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Pattaya City is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand and less than two hours’ drive from Bangkok. Pattaya’s climate is warm all year round making it a popular beach destination for Bangkok locals and international tourists. It has a notorious reputation for adult entertainment but beyond that, it remains one of the most popular destinations in Thailand with a wide range of recreational activities, cultural, museums, sight-seeing and natural attractions for family-friendly fun.
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Here are some of Pattaya’s sights and tourist attractions depicting Thai culture. Many of which are in the city center, convenient for a day trip tour!
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Here, visitors who are nature lovers can learn all about the resident creatures while having an opportunity to get up close to bathe, feed, or play with them. In addition, the Pattaya venue has a ‘Feed Me’ program that allows people to observe the elephants, feed them, and learn about how elephant faeces is converted into paper.
Anek Kusala Sala
Viharn Sien or Viharnra Sien (Chinese Art Museum), a former Chinese temple turned popular museum contains an art gallery with over 300 pieces of Chinese artwork, mostly bronze and brass statues of historical figures along with religious artefacts of Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist deities of the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist sects. Outside is a shrine to pay respect to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The museum was established by Sa-nga Kulkobkiat, a Thai national raised in China, as friendship-building between the two countries. Museum tickets cost 50 Thai baht, the same for adults and children.
Located also on Sukhumvit Road in the city center, Mimosa Pattaya gives an experience of the rich culture and past of the town. With an oriental European touch, outdoor shopping malls in bold and bright colours with boutiques offering gorgeous items for sale, this popular sight presents the vibrant lifestyle that is Pattaya!
Constructed in 1986, Mini Siam is a famous miniature park attraction in Pattaya, 143km from Bangkok. Located behind the Pattaya Boxing World Stadium, within the city center, this place will make you feel like Gulliver given where you can venture around 29 sections, largely divided into miniature Siam and mini Europe. Mini Europe actually represents the rest of the world and these two zones, Mini Siam and Mini Europe are ‘divided’ by a small serpentine river that can actually be just stepped across. Mini Siam features nearly 100 miniature replicas of famous sites around the world, like London’s Tower Bridge, New York’s Statue of Liberty, Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, and more, spread over 46,400 square metres.
Frost Magical Ice of Siam
Those looking to escape the heat are welcome to check out this venue, where indoor temperatures can reach a freezing -10 degrees Celsius. Visitors can check out the main attraction of ice sculptures and changing neon lights while getting drinks at an ice bar.
This is the first ice dome in Pattaya with 30,000sqm of sculptures, exhibits, and activities that reflect the rich culture of Thailand with touches of international characteristics. Like a world of fantasy art in paradise, characters from urban legends and fairy tales in giant sculptures of ice and white sand. The whole place is a one-of-a-kind experience!
MILLION YEARS STONE PARK
The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm evolved over 30 years as a tourist attraction in the city. Only 15 minutes from the city center by car, Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile Farm showcases not only flora and wild fauna but also has fun shows to entertain visitors.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Tropical Botanical Garden is a 500-acre botanical garden featuring daily cultural shows, restaurants, accommodations, and themed gardens based on 17th-century France, Stonehenge, and the European Renaissance Garden. Other gardens showcase particular species of plants such as cacti, orchids, other tropical palms, among others.
Located on Sukhumvit Road, Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is conveniently within the city center. Open daily from 08:00 to 18:00, entrance fees are 100 Baht for adults and 50 Baht for children to visit the garden. To visit the garden and enjoy the 4X/daily shows, entrance fees are 300 Baht for adults and 150 Baht for children.
Khao Pattaya View Point
Located on Phra Tamnak Hill/Khao Phra Tamnak (Pratumnak Hill) just a few miles from the city center is the best viewpoint in Pattaya for a panoramic sight of Pattaya Bay and Jomtien Beach. There is a long and wide esplanade, large enough to take in many visitors, easy getting into a good position to get a picture-perfect view as far as Jomtien Beach. One gets an uninterrupted sighting of Pattaya Bay all the way to Naklua beach and southwards toward Jomtien Beach and seaward.
WAT KHAO PHRA BAT
Wat Khao Phra Bat is a temple with claims to house a Buddha relic and a monument to Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, the founding father of the Thai Navy, revered by the Thai who leave wreaths and burn incense in his honour. This hillside viewpoint is open from 7:30 am until 9:00 pm. The best time to visit is early in the evening with the changing lights further enhancing the amazing sight. The entrance is free.
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Thepprasit Night Market is among the most popular of Pattaya local bazaars located on the street with the same name and close to Sukhumvit Road, in the city center, too. It has a large parking area and an impressive lineup of shops and stalls, not to forget a food court large enough to display a spectacle of delicious dishes of noodles and seafood, street food, desserts and fruits enough to satisfy the immense crowd of both locals and tourists nightly from Friday to Sunday. Some stalls and shops have tables and chairs but with the huge crowd, finding a space to enjoy your food could be challenging.
