Pattaya, Thailand is one of those places that hits your senses from all angles. The nightlife, the beaches, the local food stalls, if you aren’t well prepared it can be a confusing place. But don’t worry, we have got your back. Here, is our list of 20 best things to do in Pattaya Thailand.
Soak in the wood carvings of Sanctuary of Truth, Pattaya, Thailand
In a way, the Sanctuary of Truth is a microcosm of Pattaya Thailand. When you first look at it, your senses are overwhelmed by the myriad of details and intricacies that demand your full attention. However, when the dust settles, you are left with this awe inspiring and unique work of architecture that is deeply connected to the roots of the nation. Visitors coming from Europe would be forgiven to think that this shrine/museum is some masterpiece in Gothic architecture like the ones from Barcelona. However, this ornate shrine was the brain child of late Thai businessman Lek Viriyaphan and is modeled on architecture from the Ayutthaya Kingdom which is regarded as the precursor of modern Thailand.
The astonishing fact about this 105 meter shrine is that its construction uses no nails, screws or glue, a technique that has been practiced for centuries in Japan and China. This shrine in Pattaya Thailand is full of iconography from the Hindu as well as Buddhist religions in the form of wooden carvings. The four-faced wooden carving of Brahma, the sculptures on various faces representing values of compassion, tradition and the central sculpture of a spirit riding a horse adorn the shrine. Tours are held every 30 minutes in various languages along with traditional Thai dances twice a day.
Beach hop at Ko Lan, Pattaya, Thailand
Ko Lan also called as Koh Larn is an island located 7.5km off the shore from South Pattaya and can only be reached by boat. Ferries leave from early morning to early evening from Bali Hai Pier and the voyage takes barely 40 minutes. This small island often becomes a sanctuary for travelers who are looking to chill, relax from the high octane, vibrant life of Pattaya, Thailand and indulge in water sports. There are five beaches here including the bustling Tawaen, Tonglang, Samae beaches with their turquoise water and powdery white sand reminding visitors of the Caribbean. However for people looking for more privacy Tayai beach, Nual beach and the deceptively hidden Tien beach are good alternatives. Viewpoints, a newly made temple near the Naban Pier and water sport activities like snorkeling, swimming, para sailing make this island a must visit in Pattaya, Thailand.
Hit the off-road biking trail with Xtreme Enduro Pattaya, Thailand
Hands down, this is one of the best things anybody could do in Pattaya, Thailand. And if you are a petrol head (or even if you aren’t one) with a knack for off-road traveling, this is going to be the best decision of your life. Pick up bikes that are modified to your riding experience from light Kawasaki KLX 150 to reliable old Honda CRF 250L to moody, powerful and fun KTMs and Husky 300 and set off on trails. Whether you are here for a day or weekend or longer, Xtreme Enduro tailor trails for you taking you out from the tourist spots of Pattaya to central volcanic regions of Thailand via the coastal and forest ways. You will be closely looked after and guided by the team from Xtreme Enduro who not just know the trails but also have the permits to pass through certain areas that you might otherwise not be able to. This is one of the best ways to see not just Pattaya but also the entire nation.
Visit Wat Phra Yai Pattaya, Thailand
Between Pattaya and Jomtien, a short scooter ride from South Pattaya, lies the Wat or Temple of Phra Buddha Sukothai Walai Chonlathan simply known as The Big Buddha Temple. Not to be confused with the Big Buddha Temple in Ko Samui, this temple is a must stop for anyone visiting Pattaya, Thailand. Religiously significant for the local people, this clean temple can be a source of calm and peace in an otherwise hyper-energetic city. Visitors will be greeted by the flight of stairs lined with a golden dragon on each side, the mouth opening into seven snakes. The 18 meter tall Buddha statue sits atop a hill along with other smaller statues and backless dresses and shorts are forbidden for visitors. The temple also has a great view over Jomtien.
See the stunning view from Phra Tamnak Mountain Viewpoint, Pattaya, Thailand
A neighboring landmark to the Big Buddha Temple in the above mentioned Big Buddha Temple, the Khao Phra Tamnak is a hill whose two elevations have two temples, one of them being the Big Buddha Temple mentioned above. The Khao Phra Bat temple is a smaller pilgrimage spot for locals however the hill also contains a statue of the much beloved Admiral Krom Luang, the founder of Royal Thai Navy. There are some local food stalls where you can relax and the Phra Tamnak Mountain Viewpoint has perhaps the best view of the coast of Pattaya.
