What is Pattaya?
If you have Travel agent selling you a package tour to Pattaya saying that it has a beautiful beach resort or one of the best beaches in Thailand. Don’t be fooled by this, instead Pattaya doesn’t have the said lovely beaches as it is too commercialised. Pattaya beach doesn’t stand a chance to be counted as one of the best beaches in Thailand because it is way too polluted and dirty. You will find rubbish littered in the sea and along the shore. So what can we say about Pattaya?
Well what is Pattaya?
Good question. Actually in many ways it is easier to state what Pattaya is not. Ask many residents and frequent visitors here and they will often tell you that ‘Pattaya is not Thailand’. By that they mean that whereas physically and politically Pattaya is part of Thailand, it has a very different and unique culture.
So what is Pattaya not?
Well, Pattaya is not a traditional Thai town. It has very little of traditional Thai culture, it certainly has none of the tranquillity found in rural communities, and regrettably it often lacks the friendliness and welcoming hospitality that is part of the Thai way of life. It is also not cheap to live in – by Thai standards.
So why then would anyone want to come to Pattaya Thailand?
Because Pattaya is a brazen, brash, ‘in your face’ quite unique town (actually a city now). A true melting pot of cultures from all corners of the world. A place that can infuriate you with its inefficiency and general mayhem and at the same time, exhibit something in the midst of that mayhem which causes you to collapse with laughter. Truly it is a place you cannot be angry in for long. Another quote often attributed to people who live or frequent Pattaya is that you cannot explain this place to someone who hasn’t seen it; it is an experience almost impossible to convey in words.
Click on our box’s below to give you a very good idea of Pattaya in all its glory and detail.
- Top 10 Pattaya Hotels - Top 10 Pattaya Hotels (with video’s of each hotel) Theres over 500 hotels and guest houses to choose from in Pattaya and that’s just the registered ones! How on earth will you wade through that number to find the one that is right for you. How do you know if the one that has been [...]
- Pattaya Map - Pattaya Map To view a larger image of the Pattaya maps just click the map. << back to What is Pattaya main page What is Pattaya | Things to do in Pattaya | Pattaya Nightlife | Pattaya Dining Pattaya Where to Stay | Pattaya Transportation If you have any comments, corrections or experience to share on this please feel free to do so below.
- Pattaya Transportation - Pattaya Transportion Getting There & Getting Around Pattaya Pattaya is located 147km from Bangkok and can be reached in a comfortable 2-hour drive. There are two convenient ways to get there. By the Bangkok-Chon Buri-Pattaya Motorway (Highway No.7) The motorway is linked with Bangkok’s Outer Ring Road., (Highway No. 9) and there is also another [...]
- Pattaya areas where to stay - Pattaya areas where to stay With a population that rises to around 300,000 in the holiday season Pattaya is a bustling city that is spread out over a large area. Luckily for tourists it has probably one of the most effective and easiest to use local transport networks to be found anywhere so wherever you [...]
- Pattaya Dining - Pattaya Dining in Funtown As with most tourist destinations in Thailand, you will be spoiled for choice on Pattaya dining options. Every street (soi) has dozens of food vendors and noodle stalls all for under 50 baht, and with 100′s of Thai restaurants dotted all over the choice for Thai cuisine is endless. But if [...]
- Pattaya Nightlife Entertainment - Pattaya Nightlife Pattaya is internationally known for its nightlife—you might want to think twice before heading into the insanity that’s called Pattaya. Obviously famous as a sex tourist destination, you don’t necessarily have to partake in order to experience Pattaya’s nightlife. More and more visitors come over just to see what the fuss is about. [...]
- Things to do in Pattaya - Things to do in Pattaya Apart from the nightlife there are plenty of things to do in Pattaya to distract you from the notorious sin city. We have 4 top recommendations for you that will ensure your holiday in Pattaya rewards you with fond memories of Thailand and some of the best it has to offer. [...]
So in answer to the question ‘What is Pattaya?’, the best reply that can be given is that Pattaya is whatever you want it to be.
Pattaya – Thailand’s capital of fun, is a hedonists paradise. A top tourist destination with excellent accommodation, quality food superb golf courses, watersports and a nightlife that is legendary…
In recent years families, groups and business travellers have also discovered Pattaya’s attractions from extensive sports facilities to offbeat museums and lush botanical gardens, providing a holiday destination second to none…
A pleasant surprise that always delight travellers less than an hour away on boat, are quieter, unspoilt islands awaiting to be enjoyed. And since Pattaya is the ‘capital’ of ladyboy shows with fabulous costumes and dazzling performers, make sure not to miss this spectacle while you’re in town!