The Thepprasit Night Market is also known as the Pattaya Weekend Market and Kankheha Thepprasit Market.
Its beaches are the main drawcard with the 4 km Pattaya Beach being the busiest followed by the less-crowded and more peaceful Jomtien Beach which is a great spot for watersports like jet skiing. There is a large assortment of luxury hotels in Pattaya and the surrounding beach areas.
The beach of Pattaya Wong Amat, located next to northern Pattaya Beach remains a favourite among families. Tien Beach is a tranquil beach and is considered one of the cleaner beaches in the area. Its clear waters and white sand makes this the perfect choice for a laid back day swimming and sunbathing. Ban Amphur Beach features white sand and clear seas just right for paddling, along with a playground for children enjoying their own water sports. Bamboo Beach is a pretty and calm beach with a rocky backdrop perfect for a secluded day sun lounging and swimming. Tawaen Beach has stunning green mountainous surrounds and clear water is popular for water sports such as banana boating and jet-skiing.
Bang Saray Beach is best known for scuba diving because it houses a WWII shipwreck which divers love to explore. Naklua Beach is a more local rustic-style beach and busy fishing area in Pattaya. There are no water sports here so it’s a nice place to relax and enjoy watching locals go about their daily business. Dongtan beach is quiet and the long beach has plenty of space for so it never feels too crowded. A section of the beach especially caters to the LGBTQ+ community. The Wong Amat Beach is rated well for its quiet atmosphere, fine sandy beach and clean water, with some restaurants to dine or relax by the shore.
Bang Saen Beach is one of the most romantic beaches popular among beach lovers, couples and honeymooners and lined with palm trees. Another popular choice for couples is the charming Koh Larn Coral Island. Koh Larn Coral Island is only a 15-minute ferry ride away and boasts some beautiful beaches. A good day trip option is Samae Beach located on the nearby Coral Island, which is only a short ferry trip from the Pattaya mainland. Koh Larn has been reopened to guests in September 2021 with a curfew from 9 pm to 4 am. There are 3x/day ferry trips for Koh Larn Coral Island. Passports for foreigners and national IDs for Thai nationals are required.
Nearby and good for a day trip is Koh Phai, around 21 km west of Pattaya. Commonly referred to as Bamboo Island (English translation of Ko Phai) by foreigners, it is popular for its great snorkelling opportunities. Between Bamboo Island Nad Phi Phi Don is a coral reef Hin Klang which evokes upon snorkellers the feeling of swimming in an aquarium.
The Pattaya Floating market, called Four Regions Floating Market is Pattaya’s version of a Bangkok floating market. At this Pattaya floating market, located on Sukhumvit Road, you will find hawkers trading and selling all types of produce from their boats and canoes. Visiting the Pattaya Floating Market is a fun way to see local daily life and try your hand at bargaining for some goods. The entrance fee to the Four Regions Floating Market is 200 baht for adults. Children under 119 cm tall can enter free of charge. There are optional activities inside the Four Regions Floating Market for which you have to pay extra.
Pattaya also has several impressive temples that you can visit on a day trip. At Wat Phra Yai in south Pattaya, visitors can climb the “Big Buddha Hill,” a spot 100 metres above sea level which features an 18-metre tall Buddha statue. Aside from the Big Buddha Hill, there are other popular temples like the Wat Yansangwararam Woramahawihan or Wat Yan Temple, a large Buddhist temple complex with gardens and lakes, Wat Khao Phra Bat Temple, and Wat Pa Pradu. In addition, other sites worth visiting include an area dedicated to the sages Confucius and Laozi, Chaloepmhrakiat Park, the Sanctuary of Truth. The Sanctuary of Truth is a museum that is an architectural fusion of temple and castle based on the Ayutthaya era and Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Designed by Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphan, the Sanctuary of Truth, intricately carved in teak wood, is not yet completed in construction. The Sanctuary of Truth Museum all-wood exhibit of hand-carved idols and sculptures is a must-see for a visit to Pattaya.
The Buddha Mountain, aka Khao Chi Chan is a limestone hill located in Nachom Thian, south of Pattaya. Khao Chi Chan is now one icon of Pattaya because of the breathtaking 109×70-metre Sukhothai-style image of the Buddha carved on one side in 1996. Eventually, the entire image was filled in with gold leaf.
For flora and fauna enthusiasts, Pattaya is also home to Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, featuring 500 acres of orchids, garden displays inspired by European designs, and local wildlife. You can visit the Pattaya Elephant Village, which is a wildlife sanctuary for rescued former working elephants and the Sriracha Tiger Zoo, where a large number of 200 tigers and 10,000 crocodiles, the largest in the world, make their home. You also have the option of visiting Underwater World, an indoor aquarium with a 100-meter tunnel and shark dives. The stunning scenery of underwater creatures presents Thailand’s rich and colourfully varied marine life in the biggest indoor aquarium in Southeast Asia.
