Pattaya Beach Overview
A breakdown of Pattaya Beach
In terms of activity, the northern end is typically more sedate, while the central and southern parts are a little funkier and livelier, day or night. The southern part, the hub of Pattaya's nightlife, is the densely packed epicentre of all things brash, noisy and risque. Beach Road is lined with sand and sea to one side, and bars, restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops to the other. Inland, parallel Second Road is full of noodle bars, crowded beer bars, souvenir shops, hotels and guest houses.
Over the past few years this area has undergone a major clean-up, with the water here now the clearest it's been in years. From here boats take visitors to offshore islands or on fishing or diving excursions, and a host of watersports are offered. The beautification process has been just as zealous onshore. While still the stage for a lot of wild nightlife, improving infrastructure, great transport facilities and a crackdown on crime have done wonders for the citys atmosphere.
A Wealth of Watersports
A daytime stroll along the charming palm-lined promenade that borders the golden sandy beach to one side and Beach Road to the other, reveals abundant activity. As children build sandcastles at the feet of tiny waves, and locals enjoy shelter, snacks and socialising beneath umbrellas, thrill-seekers offshore partake in a host of available watersports. If you want to do the same, approach one of the many operators scattered along the beach (if they dont find you first!).
For a flat but fair fee, you can board a slippery banana boat, try your hand at wind surfing or jet skiing, or join the paragliders swaying gently in the blue horizon – the choice is yours! Diving expeditions and tours to one of several offshore coral islands in the area often depart from here.
Deck Chairs and Beach vendors
Those feeling inactive need not fear. As easily as you can skid in jet skis across the water here, those looking to relax can hire a rubber ring and drift off, or enjoy the shade, comfort and views afforded by a deck chair and umbrella. The latter are ubiquitous all along the shore line. Hungry or feel like shopping? Unwilling to leave behind your seat? Never fear, as an endless procession of tenacious but amiable vendors march up and down Pattaya beach all day long, their sole aim to deliver all you desire.
From the exotic to the mundane, this human conveyor belt ferries everything from ice creams, cold drinks and newspapers to jewelry, freshly roasted nuts and deep fried crabs. Should you want to pass, shaking your head normally does the trick. Failing that, buy some sunglasses and pretend you're asleep.
Thai Massage and Beyond
A firm but ultimately satisfying Thai massage is also yours for the taking while on the beach. Get your feet and neck clicked, or that annoying back pain kneaded out while admiring the silhouette of far-off coral islands. For a fairly measly sum, your chosen masseuse will tend to you under your umbrella or nearby palm trees.
Alternatively, taking a walk along the winding palm-fringed promenade is a pleasant pursuit anytime of day, but best done at sunset. If you get bored of the feel of glorious warm sand between your toes (and are a sucker for scorching tarmac) cross over to the pavement lined with endless hotels, shops, markets, beer bars and restaurants. Many of the bars here serve chilled beers at bargain prices well before midday, and are great spots to watch the many kinds of people who patronize Pattaya. A walk up any of the sois adjoining Beach Road leads you to Second Road, away from pursuits involving sun, sand and sea.