Pattaya is a vibrant city just 2 hours from Bangkok with lots of shopping, nightlife, entertainment, beautiful beaches and some unique cultural sites.
Many people associate Pattaya with the sex industry and it is indeed also knows as sin city. But Pattaya has evolved into an attractive tourist destination with something for everyone including families, groups, couples and solo travelers alike.
The name Pattaya comes from the march of Phraya Tak’s army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi. Tak, who later became the King of Thonburi, lead the march before the fall of the former capital to Burmese enemies in 1767. Arriving in Pattaya the local leader instantly surrendered and joined forces with Tak. The place where the armies met was called That Phraya which translates to army of the Phraya. Later the name was changed to Pattaya which means the wind that blows at the beginning of rainy season from the south-west to the north-east.
Until the 1960s Pattaya was a busy fishing village. During the Vietnam War Pattaya became a tourist area for Americans during rest and relaxation periods. Today the bustling urban city is thriving as a world class tourist destination and popular retirement place for expats. With excellent medical services the medical tourism industry is also going strong in Pattaya.
Beach bums will totally love the gorgeous long stretch of sandy beach along the cityscape of Pattaya. Swimming, sunbathing and water sports can be enjoyed with all the luxuries of city life just a few steps away. When you are ready to go sightseeing there’s plenty of options.
The Sanctuary of Truth, a 105 meter tall architectural wonder carved from teak wood, was built as a place of gratitude for art, culture, faith and philosophy. It isn’t connected to any particular religion. The detail in the carvings that features people, animals, designs and stories of mythology are truly amazing.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and Cultural Village is a beautifully landscaped paradise that has many themed gardens areas including a recreation of Stonehenge and a 17th century French garden. Of course you can see an array of orchid species as well as cacti, bonsais and tropical flora. Cultural performances are often going on in the massive gardens.
Pattaya floating market, Big Buddha Hill and Pattaya Viewpoint are all landmarks worth seeing. There are also a number of excellent waterparks to splash around in as well as a collection of touristy attractions such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
An Instagram-worthy travel moment can be captured at Buddha Mountain aka Khao Chi Chan. A huge gold Buddha image is engraved into the rock face of the mountain and it’s a stunning sight to behold.
At night a fun place to roam around is the 500-meter walking street at the end of Pattaya Beach Road. From 6 pm it’s closed to traffic and open to shoppers and party goers. Get lost in a neon blur of bars, nightclubs, shopping and entertainment. Don’t forget to catch an exotic cabaret show before leaving town.