Things to do in Pattaya
In recent years Pattaya has transformed itself into one of Asia’s most pulsating modern cities. The city is both a dynamic business-like city and a must-visit tourist destination. As a result, there is a huge variety of interesting things to do in Pattaya which will appeal to all ages.
Discover the vast array of interesting attractions and activities in Pattaya:
- Sports in Pattaya
- Shopping in Pattaya
- Attractions and Entertainment in Pattaya
- Golf in Pattaya
- Cultural activities in Pattaya
- Pattaya Expat Social Life
Sports in Pattaya
Boating, Yachting and Game Fishing in Pattaya
As you might expect, living next to a sparkling tropical sea, there are countless water sports in Pattaya which can be enjoyed all year round.
Popular choices are water skiing, parasailing, windsurfing and dinghy sailing (Hobie Cats and Lasers). All these are available at Jomtien Beach or at many private beaches operated by major Pattaya hotels. Water sports equipment and instruction is available and in general safety standards are very high. Boat trips to explore the nearby islands in the Gulf of Thailand is also a popular pursuit, while dedicated fishing expedition charter boats depart from the beach on a daily basis.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling in Pattaya
There are some amazing sights hiding below the surface during Gulf of Thailand diving and whether you are a seasoned diver or just starting out, Pattaya is the perfect base for scuba divers in Thailand. There are a number of PADI certified schools offering instruction and daily expeditions for both diving and snorkelling which includes exploring sunken shipwrecks for certified divers.
For those who don’t want to get their feet wet but would like to view the rich variety of underwater life, there are glass bottomed boats that allow people to enjoy the coral reefs surrounding the offshore islands.
There is also a tourist submarine service to explore the deeper reaches of the reef for close encounters with the exotic marine life.
Fitness and Land Sports
If you crave a healthy, active lifestyle there is no shortage of activities to keep yourself fit and healthy. The warm year-round climate means you can hone your tennis skills whenever you wish. Stay in tip-top shape by joining one of the many top quality gyms in Pattaya such as California Wow and Gold’s Gym. For a more natural approach there is the Pattaya Fitness Park which has a running track and exercise stations.
For Siam Royal View Pattaya residents and their guests, staying in trim is a breeze with a network of jogging paths in the estate, then cool down with a refreshing dip in your private pool or the large community swimming pool. Beyond the village, the Hash House Harriers organise a weekly social run and for those that want to test themselves to the limit there is the very popular Pattaya Marathon every July. Other fun sporting action to be had includes Pattaya horse riding, paintball, biking, archery and high octane go-karting.
SHOPPING IN PATTAYA
There is no need to compromise when shopping in Pattaya with a plethora of modern retail outlets dotted all over town, alongside traditional Thai markets. The blend of old and new has a seamless harmony here to ensure a colourful shopping experience for those who crave serious retail therapy. International hypermarkets like Tesco and Big C are conveniently located for all primary household needs, including western food and electronic goods. Almost all major international brands are available, often at much more competitive prices.
There is also an abundant choice of high end shopping malls like the popular Pattaya Central Beach Complex which serves as a one-stop shop for every shopping need as well as a vibrant social hub for dining and entertainment. To further enhance home comforts in your luxury villa, there is a good choice of specialised international chain stores offering a geat range of home decor items, furniture and more. For a more traditional experience, the open-air farmer’s markets are a must for practising those bargaining skills.
Attractions and Entertainment in Pattaya
Daytime Activities in Pattaya
Pattaya’s original attraction has always been the golden beaches and the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The two main beaches on the mainland are Pattaya Beach and Jomtien, the latter being not only longer, but also generally considered the best, with plenty of food and entertianment options nearby.
There are also offshore islands to explore with soft sandy beaches and a variety of watersports. The closest and most popular of these is Koh Lan which is linked by regular ferries. In the city itself while away a fun afternoon at one of the several entertainment complexes such as Pattaya Park Tower or spend a day at the kid-pleasing amusement and Pattaya water parks. Other unique attractions include the lush orchid gardens of Nong Nooch Village Park (which includes sprawling botanical gardens and spectacular cultural shows), two large zoos, Elephant Villages, a crocodile farm and a Floating Market village.
Night Time Entertainment in Pattaya
After dark is when the city really comes alive, and is legendary for a huge range of Pattaya nightlife entertainment options. Aside from regular bars, there is plenty of live music including blues, rock & roll jazz and even kitschy Elvis impersonators, plus many laid back lounge bars in many of the city‘s major hotels. Pattaya is awash with lively discos and clubs too and serves up its own distinctive big city vibe for a night out, such as the world famous Ladyboy shows at Alcazar and Tiffany theatres, and glitzy Vegas-style Pattaya cabaret.
Thai people love a festival and Pattaya doesn’t disappoint with a large number taking place throughout the year, such as the famous International Music Festival, numerous food festivals, the lights festival, the water festival, and many other vibrant community festivities. Almost every weekend throughout the high season, there are fireworks displays illuminating the skies over the city. On the terrace of your Siam Royal View villa, you have the best view in the city to watch the dazzling pyrotechnics. Pattaya expat clubs also organise regular evening social events for their members.
GOLF IN PATTAYA
Thailand has had a long love affair with golf, and in Pattaya the game has a passionate following. The country offers numerous international standard courses with many designed by iconic names in golf course design such as Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Peter Thompson and others of a similar stature. Thailand hosts some of Asia’s most prestigious pro tournaments, including the Johnnie Walker Classic and the Honda LPGA Tournament.
However, nowhere in the country offers quite the array of first rate golf facilities as the Pattaya area. The eastern seaboard’s delightful climate allows for year-round play and you will find the service and course management at Pattaya golf courses among the very best in the world. They are arguably the best value for money anywhere. Caddy service is pretty much obligatory, with well-trained (usually female) caddies who know the course layout well enough to help you improve your score by a few strokes.
Most courses have refreshment bars every three holes or so, where you can have a drink and a snack and take your time – in typical Thai-style.
These links to Pattaya golf websites can provide a wealth of information on the game locally.
There are 21 golf courses within just an hour’s drive of the city and 15 of these are championship standard. The courses are rarely crowded and there is no need to book weeks ahead. Pattaya is truly one of the most golfer-friendly locations on the planet.
CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN PATTAYA
Pattaya hosts a comprehensive program of cultural happenings throughout the year with a multitude of vibrant traditional Thai festivities, along with an ever expanding range of big events with a decidedly international flavour. The Pattaya Music Festival is a major musical event while the city’s legendary New Year countdown party is a five-day extravganza of revelry much loved by local Thais and visiting tourists. For a colourful introduction to local culture, the Alangkarn Theatre hosts nightly Thai cultural shows complete with spectacular pyrotechnics. The city also has a buzzing art scene with modern and traditional art galleries showcasing the work of talented local and international artists.
For a more cosmopolitan flavour, Bangkok is less than two hours away and has a typical big city buzz with a wide choice of high-brow culture and entertainment options from Broadway shows, to classical music, opera, big name pop and rock acts and outstanding art galleries.
PATTAYA EXPAT SOCIAL LIFE
Pattaya expat social life is rich and varied due to the large international community which have made the city their home. To meet and mingle with like-minded people, join one of the many social clubs that perform charity work and organise social events throughout the year. These activities cover a wide variety of interests from sport, business and culture and there is something to suit everyone.
Among these are the Lions Club, Rotary Club, Pattaya City Expats Club, various volunteer charity groups, the Hash House Harriers, Bridge Club and International Ladies Club, to name just a few.
Announcements of meeting times and the latest news and information about upcoming special events can be found in the many local multilingual publications.