The Pattaya area of Thailand’s eastern seaboard is host to a beguiling range of attractions. The range includes anything from ancient Thai traditions to modern adventures. Whenever people think of Pattaya they immediately think of ladyboys, risque shows, and drunk tourists. This does not even begin to touch upon the many things that this city in Thailand has to offer. Pattaya is a place that has beautiful temples and beaches but it also has so many activities to get involved in this it is impossible to get bored. There are a large number of expats living in Pattaya which has led to the city changing over the years, but this has only led to an increase in wealth being brought into the city, with the increased wealth businessmen have seen an opportunity to create attractions that appeal to holidaymakers which is why Pattaya is one of the enjoyable places to stop at for a few days. Our list of 12 best attractions in Pattaya is just a sample of the amazing variety you can find in the area. These are the absolute must-see features that every itinerary for every visitor should include. Many of the items on our list are unique in Thailand while some are unequaled in the world.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
If you are interested in flowers, trees, and landscaped gardens this is a great place to spend a peaceful afternoon. The garden covers a space of 2.4 Square kilometers and has some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. The gardens have won many awards for their designs and will continue to do so because of the excellent condition the garden is kept in. It is not just flowers and trees though, there are also over 670 species of orchid and even an elephant talent show. The entire area is more like a theme park, with daily cultural shows, restaurants, and accommodation as well as the vast area showcasing individually themed gardens. A leisurely stroll through the botanical park is like taking a journey around the world, through its many famous gardens, whether 17th-century French garden, Stonehenge, or European Renaissance garden.
Pattaya Floating Market
There are various floating markets In Thailand but this one in Pattaya has something different about it. The actual name of the market is the ‘Four Regions Floating Market’ the reason for this is that the market is split into the four regions of Thailand, the north, northeast, south and central. Each section of the market sells products that represent that part of the country. Not all of the stalls are floating, some are in boats which move around the canals and some are stilted properties that stand at the sides on the banks. The market is located on Sukhumvit Road, about two kilometers past Pattaya Underwater World, on the way to Sattahip. A walk through the hundreds of wooden houses built in the different styles of the four regions in pleasant and fun. Food happens to be the main draw here. There are plenty of authentic Thai dishes and classic desserts to sample. Highlights include noodle soups, pad Thai (stir-fried rice noodles), kanom jean (rice vermicelli) with different kinds of curries, ka nom Krok (coconut pancake), foi thong (golden threads), thong yip (sweet egg yolk) and more.
Koh Larn Coral Island
Sitting seven kilometers away from Pattaya is the island of Ko Larn, boats leave Pattaya several times a day for the island and are always full of tourists eager to explore somewhere new. The island is only 4km long and 2km wide but there are six different beaches to see, each beach having its own unique personality. If you wish to stay a few nights there are various resorts and hotels on the island but due to the size of the island, they fill up quickly. With the glistening white sand and the transparent blue waters, Koh Larn or Coral island is one of the most popular island destinations in Pattaya. Coral spotting in glass-bottom boats, snorkeling, swimming, and surfing are the super fun things to do in Pattaya and the nearby islands. Koh Larn Island also offers exhilarating sports like windsurfing, parasailing, and jet-skiing. Bustling beach restaurants offer mouth-watering Thai food and refreshing beverages.
Taking place each evening, Tiffany’s Cabaret entertains over two thousand people and has been doing so for over thirty years. Tiffany’s Cabaret Show takes place in a grand theatre that, with its huge faux-marble lobby, manages to be almost as spectacular as the dazzling costumes. The performance usually lasts for an hour and the show is non-stop excitement from start to finish, the entertainers perform scenes that represent every part of the world, including Indian, Korean Thai and many more. The ladyboys are all dressed in exquisite costumes and perform with such finesse that it is hard to spot that they are not real ladies. The raunchiness of the show has been toned down for what you might expect to get in Pattaya ensuring that the show is also suitable for children.
