There’s an abundance of essential tips and guides for first time visitors to Pattaya on the blog. To make it easy for new visitors to the blog, this page contains essential information and things you need to know about Pattaya.
What is Pattaya & Who is Pattaya For?
“Pattaya is whatever you want it to be”, and “You want it – Pattaya has it” are 2 quotes taken from a description of Pattaya by an author I featured on the blog. Those quotes are general, and for the most part, true.
Pattaya is a seaside resort city
The beaches in Pattaya are “okay” but the water quality is not comparable to that of other – more popular beach destinations in Thailand. The beaches in Pattaya are a great place to relax and top up your tan, but Pattaya is not the place to head to for a beach holiday.
Pattaya is a popular sex tourism and nightlife destination
Pattaya is famous for its nightlife and bar scene, and infamous for its sex tourism scene. Ever since international travel and tourism became affordable, Pattaya has been a popular destination for single men, due mainly to fame as a R&R retreat for American troops during the Vietnam War.
Tips for single men in Pattaya
If you’re a single man making your first trip to Pattaya, to enjoy the nightlife, the bar scene and the girls, here’s some handy first time in Pattaya tips for men.
Pattaya is a great place for a family vacation
Amidst all the cries of “don’t go to Pattaya with children”, it might seem bold to claim Pattaya is perfectly suitable for families and children. I have been here quite a while though, my children were born here, so far (as of 2019) they have reached the ages of 17 and 12 and show no signs of being tainted by life in Pattaya.
True, we are not on vacation. We live a normal life in Pattaya. We don’t need to visit seedy places in Pattaya, and neither do you.
Things To Do In Pattaya
How many times have you heard “there’s nothing to do but drink and have sex in Pattaya” or “there’s nothing to do for kids in Pattaya”. It’s not very helpful is it? And the fact is, those statements could not be further from the truth.
There’s a lot more to Pattaya than nightlife, girls and sex.
Browse the Things To See & Do In Pattaya category and discover popular tourist attractions, things to do by night and day, indoors and outdoors.
Get discounted tours and tickets to attractions in Pattaya
All the best things to see and do in Pattaya can be booked very easily online, at discounted rates. Online booking sites can also be a great source of ideas, and user reviews will help you determine what is really worth doing.
For more information, read this guide to booking Pattaya tours online.
Getting to Pattaya
The easiest way to get to Pattaya from the airport is by taxi, using a taxi company based in Pattaya. Book a few days (or more) in advance and give your name and flight details, the driver will be waiting for you at the meeting point.
For more information about booking bus, van and taxis to Pattaya online, and Pattaya based taxi services, read the getting to Pattaya guide.
Getting Around Pattaya
Two very cheap and convenient ways to get around Pattaya are by baht bus, and motorcycle taxi. There’s also meter taxis, the GrabTaxi app, local local private taxis, and even private car and driver charter available.
You can read more detailed information on using each mode of transport and what it costs in the this guide to getting around Pattaya.
Hiring a Motorcycle in Pattaya
It’s still easy, but not as carefree as it used to be, so before you jump in, please read more about hiring a motorcycle in Pattaya.
Things You Need To Know About Pattaya
The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam
Although the jet ski scam “seems” to have been stamped out by the authorities, you should be aware it was, and could once again, become very real.
The scammers operated on Pattaya Beach, most notably in front of Mike shopping mall. It was a simple scam, you hired a jet ski, returned it to the vendor, he inspected it, and found some “not previously visible” damage, for which you must pay.
The 2 most reported incidences of pick-pocketing in Pattaya are single men getting pick-pocketed by lady-boys, and unsuspecting tourists getting pick-pocketed while riding on a baht bus. So long as you are aware, it’s easy to prevent by keeping your purse/wallet in your front pocket, and with a hand on it if need be.
A typical incident of street robbery in Pattaya involves valuables such as gold or bags being snatched from the victim by a couple of opportunist thieves riding a motorcycle.
Driving in Pattaya
You must keep your cool when driving in Pattaya, that’s the first rule of the road. And if you set off with the assumption that most other road users are trying to test you, set you up, or kill you, you will be ready for anything.
What you need to know about driving in Pattaya.
Changing and Withdrawing Travel Money in Pattaya
You can exchange all (major) foreign currency easily in Pattaya, and you will get much better rates exchanging your money in Thailand than you will at home. You can also use your bank card, first off check with your bank if you can use the card in Thailand – ask what the charges are – and inform the bank you will bu using the card overseas. You might also want to look in to prepaid travel cards.
Staying in Pattaya
The price of accommodation in Pattaya is relatively cheap, and the standard quite high. The accommodation types are extensive, including hotels, resorts, beach resorts, guest houses, apartments and private houses.
It’s an extremely competitive market, which helps to keeps the prices low, and you can pay as little as 200 baht for a room, or thousands of baht for a 5 star hotel or luxury villa.
Family Accommodation in Pattaya
Finding somewhere suitable for children is the number one concern for families taking a vacation in Pattaya. For a little more guidance on family accommodation read this post about family hotels in Pattaya.
should I book a hotel room in advance?
You will get a better deal booking a few weeks in advance, no matter what time of year. During the busiest period of the year (November to February) booking well in advance is the only way to guarantee getting a room at your first choice hotel.
When is the best time to visit Pattaya?
Dry season, November through to May is the best time to visit Pattaya if you want good weather. The coolest – most pleasant period is November to March, when temperatures average around 26 – 27 Celsius.
The wet season, May to November is the cheapest time to visit Pattaya, when hotel rates are usually reduced by 50 percent or more.
Read more about high and low season in Pattaya
Read more about the weather in Pattaya
Do’s and Dont’s in Pattayta
When in Pattaya do as the Thais do, at least when it comes to respecting local customs and etiquette. That extends to knowing when you should take off your shoes – which parts of the body you should not touch – when to cover up – respecting the Royal Family. You can learn more about what you should and should not do on the list of Pattaya Thailand Do’s and Don’ts
- Carry a copy of your passport
- Either carry with you, or take a photo of the hotel business card
- Carry a small bottle of mosquito repellent at all times, even during the daytime
- Add the Thai Tourist Police telephone number (1155) to your contacts
- Download a map/navigation app to your phone
- Get yourself a Thai SIM card