Pattaya didn’t earn its reputation without reason.With more than 10-million visitors a year flocking to its golden beaches, riotous nightlife and air-conditioned mega malls, Pattaya is the epitome of Thailand’s infamous resort scene with a fantastic selection of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues to match. It’s easily accessible and eternally popular with holidaymakers in search of sun, fun and a guaranteed tan.
North Pattaya is a great option for those seeking an upmarket experience, with luxe resorts positioned at Wong Amat. Laid back Jomtien Beach steps up as a favourite with gay travellers or those who simply prefer sunset cocktails over buckets. Party animals head straight to Pattaya South, where bars, nightclubs and massage parlours serve up thrills all night long.
Perched on the Gulf of Thailand, Pattaya is around 100-kilometres south-east of Bangkok. It’s a 2-hour drive from the Thai capital, with local buses also ferrying passengers to the east coast. Once in town, the city is easily navigable by foot, though hiring a motorcycle or scooter is a convenient option for visitors wanting to explore wider Chonburi and its surrounding beaches.
The city is encased within Ao Pattaya, a crescent-shaped bay that shot to fame during the 1960s. It was one of Thailand’s first beach resorts, with American GIs descending on Pattaya in search of hard-earned R&R.