Located 150 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, Pattaya has long been regarded as the naughty little sister of the Thai capital. The massage parlours, go-go bars and discos have been the big attraction since the 1960’s, when US soldiers on leave from Vietnam would come here to let off steam. Take a walk down Walking Street in the evening and it’s clear that the nightlife culture remains the big selling point for Pattaya.
Of course, it is possible to escape the party. Thanks to the many beautiful, sloping beaches, the city has a ton to offer tourists who are looking for rest and relaxation at a luxurious beach resort. Find a place in the sun on one of the numerous sunbeds on Pattaya Beach, kick back and watch the world drift by. Want to get active? Then rent a jet ski, go parasailing or book a diving or snorkelling excursion to the nearby island of Koh Lan. If you want something a little more secluded, then head to Dongtan Beach and Crescent Moon Beach: havens to escape the crowds.
Make sure you see the spectacular The Sanctuary of Truth: in this hand-carved, wooden complex are the symbols of the four major religions of Asia, integrated through traditional Thai craft techniques. Visit the Pattaya Floating Market if you're looking for souvenirs; here you will find items and food from all four main regions of Thailand.
The traffic is chaotic and often can be overwhelming when you first come here for. Dare devils might want to rent a car, jeep or even a motorbike to get around; otherwise, there are plenty of taxis and tuk tuk in the streets, so you can get everywhere easily.