Pattaya is an enchanting tourist spot, situated in Chonburi Province, along a spectacular bay on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 150 km east of Bangkok, in Thailand. Once a sleepy fishing village, Pattaya has now been transformed into one of the premier beach resorts as well as a sought after vacation spots in South East Asia.
However, Pattaya holds the distinction of not only being a picturesque beach destination but also enjoys a status of a full fledged city. Occupying an area of about 209 square kilometers, Pattaya City possesses a status akin to that of a municipality, and is administered by a special autonomous system.
The prime draw of Pattaya is undoubtedly its long curving sandy beaches. Of the beaches in the area, perhaps the most prominent is Pattaya Neau, which is a tranquil beach that stretches from the Dolphin roundabout near Dusit Resort in North Pattaya up to small hill found in the south.
This beach area is truly a haven for enjoying an array of water sports. Also, a popular beach in the region is the Middle Pattaya, whose areas are packed with boutiques, department stores, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Likewise, tourists are provided with almost all facilities such as umbrellas, beach chairs, and more.
In short, Middle Pattaya is a not to miss attraction for fun lovers. Nearby Middle Pattaya is yet another popular beach, namely, South Pattaya, which is much famed for its intoxicate night life. Scores of bars, restaurants, shops, and discotheques can be seen in this area.
Popular beaches in Pattaya also include Jomtien Beach, just three kilometers away from the Pattaya Beach. Fringed with beautiful palm and coconut trees, Jomtien Beach is a great spot enjoying activities such as windsurfing and swimming. Koh Lan beach, about seven kilometers off the Pattaya shore, and Wong Beach, are the other prominent beaches in the area.
All these beaches together form base for a number of water sports activities including para gliding, para sailing, jet skiing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Additionally, for diving enthusiasts, even PADI and NAUI courses are available, apart from superb facilities for scuba diving.
However, things to do in Pattaya are not just confined to beaches as well as its activities, but far beyond that. For example, for those who are stressed or tired, one of the best options would be to take a traditional Thai massage and foot massage, which is great to cure backache and stimulate blood circulation throughout the body.
Likewise, if you have come to Pattaya for long stay, then take advantage of centers imparting special learning programs in Thai language as well as culture. One can also make use of Thai cooking classes offered by cooking schools and some restaurants within upscale hotels. Nowadays, tourists are increasingly showing interests in mastering the Thai culinary art, since Thai cuisines are not only delicious but also very healthy.
Apart from these, with more than 20 golf courses of international standards, Pattaya is truly a golfers' paradise. Similarly, superb facilities are available for such outdoor activities as tennis, trekking, and horse riding.
Other than outdoor activities, a great variety of indoor activities can also be enjoyed here such as paintball, which is played in an enclosed area; and bowling with two alleys of international standards.
When comes to things to see in attractions, options are really amazing as well as endless. Just few among many of the incredible attractions in the area are Phra Tamnak Hill, a vantage point to enjoy the breathtaking views of Pattaya; Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm, which holds attractions such as a good number of crocodiles, a zoo with an array of wild animals, topiaries, a petrified tree of a million-year-old, and a variety of grotesque rocks.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo, where you can see a number of tigers, pigs, and dogs, living comfortably; Mini Siam and Mini Europe, a miniature with more than 100 models of prominent objects as well as historical sites; Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary, a private sanctuary where one can interact with elephants and can see how they live as well as work.
Suan Nong Nooch, a Thai village like recreational park; and Khao Kheow Open Zoo, which is the largest zoo in Thailand. For ultimate recreation and fun, Pattaya offers attractions including Pattaya Water Park and Underwater World Pattaya. Above all, there is also a great number of interesting museums in the region, such as the Bottle Art Museum.
With these umpteen attractions, it is not a wonder why about five million tourists from across the world flock to this exotic destination year-round.