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This Pattaya Travel Blog Guide is written in such a way to help solo travelers and backpackers to navigate through the chaotic world of this unique Thai travel destination.
I arrived Pattaya not from the usual Bangkok Pattaya link but from Cambodia. I was backpacking Cambodia and was on my final destination Kampot. The new year was knocking on the door and since I had ruled out going back to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, I decided it was probably best to hit somewhere in Thailand. And what best than Pattaya! It was close enough, it has beaches, it has a rowdy crowd and it has a well.. how do I put it … a reputation!
After a back breaking journey of more than 6 hours (if memory serves me right) which included four transfers (yes!) across a mini bus, tuk-tuk, a van, and to mark the completion of the journey a moto-taxi.
Luckily, I had my hotel booked for the night, The Siam Guest House ($20 for a double room). The room was large enough for it’s price, was squeaky clean and came equipped with an a/c. What else the hotel was right across the beach only five minutes walk. Both 7/11 and subway were nearby to support my vegetarian lifestyle.
If you are traveling alone and looking for a cheaper but good accommodation, here are few of my hotel and hostel recommendation in Pattaya:
Pattaya Hostels – Places to stay in Pattaya
1. Anna Hostel – booking.com/anna
One of the most affordable place in Pattaya also comes with a very high user rating of 8.9 (from 70+ reviews). If you book early enough you can grab the $5 fan mixed dorm.
2. Chilling Home – booking.com/chilling
Quite true to its name, Chilling Home is quite a chill out place. The hostel also includes a cafe where you can hang out with your old buddies or newly made travel pals. Dorm – $9. Double room – $14
3. Happy Live – booking.com/happy
Another very highly rated (8.6) hostel in Pattaya. Bunk bed starts at $9.
4. Qinglian Youth Hostel – booking.com/youth
Swanky, contemporary and minimalist is how I would descript Qinglian Youth Hostel, if you are in Pattaya for few days do check this one out to get a unique experience. Bunk bed – $7
Pattaya Hotels – Places to stay in Pattaya
1. Kingfisher House and Bar – booking.com/kingfisher
No, this is in no way affiliated to Mallaya and it can be called anything but sexy. Tidy and value for money best describe this guesthouse. Rating: 9+ (though only 17 reviews). Deluxe double room: $22
2. Ben & Lek Gay Friendly Guesthouse – booking.com/ben
Just as the name say, it is a guest house which doesn’t differentiate. Private double room: U.S. $11
Though Pattaya isn’t really the kind of place where you’d like to indulge in ticking of a sightseeing checklist but if you do have a few days to kill check out these top places to see in Pattaya:
1. Sanctuary of Truth
Located on the shores of Wong amat Beach Sanctuary of Truth is a magnificent structure made entirely of teak wood, and a fine addition to the beautiful thai architecture. Interestingly, the building isn’t a temple but more of a philosopical refuge that stresses on the importance of righteous living – with belief in God and kindness to all human beings.
Commissioned by a Thai businessman, the construction of the sanctuary, which towers to a height of 105 m, started in the year 1981. The unique point of the sanctuary of truth is that the construction wood remains untreated and has to be continuously replaced. This is intentional as it is symbolic of the wheel of samsara, the cycle of life and death as per the Sanātana Dharma (Hinduism) philosophy (and hence Buddhism too).
Sanctuary of Truth Entrance Fee: 450 THB adults; 225 THB children.
2. Jomtien Beach
One of the main beaches of Pattaya lined with lots and lots of palm trees to keep you from scorching Sun. If you are into water-sports choose one (or many) of the activities from parasailing, jet-skiing, banana boat rides and windsurfing.
The seemingly endless stretch of the golden sand is your perfect getaway to spend your day leisurely. Try the seafood snacks from the walking food vendors or head to a beach shack or a restaurant on the road. A perfect alternative to the pattaya beach1
3. Nong Nooch Village
Pronounced as nung nut the huge park of Nong Nooch makes for a perfect day trip. The park is spread over 600 acres the park includes several themed gardens, buildings which houses daily events , restaurants and hotels.
Highlights include the bonsai and orchid gardens, and Muay Thai matches. Orchid nurseries houses one of the biggest collection (~700 species!) in the entire country and is a undoubtedly a must see. If you haven’t been to a Thai cultural dance, check out such events in the Thai Cultural Hall
I appeal to fellow travelers to strictly avoids events involving animals including any shows put up with elephants. It is advisable to rent a bicycle rather than tiring yourself by walking around.
Timings: Open everyday 8am-6pm
Admission: 500 THB adults which covers everything!
4. Walking Street Pattaya
Let’s be honest people come to Pattaya for a reason, to enjoy the (in)famous nightlife the city offers. If you really looking go deeper into the rabbit hole or just want to stare the glitters from a distance head to the the walking street of Pattaya. I’ve not been to Vegas but I wonder would be able to match with the openness of Pattaya,
The one km. stretch starting from the beach road to Bali Hai Plaza at the other end is stacked with rows after rows of pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and no hold go-go bars. It is impossible to walk on the streets without getting bombarded with menus and offers of the ‘exclusive’ events.
If you are planning to come by car, take a taxi instead, as you might find impossible to find a parking spot. Alternatively, take a songthaews, they are just everywhere, get on and get off wherever you want.
5. Floating market
If you have missed the floating market in Bangkok then Pattaya floating market makes for a mandatory visit. Interestingly, the floating market in Pattaya consists of four different sections, each belonging to a zone in Thailand.
If shopping for local craft and souvenirs is not your thing, check out the awesome sea food, veggies too can enjoy by relishing the taste of tropical fruits.
Highlights include noodle soups, pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles), kanom jean (rice vermicelli) with different kinds of curries, ka nom krok (coconut pancake), foi thong (golden threads), thong yip (sweet egg yolk) and more. Postcards, Thai handicrafts and some ancient toys made from wood or die-cast metal are widely available within the market, too.
Enjoy the boat ride while you soak in the views of the paddy fields and the slow pace of rural life, also watching old Thai houses is a delight too.
Timings: Everyday from 0800 – 1800
Admission: Free, boat would typically cost about 300-400 THB
If you are in rush, you can also go for a day trip to Pattaya from Bangkok. And if you are backpacking Thailand itinerary permits stay in Pattaya for 3 days at-least.
Pattaya 3 days Itinerary
Whether you are backpacking Pattaya, or on solo trip, or perhaps on a trip with friends and family, here’s an itinerary to spend 3 days in Pattaya:
- Daytime: Sanctuary of Truth, Art in Paradise
- Evening: The beach/ Walking street
- Daytime: Nong Nooch Village
- Evening: The beach/ Walking street
- Daytime: Pattaya Floating market
- Evening: The beach/ Walking street