beach party experience. Only open during the tourist season, the fun starts late in the morning and usually does end until early the next morning!
• Opening Hours: 11:00 – 23:00
Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya
The Siam@Siam Design Hotel Pattaya has an impressive assortment of bars and lounges with different vibes for different parts of the night. Watch the sunset by the infinity pool on the 25th floor – which has also hosted some of the city’s best pool parties – before dropping down a floor to The Roof Sky Bar & Restaurant, which has a seaside garden feel and down-tempo beats as the night draws in. If you prefer an indie electro vibe, go down to the quirky Car Bar on the ground floor, with its street chic style, bike chains for coasters and an impressive selection of unique cocktails.
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 02:00
Tel: +66 (0)3 893 0600
Beach Road Soi 7 South Pattaya
Pattaya’s pink-neon-lit beer bars are renowned for being a little on the seedy side, but it does depend a lot on the area you go to. While not exactly family-friendly, Soi 7 (between Pattaya Beach Road and Second Road) is more about having a good time and a few drinks. The beverages here are far cheaper than they are around Walking Street, with a local beer being as little as 65 baht and a shot of local whiskey being even less, in select bars. Because of this, the street is particularly popular with budget travellers, locals and young expatriates.
Soi Buakhao South Pattaya
Soi Buakhao is increasingly known as the new Walking Street. Running all the way from Pattaya Klang to Pattaya South Road, the narrow road is somewhat less family-friendly than its more famous predecessor – which is saying something. It attracts an older audience, so has fewer high energy night clubs. Instead, it has more beer bars, ladyboy bars and go-go bars than anywhere else in the city. Notable off-shoots include Action Street (where every single bar is a ladyboy bar) and Soi LK Metro (where the same can nearly be said about go-go bars, but there are also a few highly-regarded sports bars).