Pattaya Travel Guide - Culture
There is lots of culture to see in Pattaya. For tourists there
are Thai Dance shows, Thai art exhibitions, Thai boxing contests
Most of the officially registered Pattaya folk are of Thai-Chinese
ancestory. However, due to the tourist industry many people from
the north-east have come to work in Pattaya (north-east is the
poorest region of Thailand). So, there is as much chance of hearing
spoken Isan dialect (similar to Laotian) as you have Thai, especially
in the bars etc.
Festivals & events
Songkran is the Thai New Year, celebrated primarily by
everyone throwing prodigious quantities of water at anything that
moves. Pattaya officially celebrates Songkran on later dates (April
18-19) than most of the rest of the country (April 13-15) - but
in reality the fun just starts early and keeps on going that much
longer. During this period many hotels and guesthouses have high
occupancy levels, and public transport services (especially buses
to/from Bangkok) are very busy, with more frequent than normal
departures but also with appreciable delays due to the general
mayhem on the roads.
For more on Songkran in general, including the more traditional
religious and spiritual aspects, see Thailand | Holidays
Songkran in Pattaya follows the same overall pattern as seen
elsewhere in Thailand, but is especially vigorous in areas such
as Soi 7 and Soi 8. Expect to get very wet indeed and you're unlikely
to be disappointed - regardless of where you go or what else you
actually plan to do. Although things calm down considerably after
dusk, it's still worth keeping anything that could easily be damaged
(especially cameras, mobile telephones, passports etc) in plastic
As is the case throughout Thailand, Songkran is a particularly
dangerous time on the roads, and especially for motorcyclists
and moto-taxi passengers. It's also a bad time to get caught without
protection for your luggage while travelling in a songthaew, so
if arriving or departing during this period, either plan ahead
(bin-liners are invaluable) or else take a taxi instead.
Note that the banks in Pattaya close for three days on the "national"
Songkran dates (April 13-15) and are open as normal on the Pattaya-specific
dates. Pattaya Immigration Office also closes on the "national"
dates, and for the rest of the period hands back all passports
pre-wrapped in plastic bags, without being asked.
The New Year's Day The International New Year Day has
been adopted. On the first of January, people offer food to monks
at the temple or at a particular site designated by government
offices of private organizations. In Bangkok, the Phramaane ground
and the lawn in front of the district offices are popular places.
Pattaya Festival, usually held in the mid of April has
floral floats, a Miss Pattaya Beauty contest, a traditional aquatic
sports competitions, castles, a fireworks display, fire crackers,
arts and cultural performances, exhibitions and souvenirs for
Chonburi Buffalo Races are held in Chonburi October every
year. This event sees buffalo races and contests pitting buffalo
and man. There also beauty contests.
Ancestral Spirits Ceremony Festival It is held at Sri
Racha District and based on an old custom of the people from Chonburi.
It is held every year between April 19 - 21 on Ko Loy Sri Racha.
Activities include: a parade, traditional folk costume, spirit
ceremonies, demonstrations and lots of local delicacies.
Koh Pra Sai Wan Lai Festival at Bangsaen It is based on
an ancient tradition formerly called the Wan Lai Merit-Making
Ceremony. Villagers from various places gather to make merit for
the Thai New Year (Songkran). Activities include building sand
stupas, water-throwing, games and folk sports.
Boon Klang Ban and Phanatnikhom Basketware Festival It
is a festival that dates back several years ago and usually takes
place during the 3rd to the 6th month of the Thai Lunar Calendar.
The festival’s religious ceremonies are followed by the sharing
of meals and performances of folk games.
Liam’s Gallery exhibits and sells original art works from Thailand
and the rest of South-east Asia. The center is found at Soi 4
Pratamnak Road, Moo 12 Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya. Telephoe
(66) 038-251-808. Or see the center’s website: