Pattaya guide book:
You may have already read some bad reviews about Pattaya, but in my opinion it’s a very comfortable resort. Pattaya offers people well-developed infrastructure – here you can find any services and any entertainments. The climate of Pattaya allows tourists to spend their vacations all year round – the sea is rather quiet and warm, beaches are good and all-day-long rains happen rarely, while the excess rain water quickly flows to the sea leaving streets dry enough for walking. Do you need crystal clear sea water? Then take a public boat to Ko Lan.
Of course Pattaya has more contrasts than Bangkok. In the capital contrasts concern more architecture, while in Pattaya they concern predominantly people: everyone can be met here, both families with little children and sex-tourists. And the city offers an individual program to every kind of tourist: here you can party all night or restore your soul traumas in paid hugs of smiling men/women or get up at dawn, take a swim in the sea or go sightseeing, restore your health with traditional Thai massage while the sun is too hot and spend evenings exploring the variety of local food in markets and restaurants.
Pattaya offers high level hospitals, comfortable and shamelessly cheap public transport, numerous car rentals and convenient connection to the capital (even directly to its airport). This city suits everyone.
Mass tourism doesn’t mean that the place has lost its uniqueness, it means that here you will find well-developed infrastructure.
The only things you won’t find in Pattaya are waterfalls, untouched jungles and other beauties of nature that usually can be seen in national parks. To see gems of Thai architecture you can go to Bangkok, it’s just 1,5-hour drive (one way). Nevertheless Pattaya can also offer some interesting places on its own. Probably you won’t be able to get in touch with mysterious Thai soul that gets lost behind numerous tourists from all over the world. But this city is responsible for comfort. Of any level.
Some time ago there were only a few fishing villages along the shore. And everything would stay so tranquil and quiet if not the Vietnam war. In 1960s the USA had deployed its fleet nearby (in neighboring province Rayong, 40 kms from Pattaya) and for further convenience they constructed right on the coast U-Tapao airport. As militaries needed a rest and recreation facility, the choice fell for nearby Pattaya village.
With arrival of first military “tourists” a new stage in development of Pattaya and neighboring villages had begun. The glory of this warm place and hospitable locals was spreading around the world, while the location tempted with Pattaya’s proximity to the capital. That’s why the end of Vietnam war didn’t affect tourism in Pattaya much. Villages were growing bigger until they grew together building the single agglomeration.
Recently, Pattaya serves as a transit point for me. I use this stop to recover from exhausting flight, to restore my health with series of Thai massages, to relax while swimming in the sea, to please my taste buds with specific dishes (it is possible to find here anything you wish), to rent a car and to drive away going so deep in country that even locals have never been there. Nevertheless I still didn’t visit all of Pattaya sights.
Don’t await amazing architecture from Pattaya – the city is young and its sights are located separately, in different parts of it. Actually architectural ensembles (if we don’t speak of temples and monasteries) are not that common for Thailand.
Take Pattaya map with you – just click the star and it will be saved in your Google account. Any locations in this region that I will add later will appear on your map.