Top 5 reason to visit Pattaya

Pattaya by night, photo by jbremer57/flickr

If you visit Thailand on your vacation and you are looking for a spectacular beach resort, Pattaya is the perfect choice! The famous and popular city of Pattaya is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok. The fantastic resort has some of the finest beaches in Thailand. There are also numerous attractions and vivid festivals that attract dozens tourists from all around the world. For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village. In time it became one of Thailand’s most popular resorts and attracts 4 million visitors every year. Besides the cultural attractions and beaches, Pattaya also offers an excellent range of eating options and a great variety of things to do.

 

Major tourist attractions

 

Probably the most famous man-made attraction of the city is the Sanctuary of Truth, a gigantic temple-like structure which is entirely made of wood. The top point of it is about 105 meters high. It is decorated with wooden carve sculptures. Another remarkable site is the Wat Khao Phra Bat temple which overlooks Pattaya Bay. It features a giant Buddha statue. If you love Thai temples, you can also visit Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan which was constructed in 1976. There are several theme parks in Pattaya, like Mini Siam, a miniature model village that presents iconic structures from Thailand and all around the world. Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, Siriphon Orchid Farm and Three Kingdoms Park are also worth visiting theme parks. The lovers of art will love this city, as there are numerous museums and galleries here. The children won’t get bored either. There are multiple entertainment possibilities for them, too, such as the Million Years Stone Park, the Pattaya Crocodile Farm, the Park Beach Resort Water Park, the Funny Land Amusement Park or the Underwater World.

 

Pattaya by night, photo by jbremer57/flickr

 

Beaches and islands

 

The Pattaya Beach is 3 km long and runs along the city center. The water is warm and the sand is soft and white. It is fantastic, but a little crowded, full of hotels, restaurants and shops. If you are traveling with children, I advise you to choose Jomtien Beach which is very popular with the families. Being more calm, it is located situated on the southern part of the city. There is an amusement park here which is beloved by children. If you love swimming, choose Wong Phrachan Beach which is situated on the northern part of Pattaya Beach. There are also some spectacular islands offshore, such as the “Near Islands”, Ko Larn, Ko Sak, Ko Krok and so on. Many of the island have gorgeous beaches and offer scuba diving activities.

 

Pattaya beach, photo by gautsch./flickr

 

Festivals and events

 

There are so many things to see in Pattaya, but also numerous things to do. Several festivals and events are held in Pattaya all along the year. New Year’s Day is one of the most important events. Chinese New Year is celebrated among the city’s large Thai-Chinese community with the well-known dragons, fireworks and lion dances. Songkran is the Thai New Year. It is celebrated in Pattaya on the 18th and 19th of April. During this period the city is visited by thousands of people. Thai people throw water on everything that moves. There are also held cultural shows and musical performances during the event. Another remarkable event is the  Pattaya Festival. It is held in April and presents floral floats, a Miss Pattaya Beauty contest, fireworks, arts and cultural performances.

 

Balloons at night at Pattaya Festival, photo by Dean Croshere/flickr

 

Cabarets and performances

 

Pattaya is well-known for its katoey cabaret (transvestite shows). Two of them are the Alcazar Cabaret and the Tiffany’s Show. Other popular shows are the Open Eyes Show that presents magic and illusion shows, the Thai Alangkarn Theatre and the Tuxedo Magic Castle which is a magical theater in the form of a split-level restaurant.

 

Nightlife

 

The nightlife of the city is very vibrant. There are dozens of beer bars and go-go bars in Pattaya. The city became a tourist destination partly due to the sex tourism. Prostitution is theoretically illegal in Thailand, but the shows presented by Thai ladies are tolerated.

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