If you’ve heard anything at all about the resort of Pattaya in Thailand’s Chonburi Province, then chances are it’s related to its seedy side and involves stories of beer bars, go-go joints and ubiquitous ladies of the night.

While the city is going to considerable lengths to clean up its image as a center for sex tourism, there are still a huge number of venues dedicated to this scene. So if your idea of a good night out is ogling scantily clad oriental lovelies over a beer or three and partaking of pleasures of the flesh, then you’ll find Pattaya something of a dream destination.

Do not, however, make the mistake of thinking that dens of iniquity are Pattaya’s sole attraction or its defining characteristic. The city can be as appealing to families and couples as it is to single, vice-hungry males, especially in light of its seaside location, sandy beaches and picturesque coastal scenery.

A well-developed tourist infrastructure provides a variety of purpose-built attractions, ensuring that there is something of interest for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Folk preferring a holiday experience based more on tradition and culture will find that beyond the bold type, bright colors and glitz of theme parks and evening entertainment venues are Buddhist temples, Thai massage venues and national parks, to name but a few draws.

With its proximity to Bangkok, Pattaya is as much a weekend getaway destination for locals as it is a holiday center for foreigners. Public transport ensures easy passage between the two cities, while the country’s highway system makes light work of getting here by car.

Accommodation options are plentiful, with big names such as Marriott, Amari, Sheraton, Four Seasons and Novotel providing quality hotel rooms and on-site amenities to match. There are also plenty of independent establishments, many catering to those on lower budgets.

Getting There & Away

From Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, visitors can take an air-conditioned bus to North Pattaya Road Bus Station, from where there are songthaew (pick-ups) available to transport passengers the remaining distance to the city center. The alternative from the airport is to take one of the private bus services; these can be more convenient because they include transportation to your hotel. Public buses also run regularly from both Ekamai and Mo Chit bus stations in Bangkok, stopping at the bus station on North Pattaya Road. Taxis from the airport provide a more expensive but altogether quicker and more convenient means of reaching Pattaya but watch out for unscrupulous drivers who tell you their meter isn’t working.

Things to Do

Pattaya Attractions

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

All things weird and wonderful are displayed and exhibited at this popular museum operated by the famous american company.

Underwater World

View myriad fish and marine life specimens in the four different zones featured at this impressive aquarium.

Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm

Home to literally hundreds of crocs plus a variety of other wild beasts. shows involving some of the animals are held throughout the day.

Mini Siam

Some of thailand’s most iconic buildings and structures can be seen in miniature at this popular theme park.

Three Kingdoms Theme Park

View examples of traditional sino-thai architecture and objets d’art at this well-known cultural attraction.