Pattaya in Thailand
Pattaya is a city built for fun on the northeastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It is
situated in Chonburi Province around 150 kilometres south of Bangkok. In the Sixties, Pattaya was hardly known
and certainly not as a beach resort, but the American soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War started using it
for R&R and it began to grow. Pattaya is most famous for its entertainment and its nightlife, yet in fact
it has a lot more than that to offer.
As far as merely sport goes, Pattaya offers horse riding, swimming, diving, wind surfing, golf, tennis and jet
skiing among others. However, unlike most sporting towns or cities, it does not begin to go to sleep as the sun
The bars, restaurants, discos and strip bars begin to open in profusion at about four o'clock. The wide variety
of international bars in Pattaya are of every persuasion to suit every niche market.
There are Welsh bars, American bars, Irish bars, Lady Boy bars, beer bars, Go-Go bars and every other type of
bar you can think of. Similarly with the restaurants, there are specialized restaurants for every
There are bush game restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, American, French, German and fish restaurants. In fact there
are thousands of international restaurants and bars in Pattaya all attempting to be unique.
I am certain that you could remain in Pattaya for months without going to the same bar or eating the same type
of food twice. This is just as well because there are representatives from each country in the world there too. You
will hear English, Russian and every other European and Asian language spoken in Pattaya on a regular basis.
Pattaya receives over one million visitors a year. Most of these visitors are men, and the local government is
attempting to do more to appeal to women and families by relocating the girlie bars back away from the beautiful,
sandy, Pattaya beach.
Despite it being quite large, you can remain in your favourite part of Pattaya yet find nearly everything you
want near-by. However, if you do want to get about, nothing could be easier. Most people, locals, tourists and
ex-pats, just hop on a motorbike taxi or a 'Baht Bus'. These small open-backed pick-ups can be seen going around
the city by quite predictable routes once you understand the design of Pattaya's roads.
The 'fixed fare' is ten Baht for as far as you want to go on the route, even though some drivers will attempt to
get more out of you if you go a long way. Thais pay five Baht. If you do not feel confident enough to forecast
where the bus is going, you could hire on one of the thousands of motorbike taxis.
They are dearer at around forty to sixty Baht, yet they will go anywhere you like. Get a quote before you set
off to avoid disappointment on both sides. If you do not want to rent a car, there are other options.
You could rent a motorcycle or motorbike. A motorcycle costs around 100 Baht a day at the cheapest, but be wary
of the traffic in Pattaya it can become fairly chaotic especially along the main Pattaya Beach Road.Owen Jones,
the writer of this article, writes on several topics, but is now concerned with Songkran - the old Thai New Year. If you would like to know more, please visit our
website at Package Holidays to Thailand.
'Behind the Smile' refers to the fact that Thailand is known the world over as 'The
Land of Smiles'.
by Owen Jones