Witness the Chinese artifacts at Viharn Sien, Pattaya, Thailand
Also known as Anek Kusala Sala, the word “Viharn” is used all across South East Asia with slight variations and more or less means “shrine”. The Viharn Sien is a shrine which has now been turned into a museum and houses one of the most important collections of Chinese artifacts outside China. It is also one of the most popular stops for tourists visiting Pattaya, Thailand as it lies merely 16 kms south of core Pattaya. Built in 1987 by Sa-nga Kulkobkait, a Thai national residing in China, this shrine is of high importance to the Thai-China relationships. Housing more than 300 pieces of Chinese artifacts that were given to the Chakri Dynasty of Thailand the museum’s architecture itself as well as the statues of Pangu, Guan Yin adorn the 1st floor of the museum. The second floor has Shaolin monks in different martial arts poses as well as statues of normal people in their daily lives making this place into a great mixture of religion and local demographics.
Drink, eat and party at Walking Street, Pattaya, Thailand
Think of all the great and also the worst of Las Vegas condensed into one street, that is Walking Street in Pattaya, Thailand. This 700 meter stretch of street between Pattaya Beach Road and Bali Hai Pier comes alive at night with loads of tourists, locals, music bands performing popular songs, restaurants and stalls selling food. Definitely not a family-friendly place, with its reputation as “red light area” , there has been a major pushback from the government in the recent years to clean this area near the beach of illegal sex trade. However, the Walking Street remains a must visit for its vibrant, colorful nightlife in Pattaya, Thailand.
Take a breather at Jomtien Beach, Pattaya, Thailand
Technically, Jomtien beach doesn’t fall in Pattaya, however it is just 4 km south of Pattaya and falls under Chonburi Province. Jomtien beach is the perfect get away from central Pattaya, just hop on a scooter and in no time you will be along one of the most famous (and also packed) beaches in Pattaya. The water is surprisingly clean for such a frequented place by locals and tourists alike while jet skiing (the Jet Ski World Championships is held here) para-sailing, scuba diving and other water adventure sports also take center stage here.
Taste the local cuisine at flee markets in Pattaya, Thailand
Tourist destinations, religious landmarks and water sports aside, the best way to know the place is through its markets. Pattaya has no shortage of local markets that are full of local produce, food stalls, clothing items, souvenirs and if you are street smart enough you could bag yourself a very close copy of many high end fashion apparels and shoes. Visit Lanpho NakLuea Market for fresh sea food at an affordable price, Marina Market for fashion shopping, souvenirs and handicraft shops, and Jomtien Beach Market for a lovely stroll along the beach.
Visit the Underwater World Aquarium Pattaya, Thailand
Barely 2.2 km away from South Pattaya Road, just few meters away of Makro, is Pattaya’s largest aquarium. One of the best places to visit in Patttaya, Thailand for families with children this establishment features five zones that include a touch pool and fish-feeding pool where visitors can be physically near the sea life and also learn about marine conservation. While the tickets maybe slightly high, the highlight of the aquarium is a 100 meter walkway tunnel that is enclosed by water which contains an impressive diversity of sea animals like sting rays, sharks, etc.
Enjoy with your kids at Ramayana Water Park, Pattaya, Thailand
Located a bit away from central Pattaya, 15 km south of the core tourist area, Ramayana Water Park sits as one of the largest water theme parks in all of Asia. This 45 acres theme park was designed by ATECH International Thailand, the same company that designed the Disneyland in Hong Kong and is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit for families with kids in Pattaya, Thailand. Don’t let the branding of “water park” fool you into believing it is only for kids as the park has two separate kids zones while other sections gear towards adults. Visit one of the 21 water slides many of which are completely unique such as the Aquacoaster, Master blaster and Aqualoop. The 600-meter-long lazy river ride is basically a tour of caves, sculptures and other themed places but on the water while Mat Racers and Boomerango provide shots of adrenaline due to the rush of falling down. Along with spaces for beach volleyball, causal walk, restaurants serving food from various countries, a healthy presence of life guards and first responders also helps to make this a completely fun-filled day out.
One for the gram at Art in Paradise, Pattaya, Thailand
In a city that caters a lot for adults and string-free entertainment, Art in Paradise is a great place for a family-friendly and an over all unique experience in Pattaya, Thailand. This 3D art museum is the biggest of it’s kind anywhere in the world and was the brainchild of South Korean artist Shin Jae Yeoul who runs the place with 11 other artists. Visit the 5,800 sq. meters establishment with 10 different zones which will surely leave you with enough Instagram clicks to last a month.
