What to see in Pattaya?

Elke l’Amie

                           10 May 201822 March 2016

Let’s start with…

Two hours away from Bangkok is Pattaya. It is a fun place for expats living in Bangkok. It is close to the big city and if you stay in a nice hotel or private Airbnb villa it can be the perfect escape from busy Bangkok. Especially if you only want to go for one or two nights. You don’t have to take a boat, just hop in a taxi or minivan and 1,5-2hr later you arrive and can enjoy some fresh air.  They also have a lot of nice seafood restaurants.

Pattaya is not everyone’s favorite. To be really honest the city is most famous for its sex tourism. GoGo bars, ping pong shows, soapy massage you name it, they have it. Although in the evening you might think it’s everywhere, during the day you will hardly notice it. And there are ways to escape it all, by renting a nice villa a little bit away from the center. For example in Jomtien. We go to Pattaya very often and I promise it is nothing to be scared about. But I just want you to know what to expect.

However, let me show you a few things what to see in Pattaya besides the nightlife.

Cartoon Network



Cartoon Network Waterpark

Pattaya has a waterpark, with all kinds of water slides. The theme of the park is Cartoon Network and is about 20 minutes drive from the center. They have shuttle service (twice a day) for a fee. Fun times!

Check the website here.

💰 Entrance price: 1290 THB (online, incl. food & locker)
🕒 Time to spend here: 3 hour
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟🌟


What else is there to see in Pattaya? There are two main beaches, Jomtien and the beach at beach road. I would not recommend going to Beach Road. It is really dirty and not your nice tropical vibe. Jomtien is slightly better. But in my opinion, the best beaches to go to are at Koh Larn.

Koh Larn is a small island close to Pattaya. You can reach it by a 30-minute ferry ride. Go to the pier at the end of walking street and just take the local ferry. No need to take a private or speedboat (unless you like to pay extra). The local ferry costs 30 TBH.

In my opinion, the best beach to go to is Koh Larn.

When you arrive at Koh Larn you can choose from more than 6 beautiful beaches. There are motorbike taxis waiting to take you to the different beaches. Costs will be approx 50TBH per ride, per person. But there is a billboard at the pier with all the beaches and prices.

My favorite beach is Tayaiy Beach. This is the smallest one. It is nice and peaceful. There is 1 restaurant and if you want to rent a beach chair it will cost you around 100 TBH. Motorbike taxies will be there waiting to take you back.



Tayaiy Beach

Koh Larn

💰 Entrance price: Island is free entrance
🕒 Time to spend here: 1 day
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟🌟🌟🌟

International Firework Festival 

What to see in Pattaya? FIREWORKS!

Every year you can see the International Firework Festival in Pattaya. If you like fireworks this is the place to be. It is a 2-day event. The first night will be a rehearsal and the second night is the actual show. Shooters and pyromaniacs from all over the world will come to this event. 

One tip! If you really want a nice place to see the fireworks, book a hotel with a balcony that has a good view of the sea. One year we decided to watch the show on the beach, but it is too crowded to actually see it. They sell tickets for the best seats, but otherwise, it is pretty crowded.

You can also visit one of the rooftop bars of the hotels, but sometimes they ask a fee or only allow access to guests staying at the hotel.

Normally the event was in November, but this year they moved it to June. Friday 8th of June will be the rehearsal and Saturday 9th of June is the show. Time is a bit difficult as every year they start too late. (Welcome to Thailand ;)). But is suppose to start at 6 pm.

Want to read more about the International Firework Festival in Pattaya? Check out my blog “must see in Pattaya”.

What to see in Pattaya? Fireworks!.

International Fireworks festival 
View from The Bayview hotel

💰 Entrance price: free entrance
🕒 Time to spend here: 1 hour
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Maya Music Festival

Coming from The Netherlands I miss my summer festivals. Maya Music Festival reminds me of the festivals back home. We went here in 2017 and it was an awesome event. There is one stage but a lot of different and famous dj’s. Even a few from The Netherlands of course, as we definitely have some of the best ones, like Tiesto and D-block and S-te-FAN.

The date for this year is not announced yet, but last year it was in December.

💰 Entrance price: +/- 4000 THB
🕒 Time to spend here: 6 hour
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟🌟🌟🌟


What else to see in Pattaya besides the Maya music festival? There is another yearly festival, called Wonderfruit. 

Wonderfruit is a four-day celebration of art, music, dance, and food. Everybody dresses up nicely and the decorations are beautiful. The theme is a bit comparable to Coachella or Burning Man.

Next event date is 13th – 16th December 2018.

Beautiful group of ladies at Wonderfruit festival


💰 Entrance price: 4500  THB (early bird)
🕒 Time to spend here: 2 days (can go 4, but 2 is enough)
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Party in Pattaya

Of course, you don’t have to go to a festival to party in Pattaya. In the city are many bars and clubs where you can dance the night away.

Most bars and clubs you can find at Walking Street. A famous street for nightlife. There is even an Ice Bar, which is funny considering the weather in Thailand is 30 degrees plus.

In the city are many bars and clubs where you can dance the night away.



💰 Entrance price: most bars no cover charge
🕒 Time to spend here: 5 hour
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟🌟

Sanctuary of truth

It wouldn’t be Thailand if they weren’t any temples. But, I need to tell you something about this Sanctuary. As it is the sanctuary of truth.

I went here with full expectations of an enormous and gorgeous wooden construction. The highest point of the Sanctuary is 105 meters. And although the building is indeed impressive and beautifully hand carved, there are more cons than pros to this touristy (!) spot.

Let me start positive and show your pictures of how impressive the sanctuary is.

That said. I would not go back again.

1. It is very touristy (busloads, touristy)

2. They offer rides on elephants, there are goats waiting in the heat to be played with. And you can ride horses, it is just a little area. Not enough room for horses to walk around and be free.

This is not entertainment guys! And I am not sure why people still are interested in this kind of thing. If we stop going to these kinds of things, it won’t make any money and it will be stopped.

I was having doubts if I should give attention to this sanctuary, but I think it is good to share, so you are aware. It is a nice place if they wouldn’t have these animals. 

💰 Entrance price: 450 THB online (500 door sale)
🕒 Time to spend here: 1 hour
💟 Level of excitement (out of 5): 🌟

How to get to Pattaya?

Getting to Pattaya is very easy. You can get a taxi for about 1200 to 1500 TBH (including high way). Price is one way.

On your way back it is best to look for a taxi coming from Bangkok (one that just dropped someone off). They need to go back to Bangkok anyway, so the price will be cheaper. Look for either bright pink or blue or green/yellow taxi’s. NOT the blue/yellow, that is the Pattaya taxi.

Or if you want to save some money you can take a shared minibus from Bangkok.

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Hotel recommendations

Pattaya has many luxury hotels, budget hotels or nice private villa’s. Lot of options to choose from.

We stayed at Wave hotel, a beautiful boutique hotel. Check out my review here.

If you are coming with your family I would recommend The Bayview Hotel.

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