First Time in Pattaya: Where Should I Stay?
Where should I book my hotel in Pattaya?
When you are planning your first trip to Pattaya, it is quite easy to pick a hotel in the wrong area for you. Without knowing the lay of the land, you could end up in a part of the region which is meant for a different type of holidaymaker to you. It may not be a really huge city on the scale of Bangkok, but the small areas which make up Pattaya are such polar opposites that ending up in the wrong one could effectively ruin your trip.
To help you make sense of the stark differences between one end of town and the other, we have prepared this simple guide to the region’s main areas. From the brief summaries of each, you can pick the place which best suits your idea of a perfect holiday and then access the extensive and highly detailed information on the hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and attractions available there.
- Jungle Trekking & Elephant Ride Half-Day Tour
- Pattaya Essential Village Full-Day Tour with Lunch
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum
- Nong Nooch Botanical Garden & Bang Saray Beach
- Elephant Trekking Half-Day Tour
- 2-Day Bangkok to Pattaya Cycling Adventure
- Alcazar Cabaret Show with Transfers
- Nong Nooch Tropical Garden Half-Day Tour
Pattaya Beach: How to decide...
Pattaya has a worldwide reputation… some of which it even deserves. The first thing that springs to mind for most visitors to Pattaya is its renowned nightlife – Walking Street – which is as lively a party destination as you are likely to find in Thailand. For sheer density of clubs and bars across such a large area, there are few comparisons. However, this only really applies to the southern end of the city, with North Pattaya being relatively family-friendly. The accommodation options follow a similar split, with more budget guesthouse towards the south and five-star hotels in the north (though there are exceptions).The city has an impressive selection of great restaurants and plenty of unique attractions to visit during the day. Pattaya Beach itself is not a great spot for sunbathing or swimming, but Cosy Beach – near Pattaya Hill – is one of the best in the area and Koh Larn’s stunning shore is a short ferry ride away.
Who is it For:
- Anyone who loves to party
- Anyone who likes a busy and bustling city setting
- Anyone who want everything in one place
- A fun, lively and extremely varied nightlife
- A wide range of accommodation options
- Very easy to get around
- Shopping options are varied and convenient
What's Not So Good:
- The main beach is dirty and overcrowded, but smaller nearby beaches are much nicer
- Some parts of the city’s nightlife are notorious for their adult themes
Jomtien Beach: How to decide...
Jomtien is a lot more relaxed than Pattaya. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, this large town and the surrounding area have a lot to offer, including a greater variety of attractions, several of the region’s finest restaurants, and some quirky shopping malls. Jomtien is family-friendly, with its tamer nightlife, long beach, quieter roads and fun waterparks. Some of the northern parts of the area are also known for welcoming gay visitors. A much more Thai destination than Pattaya, some of the points of interest include cultural attractions, like Buddha Mountain, the Floating Market and a range of museums and temples. Accommodation is generally at the cheaper end of the spectrum, with three- or four-star resorts along Beach Road, budget guesthouses inland and grander options further south.
Who is it For:
- Families and couples
- Budget-conscious holidaymakers
- People who enjoy fine dining
- A long and pleasant beach, with plenty of activities
- Good shopping, with a lot of variety and unique quirks
- Several points of cultural interest and some fun attractions
Some of the best restaurants in the region
What's not so good:
- Jomtien covers a wide area and getting between the points of interest can be a long trip
- With the exception of Beach Road, public transport around Jomtien can be difficult to find
- Quiet after dark
Naklua & Wong Amat: How to decide...
Wong Amat has probably the nicest beach in the Pattaya region, combining a clean and calm sea, soft sand and great facilities, including beach restaurants and beachside resorts. Most of the accommodation in this area is in the five-star bracket, though cheaper options are available away from the coast, in Naklua. Further to the north, the area becomes more and more traditional, transforming into narrow streets lined with old wooden shop-houses. You will also find the most iconic attraction in Pattaya here – the Sanctuary of Truth.
Who is it For:
- Beach lovers
- Luxury travellers
- A traditional Thai village community look and feel (in parts)
- A good selection of beachside luxury resorts
- Wong Amat Beach is pretty exclusive and is one of the best in the region
- Good beach dining options
What's not so good:
- Very quiet after dark
- A limited number of interesting attractions
- Next to no nearby shopping opportunities