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Pattaya – General Information
Pattaya is located on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand (Eastern Seaboard Thailand), around 145 km south of the capital Bangkok, and with in Chonburi Province.
Distance from the new international Suvarnabhumi airport is aprox 115 km, or 60 to 90 mins drive to Pattaya.
The land area of Pattaya is around 50 square kilometres.
The registered number of citizens is near to 110,000. However, the real number of people living in Pattaya is estimated at around 300,000 to 600,000. Five million+ tourists visit Pattaya every year.
The city of Pattaya is a self governing special municipal area which covers the whole districts of Nongprue and Naklua and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Palai.
Pattaya can be divided into six zones. Below is a summary of each zone.
1. WONG AMAT / NAKULA!
This is the area to the north of Pattaya Nua. it is considered a peaceful, more up-market location and is a relatively new area for condominium development.
2. PATTAYA CENTRAL
This area is considered as the city centre. the section of beach from Central road south to the harbour runs adjacent the core of Pattaya?s abundant nightlife area. many sections of the beach are covered by rented deck chairs run by local beverage vendors during daylight hours. Pattaya Nua and Klang are the areas favored by Asian visitors, especially Chinese and Korean, while the area of South Pattaya is popular among Middle Eastern, South Asian and Russian visitors.
This area covers the main thoroughfare connecting Pattaya and Jomtien Beach. many upscale restaurants have recently sprung up along Thappraya road. this area is very popular with Scandinavian and Russian visitors. Part of Pratumnak contains hills where more exclusive style accommodation can be found.
Jomtien beach is about 1 km south of Pratumnak Hill. the locale is home to many high-rise condominiums, beach front hotels, shops and restaurants. the area at the beginning of Jomtien is considered busy, while the area located at the end of this beach is considered peaceful and tranquil with less traffic passing through.
5. NA JOMTIEN
Na Jomtien beach is south of Jomtien and does not have a beachfront road and is less developed as a result .the main road connection is Sukhumvit road, which is located between 500–1,000 meters from the beach, this area extends to Bang Saray beach in Sattahip district.
6. EAST PATTAYA
On the opposite side of Sukhumvit highway are the villages of Pattaya of which are located some of the most exclusive housing estates with luxury villas ranging from 2.3 Million TB to 60 Million TB, this area is of choice for large families who like the tranquil and quietness of the country but still in close proximity of the city being only 15 mins away from Jomtien beach.
Pattaya’s downtown areas are easy to navigate.
Running north-south, a few hundred metres apart, are Pattaya Beach Road (Thanon Hat Pattaya) which borders the beach (Hat Pattaya), Pattaya Second Road and Pattaya Third Road (with the smaller but busy Soi Buakhao in between), and the main Sukhumvit Road coastal highway. Beach Road is one-way southbound, Second Road one way northbound.
These are connected by the three major east-west roads: North Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Nua), Central Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Klang) and South Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Tai).
Also connecting Beach Road and Second Road are a large number of smaller streets or sois. The main sois are numbered from 1 to 16, from north to south. Sois 1-6 are between North Pattaya Road and Central Pattaya Road, sois 7-13 are between Central Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road (including the Pattayaland sois, immediately north of South Pattaya Road), sois 14-16 are south of South Pattaya Road. Most of these east-west sois are (in theory at least) one-way.
Beach Road, Second Road, and North Pattaya Road (plus Naklua Road to the north) all meet at the Dolphin Roundabout landmark.
Second Road south of South Pattaya Road becomes Phratamnak Road, which shares a junction with both the southern end of Third Road and the northern end of the main road to Jomtien, Thappraya Road.
Walking Street, southern end of Pattaya beach Road and south of South Pattaya Road is closed to vehicles in the evenings (currently 18:00-02:00) this is the main tourist area h for nightlife.
At the southern end of Walking Street is Bali Hai Pier.
Beaches and Islands
Pattaya Beach is situated alongside the city centre, close to shopping, hotels, restaurants and bars. Most sections of the beach are covered by rented deckchairs run by local beverage vendors during daylight hours. The section of beach from Central Road (Pattaya Klang) south to the Pier is adjacent to the core of Pattaya’s abundant nightlife area and is less family-oriented than the North Pattaya, Wong Amat (Naklua) and Jomtien beaches.
Beyond the southern end around Buddha Hill and the headland that divides Pattaya Bay from Jomtien, there are several other smaller beaches. At the northern end of Pattaya beach is Wong Amat Beach, which is reached from the Naklua Road and Soi Wong Amat.
Jomtien Beach is separated from the main part of Pattaya by Phratamnak Hill, just south of the city. Jomtien beach is a popular family and water sport location, a residential area with beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, condominiums and restaurants. Dong Tarn Beach, at the northern end of Jomtien Bay, has a traffic-free promenade.
