As beach resort cities go, Pattaya definitely doesn’t have the cleanest reputation. It’s far more famous for its go-go bars and seedy nightlife than it is for its beaches, most of which aren’t anything impressive. But over the last decade, Pattaya’s developers have turned the city into a pretty fun place to spend the weekend away from Bangkok with your friend or loved one.
Yes, loved one. While Pattaya certainly isn’t the most romantic destination on each, it’s a surprisingly good destination for couples seeking to get out of Bangkok for the weekend. There are great restaurants, fun beachside dining opportunities and enough nice hotels (often with beautiful rooftop pools) to help you avoid the hustle and bustle while you work on you suntan.
With that out of the way, let’s get into our three favorite ways to enjoy a weekend in Pattaya:
The Luxury Option
This one is simple, exciting and — thanks to the cheap taxi prices between Bangkok and Pattaya — not even very expensive. Get to Pattaya from Bangkok by private taxi for around 1,500 baht, then check right into your beachside hotel. For luxury, we recommend the Hilton Pattaya; for slightly cheaper luxury, Siam @ Siam Hotel will also do.
Dine in-house at the Hilton or take a taxi down Beach Rd to Mantra for a great meal at one of Pattaya’s best restaurants. Finish up the night with a dip in the pool, a rooftop cocktail and a pleasant view over the Gulf of Thailand
The Mid-Priced Option
Get to Pattaya by bus via Ekkamai Bus Station, then take a baht bus from the bus station to your hotel. Pattaya’s best mid-priced hotels can usually be found on Second Road, where priced are lower and crowds are smaller than Beach Road. For a quieter experience, you can even stay right on Jomtien Beach and enjoy a more relaxed vibe.
Spend your time enjoying the ambiance around Jomtien Beach, walking along the beach, shopping and enjoying Pattaya’s surprisingly good range of mid-range restaurants, such as the famous Patrick’s Belgian Restaurant.
The Cheap, Wild Option
Pattaya doesn’t need to be expensive; in fact, sometimes it’s best when it isn’t. A cheap, fun way to enjoy Pattaya is to travel in by bus and spend your time staying around the Walking Street area, preferably in one of the city’s budget guesthouses. If you’re going more upmarket, you’ll want to check the hotel on a list of guest friendly hotels in Pattaya to make sure you can bring your, err… company, home with you.
As for dining, keep it simple. There’s plenty of great food to be found in the beer bars, often at as little as 50 baht a plate, giving you plenty to enjoy yourself with no matter how small your budget might be.