Pattaya Viewpoint (Khao Pattaya View Point) on Pratumnak Hill is the best viewpoint in the region and the place to visit day or night to get that classic shot of Pattaya’s sweeping, crescent bay. Be warned though, this is anything but an insider’s tip so expect to share your view with an almost ceaseless conveyor-belt of package tours and the local traders who follow them touting cheap souvenirs and expensive refreshments. This might sound off-putting but the reality is tours will usually stop for 10 to 15 minutes and once they have been called back to the bus, the viewpoint becomes quiet and peaceful-perfect for enjoying the stunning scenery.
Art in Paradise Pattaya
Art in Paradise is a fun and fresh take on an art gallery that has closed the divide between art and spectator with three-dimensional paintings that are interactive and laugh-out-loud funny. The gallery has over 100 individual art pieces in ten themed sections, covering optical illusions, wild animals, nature, past civilizations and reproductions of classic art. Art in Paradise inspires visitors to get creative with the paintings as the 3D imagery looks more authentic in photographs.
Wat Phra Yai Temple
Wat Phra Khao Yai is also known as Big Buddha Hill, it is referred to like this because it is the biggest Buddha in the region, it stands at 18 meters tall and sits about 100 meters above sea level. When you get to the top of the hill and stand next to the Buddha you can see Pattaya beneath you and Jomtien Beach if you look outwards. As well as the Buddha there is a temple complex as well which has incense burning all day long as well many bells. The temple is still used to this day so expect to see monks and praying locals.
Buddha Engraving At Khao Chi Chan
Khao Chi Chan or Buddha Mountain as English speakers refer to it is the biggest engraving of Buddha in the world. The Limestone hill that has the Buddha engraved on it used to be an active site for the construction industry before it was closed down. In 1996 a laser was used to etch the carving into the rock as part of a celebration for His Majesty the King of Thailand’s 50th year on the throne.
Sanctuary Of Truth
Rising 105 meters into the sky and made from teak wood which has been carved in the most intricate was The Sanctuary of Truth is a beautiful sight to behold. This is not a Buddhist temple as you may expect, it was designed by a business owner as a place to go and reflect on oneself. Every part of the building both inside and out has incredibly detailed carvings that need to be seen to be believed, the building itself is still a work in progress which some say will never be finished. There are so many beautiful buildings across Thailand but this one has to come near the very top of the list.
Yunomori Onsen and Spa
You can’t return from a Pattaya trip without pampering yourself with a massage and spa. Enjoy the traditional Japanese onsen spa bathing a with an authentic Thai massage at Yunomori. Detoxify your body by bathing in the hot spring directly sourced from the thermal springs of Wat Wangkanai. The favorable temperature and mineral content of this water prepare you for massage therapy. This experience will restore and refresh your energy before you return to that hectic city life. After a ravishing trip on the island, you will agree that experiencing Yunomori Onsen and Spa is one of the best things to do in Pattaya, Thailand.
Mini Siam And Mini Europe
Located just outside Pattaya City is Mini Siam and Mini Europe where you can wander endlessly around the gardens looking at statues from all over Thailand and Europe, however, they now have the statue of liberty so perhaps a name change is in order soon. The statues have been crafted at a scale of 1:25 and if you go in the evening they are all lit up which makes for some great photographs.
Ban Amphur Beach
Ban Amphur is a quiet fishing village that happens to have a beautiful beach with gorgeous sand and lots of palm trees. The beach is quiet and uncrowded with ample parking unlike many of the other beaches in Pattaya because it is a fishing village the various seafood restaurants that are located in the fishing harbor sell the most delicious and fresh fish imaginable.
Just So You Know:
- Pattaya is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, within, but not part of, Bang Lamung District in the province of Chonburi.
- Several local foreign-language newspapers and magazines are published either weekly or monthly, especially in English, Russian and German. The English-language newspapers include the Pattaya Mail and Pattaya People.
Get Some Culture:
- Visit Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum – The museum is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Pattaya. It is a world-famous tourist spot that’s perfect for the entire family. Originated in the U.S.A, this Thai museum is located on Beach road. The museum is unique in its collection of oddities and presents a great balance between the strange, the shocking and the beautiful.
- Thai Thani Arts and Culture Village Pattaya – This place is truly a hub of culture, traditions, and history of Thailand. Thai Thani Arts and Culture Village Pattaya also arrange a special event for your big days such as Traditional Thai-style weddings, company party or other kinds of events as your preference