Wong Amat Beach is located at northern end of Pattaya Beach and separated by Rachvate Cape (accessed from Naklua Road and Soi Wong Amat). This is a quiet relaxing residential area with direct waterfront hotels, condominiums. Further North is the smaller Crescent Moon Beach and Palm Beach, and far North is the main Naklua Beach.
Koh Lan or Coral Island is a small island situated 7.5 km west of Pattaya. It has several beaches with soft white sand and crystal clear water, and is known for its relaxing atmosphere and exotic fish.
The Island can be reached by speedboat and ferry. The ferry departs hourly, and is a 45-minute ride costing just 20 baht each way. Speedboats are more expensive, but can reach the island in less than 15 minutes.
Off Pattaya there are two small island groups, the Near Islands Koh Sak and Koh Krok located close to the northern shores of Pattaya, and Koh Lan, and the Far Islands Koh, Rin, Koh Man, Koh Wichai, Koh Hua Chang, and Koh Badan which are located offshore due west of Pattaya. These islands, especially the Far Islands, are the mainly scuba diving destinations in and around Pattaya.
Pattaya has an abundant supply and choice of hotels, apartments and guest houses to suit every budget, including luxury hotels with private beaches, bay side hotels and bungalows and inland economy class hotels and guesthouses.
You can find a room from 500 Baht (15 USD) per night in a guest house up to 10,000 Baht (300 USD) and even more in a five star hotel.
In Thailand very often the price for a double / twin room is the same or nearly the same as it is for a single room. Check out time is always at noon and often breakfast is included.
From our experience it is always cheaper to book a room on the internet than to book it direct with the hotel. For online bookings you can use companies like Asia Rooms or Direct Rooms or many more.
If you plan to stay during the high season from December to February you should book your room well in advance, as during this time many hotels are already fully booked.
Transportation within Pattaya
The so called “Baht Buses” (Songthaew) are very popular in Pattaya. They provide transportation on the main roads of Pattaya, Naklua and Jomtien. You can stop them wherever you see them. When you have reached your destination you just press one of the bell buttons on the bus and they will stop. Price is normally 10 Baht per person per trip, however you have no influence on the routing, but you can ask this in advance.
You can also private hire a Baht bus. Definitely you should agree on the fare in advance to avoid problems later. The fare should not exceed 250 Baht for a trip from Jomtien Beach to Naklua or 120 Baht from Naklua or Jomtien to Pattaya. If you private hire a Baht bus the number of Passengers does not matter on the fare.
Pattaya now has regular meter Taxis as well (since 2007). Here they have meters, but you will find out, that very often the drivers refuse to use them, so you will need to agree a fare in advance of your trip, however first you should ‘friendly’ try to force them to use the meter, as it’s always cheaper.
Further on at nearly every corner you can find motorbike taxis. You can hire them as well – agree the fare in advance! -, but keep on mind that there a lot of motorbike accidents and so it is always a little bit dangerous. Always insist and wear a helmet.
Pattaya enjoys a year round tropical climate and has 3 seasons:
November – February:Hot and Dry Season, Temperature daytime 24 to 30 Degrees Centigrade (77 to 86 Degrees Fahrenheit). Sunny nearly everyday, normally no rain.
March to May:Hot and Humid Season, Temperature daytime 30 to 40 Degrees Centigrade (86 to 104 Degrees Fahrenheit). Good weather, but sometimes chances of rain showers.
June to October:Hot and Rainy Season, Temperature daytime 27 to 35 Degrees Centigrade (80 to 95 Degrees Fahrenheit). Actually the rainy season in Pattaya is not the same as in the other provinces of Thailand. The heaviest rainfalls here tends to be at the beginning and end of the season with some rainy days in between, but often you have many days with perfect weather and sunshine. – Pattaya and Hua Hin are the cities with most sunshine hours per year in Thailand!
Hospitals and Health Care
Pattaya boasts excellent international standard hospitals, many foreign tourists have inexpensive medical and dental care compared to most western countries. Excellent service, well known in Pattaya is the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital at Sukhumvit Road or the Pattaya International Hospital close to Pattaya Beach Road.
In Pattaya you find a wide range of restaurants, both local and international. A main course starts from a little bit more than 100 Baht in a cheap restaurant up to 600 Baht in a very good restaurant, there are Top Gourmet restaurants as well where a main course is up to 1,500 Baht.
You can easily find fine English, German, Italian, French, Scandinavian, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Indian Restaurants, and of course a many Thai and Sea food restaurants. Western fast food chains include McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks Coffee and Hagen Daz.
