With its straight beach and few moored boats, Jomtien is a popular place for water sport enthusiasts, with jetskiing, paragliding, wind surfing and more activities available. And there are offbeat sights and activities to enjoy too: the Pattaya Park Tower with revolving restaurant and panoramic views, paintball and the glitzy cultural show Alangkarn.
Jomtien is at its busiest and most built-up where Thap Phraya Road (a winding road linking South Pattaya with Jomtien) greets the northern end of the beach. Budget guesthouses, luxury hotels and condominiums loom above low-rise restaurants, cafés, beer bars and shops, all of which flank the inland side of Beach Road.
Many thin 'sois' (lanes) run off it, the places for eating and entertainment along these catering mostly to guests in nearby hotels. The further south you go, the less hotels, tourists and commerce there is. The southern stretch of beach known as Jomtien-Sattahip Beach and, with its upmarket marina and many beachfront resorts, feels remote but is easily accessible from Sukhumvit Road.
Getting to and from Jomtien is very easy, making it ideal for a day-time excursion: A 'songthaew' (local taxi) costing 20 baht takes only 10-15 minutes from South Pattaya.
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Deck Chair Pursuits
For a paltry sum, deck chairs and large umbrellas can be hired, and their friendly proprietors fix you up with drinks and Thai snacks (salads, seafood, noodles etc). Hawkers with a friendlier, less pushy demeanor than those on Pattaya Beach stroll these sands offering drinks, food, Thai massages, snacks and souvenirs. Bargain if and when necessary.
Lining the road on the opposite side of the beach area is a low-slung parade, with convenience stores and good Thai, international and seafood restaurants. Bored of admiring seaview vistas? Do the beach the grown-up Thai way, and sip glasses of watered down whisky while snacking and sheltering from the sun. Alternatively, hire a bicycle and explore the palm-fringed promenade, or get some friends together for a sunset game on the volleyball court.
If the sea around Pattaya Beach during the day usually resembles rush-hour traffic, then that around Jomtien resembles a huge empty car park. In other words, plenty of room to maneuver. Or slalom, skid, sway, or just plain swim. That's why this long straight 6km stretch of sandy coastline is one of Thailand's most popular for water sport enthusiasts.
With scarcely a commercial boat or fishing trawler to be seen, wind surfing, jetskiing, parasailing, speed boating, water skiing or merely idling in a rubber ring can all be enjoyed without need of fear or 'please-don't-hit-me' flailing. Many operators offer equipment and instruction along the busy northern stretch, including a Water Sports School (on the beach promenade, opposite Soi 6). Several diving shops also offer PADI courses and, if stuck for something to do, pop into the tourist information centre on the promenade opposite Soi 6.