Art in Paradise: Art in Paradise is a quirky interactive art gallery and museum in Central Pattaya where visitors can become part of the artwork too, with more than 100 3D wall paintings. Thus, Art in Paradise is also called Trick-Eye 3D Museum.
Flight of the Gibbon: Zip-lining through the rain forest canopies navigating the routes of Gibbon monkeys.
Underwater World Pattaya: Kids will marvel at the rich aquatic life on display here in Underwater World Pattaya.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden: Explore this huge 500-acre tropical garden by bicycle located on Sukhumvit Road of Chon buri Province. Ride around to discover the flora, Thai-style houses, swimming pools, restaurants and traditional dance performances.
Mini Siam: A gigantic park with miniature versions of famous Thai landmarks, also on Sukhumvit Road, Chon buri province.
Frost Magical Ice of Siam: Kids will love ice sculptures, waterslides and the adventurous ice walks in this winter wonderland.
Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark: The only cartoon network themed park in the world, Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark is bound to bring smiles to your kid’s face.
Pattaya Kart Speedway: The first Go-kart racing circuit in Pattaya and a family-friendly fun kart racing experience, with a beginner track and professional track.
Tuxedo Illusion Hall: Catch a magic show at Thailand’s first-ever live illusion performance theater! Enter into the incredible world of make-believe. The Tuxedo Illusion Hall is a 2-storey building on Pattaya 2nd Road next to Big C North Pattaya. Get startled by the headless exhibits on the first floor.
Pay a visit to Thailand’s very first live illusion performance theatre and immerse yourself into the fascinating world of make-believe. The Tuxedo Illusion Hall covers two floors of the building located on Pattaya 2nd Road and next to Big C North Pattaya. As you walk in, you will see a stunning Illusion Wall on the first floor where you can take photos with “freaky” exhibits like seemingly headless bodies and more. Go up to the second floor for an amazing performance of magic tricks by masters of the trade. Choose between Deluxe and VIP seat options and don’t forget to invite your friends.
Teddy Bear Museum. Located in a teddy bear-themed building, also in Bang Lamung District of Chon Buri, the Pattaya Teddy Bear Museum, aka “Teddy Bear Island,” holds an astounding 1,000 stuffed animals. This is a unique museum experience as guests can touch and interact with every exhibit and discover stories on one of the world’s most popular toys, a perfect family activity!
Khao Kheow Open Zoo. A large zoo covering an area of 2,000 acres and located in Si Racha, Chon Buri province. Khao Kheow Open Zoo has more than 8,000 animals belonging to more than 300 species.
Pattaya is a city on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, some 100km southeast of Bangkok, within Bang Lamung District in Chon Buri province. Although Pattaya is within Bang Lamung district, it is an autonomous municipality that covers Tambon Nong Prue and Na Klua and Huai Yai and Nong Pia Lai. Thus, it is not part of or under the administration of the Bang Lamung District. Pattaya is in the industrial Eastern Seaboard zone together with Si Racha, Laem Chabang and Chon Buri, and located at the center of the Pattaya-Chon Buri Metropolitan Area, with a population of around 1million.It has a vibrant colorfully active nightlife, known for its Go go bars, adult entertainment, and beautiful ladyboys. Through the years, it earned the nickname “sin city” that its wealth of natural beauty gets to be often omitted. LIke its waters and beaches that are great for swimming and water sports and many other family-friendly attractions.
As long as you avoid Pattaya nightlife in the red-light districts which are not family-friendly, Pattaya is a relatively safe destination for families. There are a plethora of attractions aimed at families so kids and adults can have a fun time together.
Pattaya beaches are a drawcard. Outside of typical beachside attractions, the city features several golf courses within its vicinity. The Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, featuring 500 acres of orchids, garden displays inspired by European designs, and the local wildlife is worth visiting. Animal lovers will enjoy the Pattaya Elephant Village, a wildlife sanctuary for rescued elephants, as well as the Sriracha Tiger Zoo, where a large number of tigers and crocodiles make their home. You also have the option of visiting Underwater World, the area’s largest aquarium.
If you are time-limited and want to see beaches and wish to party after dark, then Pattaya is the best option. Being an island, Phuket has better and cleaner beaches with 30 pristine beaches bordering its waters. So no matter where you are in Phuket a strip of golden sand and blue water is never far away. Plus it has more variety of choices for nearby island hopping.
