Pattaya is “a city that never sleeps”! It has much to offer everybody at any time of the day no matter your taste. You enjoy bartering at one of the many fresh morning markets for fruit, meat, and vegetables, or appreciating the alms-giving and morning prayers at the temples, or getting some exercise along the Pattaya Boulevard or in one of the parks, or just relaxing at one of the many cafeterias and watching life go by.
Throughout the day there are many activities to enjoy whether you are a sun worshipper relaxing on the beach, or a water sports enthusiast choosing scuba diving under the water, or the thrills of the Jet Skis or Parasailing above the water. If you are neither and you just want to “shop until you drop” then head to some of the leading International department stores such as Terminal 21, Central Festival Pattaya Beach, Central Festival Marina, and Royal Garden Plaza. All of these malls also have lots of kid’s fun facilities to occupy their little minds!
As the sun sets, and the evening approaches all of the International restaurants to start to prepare for their guests. Café des Amis, Garden Café & Benihana at the Avani Hotel, Bruno’s and Indian By Nature, to name but a few. Of course, there is an abundance of amazing Thai restaurants that also wow diners with their culinary delights. Try Ruen Thai, The Bistro, or Sala Rim Nam restaurants to dazzle the taste buds!
When the sun goes down the cabarets, bars and clubs open their doors for a busy night ahead. The world-famous shows at Tiffany’s, Alcazar, Kaan, and The Colosseum lead the way, and of course, there is the infamous Walking Street which has a kilometer stretch of restaurants, beer bars, go-go, and nightclubs. The remarkable thing about Walking Street is that because it is so densely packed with so much to see, you could spend every night for a whole week there, and you would still find new places each and every evening.
Other activities not mentioned above are: Easy Kart go-cart, 2Sky Pattaya Rocket Ball, 10 Pin bowling, and the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not franchise with its world-famous Odditorium Museum, Haunted Adventure, moving 9DX theatre, and an Infinity Maze.
Naklua is the downtown area past North Pattaya Road. It has its own very busy high street, full of high street shopping, branded restaurants, and coffee shops, and now it is boasting the brand new Terminal 21 shopping mall with a 5-floor shopping extravaganza!!
Naklua Road is approximately 4km long starting from the Dolphin Roundabout at North Pattaya and heading north to the long-established “Moom Aroi” (translated to mean Delicious Corner) beachfront seafood restaurant. This northernmost part of the village is where you can glimpse back in time to when the city was a much simpler and slow-paced fishing village. Many 30 – to 40-year-old buildings can still be seen around these narrow side streets. There are wooden jetties that extend out over the water so that it’s still possible to moor a small boat or fish from the end of the pier. Many come here for some amazing photo opportunities.
There is a fresh seafood market on the pier that has been there for decades and is still the place everyone visits today for their seafood. These narrow streets also hold the annual Vegetarian Festival which runs for a whole week in October.
Staying in this Northern area of Naklua you can also visit the stunning Sanctuary Of Truth temple that stands proudly on its own reclaimed shoreline position. It is a wooden hand-carved structure that is claimed to be the largest wooden carved structure in the world! It was built to represent the era of one of Thailand’s most revered kings, King Rama IX. Every inch of the temple has so much intricate detail that it is said the work on the temple is never done! You can be taken around the site by traditional horse and cart, and there are also hourly performances and shows that help to recreate a world that is long gone.
You can find plenty of hotels and guesthouses in this area. They tend to be cheaper here than in the center of Pattaya City but only 1-2kms away with easy access to and from. Close to Dolphin roundabout are 4 beachfront hotels and resorts: Dusit Thani, BestBella Pattaya, Sunshine Garden Resort, and Woodland Hotel & Resort.
Heading west towards the beach, Naklua then changes its name to represent the name of the beach (Wongamat beach) which has its own description heading below….
Wongamat Beach is the beachfront part of Naklua in the northern part of Pattaya City. This stretch of beach is widely recognized as one of the best in the area. It has a beautiful bay with palm trees shading the sand and some impressive views back across the Pattaya City skyline and across the to Koh Larn Island, shimmering on the horizon.
As this crescent-shaped beach is so picturesque, there are now lots of five-star branded hotels and condominiums spread across this section of coastline. The most recognizable of these is the Centara Grand Mirage It has a unique pyramid design, theme-park style tropical pools, with beach and poolside bars and restaurants. Even if you are not staying onsite, their restaurants are open to walk-in bookings. The Pullman Hotel chain has also moved into the area, and again they welcome beach patrons into their bars and restaurants which can be a great relief from the midday heat.
