Pattaya Guide - All you need to know

Pattaya is located on the east coast, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, in the province of Chon Buri. From a small, wild fishing village, Pattaya has developed and now become one of the most attractive destinations of Thailand.

Pattaya is located on the east coast, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, in the province of Chon Buri. From a small, wild fishing village, Pattaya has developed and now become one of the most attractive destinations of Thailand. Possessing a long coastline with turquoise clear water, long white sandy beaches along the beautiful lush coconut trees soaring with the sea breeze, Pattaya has proved to be deserved as a treasure in the hearts of the locals as well as any tourists used to visit here. Coming to Pattaya, tourists will have a chance to immerse themselves in the gifted nature, participate in exciting beach activities, discover the unique culture as well as enjoying the spectacular dishes of this beautiful city, making your trip to Thailand more amazing and memorable than ever.

Bird-eye's view of Pattaya at night

Bird-eye's view of Pattaya at night

Pattaya history events

One story tells that the prosperity of Pattaya began when a group of 500 American soldiers stationed at the military base in Korat was brought to Pattaya on June 29, 1959, in a week for rest and relaxation. They rented some houses at the southern end of the beach from a famous Thai, Lord Sunthorn. Despite the short stay, the soldiers had a great and extremely impressive time here. Word of mouth among the American soldiers about Pattaya was spread far and Pattaya quickly became a hot alternative tourist destination for Bangkok.

The name Pattaya evolved from the parade of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, taking place before the invasion of the Burmese in 1767. When his army arrived in the vicinity of Pattaya, Phraya Tak met the army of a local leader named Nai Klom, who tried to stop him. When the two met, Nai Klom was impressed with the dignified manner of Phraya Tak and the strict discipline of his army. He surrendered without a fight and joined Phraya Tak's forces. The place where the army confronted each other was later called "Thap Phraya", meaning "the army of Phraya". Later to become Pattaya, the name of the wind blows from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season.

The coastal city Pattaya

The coastal city Pattaya

In 1960, Pattaya was still a small coastal fishing village. Then, the Vietnam War broke out, Pattaya, which is located near two major US airports; was chosen as a convenient resting place for American soldiers. Pattaya people quickly realized this opportunity to do business and it gradually attracted more and more locals to come and invest here. Since then, Pattaya has rapidly transformed with all kinds of entertainment services seemingly endless for soldiers while small beach houses were quickly replaced by hotels and restaurants.

Top recommended attractions in Pattaya

  • Khao Chi Chan: Khao Chi Chan is famous for the Buddha image carved on Mount Chichan located 25 km from Pattaya. The Buddha image is 109m high, 70m wide, and is currently the largest Buddha image in Pattaya protected by the Royal Thai Navy. The statue of Sakyamuni Buddha in a meditating position on a lotus flower with gold-plated carvings is situated on the mountainside halfway between heaven and earth. The Buddha image is the destination in Pattaya where tourists visit and pilgrimage to pray for prosperity. Khao Chi Chan also plays a significant role in the hearts of the Pattaya people, as they believe this land brings spirituality and blessing to their life.

Khao Chi Chan with the Buddha image carved on mountain

Khao Chi Chan with the Buddha image carved on the mountain

  • Wat Yansangwararam: Wat Yansangwararam is a royal Buddhist temple, located separately about 20km from Pattaya. In addition to the Thai-Chinese style main hall housing the Buddha statue, there are many other buildings built in the style of China, India, Switzerland as well... Each building is shaped like a dragon playing with water, symbolizing for Thai King's favor to all of his people. As with all other impressive temples in Thailand, Wat Yansangwararam not only gives visitors an insight into traditional Thai architectural designs but also enables visitors to understand the communal values embedded inside. This temple was originally built for King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1988 to commemorate his 42nd-year dynasty. In addition to visiting the spectacular Thai architectural works inside the temple, there is also a private space to the right of the temple for you to explore or take photos of. It is a path leading into the temple with a solemn and ancient look, located right next to an ancient poetic lake.

Wat Yansangwararam in Pattaya

Wat Yansangwararam

  • Sanctuary of Truth: Located on the northern coast of Pattaya, Sanctuary Castle, is not only a perfect version of ancient architectural design but also a testament to the creativity of the Thai modern art industry. This beautiful temple covers an impressive area of 2,115m², including dolphin ponds, orchid gardens, and crocodile farms. The architecture of the Temple is inspired by Buddhist and Hindu beliefs and is divided into 4 different wings facing 4 directions. One wing depicts Chinese charisma. The other wing reminds us of the magnificent architecture of Angkor Wat. The third wing is imbued with Indian mythology and the final ones are carved in traditional Thai style.

Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya

Sanctuary of Truth

Culture in Pattaya

Famous by many names: a city at night, "devil city"...because the activities that take place in Pattaya during the day are very few. Thailand is the country of Buddhism. Therefore, temples and pagodas are still in existence for tourists to visit or worship. Tourists should make sure to bring along: shirts with sleeves and long pants if they wish to visit any temple here. Hats and umbrellas are recommended under the heat and unpredictable pouring of the city. Festivals are usually held during the months of February, October, November, and December.

Songkran Festival in Pattaya

Songkran Festival in Pattaya

Pattaya Weather

It would be highly recommended if you visit Pattaya during the months of November to February since the weather is pretty dry and the climate is relatively pleasant with little rainfall, perfect for any outdoor activities such as visiting attractions, swimming, exploring the bustling streets at night.

Transportation in Pattaya 

  • Motorbikes: If you can ride a motorbike, this is the best transportation for you to explore the city. You can travel between destinations easily without being worried about a traffic jam or high price during peak hours. The experience is also very rewarding. Renting companies offer services by day, week, or month. The rental fee is commonly from 9USD/ day/ motorbike.
  • Grab: if you travel in groups of 4 people, a grab car is an ideal choice as you can share the fee among your group. The price is also very cheap compared with local taxis.
  • From Bangkok to Pattaya: After arriving at Bangkok airport, tourists can either take a shuttle bus or a taxi to get to Pattaya. The travel takes about 2 hours.

Taxi in Pattaya

Taxi in Pattaya

Travel information

  • Tips: Booking entrance tickets for the floating market or hotel room beforehand to get discounts and coupons for the next purchase.
  • Currency
    The local currency in Thailand is Baht. The rate of money changing at the airport is nearly the same as locals, so when you get to Bangkok, simply just exchange money after getting your baggage. You can find money exchange stations in Pattaya as well. The most common one is Superrich.
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