Avoid the notorious red-light districts which are aimed at singles rather than families. There are over 1000 adult bars in this district where pickpocketing is common and assaults do occur. Also, practice caution when hiring a jet-ski. A well-known jet-ski scam is for operators to extort money from renters for causing ‘fake’ damage to the jet ski. Bag snatchers driving motorcycles are common so be careful with your personal belongings in public areas. Wear your bag across your body rather than over your shoulder and don’t wear your best jewellery.
Top attractions include:Walking Street. The hub of Pattaya’s nightlife is Walking Street, the biggest and busiest party hotspot in the whole of Thailand. Walking Street is the entertainment and red-light district of Pattaya. From the Beach Road to the Bali Hai Plaza end of Walking Street is either a nightclub, go-bo bar, beer bars or restaurants with fresh seafood or even retail stores, including on the side streets of this stretch.For a party person, there is just so much to see and do on Walking Street, a week is not enough to discover all its fun and party places. From ladyboys performances to Thai kickboxing competitions, live music performances, discos and even some sex shows are available on Walking Street, which is what draws in foreigners and Thai nationals.From 19:00 to 03:00, Walking Street is closed to vehicles. Parking is available at the Bali Hai end. Bars and clubs close, officially at 04:00.Sanctuary of Truth. The Sanctuary of Truth is a museum in Pattaya, still unfinished, that is a blend of temple and castle, designed by Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphan in the Ayutthaya style. Constructed entirely of teak wood and some other varieties, the building houses wood-carved sculptures and idols. Construction had started in 1981 and continued until 2020. Though unfinished, visitors are allowed, as long as they wear hard hats.Tiffany’s Cabaret Show. A theatre extravaganza set with the latest in technical lighting and sound and world-standard security. With a capacity of more than 1,000, the show is performed 3x nightly throughout the year. It is also customer-friendly, with special pathways for the elderly and handicapped.Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is a 500-acre botanical garden and one of Pattaya’s top tourist attractions at kilometer 163 on Sukhumvit Road in Chon buri Province, Thailand, around 20 minutes from the city center in Bang Lamung district of Chonburi.Pattaya Floating Market. Located on Sukhumvit Road of Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri, this colourful market sells traditional Thai crafts and produce from boats and waterfront stores. Established in 2008, the Pattaya Floating Market is a riverside attraction that showcases the beautiful ancient Thai riverside authentic lifestyle.Pattaya Night Bazaar. One of the biggest among Pattaya’s night markets, right in the heart of Pattaya, the Pattaya Night Bazaar is also called the “Made in Thailand Market.” Located across Central Festival Pattaya Beach, this huge night market is a large warehouse full of merchandise of all kinds. Clothing, shoes, luggage, jewelry, Thai souvenirs, etc. are displayed in more than 250 stalls and shops, making this closed street night market the target destination of both domestic and foreign shopaholics! Right across the Pattaya NIght Bazaar is the largest shopping center in the city, the Pattaya Night Market.Another of Pattaya’s night markets is the Thepprasit NIght Market.Wat Phra Yai Temple. A hilltop temple housing the famous gigantic Buddha statue with a staircase flanked by huge dragons.Ramayana Water Park. One of several water parks in Pattaya, the Ramayana Water Park is one of the biggest water theme parks in Southeast Asia. Measuring 184,000 sq.m. Ramayana Waterpark is said to be Thailand’s biggest water park and has a projected capacity for 2 million guests in a year. Located 15 km south of Pattaya, this park is only a 2-hour drive from Bangkok.Koh Larn Islandwater parks, Khao Pattaya View Point, Koh Larn, Art in Paradise, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Pattaya, Khao Chi Chan, Jomtien Beach, Wat Yansang wararam, Mini Siam, and Underwater World Pattaya. Ramayana water park. Teddy Bear Museum. Wat Phra Yai. Koh Larn island. night market.
You can visit Pattaya’s beaches or offshore islands of Ko Larn, Ko Krok, and Ko Sak which are great spots for scuba diving and snorkelling. Splash about with hours of fun at the local waterparks like Rama Yana and the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark. Visit the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden featuring 500 acres of orchids, garden displays inspired by European designs, and local wildlife or the miniature world of Mini Siam. Or venture to the Pattaya Elephant Village, a wildlife sanctuary for rescued elephants, as well as the Sriracha Tiger Zoo.
Visiting the Big Buddha Temple, seeing the Pattaya City Sign and amazing city viewpoint, hanging out at the Royal Garden Plaza, and checking out Jomtien Beach Night Market or enjoying the festivities at Central Marina in the evenings.
Keep in mind that it is easier to get from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya because it is 40km. closer than Don Muang Airport, and conveniently you don’t need to travel through downtown Bangkok saving time being stuck in traffic. So if you are going straight from the airport you can take a taxi or even self-drive with a rental car. A common way to get from Bangkok to Pattaya is by bus or minivan with the trip taking about 2 hours depending on traffic.
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