Shop and eat at Floating market Pattaya, Thailand
The locals call it the Four Regions Floating Market as the whole market is split into four separate regions, each exhibiting and selling products from the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern regions of Thailand. One of many floating markets all over Thailand, this one spread across 25 acres of area differes from the others in a sense that it is more geared towards tourists with ample parking and is easily accessible. In the 345 shops, you can try local food, shop for souvenirs, sea food, local produce, and if you don’t want to shop you can just enjoy the hughly entertaining sea boxing, try the zipline or watch traditional Thai dances that are presented in regular intervals.
See Thailand’s best gardens at Noong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Located deeper inland from the coastal region of Pattaya the Noong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is an idyllic attraction that sits near the 163 km marker on Sukhumvit road in Najomtiem. The 2 sq. km area (500 acres) is divided into 9 different sections visitors can stroll around gardens that have been inspired by the floral gardens all around the world like the French Garden, European Garden, and Stonehenge Garden. Also home to cycads scientific research center, the Valley of Flowers inside the garden is a stunning display of flowers and hedges that are well maintained around a traditional Thai palace giving it a surreal feel.
Go high-end shopping in Dolphin Circle and Terminal 21 Shopping Mall, Pattaya, Thailand
Take a scooter and ride around to Dolphin Circle, a perfect place to sit around with a coffee in hand and people-watch. Nearby is one of the largest and most exclusive malls in Pattaya, Thailand: Terminal 21. You will be greeted by a runway-like entrance with two model planes at the entrance of the mall. Inside, a mock model of the Eiffel tower and shops of several high-end fashion brands are sure to keep visitors entertained as well as satiate their shopping needs.
Be confused, shocked and scared at Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Pattaya, Thailand
On Beach Road right next to Avani Pattaya Resort is the quirky-looking building in Royal Garden Plaza. There is what seems to be a red biplane stuck on the top of the mall building with a large “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” sign. This “Odditorium” contains a collection of around 350 unique oddities that can at times be borderline weird and shocking. The horror section of the establishment is shockingly life like and is one of the quirkiest places you can visit in Pattaya, Thailand.
Take a photo with the Tigers at Tiger Park Pattaya, Thailand
If you ever wondered how it would feel to stand next to a fully grown tiger, well, you don’t need to wonder any longer. Tiger Park Pattaya, Thailand gives you the opportunity to be next to unchained tigers of all ages, including big 19 to 36 months old ones. Just make sure to follow the instructions provided and not provoke the tigers clicking photos with your flash on.
The leap of faith at Xbungy Bungy Pattaya Thailand
One stop for the adrenaline junkies looking for some thrill in Pattaya Thailand. Sanook Park on Threppasit Road offers a lot of entertainment for a day out in the sun like boating, airsoft, and other activities. However, the central attraction is the floating bungy jumping platform that dangles 200 feet above a small pond that happens to be Thailand’s tallest bungy jumping platform. Pick-up services are provided, and you will have to sign an insurance waiver upfront however, once you are done, you can watch your jump video on the TV, and enjoy food and drinks at the bar while your jump CD is being made.
See the world at Mini Siam and Mini Europe, Pattaya, Thailand
Everything is miniature in this spread-out and well-planned miniature park in Pattaya, Thailand. You have two sections, one dedicated to famous and important landmarks in Thailand and then across the small man-made river is Mini Europe and other landmarks from other continents too. Along with expected landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Tower Bridge in London, Statue of Liberty, and Christ the Redeemer from Rio there are some surprisingly accurate landmarks like Abusimbel from Egypt too! The great thing is all these landmarks are set in their natural surrounding and feel right at home.
Witness elegance at Alcazar Cabaret Show , Pattaya, Thailand
One of the long-standing traditions and tourist attractions in Pattaya Thailand, Alcazar Cabaret Show started in 1981 with one-third the staff as compared to the number of seats in the theatre. Today, it is one of the best transvestite cabaret shows in the whole world with tickets for 4 daily shows selling really quickly. Book your tickets on advance and enjoy the 70-minute shows with elegant dances from traditional and authentic Thai dances to Chinese, Indian, Persian as well as Russian dances on a modern glitzy production that screams high budget.