There is something very special about Pattaya. Whether it’s the Thailand culture, the nightlife, the climate, the cheap prices, or the warm friendly people, there is something here that leaves people with a longing to return. If Thailand is the land of smiles, this place has to be the land of great big grinning smiles!
Those great big grinning smiles are yours, of course, and with good reason. The nightlife here is, without a doubt, the world’s greatest nightlife.
Pattaya Thailand just 150 km southeast of Bangkok: a mere two hour drive. While Pattaya holds a well deserved reputation for its seedy nightlife, local authorities have, in recent years, improved the quality of the beaches and reinvented the resort, to some degree, but most people do not come here for the beach in Pattaya, well at least thats not the prime reason. The nightlife activities are the draw.
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, Moslem, 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 burn are equally able to find rooms to suit their needs. Even those who are turned off by the widespread development along Pattaya’s main beach can find some peaceful beach time at nearby Jomtien beach, just 3 kilometers south, which is a far quieter alternative.
But lets not beat around the bush, Pattaya is mostly famous for its go-go and beer bars, but local authorities have made some efforts to provide more family friendly attractions and activities. Although the sex industry is still going strong and sex tourism remains the key money earner for Pattaya, the resort also attracts local families and holidaymakers from around the world. If you are going to be offended by the sight of fat old men hand in hand with young Thai women, then Pattaya is probably not the place for you.
Efforts by local authorities over the past few years have improved the quality of the beaches, but they are still lacklustre by Thailand’s standards, and over-development has long since destroyed some of the natural charms the area once had. However, the plethora of hotels and guest houses, and easy access from the capital and airport, make it a popular weekend getaway. Catering for over five million annual visitors, Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating options and a wide variety of things to do. Its population is a colourful mix of nationalities and ethnicities from near and far.
Pattaya’s downtown area is easy to get around. Running north-south, a few hundred metres apart, are Beach Road (Thanon Hat Pattaya, sometimes also referred to as First Road) which borders the main beach (Hat Pattaya), Pattaya Second Road and Pattaya Third Road (with the smaller but busy Soi Buakhao in between), and the main Sukhumvit Road coastal highway. Beach Road is one-way (southbound), likewise Second Road (northbound).
These are connected by the three major east-west aligned roads: North Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Nua), Central Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Klang) and South Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Tai). North Pattaya Road is a dual carriageway and carries the highest volume of traffic to and from Sukhumvit Road.
Also connecting Beach Road and Second Road are a large number of smaller streets or “sois”. The main sois are numbered from 1 to 16, from north to south. Sois 1-6 are between North Pattaya Road and Central Pattaya Road; sois 7-13 are between Central Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road (including the “Pattayaland” sois, immediately north of South Pattaya Road); sois 14-16 are south of South Pattaya Road. Most of these east-west sois are (in theory at least) one-way.
Beach Road, Second Road, and North Pattaya Road (plus Naklua Road to the north) all meet at the Dolphin Roundabout landmark. Heavy traffic and frequent accidents here have resulted in a semi-permanent diversion being set up which, at peak times, prevents vehicles (except motorcycles) from continuing around this roundabout any further than the North Pattaya Road exit, pending the installation of traffic lights some time in 2006.
Second Road south of South Pattaya Road becomes Pratamnak Road, which shares a junction with both the southern end of Third Road and the northern end of the main road to Jomtien, Tappraya Road.
Beach Road south of South Pattaya Road is closed to vehicles in the evenings (currently 18:00-02:00) and is called Walking Street; it’s the main tourist area, both for nightlife and shopping. Other major tourism areas include the section of Second Road between sois 1-4, and the sois immediately north of South Pattaya Road.
At the southern end of Walking Street is the New Pier, usually called Bali Hai Pier (sometimes “Pattaya Pier” or “South Pier”). The Old Pier, close to the junction of Beach Road and South Pattaya Road, is still shown on most maps but was dismantled and removed at the beginning of 2006.
Here’s a picture perfect video of what is Pattaya presented by none other than the Thailand Tourist Board
Now here’s the real picture of what is Pattaya is at night!
Still Interested? Is Pattaya for you?
That depends very much on who you are, what your attitudes are and what you want. Do you like peace and tranquillity – If so then probably Pattaya is not for you.
Do you like to study traditional cultures and ways of life in places you visit? – If so then again probably Pattaya is not for you, although because of its fairly central location it can be used as a base to explore other parts of the country.
Are you easily shocked or offended by what you see and hear around you? Would your neighbours describe you as ‘narrow minded’ or ‘bigoted’? If so, then definitely Pattaya is not for you.
But do you have an open mind; are you willing to look beyond the exterior façade and see what all there is on offer; do you want to explore somewhere that you can enjoy but can’t explain; above all do you want a unique experience?
If so then, Yes, come to Pattaya Thailand!
We started with the question, what is Pattaya? Now I am sure you know!.
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