An Insider’s Guide To Pattaya | MF Travels
Over the past few years, Pattaya has outgrown its image as a seedy beach town to a destination for a wider audience. With beaches brimming with life and electric night-life, no wonder that the city is always switched on and fun. If you’re planning your Pattaya getaway, here’s everything you need to know.
Best time to visit
November-April is the best time to visit Pattaya as these months are pleasant and do not receive very high rainfall.
Where to sta
Before zeroing on where you’ll stay, it’s important to know that Pattaya can be split into three main areas: Jomtien in the south, Central and Naklua in the north. Each area offers a slightly different vibe, making it suitable for different travellers. Expect to shell out around INR 1,000 per night in low season for small budget hotels while luxury suites at a 5-star resort can go up to INR 50,000.
Jomtien Beach is located to the south of Pattaya and those who choose to stay in this area of town can expect a slower pace and more relaxing atmosphere. While it has some of the better beaches in Pattaya and several large major attractions like Nong Nooch Gardens, it’s probably not the place you want to stay if you expect to be out partying most nights. In terms of hotels, the Jomtien Palm Beach Hotel priced at INR 3,854 per night with an inviting pool and great dining option makes for a chic getaway.
If you want to stay in a location which has everything you need within walking distance, Central Pattaya is where you should be! This area of the town is also the centre of nightlife. For those who’re looking to stay this side, the LK Royal Suites Central Pattaya Hotel is a good option. The hotel will appeal to travellers seeking luxury without burning a hole in your pocket. Tip: You can get a room starting from INR 2,500 only if you book in advance.
As for Naklua, the whole area enjoys a much more quiet and relaxed vibe than either Central Pattaya or Jomtien. With secluded beaches and golf courses, this one is tailor-made for luxury. It is perfect for those travellers looking to get away from it yet still be close enough to the action. If you’re looking for a place in Naklua, the Garden Sea View Resort (from INR 2,020 per night, if booked in advance) boasts its own private section of beach and is best for the price-bracket you will find here.
Do bear in mind that this one is a fairly small city, so walking can get you most places. There’s the bus network in Pattaya which consists of pickup trucks with modified seating in the back. And no matter how far you go, you pay 10 Baht when getting off. Here the most common form of transit is the motorcycle taxi. Costs range from 20 Baht to 160 Baht, depending on how far you want to go.
Things to do
I love the fact that the city boasts of attractions that can delight people with varied interests. The cabaret shows of Tiffany and Alcazar are all the rage here. The shows present a combination of dance, music, and drama with popular Thai and English songs. Going to prices, the Tiffany Cabaret Show is priced around 1200 Baht per person while the Alcazar Cabaret Show starts from 500 Baht per person.
For those wanting to explore the thrilling side of Pattaya, the SKY Pattaya Rocket Ball Ride is one of the most fun-filled things partake in at night. It’s a huge balled that gets propelled up into the air using bungee cables and bounces up and down. Located on the Walking Street, this ride tosses the people high up in the air and perfect for adrenaline-junkies.
If you’re someone who enjoy sunbathing, swimming, strolling, or simply relaxing, Hat Sai Kaew (popularly known as Diamond Beach – the longest beach of the picturesque island) is a good bet. Opt for Koh Samet which is a white sand island near Pattaya mainland and can be reached by a ferry ride from the fishing village of Ban Phe. Beach bums will love its sparkling sand, crystal blue water, and pristine beach-front.
I strongly feel that very few experiences are as authentic as visiting a floating market in Thailand. The one in Pattaya has hundreds of wooden houses floating in the water and some tasty Thai food. So take a boat and cruise along the market, check out souvenirs and art galleries or simply watch the locals in action.
What to eat
While Pattaya has some great restaurants, long-term travellers will tell you that street food is where the best food is at. The street food stalls of Pattaya are literally everywhere and are best bets to cater to your local food cravings. Usually 20 Baht a throw, you can get some delicious grilled chicken on bamboo sticks, seafood and shrimp combined with vegetable soup and noodles.
Seafood lovers shouldn’t miss the locally caught fresh fish and seafood on beachside restaurants. At the southern end of Jomtien beach, there is the Blue Crab which is known for its great sea-food. The wait for the table is sure to be worth it. I also enjoy the reasonably-priced Mr. 99 on Beach Road which whips up an incredible Khao Phad (fried rice) and great steaks as in-house musicians regale you with their theatrics.
With so much to see, do and eat, Pattaya is definitely more than what meets the eye. Whether it’s for a bachelorette, a long-due trip with your pals or even a family vacation, this city’s vibrancy, vibe and reasonable prices are enough reasons for this destination to occupy a place on your travel bucket-list.