Located on the coast of southern Thailand, Pattaya is just two hours by car from Bangkok, and is a popular beach destination. It’s accessible by buses that run from Bangkok nearly all hours of day (though if there are a number of people going together, the best course would be to jointly hire a taxi).
Pattaya’s main outdoor attraction is the three-kilometer long Pattaya beach, where you’ll find plenty of of hotels, bars and clubs. There is also a more family friendly beach called Jomtien, and the great amusement park and tower will keep kids entertained. Activities like golf, horseback riding, bungee jumping, diving, snorkeling and sailing are all available on and around the beach.
Pattaya isn’t short of cultural activities either. Buddha Hill features a fantastic view and a manicured Chinese-style sacred space where Thais from all around the country come to pay homage to Wat Khao Phra Bat. There’s also the Sanctuary of Truth, a beautifully crafted ancient wooden temple that is filled with Buddhist and Hindu statues and motifs. Away from the beach you’ll find an orchid farm and tropical gardens, and for activities the kids will enjoy, there’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not, a crocodile farm, and aquarium.
Unfortunately, Pattaya also has a seedier side and is famous for its go-go bars. Sadly, sex tourism has become the number one attraction for this otherwise lovely destination, but with government efforts to clean up the towns and its beaches, tourism has steadily been changing hands. The town offers loads of great accommodations, shops and delicious restaurants, but you’ll have to be cautious if you want to avoid any raucous behavior brought on by the sex trade.