There is no denying that Pattaya is a party city. In fact, a part of me wonders if there’s really any other purpose for going to Pattaya than to party and to pay Thai girls (and boys) for sex.
That said, it wasn’t a total loss, and I would like to go back to experience some of the less sex-focused areas of the city. In the meantimes, here are some of things that you should know before venturing this way.
The food is amazing.
Of all the places I ate in Thailand, the food in Pattaya was up there toward the top.
The first place I ate was at Ruan Thai. It was a somewhat hidden restaurant hidden back in an alley. I went for a late lunch (around 3pm) so the restaurant was a little empty (as in: I was literally the only one there), but the seafood did not disappoint. The waitress recommended the crab curry, which featured freshly caught crab. I was looking for spicy, and this dish was about the furthest from spicy you could get, but the crab made up for it. If I were to go back, I would definitely target the evening in order to experience the Thai Traditional Dance show, but it’s definitely a stop worth making.
The city hosts a number of street food vendors in addition to the numerous traditional restaurants. This was the way to go, in my opinion. I ended up opting for Pad Thai. The first batch received was, again, not spicy, but I gave it back and requested that it be remade spicy. It did not disappoint. For 80 baht, I had one of the best meals so far.
The beach is mediocre.
If you’re looking for a narrow beach crammed with as many lawn chairs can fit, lined with vendors who will solicit you while you relax, then you’re in the right spot with Pattaya Beach. This is not exactly a relaxing “tourists dream” of a Thai beach.
It is, however, quite pretty once you get past the fact that at least 3 people re within arm’s reach. The boats docked in the bay are an interesting site and, if you can get a front row seat, you can take in the relaxing sound of the waves crashing on the sand.
Get a Thai massage.
There’s a chance that there might be a happy ending happening in the next stall, but close your ears and get past that. The Thai massages here are fantastic. And at 200 baht, they’re cheap! That’s equal to about $6 for a one hour, extremely relaxing experience.
Walk down to the pier.
If you’re looking for ways to spend time, venture down to the Bali Hai pier located at the end of Walking Street near the southernmost point of Pattaya Bay. You can take a look at the extremely colorful fishing boats that line the docks. There’s something so beautiful about their wear and their bright colors.
While you’re there, take a ferry to Koh Larn. In fact, maybe do that first. And spend the day there. This is the type of Thailand beach you’re looking for.