This hillside location splits Pattaya City from Jomtien Beach. It is best known for the gigantic Golden Buddha that sits at the highest point of the hill. This is a very scenic spot popular with tours. The other well-known area is on the opposite part of the hill where there is a lookout platform which gives you full views over the whole of Pattaya bay. This place is popular both day & night for those wishing to take the perfect snapshot of the city.
Beaches There are 3 separate beaches that you can access from parts of Pratumnak Hill depending on where you are.
Pratumnak Beach is the largest beach that stretches from Pratumnak, (next to Pattaya Park) and joins Dongtan Beach in Jomtien by way of a well-maintained footpath shaded by the trees.
This beach is quite spacious and is one of the cleanest beaches in Pattaya. It has a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. There are minimal deck chairs and souvenir touts, so it’s possible to simply chill out and soak up the views across the Gulf Of Thailand.
Asia Beach is a small bay that very few people actually find. Hidden at the bottom of a quiet street next to the similarly named Asia Hotel it really is a hidden gem. A small beach bar here offers simple canned soft drinks and beers for those lucky enough to find this tranquil spot.
Cosy Beach has become the most well-known beach of them all, as the area has become very developed with hillside condominiums and hotels. This picturesque bay is accessed by a set of steps dug into the cliff face. Once on the beautiful sand, you are greeted with a handful of drink stalls and masseurs. The bay looks straight across the water to the neighboring Koh Larn Island. It is possible to catch a speed boat to Koh Larn from the beach.
On top of the cliff face, there is now a unique restaurant called The Chocolate Factory which combines a stunning restaurant with superb views across the Gulf Of Thailand, and a place where chocolatiers handcraft cakes, patisseries, and the most beautiful chocolate you will taste in Thailand.
Another eatery not to be missed is the beachfront restaurant called Birds & Bees. This is an amazing restaurant (not only for its charity work) for the way that it is built within the rock face. Set out over many levels up in the canopy of the trees it has some spectacular views over the ocean. The setting is very romantic, and diners should arrive before 6 pm to enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset on the horizon! During the day, you can also wander down to the beach and enjoy a drink as the water laps against your feet.
Two 5-star hotel chains sit directly on the seafront, The Royal Cliff and InterContinental. These hotels offer an incredible experience with their amazing on-site restaurants, beach cafes, and sensational views.
One attraction that has been part of the Pratumnak skyline for many years is Pattaya Park Beach resort and Tower. This large complex boasts a hotel, water & amusement park, and a 240-meter tower with a revolving top floor restaurant and viewpoint. From 170 meters up the tower, you can tower jump (zip line) back down into the water park below.
This long stretch of beachfront was known as the quieter part of Pattaya City, and a “getaway” for many who yearned for a more laid-back pace of life! Whilst it still is quieter than Pattaya City, the transport links to the city (via Songtaew/Baht Bus, motorbike, or taxi) still make it a very convenient option should you decide you want to go shopping in Pattaya or to appreciate the upbeat fun and games of the vibrant hotspots of Pattaya City.
In recent years, Jomtien has seen significant developments, with a vast array of condominiums, luxury housing villages, and hotels throughout the area, plus infrastructure upgrades that will allow Jomtien to expand and grow as Pattaya has done.
The Northern end of the beach is by far the busier end, and it is the “oldest” part of the beach. Many of the condominiums are over 20 years old. This Northern part of the beach is much wider than the Southern end. It boasts a palm tree-lined promenade, with specific areas reserved for sponsored sporting events such as beach volleyball, beach soccer, and wind sailing. Many of these draw huge crowds and most of them get televised internationally. The most famous is the Jet Ski World Cup event held every year along the beach.
The Southern end of the beach narrows until it disappears completely, being replaced by waterfront condominiums, hotels, and restaurants.
Along the Jomtien, coastline are many high-rise condominium towers popular with Bangkok residents looking for a holiday property. There is also a large retired ex-pat community appreciating the beachfront lifestyle.
Many of the best-rated restaurants from the Trip Advisor website are nestled in the Jomtien area with Café Des Amis, Bruno’s, Indian By Nature, Laong’s, and Maggs restaurant to name but a few.
To keep you occupied throughout the day there are plenty of fun activities to try. For the thrill-seekers, there is an activity park, not too far from the beach, where there are adrenalin sports such as bungy jumping, an Angry Birds slingshot, Paintball, and Go-Kart racing. A little further back is the cultural Floating Market with its small waterside jetties, Thai food, and souvenir shops. Close by is an Elephant park where you get the chance to stand aside from these amazing animals. Opposite this location is Underwater World which gives you a unique opportunity to see some of the incredible sea life found throughout Thailand. The shark and ray feeding area always draws the largest crowds, and the otter tank is also a very popular event.
When you want to lay back and rejuvenate after all the madness the city has to offer, you can totally unwind at a number of favored saunas & spas in the area. Many offer traditional treatment packages ranging from simple 1 – 2 hour massage to ½ or full-day complete mind and body experiences.
And the evening can be rounded off in one of the best restaurants around, or whiled away in one of the many relaxed bars overlooking the promenade.
Na Jomtien is the stretch of beach that continues on from Jomtien southwards towards Bang Saray. There is a natural break between Jomtien and Na Jomtien due to an inlet that is used as a marina for the houses that front onto the waterway.
You can see from the north to the south of this slowly curving bay, and out across the Gulf of Thailand to Koh Larn and Koh Kram Yai islands.
Access to this area is primarily from the Sukhumvit Road that runs from Bangkok all the way down the coast through Pattaya and further southeast.
The beach is clean and sandy and the water is clear. The first stretch is called White Sand Beach. Here you will find some great direct beachfront restaurants including; The Glass House, Bacco Beach Italian, and “The View” restaurant. The world-famous Café Del Mar of Ibiza fame has also opened a beachfront resort which boasts a huge lagoon pool, sun deck, access onto the beach, and all else that goes with the Balearic house beats that made it famous.
It takes about 15 minutes from Pattaya to the Na Jomtien area. This area will also benefit from the newest Pattaya Motorway extension making it easy to bypass Pattaya on the way to Bangkok if needed. In fact, this area is seeing the complete reverse, in that now the motorway link has been complete, many families are heading out of Bangkok and arriving on this shoreline in less than 2 hours.
Na Jomtien is one of the only places that have the opportunity for direct beachfront properties and businesses. There is a good range of high-rise condominiums here with panoramic views over the Gulf. These include; Water’s Edge, Whale Marina, Golden Sands, Baan Somprasong, and Movenpick Residence to name but a few.
A little further down the beach is Ocean Marina Yacht Club. This is one of the largest marinas in Asia and offers full facilities and services for luxury yachts including mooring and maintenance services. It’s possible to hire boats from here for excursions to the islands for the day or for a few days. Directly on the marina are 2 more high-rise condos; Ocean Marina and Ocean Portifino.
There are many leading international hotels and resorts at Na Jomtien. These include Dor-Shada Hotel, Movenpick Siam Hotel, Ravindra Beach Resort & Spa, and the Ambassador City.
Finally, there is also a small village called Baan Amphur which has a large children’s playground, easy parking, a fresh food market, and several great little Thai beach restaurants.
Located approximately 16km south of central Pattaya, Bang Saray is a small fishing village. The area is developing quickly, mainly due to the completion of the motorway extension that now runs from Bangkok to Rayong. This also connects to U-Tapao International airport, giving easy access by land or air to the area. This will be attractive to more international visitors from all over Asia and to the wealthy (Hi-So) Thai market that loves a holiday getaway.
The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) plays a huge part in Thailand’s continued economic growth. The government allocated 1.5 trillion baht to this area in 2016. International companies have made bases here, including many Japanese vehicle assembly depots.
U-Tapao airport currently serves mainly domestic, cargo, and military business, but with the intended upgrades, hopes to see the flow of through-traffic increase to up to 60 million passengers. It is intended that this airport will become the third busiest airport in Thailand. This will undoubtedly bring more business to the once-sleepy town of Bang Saray, which will, in turn, result in land prices growing.
Bang Saray will continue to be an alternative holiday destination to Pattaya. In many respects with new building works underway this will be a more organized town with better infrastructure and ease of access than Pattaya, which grew wherever someone wanted to build a hotel! Bang Saray will remain a beautiful town suited to people who don’t want the bright lights and banging music of Walking Street.
Bang Saray benefits from a clean 5km beach. There are many bars and restaurants along the Beach Road and on piers reaching out into the Gulf of Thailand. Already there are some beachfront resorts including Sea Sand Sun & Sunset Beach Resort. Luxury villages are also available currently.
