Pattaya is a name synonymous with wild parties and exciting nightlife. People who visit Pattaya have only one agenda in mind, to have a good time. The place lets you shed all your worries and relax. A quaint fishing village till the 1960s, Pattaya is nothing like the other small towns of the world. The shorelines are lined with luxurious resorts and comfortable condos catering to the thousands of tourists who visit the town each year. Party in Pattaya is only one aspect of the city, the other being a range of attractions that any tourist would love to explore. Beach bumming is one of the most loved activities of the tourists visiting Pattaya but that is not all you should spend your time doing here. To let you have a taste of the real Pattaya, here is a comprehensive list of ‘Must Do’s in Pattaya’.
1. Explore the Nightlife at the Walking Street
If you are visiting Pattaya to party then this is the place to be. The 500 meters long beach road is the epitome of fun. Every other building on each side of the road is either a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar. As soon as the clock hits 6:00 in the evening the road is closed for vehicles and opened for party animals. The aroma of food from the street food vendors, the thumping music from the bars, the neon street lights, and street performers make the street come alive which otherwise stays deserted in the morning hours.
2. Get entertained at the Tiffany Cabaret Show
No other culture embraces the third-genders as the Thais do. They are a huge part of Thailand’s entertainment and tourism industry. Taking place in the grand theater the dazzling Tiffany Cabaret show is one of the many ladyboys shows in Pattaya that with its spectacular performers calls for a night of fun and entertainment. The ladyboys make their appearances in everything from long ball-gown to feather dresses, elaborate headdresses to swimwear. The performance includes songs, dancing, skits, and also a musical with a Bollywood touch. The graceful performers tell the tale of China’s imperial past and Siam’s history. The show is a perfect blend of music and humor. If you are a fan of anything artistic and classic, then you will surely love the show.
3. Shop at Pattaya Floating Markets
The market consists of long-tail boats selling different items from food, fruits to accessories. Though the market starts early in the morning, a visit is worth it to have a feel of traditional Thai life. Floating markets are popular throughout Thailand and was the best place for grocery shopping for Thai people back in the days. Vendors wearing rice hats, carrying items to sell, slowly paddle down the water. It is a rare sight hard to find anywhere else. If your trip to Pattaya comes with the agenda of capturing some rare memories then you mustn’t miss a chance to visit the floating market. You can walk on the wooden walkways or take a boat to ride along with the market. The floating market in Pattaya is known as Four Region Floating Market. As the water shops in each region represent the culture and architecture of the four different regions of Thailand.
4. Climb the Big Buddha Hill
Wat Phra Khao Yai, meaning Big Buddha Hill, truly deserves its name owing to the 18-meters long statue of Lord Buddha that sits at the top of the hill. The hill is about 100 meters above sea level and a highly revered temple where locals come to pray. The charm of the place is not only the massive seated golden Buddha but also the ambiance of the temple complex made by its many bells, smaller statues, burning incense, and the view of the entire city from its peak. The place has a spiritual and relaxing vibe that asks you to reflect within yourself. Amidst all the shopping, partying, and sightseeing, a couple of peaceful moments spent at the temple will revive your soul.
5. Have fun at the Water Park
Kids or adults, everyone loves to play with water and have a little fun. Pattaya has two of the most popular water parks in Thailand- Ramayana Water Park and Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark. The parks have thrilling slides and dozens of rides and are just 20 minutes away from the Pattaya city. It has restaurants for people who crave for some refreshments and is the place to visit if you wish for some light-hearted fun.
6. Get dumbstruck at the Pattaya viewpoint
The viewpoint on Pratumnak Hill offers breathtaking views of Pattaya’s crescent bay. The place offers excellent sights of the sunrise and sunset. Though at the time of sunset the place becomes quite crowded with tourists who come with tour operators and vendors who come following them.
7. Travel to Koh Larn
If you are tired of the view of crowded beaches and towering buildings, of Pattaya here is the best alternative for you. Koh Larn also known as Coral Islands is home to long stretches of clear blue water and peaceful beaches away from any sign of civilization. The place is an ideal visit if you have grown tired of the party scenes and bustling streets of Pattaya. It is only 7.5 km from Pattaya and can be visited on a day tour. Usually, a visit to the islands is included in Pattaya Tour Packages but you can also book a visit with local tour operators. The islands are also an ideal place for indulging in some water sports activities like snorkeling, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, scuba diving, and parasailing. You can also indulge in some fishing and banana boat rides. A day trip to Koh Larn sure to be memorable with more than just beach bumming.
8. Become the art at the Art in Paradise
The museum Art in Paradise takes what a traditional art museum should be and turns it 360-degree on its head. The museum is unique and broadens the definition of art. Each and every piece here is a masterpiece that completely blows your mind. Following the instructions you can get some really fascinating pictures clicked that create the optical illusion of you, swimming with dolphins, crossing a jungle or painting a masterpiece.
