A Guide to Pattaya, Chonburi
Pattaya, Chonburi [พัทยา, ชลบุรี] is 147 kilometres southeast of Bangkok facing the Gulf of Thailand.
It is Asia’s prime tourist destination drawing family, couple and single visitors to experience
its enticing nature as well as vibrant ambience it has to offer.
Different parts of Pattaya offer distinguished atmospheres to suit a wide range of preferences.
Family travellers may prefer a quiet atmosphere of Jomtien. Worldly known as entertainment city,
Pattaya offers a variety of vibrant nightlife for fun-loving visitors with a number of nightclubs,
bars, pubs and shows in South Pattaya and something in between will also find the likes easily here.
Accommodation ranges widely from 5-star hotels to easy-going guesthouses located throughout the town.
Myriads of sports and activities on land, in water or even in the sky are available including golf,
fishing, jet ski, kite surfing, and paragliding. Sightseeing opportunities are plentiful such as museum,
theatre, gardens, zoos, amusement parks and many more.
Pattaya Beach (หาดพัทยา)
Pattaya City's main beach is separated in North / Central and South
area, going from a more family oriented to the iconic night life
walking Street in the South Pattaya area. The destination,
originally a small fishing village, has known an exponential growth in the last twenty years
and is well on its way to become a premier beach destination.
Both local and international chain hotels are well established.
All the development and hotels are separated from the main beach by the beach road,
running from North to South.
The beach – while a bit of a coarse sand is well appreciated by residents as well as
visitors for its range of available water sports and activities.
Aside of the day activities, there are many restaurants built on rafts and
piers serving delectable seafood right above the water.
Not to forget also the wide range of golf courses available in the
close vicinity of Pattaya city.
Shopping is widely available as well to both locals and foreign visitors and on the way to Bangkok (airport)
there are some factory outlets which have become very popular in the recent years.
There is a very wide range of accommodation available to all budgets in area,
ranging from guesthouses to up market design properties, via family oriented garden resorts.
Sriracha District (อำเภอศรีราชา)
is a widely popular Seaside destination for local tourists and day trips from Bangkok,
mainly famous for the local seafood restaurants. The other main attractions are :
a) The Si Racha Tiger Zoo and Resort is accessible either from Sukhumvit Highway, or State Highway 36.
It boasts Thailand's largest number of Bengal tigers, as well as a large number of other animals such as
crocodiles, ostriches, single hump camels, kangaroos and an aviary of exotic birds.
b) Koh Loi Si Racha is a tiny island close to Si Racha Beach, linked to the land by a bridge.
On the island is a public park and a Sea Turtle Garden, on lush grounds covering an area of around 1 acre.
On the southern side is a small hill with a temple on it.
The island is a superb place for relaxation where one can enjoy the natural atmosphere
and breathe the fresh sea air while appreciating the scenic view.
c) Koh Sichang is a large island in the middle of the gulf and about 12 kms from the Si Racha shore.
Its fresh air and natural environment have long made the island very popular.
A Narrow road is circling the island. The Chinese pavilion is an ancient pavilion with dragon and peacock motifs.
The pavilion was used as a temporary place of lodging when his Majesty King Rama the fifth visited the island.
Naklua Beach (หาดนาเกลือ)
The far northern tip of Pattaya Second Road, at the junction with North Pattaya Road,
marks the beginning of the Naklua Area towards the North.
To reach it, just head north from the distinctive dolphin roundabout.
The name means 'salt fields', in reference to the main occupation in
the area before the development of tourism.
It has kept the feel of a village, with some old houses, narrow streets,
traditional noodle shops, the traditional temples, a fishing pier, and many locals.
This is nevertheless changing nowadays as many condominium developments as well as hotels and restaurants are being built in the area.
Naklua's predominant feature is definitely the small intimate beaches,
including Wong Amat and Naklua Beach, as well as the outdoor architectural museum,
the Sanctuary of Truth.
Considering Pattaya City mainly dedicated to single travellers,
Naklua makes a great alternative for families and retirees who enjoy the climate and the cosmopolitan infrastructure.
Wongamat Beach (หาดวงศ์อมาต)
is a crescent shape, approximately 3 kms long beach.
It encompasses the northern edge of the Pattaya Bay headland,
but is only accessible from Naklua area (mainly Sois 16 or 18).
Unlike Pattaya Beach or Jomtien Beach it is still free of watersports activities,
though that is likely to change in the medium term. Deck chairs are available for rent
as well as small restaurants are providing excellent local fare and there are no vendors walking up
and down selling foods, drinks nor souvenirs.
Few people, except for some locals and those staying in nearby resorts are using this beach.
The absence of mass tourism, gives the place a secluded, intimate charm.
Naklua Beach, further north,
is similarly calm. It has a long fishing pier and windsurfing equipment can be hired.