Local Thai food, Pattaya has a lot of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables. As there are a lot of people from the north-east (Isarn) living and working in Pattaya, there is an abundance of north-eastern favourites such as Spicy Papaya Salad (Somtum) and Spicy Sour Chopped Pork Salad (Larb).
Some restaurants provide soft live music as well.
Many restaurants, especially in South Pattaya are open 24 hours daily.
Pattaya has many shopping centres including Carrefour, Big C, Tesco Lotus, Mike Shopping Mall, Royal Garden Plaza, The Outlet Mall, the recently opened Avenue Complex and the Central Festival Centre (opened spring 2009) on Pattaya Beach Road. Opening and closing times are normally between 10 or 11 am to around 11 pm daily.
At South Pattaya Road is the “Tuk Com”, a shopping centre on 6 floors only for mobile phones, computers, software and accessories.
Like in many other cities in Thailand you will find “Gold – shops” at nearly every corner.
Also there are many Mini Marts like 7-Eleven which are open 24 hours daily.
The big Thai Markets are in Thepprasit Road and Soi Buakhao.
Spa and Massage
Spas of a very high world-standard can be found at the city’s top resorts,hotels and shopping centres.
There are also has an abundance of massage shops. The most common types of massage include Thai massage, foot massage, oil massage and reflexology massage.
Pattaya is renowned worldwide for its entertainment and nightlife. New clubs and bars are opening all the time. There are hundreds of Pubs, Beer bars, Karaoke bars, Sports Bars, Theme bars, night club and discos including Lucifer, Hammer, The Mixx, X-Zyte, Tony’s and Marine Disco. There is also the famous Hard Rock Cafe Pattaya Beach.
The world famous Walking Street is the Center and main entertainment area of Pattaya’s nightlife, located at the South end of Pattaya Beach road, and is closed for vehicles from 7 pm to 3 am.
Cinemas in Pattaya are in The Avenue Complex – Major Cineplex, Big C Shopping Centre – SF Multiplex, and in the Royal Garden Plaza – SF Multiplex. You can see the newest Hollywood blockbusters (English language) and Thai movies.
Other Entertainments include: Alcazar and Tiffany Cabaret Show, Alankarn Thai Art Culture Theatre and Show.
Pattaya’s Western creative arts are growing daily as the number of expat residents continues to climb. Art galleries are numerous and other arts oriented programs and organizations are starting to thrive including the theatre group entitled the Pattaya Players, a troupe of amateur thespians recently established in January 2008.
Sport and Attractions
It’s hard to know where to start here. There is just about everything you can think of something for everyone, young and old.
Golf there is 20 championship courses all with in 1 hour drive from Pattaya.
Beach and Water sport activities include windsurfing, water ski, Jet Ski, canoeing, fishing, and parasailing.
Scuba Diving, (PADI) Pattaya is one of the oldest centres in SE Asia, popular sites include the Wreck of HTMS Khram and there are many local offshore coral islands to explore. Horse riding, the Horse point is an international class riding and training centre with accommodation. There are horse riding training fields for both in door and outdoor, cross-country jumping and polo, and an inside show arena.
Other sports include, sailing, gymnasiums, snooker, pool, bowling (ten pin and lawn), tennis, badminton, go-carting, paint ball, Muay Thai boxing, bungee jump, shooting, flying club.
Other Attractions include:
Nong Nooch Botanical Tropical Gardens, Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile farm, Siracha Tiger Zoo, Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Pattaya Water Theme Park, Bhira International Motor Racing circuit, Wat Yansangwararam, Three Kingdoms Theme Park, Under Water World Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum, Mini Siam, The Elephant Village, The Sanctuary of Truth, Khao Pattaya View Point & Wat Khao Phra Bat.
Events & Festivals
Pattaya’s Songkran Festival is different to the rest of Thailand, it runs on 18-19 April. Pattaya Carnival/Festival is held annually at Pattaya Pier and it is a colourful event which includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks and water sports competition. Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of M arch. On different stages, there are a bandwagon of several styles of music performed by both Thai and international artists.
Banks, Money and Credit Cardsedit Cards
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. Some branches are open even until 10 pm. They change cash money, traveller cheques and give you cash money on credit cards as well (Passport required)
Most shops and restaurants in Pattaya accept credit cards, but some, especially smaller hotels, gold shops or travel agencies charge you up to 7 % for using a credit card.
In the Center of Pattaya and in Walking Street there are many Currency Exchange offices. Normally they accept cash and traveller cheques, but some of them don’t accept credit cards.
As a foreigner you can open a Bank account with a Thai Bank as well. The account does not cost you anything, but they charge you for an ATM card aprox 200 to 400 Baht per year.
According to Thai Law the amount of cash money you bring into the country is not limited, unless it is in Thai money (Restrictions!). If you bring a lot of cash money into the country you must / should declare it upon arrival.
