Pattaya is a popular tourist resort on the North Gulf Coast of Eastern Thailand, located 150 km south-east of Bangkok or only about two-hour drive. Pattaya is most famous for its go-go and beer bars, but local authorities has made efforts to provide more family-friendly attractions and activities, and specialist conference and golfing facilities. Although the sex industry is still going strong in Pattaya, the resort also attracts local families and holidaymakers from far and wide. Efforts by the local authorities over the past few years have improved the quality of the beaches, but they are still lacklustre by Thailand's high standards, and over-development has long since destroyed some of the natural charms the area once had. However, the plethora of hotels and guest houses, and easy access from the capital and airport, make it a popular weekend getaway. Catering for over five million tourists yearly, Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating choices and a wide variety of things to do and see. Its population is a colorful mix of nationalities and ethnicities from near and far.
There are many activities along the beach road. Activities include sun bathing, book reading, sleeping, snocking, boating, jet skiing, parachute riding, easting fresh coconut, getting massage along the pattaya beach. Kids also have fun with banana boat riding. Many joggers can also be seen along the beach road. Most of them are westerner. Many thai hookers can be seen along the beach road sitting or chatting next to the street. Beach chair can be rented for 30 baht each. When the tide goes down, the sandy beach is widen about 100 meters long. People are playing around in that area at that time.
Pattaya beach is divided as Pattaya North, Centre and South. The North is pretty quiet so that many 5 stars luxury hotels could be seen in that area. Many seafood restaurants can also be seen at the Pattaya South. In between, Pattaya centre is the shopping area. Along the beach road, the shaded old trees, the garden and some decorations are beautiful. It is recommended to walk along the beach from North to South. It will take about 2 hours.
Pattaya is Thailand's premier beach resort and annually attracts hundreds of thousand of pleasure-seeking tourist from all over the world. Visitors can windsurf, water ski, swim, sunbath, snorkel, sail, or take trips to offshore coral islands. They can rent water scooters to explore Pattaya bay, and motorcycles and jeeps to explore neighbouring-beaches.
Pattaya boasts an incredible choice of accommodation to suit every pocket. Facilities range from air conditioned opulence to basic simplicity. Essentially, the visitor has the choice of luxury hotels with private-beaches; bayside hotels and bungalow; and "inland" economy-class hotels and guest houses.
Pattaya offers some of Thailand's choicest seafood in several specialty restaurants. Steak houses and fast-food outlets provide attractive alternatives and gourmets and gourmands alike find satisfaction in restaurants featuring French, Italian, Swiss, German, Hungarian, Scandinavian, English, Indian, Moslem, Japanese, Chinese and Thai Cuisines.
From families to individual visitors, Pattaya offers something for everyone and all the ingredients for a truly memorable holiday.
Also worth a look is close by Jomtien beach about 3 kms south. This is a rapidly developing area with emphasis on beach life rather than sleaze. There are several excellent golf courses within 15 minutes taxi ride including the 27 hole Phoenix, and the excellent Pattaya Country Club (check for sport days which include a free lunch and a round for 15 dollars) Further south (30 mins) is the Navy course near Sattahip, this is beautiful and still cheap (18 holes for 25 dollars).
"Greater Pattaya" occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung (one of the eleven districts that comprise Chonburi Province). It is divided into a larger northern section which spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach (the most northern beach) and Pattaya Beach (the main beach) plus the Buddha Hill headland (immediately south of Pattaya Beach), and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of Jomtien Beach (which lies directly south of Buddha Hill) including Dongtan Beach. Jomtien's beaches are much broader and generally in better shape, and the atmosphere locally is more sedate and family-oriented, than at Pattaya Beach.
Pattaya's sub-district names sometimes cause confusion, usually when the official Pattaya Bay area titles (North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya) are misunderstood. These names don't relate to Pattaya as a whole, instead they refer to the sections of Pattaya Beach to which each sub-district is aligned.
Pattaya's coastal side is divided longitudinally into five contiguous sub-districts (or six, if also including Jomtien). Each one is named after the section of beach or headland at its seaboard.
In the middle are the three Pattaya Bay sub-districts, which share the main Baht Bus route (so most places are within 5 minutes / 10 baht of most other places, at any hour) and have much else in common, and hence in combination make up the main quasi-downtown zone:
North Pattaya (Pattaya Nua) - not the northern-most part of Pattaya (as Naklua lies further north), but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the northern end of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of North Pattaya Road. Does not include Naklua.
South Pattaya (Pattaya Tai) - not the southern-most part of Pattaya (as the Buddha Hill headland, and then Jomtien, lie further south), but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the southern end of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of South Pattaya Road. Includes Pattayaland and Walking Street. Does not include Buddha Hill or Jomtien.
Central Pattaya (Pattaya Klang) - not the dead center of Pattaya, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the middle of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of Central Pattaya Road. Some maps/guides disregard the Central Pattaya convention, and instead extend North Pattaya and South Pattaya to meet each other along Central Pattaya Road; sometimes, Beach Road is described with a similar division, and the respective halves given "North Beach Road" and "South Beach Road" monikers.
Flanking the Pattaya Beach sub-districts are:
Naklua - immediately north of North Pattaya, and with quick, frequent, and inexpensive transport to and from the rest of Pattaya; Naklua is popular with visitors whose native language is German. In terms of tourism-related locations, it's the smallest and least significant sub-district, the main attractions being the beaches (which are quieter than Pattaya Beach) and the Sanctuary of Truth.
Buddha Hill - named after the Buddha Hill landmark and sandwiched between South Pattaya (to the north) and Jomtien (to the south); to the east, South Pattaya and Jomtien meet directly.
In practice, exactly where each sub-district ends and the next begins is a very grey area as none of the boundaries lie along major roads (and none of the many readily available tourist maps attempts to define boundaries at this level); nevertheless they do provide a handy rough guide to approximate latitude. Further inland, the sub-district names are used less, and locality/road names take precedence - for example, an address might state "Sukhumvit, Naklua" which is useful in that it makes it clear the location is to the north of the Sukhumvit / North Pattaya Road intersection, however the exact same place would not normally be described simply as being "in Naklua" as that would give the misleading impression of it being in the main beachside/tourism area further west.