Pattaya is a city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast known for its beaches
Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา, About this sound pronunciation (help·info), RTGS: Phatthaya, Thai pronunciation: [pʰát.tʰā.jāː]) is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-east of Bangkok, within, but not part of, Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chonburi. The Pattaya City (Thai: เมืองพัทยา RTGS: Mueang Phatthaya) is a self-governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Klua and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The city is in the industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi. Pattaya is the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area—the conurbation in Chonburi Province—with a total population roughly 1,000,000.
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Less than two hours’ drive from Bangkok, Pattaya has always been one of the most popular destinations for beach holidays for Bangkok locals and expats. The city is a crowd-pleaser, with a wide range of recreational activities, cultural, sight-seeing and natural attractions. Pattaya is also home to several world-class golf courses and one of Thailand’s biggest Muay Thai training centre; Fairtex.
For more freedom, you may consider renting a car or a motorbike. Renters must have a valid driver’s license and if you rent a motorbike, helmets are mandatory (by law) for both driver and passenger. Car rentals are available from both local and international companies including Budget, Hertz and Avis.
Motorbike taxi is possibly the quickest way to travel around town but may be less safe than other forms of transport. Stations are scattered throughout town, but it is also possible to flag one down from the roadside. Motorbike taxi drivers are identified by a uniform – a coloured vest with a number on the back. Colours vary according to the driver’s station. Trips around inner parts of the town cost around 30 to 40 Baht.
The most common form of transport in Pattaya is a Songthaew. You can wave them down wherever you are and on board, press a buzzer when you reach your destination. They will pick up other passengers along the way. The routes vary, so it is best to ask before boarding. The fare is around 10 Baht for short destination, and for longer journeys such as Jomtien to Naklua cost around 20 Baht. Songtaew can also be chartered for private group, with the fare negotiated beforehand.
A few bus routes service the city of Pattaya, but they are not as regular as Songtaew. The three routes are designated by three colours: green, red and yellow. The bus stops are also coded with colours and numbers, so passengers know where to board and disembark, and all routes start from Big C supermarket. A one-trip fare is around 20 Baht with brochures explaining the routes available from bus drivers and in most hotels and resorts.
Taxi is not a common form of transport in Pattaya. They are available on an on-call basis, often for out of town destinations, and can be arranged through most travel agencies and hotels. The price is usually more expensive than chartering a Songthaew.