9. Ripley’s Believe it or not
The place truly brings to life the saying ‘reality is stranger than fiction’. It is the world’s most unusual museum The place has over 300 real exhibits based on true stories and facts. The exhibits are like never seen before. The museum has a 4D Moving Theater and an amusement park with thrilling rides. The Haunted house scares you out of your wits by bringing your worst nightmares to life. The infinity Maze offers a 20-minutes trip that challenges your senses and makes you question reality. If you are looking for some out-of-the-box fun then Ripley’s Believe It or Not will surely not disappoint you.
10. Relax at Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
No place soothes you more than a green surrounding. If you wish for a break from all the beach bumming, party, and sightseeing, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden can offer a refreshing alternative. The garden has won many awards for its beautiful designs. Spread on an area of 2.4Kms square has some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. The botanical garden is a peaceful place to spend an afternoon. You will be fascinated by its 670 different species of orchids. The garden has an elephant talent show for its visitors.
11. Enjoy Ziplining at the Flight of Gibbon
About three kilometers long with twenty-two zip-lines and two abseiling stations, Flight of the Gibbon is the safest place to indulge in anything thrilling. The place is a highway in between Pattaya and Bangkok and can be easily accessed from any of the two cities. It is situated in an old-growth rainforest. The local guides and instructors make you comfortable and encourage you to enjoy the thrilling zip lining experience. You can also enjoy a luncheon at the lakeside and take in the beautiful greenery surrounding you.
12. Dine at Moom Aroi
One of the best dining experience you’ll ever have. Moom Aroi is the best oceanfront seafood restaurant. The restaurant is situated on Nakula Bay, north of Pattaya Bay. The left side of the restaurant is recommended for those who love a seaside sunset view. The anchored rowing boats, gently bobbing waves, and the distant silhouettes of Pattaya’s iconic attractions makes the place perfect and peaceful. The menu and food here is top-notch. You must try the yellow cab curry, papaya salad, and shrimp dishes. The dips made of chilli and lime are served with every dish. Fresh fish are bought in daily and you can even have your select of the catch and give instructions for how you wish it to be cooked.
13. Sunbathe at the Beaches
Pattaya is known for its clean and buzzing beaches and stunning shorelines. The beaches here are characterized by clean sands and an abundance of palm trees. Some of the beaches in Pattaya are usually crowded like the Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach. There are some other beaches with a lesser crowd like the Ban Amphur, Tein Beach, Bangsaray beaches. Besides enjoying its nightlife, beach bumming is one of the prime reasons tourists visit Pattaya.
14. Relish Mango sticky rice at Mae Soi Thong
One of the best things you’ll taste in the whole of Thailand. Mango sticky rice is popular among tourists and locals alike. Mae Soi Thong is one such place where you’ll get to enjoy this feast even when it’s not the season for mangos. Every tourist has a list of local dishes they wish to relish when in Thailand. Make sure that you include this particular delicacy on your list.
15. Chill at the International Music Festival
The International Music Festival takes place in Pattaya every year in March. If you are a music lover then make sure you plan your trip around the time of the fest. The event lasts for three days and draws in musicians from the whole of Asia. You get to enjoy a wide range of different genres from punk rock to hip-hop and more by both international and local artists.
16. Drink Margaritas from Tequila Reef
You might wish for a fresh glass of margarita after a long day of beach bumming and sightseeing. Tequila Reef are famous throughout Pattaya for its special margaritas which are available in different varieties.
17. Learn Thai Cooking
Once you have had the taste of authentic Thai cuisine you would not want to let it go. Pattaya plays host to many cooking classes that take a half-day slot and teach you the necessary basics of Thai cuisine. You’ll learn to cook the popular Thai dishes like Pad Thai and Green Curry and enjoy a meal afterward with a drink and the food you have cooked.
18. Flyboarding in Pattaya
Experience thrill like never before. Flyboarding is an exciting and unique water sport which is a must-do if you are an adventure junky. Much like the Iron Man you put on shoes that are contented to a 15 meters long hose perched on a watercraft. You can fly like a bird and dive like a dolphin at the same time. There are several operators, you can book one online. The packages offer you pick-up and drop and also an instructor.
19. Enjoy at Ramayana Waterpark
If you are up for some fun in the water then do visit this place. You arrive at Ramayana Waterpark after traveling about 15km south of Pattaya. The waterpark is the biggest one in Thailand and has also made its way into Top 20 parks Worldwide. Over 21 unique slides, waterfalls, rivers, geysers, and several uniquely designed activities greets you in the park. Do not forget to try AquaDrop, one of the best rides in the park. The natural scenic surroundings make the waterpark all the more beautiful. Taking a dip in the cool water offers a welcoming respite from the scorching heat. The waterpark was opened in May 2016 and in a short period has gained immense popularity. Make sure you book your tickets in advance to avoid standing and sweating in a queue.
20. Visit Frost Magical Ice of Siam
Arctic heaven amid a tropical country. The place is about 15 minutes from central Pattaya near the intersection of the road 36 with Chonburi-Pattaya highway. The indoor section contains some cool ice sculptures of polar bears, penguins, and an igloo. There are some Ice slides for you to enjoy and also some Thai sculptures like an ice tuk-tuk. The temperature inside the dooms are extremely low, below -10 degrees celsius, so make sure you are dressed for the cold.