Pattaya is less than 30 minutes north with public transport serving well during the day. There are half a dozen golf courses within 15 minutes drive. There are various other attractions easily accessible including 2 water parks, Khao Chee Chan Buddha, Silverlake Vineyard, Wat Yaan Chinese Temples, and even access to the Naval Base just south with beautiful unspoiled beaches.
East Pattaya is a large area, measuring approximately 20 kilometers from top to bottom. It encompasses land and property from Pong in the north down to Huay Yai in the south. It spans from Sukhumvit Road as its western boundary to the 331 highway in the east.
If you’re in Pattaya for a short holiday then you‘ll probably want to be in one of the more central downtown, or beach areas like Pattaya, Jomtien, etc. However, if you’re looking at a longer-term stay like the thousands before you, you may prefer the relatively slower pace of East Pattaya, also nicknamed “the Dark Side”. This has no Star Wars connotations, rather than because it is a newer developed area it received electricity later than Central Pattaya and Jomtien.
East Pattaya is not only a very popular place for ex-pats to live, but many businesses have moved out this way to benefit from lower land prices and to service the population. Many beautiful villages have sprouted up over two decades, and they continue to do so. Why live on top of each other in town when you can appreciate detached housing, private or communal pools, and still have great eateries and all you need nearby! As with anywhere in the world outside of the city center, there is more of a communal feel to this area, where you can become a local at the shops, bars, and restaurants as opposed to just another tourist.
A huge benefit of East Pattaya is the ease of access to motorways that take you north and south, to Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi, and U-Tapao international airports, and on to Koh Samet, or Koh Chang and further afield. Downtown Pattaya’s traffic can be a little maddening for many, whilst from East Pattaya, one can be on the motorways within minutes.
Another massive draw to East Pattaya is that many excellent international schools have been built here including St. Andrews, Rugby and Regents School, and a myriad of others that cater to all budgets and requirements.
With the growth of homes, businesses also spread out of town. For many people, there is no requirement to cross Sukhumvit anymore for anything. There are local supermarkets everywhere, banks, bars and restaurants and of course the odd 7/11….!
And don’t worry about something to do. There are activities for all ages. There are several quality golf clubs and ranges, (Siam Country Club golf course holds the LPGA every February as part of the PGA calendar) fishing lakes, gyms, sports arenas, Bira Motor Racing Track, and even a Wake Park.
The list continues with so many more places of interest. What is very important on a day-to-day basis is that there are some excellent eating and drinking holes including Fisherman’s Rest, Welcome Inn, The Lofts, Ristorante Da Marco, Pepper & Salt, Retox Outback, Livv Restaurant & Nong’s Bistro.
As mentioned before East Pattaya is a large place. It is broken down into many well-known areas including Mabprachan Lake, Khao Noi, Khao Talo, Siam Country club, Nongprue, Nong Palai, Nong Ket Yai, and many more.
In order to fully appreciate where would be the best area for you to make your new home or your holiday retreat, you absolutely need to be speaking to our knowledgeable agents here at Cornerstone Real Estate.
This area is the southern continuation of East Pattaya. It starts roughly where the railway finishes and is bordered by Sukhumvit Road in the west and the 331 in the east.
Like East Pattaya, this area is primarily residential and favored by ex-pats for its easy access to the highways and the soon-to-be extension to the highway directly to Bangkok.
Another boon to this area will be the enlargement of the U-Tapao International airport which will no doubt raise land values and give easy access to many destinations in Thailand and further afield. In anticipation of the airport and motorway extension, there is lots of road widening happening which is also bringing in a lot of business. The knock-on effect of that is more villages being developed in the area.
There is plenty to do in Huay Yai, especially if you like some golf. There are several courses in the immediate vicinity including Pattaya Country, Phoenix Gold, Country Club, and also a new course called Chee Chan Golf Resort. This course is next to the Khao Chee Chan Buddha Mountain, which can be seen from every hole! Close by are several other attractions including the Silverlake Vineyards where you can cycle around the vines sampling the wine or dining in the restaurants. There are also the Wat Yaan Chinese Temples which are well worth a wander around. If you have little ones with you, you may prefer to cool off at the Ramayana Water Park.
Further south there is the famous Nong Nooch Botanical Garden to explore, and just past Bang Saray, there is a military base that grants access to some of the best beaches in the area.
Pattaya is still within reach but Huay Yai is an expanding area with lots of amenities on its doorstep and easy access to airports. New villages are going up all the time, many with private or communal pools, and there is something for every budget.