Pratumnak Beach (หาดพระตำหนัก)
Khao Phra Tam Nak or Khao Phra Bat (เขาพระตำหนัก หรือ เขาพระบาท)
is the small hill is located between South Pattaya and Jomtien.
The panoramic view from there covers the whole city of Pattaya and its crescent bay.
Locals as well as visitors come here to pay homage to Khao Phra Bat on top of the hill
as well as to the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak,
who is regarded as the "founding father of the modern Thai navy"
The Suan Chaloemphrakiat (สวนเฉลิมพระเกียรติ)
on Khao Phra Tam Nak Road, is a fitness park at the foot of Khao Pattaya.
With an area of 6 acres, the park was dedicated to commemorate His Majesty the King's sixtieth birthday on December 5, 1988.
The gardens of the park boast a wide variety of flowering plants and offer a scenic view of Pattaya.
There are also multipurpose grounds and winding trails for walking
or jogging and standard exercise facilities.
The beach itself is very contained to one main hotel on top of the hill and the rugged terrain around it does not allow much land access,
while quite a few up market properties are established on the top of the hill.
Dongtan Beach (หาดดงตาล)
Dongtan Beach is located between Jomtien Beach and Pattaya Beach,
south of Pratumnak Beach.
When driving from Pattaya to Jomtien Beach, one is following Thappraya Road to the end
where the Jomtien Beach Road starts there is a Police Station
and the sign to Dongtan Beach on the right hand side.
This area is also referred to as the "Gay Beach". Compared to Naklua Beach,
Jomtien Beach and Pattaya Beach this is a very nice and quiet beach.
The access by car is limited and therefore it is a rather quiet beach.
Due to the absence of mass tourism, it is noticably cleaner than most Beaches in Pattaya.
This stretch of beach reaches up to where the Pattaya Water Park is.
This beach even has a public toilet and showers! The road about 50 meters from the beach is open for pedestrians and bicycles only,
which means no motor vehicle noise.
Jomtien Beach (หาดจอมเทียน)
About 2 kms south of Pattaya Beach lies Jomtien Beach;
a long, straight 6 kms stretch of sandy coastline that is a lot less chaotic and crowded than Pattaya.
There has been a lot recent development of new hotels and resorts, as well as condominiums,
but they are in principle more spread out and have not impacted too much on Jomtien's quiet down-to-earth charm.
Its much more peaceful and laidback than Pattaya Beach.
This is mostly why it is a much more popular beach for the local and families than Pattaya and many a resident of Bangkok
comes here on a week-end to enjoy cool sea breeze and tasty seafood in the shade of the pine trees.
Whilst not as developed as Pattaya Beach – Jomtien does offer a wide range of both dining and entertainment possibilities,
while the most popular are the seafood restaurants along the Northern end of the long beach road.
The strong and steady winds have are attracted many kite surfers and windsurfers in the past and will definitely continue to be one of
the main attraction for the sportier crowd.
Bangsaen Beach (หาดบางแสน)
Bangsaen Beach is a famous beach near Pattaya, Thailand, that has enjoyed lasting popularity.
Approximately 13 kilometers from the city of Chon Buri, it branches off to the right-hand side from Sukhumvit Highway,
at kilometers 104, for a distance of 3 kilometers. Stretching along the beachfront, is a 2.5 kilometer Road.
Along the beach, one finds vendors offering drinks and seafood snacks such as squid, mussels and spicy steamed-fish-cakes for sale.
One can rent deck chairs and rubber rings for swimming. Fresh water bathing facilities are also available.
The many restaurants that line the beach have recently been improved to become more neat and orderly.
Bang Saen is ideal for visitors with limited time who wish to relax with their family and friends.
It also offers several hotels and bungalows for overnight lodging.
Sattahip District (อำเภอสัตหีบ)
further South from Bangsaen, has become over the years more and more popular destination for both tourists
as well as long term foreign residents, with a number of housing estate being developed.
Aside of this, there are the following places of interest to visit :
a) Chong Samaesan Village, a tiny fishing village along the Sattahip-Tha Rua Phanit Sattahip route.
There is a small beach with crystal clear waters. As well, Chong Samaesan is another ideal place for diving and fishing.
Several islands dot the area, such as Koh Samaesan, Koh Raet, Koh Chuang, and Koh Chan which all come under
the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy. Daytime sightseeing is permitted but overnight lodging is prohibited.
b) Wat Yan Sangwararam, a Royal Temple, 15 kms south of Pattaya City. The temple was dedicated to Somdej Phra Yanasangworn,
the present Supreme Patriarch in 1976 and was later graciously admitted under the patronage of His Majesty the King.
The temple ground comprises a monop (religious building with rectangular roof) which enshrine a replica of the Buddha's footprints,
a large Pagoda where the relics of the Lord Buddha and those of the Lord Buddha's disciple are enshrined.
There are international pavilions representing several countries.
There is also the Vihan Sian, a grand and exquisite showcase of Chinese architecture.