Thailand is one of the most famous touristic destinations in the world. The whole country is a combination of amazing nature and beaches, majestic Buddhist temples, relaxing spa massages, famous nightlife and of course shopping.
And if you are one of the “lazy” people (like us) who wants to have a relaxing vacation without missing any specialities of the country, then the way for you to go is PATTAYA.
In this blog post I will tell you 14 things that you will encounter in Pattaya. But remember this article is not about the places to see in Pattaya -which will be another article soon- rather it is general information and personal opinions about the things that we saw and found interesting on our trip between 29 November and 5 December 2019.
1 – New Tastes
As in most of the Asian countries, you are going to find some new food to experience. Especially street foods will open new horizons for you. But if you are not open to new tastes, you are going to have hard times to find some food to eat. In that case we would recommend you “Any-time Cafe” at the end of Walking Street which has a wide variety of food that will appeal to your taste buds.
Also they consume a lot of pork meat. You will find it way more than any other meat you can think of.
2- Currency Exchange Rates
There are so many locations that you can exchange currency. One thing for sure you are not going to have hard times getting THB (Thai Baht) but the important thing is exchange rates vary drastically depending on the place. This is the list from worst to best:
iii. Shopping Malls
iv. Exchange Offices
The best way is to check around a few exchange offices while walking on the street and to choose the best rate among them. Also remember that even though they do not ask your passport, 1 exchange office wanted to see ours. It is always a good practice to keep your passport with you.
And also keep in mind that currency exchange rates varies depending on the money that you will exchange. You will get the highest rate for $100 and $50 single bills. If you want to exchange less than $50 or your money consists of small bills like $20, $10 etc… the rate lowers. (At the time of our visit it was 30.18THB and 29.90THB respectively)
3- Massage Parlours
I guess the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about Thailand is of course the famous Thai Massage. In Pattaya, literally in every street you can find a massage parlour with girls sitting outside of the store and waiting for customers.
If you want to enjoy sunset in a cozy environment and see the long and wide Pattaya Beach fade away slowly while sipping your drink, Horizon Restaurant at the Hilton Rooftop is the place for you to go. Don’t forget to stop by during happy hour to get 1 additional drink 😉
Pattaya is full of long and wide sand beaches. Jomtien Beach and Pattaya Beach are the biggest ones that are located in the city center. They are perfect to take long walks.
Island beaches are better but considerably shorter and narrower. We also visited Tawaen Beach in Kohlarn island. If you are into beach activities, we would recommend you to see it.
One thing that we didn’t like it a lot was the see. Maybe it was due to the season we went (end of November, beginning of December) but it was rough and wavy, and we were not able to swim. That doesn’t mean that you will not enjoy it of course, the beaches were still full of people swimming and doing water activities.
6- Shopping Malls
There are 2 big shopping malls in Pattaya: Central Festival and Terminal 21. They are clean, new and have big food courts. It’s good to have some options to eat if you are a little bit picky eater like me.
When it comes to shopping, you should definitely see the Outlet Mall too. As the name says, you can find discounted products in that half open-air mall. Actually we had high expectations to find really good deals but we were a little bit disappointed. Some of the products are relatively cheaper but not as quite as expected. In addition you cannot find all the models.
I’m not sure if you can call it a shopping mall but Night Market is one of the places that you should visit in Pattaya. It is only open on week-ends starting from 17:00 o’clock. They sell all kinds of stuff: clothes, souvenirs, food, drinks, fruits, mobile phone cases etc…
7- Tuk-tuks and Motorcycles
Tuk-tuks are open air vehicles that is widely used in Pattaya. We didn’t fully understand how it works and how they decide their itinerary but it is ideal if you want to go short distances and experience that signature vehicle. Don’t forget that it might become so crowded from time to time.
Motorcycle is the most used vehicle in Pattaya. This is also the main reason why crossing a road is such a hassle. They come from every direction but car drivers seem pretty used to it. You will even see some designated parking areas only for motorcycles.
Starting from the moment we landed to Bangkok, we mostly used cabs for our transportation in Thailand. All the cabs that we took during our trip were spacious and comfortable but you will be shocked to see the number of drivers not wearing seat belts and changing lanes without signals. Considering vehicles come from every direction, it looks pretty dangerous.
Trips within Pattaya starts from 200THB. Even though on top of the cabs say “Taxi Meter”, none of them uses taximeter. So it is always better to bargain before getting into the cab. We managed to go our destinations on average %20-25 cheaper than the initial price. If a driver insists not to reduce the price, do not hesitate to ask to another cab. And don’t forget you pay when you reach your destination.
You can also arrange cabs for several hours to do a city tour and see the touristic places. For example we agreed with a cab for 8 hour city tour to 1500THB.
9- Crossing The Road and Traffic
Crossing the roads -especially the big ones- is really a hassle in Pattaya. There are not so many traffic lights and do not expect to find a crosswalk. Also keep in mind that traffic is left-handed and don’t forget the motorcycles coming from every direction too…
City center is always crowded and in the evenings you will be stuck in traffic jam. It is quite unusual not to hear any honking considering the traffic turns into a total chaos sometimes.
10- Sanctuary of Truth
One of the must-see locations in Pattaya. The interesting thing is visitors have to wear hard hats to enter inside the temple. Construction/renovation continues since 1981.
11- Language Barrier
You won’t be able to communicate in English easily on the streets or in the shops and restaurants. Most of the locals only know a few sentences related to what they are doing but if you ask a question just a little bit out of the box they cannot answer. When asked, some salespersons were even showing the price of the product writing to a calculator.
12- Giant Residential Buildings
After massage parlours, 7-Eleven is the second shop that you will see the most. It is very convenient to buy your daily needs.
14- Overhead cables
One of the things that you will see a lot along the roads is overhead cables. Maybe lack of underground infrastructure or fast growing demand but they are there.