On leaving the country the amount of cash money you can take out is limited, regardless to the currency. Please inform yourself about the actual limits and restrictions.
Car Rentals / Motorbike Rentals
There are a lot of companies in Pattaya offering car rental services. Prices are from around 800 Baht up to 2,000 Baht per day. Always ask for a contract and make sure, that it is confirmed in the contract, that the car is covered with full class 1 insurance. This full insurance in Thailand is called a “Class 1″ insurance.
With motorbike rentals you should be a little bit careful. Most motorbikes have only the comprehensive insurance. In case of an accident this is very often not enough coverage and you might be fully responsible for the exceeding amount. Often you are responsible as well, if the motorbike is stolen. Insist on a written contract and read it carefully before signing.
For tourists a valid international driving license is accepted by the police. If the police stop you for driving without a driving licence usually it is not that serious, and will cost you few hundred Baht. But in case of an accident without a valid International Driving license or a Thai Driving license an insurance company may hold you fully liable and responsible for any accident and refuse to pay any insurance etc.
Foreigners living in Thailand permanently should apply for a Thai Driving License.
Foreigners from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival which is valid for 30 days.
Foreigners from most countries can apply for a tourist visa in their own country, which is normally valid for 90 days. However on arrival first you get only a stamp for 60 days and after that you have to contact the immigration office for an extension for the full 90 days.
Warning: Do not risk being here on an over stay. If on departure you have an over stay, you will have to pay a penalty for every day of the over stay, except if the total over stay is only one day. But worse than that, if the police obtain you somewhere else than at the airport or the border without a valid visa they may put you into prison and you might have a lot of problems. So always contact the nearest immigration office if you do not want to leave the country in time or if you cannot leave for serious reasons, i.e. health reasons. An extension for 7 days is normally never a problem.
Another option is a so called “Visa Run”, i.e. to Cambodia. You exit the country, even for only for some minutes and on re-entering the country you are granted a 30 day visa. However with this kind of visa you are not allowed to stay more than 90 days in the country within a period of 180 days.
People with an age of 50 years or older can easily apply for a retirement visa. They have to prove, that they have more than 800,000 Baht in a Thai bank account or they have to prove that their monthly income is more than around 70,000 Baht. Foreigners married to a Thai National get a 50 % “discount” on these amounts. The retirement visa allows you to stay in Thailand for one year without leaving the country. After that it can be renewed. However people staying more than 3 months in Thailand have to report at the immigration office every 90 days with a document, which clearly shows their current address.
There are also other types of visa are available. Please contact the embassy or the Immigration office.
N.B. This visa information is only a guide line and the regulations may change.
Also always have a copy of your passport and a copy of the entry stamp / visa with you. A copy normally is accepted, so you can leave your passport in your hotel safe.
N.B. Working in Thailand without a work permit is strictly forbidden for foreigners.
Due to the large number of foreign residents, a large number of expat retirees, Pattaya boast several expat clubs which have regular monthly or weekly meetings.Pattaya has its own masonic lodge, a rotary club, an international school, an English boarding school.
Local Media / Contact
Pattaya has several local foreign language newspapers; most come out weekly. The English newspapers include Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Today, Pattaya People. Additionally, there are French, Norwegian, German, Russian and Japanese publications. There are several local English-language cable television programs with news and video reports from Pattaya. There are also many tourist magazines and nightlife, most of them coming out monthly.
Landline telephones, satellite phones, all mobile phone systems, high-speed internet (ADSL), post offices and parcel services are widely available.
Important Phone Numbers Pattaya
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok :
Airport Call Center: 02-132.1888
Don Mueang Airport, DMK:
Airport Call Center 02-535.1192
Southern Busstation: “Sai Tai Mai” 02-434.5558
Eastern Busstation: “Ekkamai” 02-392.2521
Northern Busstation: “Mo Chit” 02-272.0299
Air Asia: 02-515.9999
Bangkok Airways: 02-265.5555
Nok Air: 02-900.9955 oder 1318
PB Air: 02-261.0220-5
Thai Airways Int.: 02-356.1111
Tourist Police: 1155
or 038-429.371 or 038-425.937
Police Pattaya : 191 or 038-420.802, 038-424.186
Police Banglamung-Naklua: 038-221.800, 038-223.800
Police Jomtien: 038-232.330
Tourism Authority (TAT): 1672
Immigration Pattaya: Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 5: 038-252.750-751
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital 038-427.777
Pattaya International Hospital (P.I.C. : 038-428.374
Pattaya Memorial Hospital : 038-429.422-4
Queen Sirikit Hospital Sattahip : 038-245.926 Pattaya Dom Provides this information as a guide without Guarantees and can not be held responisble for any errors on wrong information.