Like an irrepressible teenager with shiny good looks and attention deficit disorder, party-town Pattaya likes to stay up late and sleep it off on the beach the next day. While hedonistic pursuits definitely top the bill here, there are plenty of other experiences to be had away from the city’s dance clubs, bars and beaches.
Day 1: Pump Up the Volume
Okay, so we said we get away from the dance clubs, but, love it or loathe it (and chances are if you’re in Pattaya you fall into the first category), Pattaya’s nightlife is second only to Bangkok and has to be seen to be believed! When the sun goes down the lights come on and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the whole town is just one big party. The main action, however, is in South Pattaya, where you’ll find the densest concentration of bars, go-go bars, massage parlors, and discos along the famous neon-drenched strip known as Walking Street. There’s plenty of action along Pattaya beach as well. For an eye-opening taste of real glitz and glamor, visit Pattaya’s infamous transvestite cabaret.
Day 2: Get Away From it All
Coral Island is a popular excursion from Pattaya that can be visited in a day. With its pure white sand and translucent water, the island offers a chance to relax on its beaches or go water skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. Small patches of coral remain around the island, which can be viewed through a glass bottom boat.
Day 3: Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Elephants have been revered in Thailand for many centuries as symbols of power and peace and no trip here would be complete without meeting these magnificent animals. There are opportunities to meet and even ride elephants in the jungle just outside of Pattaya, where you can also take a trek through the jungle and float down the river on a raft. Tigers can also be observed at the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, which also houses elephants and crocodiles.