General Information of Pattaya

How To Go to Pattaya

By car
Pattaya can be reached in a 2.5-hour drive along Bangna-Trat Highway via Bang Pakong, Chon Buri and Si Racha. However, visitors can avoid Chon Buri by opting for Highway 36, the new Chon Buri - Pattaya - Rayong route or taking the motorway from Rama 9 Road.

By bus
Air-conditioned and regular buses depart from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) and Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) on Kamphaengphet Road daily. Buses (air-con) depart the Eastern Bus Terminal every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from Mochit II (Northern Bus Terminal) from 5.00 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Departure times and fares may be obtained from the Eastern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2391 2504, 0 2391 8097 or the Northern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2936 2852-66.

There are also minibuses that travel directly from Bangkok Airport to Pattaya at 9.00 a.m., 12.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. daily. For more information, contact the Bangkok International Airport, tel. 0 2535 1111.

In addition, most hotels in Bangkok provide bus services to Pattaya. Contact the tour desk at your hotel for details.

By train
The State Railway of Thailand offers a daily train service departing Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station at 06.55 a.m., tel. 0 2621 8701. It takes about 5 hours to reach a station located near the Siam Country Club.

By Air
Bangkok Airways provides daily flights connecting Ko Samui and U-Taphao Airport. (Approximately 30 kilometers south of Pattaya).

Travelling in Pattaya
Pattaya City is divided into four major zones: North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Chomthian. It should be noted that there is a small mountain known as the Hill, located between South Pattaya and Chomthian. For a visual illustration take a look at the Map of Pattaya and Chomthian with the Hill.

Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in Pattaya. However, transportation in the city is facilitated through the use of special cars (song taew), customized pickup trucks with passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as Bahts-Bus, can easily carry 8-10 passengers in the back, plus 1 or 2 passengers in front. They circle around the city and are allowed to stop anywhere. In addition to motorbike-taxis, the Bahts-Buses are the only form of public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private vehicles in most cases belonging to the drivers. There are so many of them that they end up looking for passengers.

This compact city consists of 3 major roads that parallel each other. Right along the beach is Beach Rd., which is a one-way road from the north to south that is a few kilometers long. Second Rd. is a hundred or so meters away and carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although it is partly a two-way road. The last road is Sukhumvit Rd, a continuation of the highway leading to Bangkok. Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the roads. And it's advisable to walk some of the small streets, which are enumerated from north to south, although some have names. Second Rd. continues on to South Pattaya and turns to Chomthian reaching Chomthian beach within 5 minutes, and continues alongside Chomthian beach, which is approximately 20 kilometers long with some secluded escapes.

Chomthian Beach Rd., which is a two-way road, also parallels Sukhumvit Rd and is the only road in the Chomthian area, except for some connecting streets. On the other side of Sukhumvit road are several country clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and relaxing countryside.

Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps, sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity, so many tourists are tempted get behind the wheel. It should be noted that in Thailand drivers drive on the left lane, as in England and Japan.

Activities in Pattaya

Activities
Besides sandy beaches, shopping centres and nighttime entertainments, Pattaya also offers a great number of interesting sports and other activities for visitors, especially those who plan to have a long stay in Pattaya. Here are some of them.

Diving
Pattaya is the nearest and most convenient diving location from Bangkok. Although it may not be interesting enough to most advanced divers, it is a very suitable place for beginners. There are many scuba diving shops in Pattaya that offer PADI or NAUI certificate courses with competitive prices. And the trips are centred around Ko Lan, Ko Sak and Ko Khrok. One-day and half-day excursions to these islands are also available at quite reasonable prices.

For accomplished divers, the outer islands of Ko Man Wichai and Ko Rin which have better visibility are offered. Also worth visiting are the several wrecks off Pattaya's shore, especially the Hardeep and the Bremen. The Hardeep, a 420-metre long ship that sank in 1942, is considered the most interesting dive site in this area.

Windsurfing
Jomtien Beach is the chief centre for windsurfing. Board competitions are organized regularly by the Pattaya Windsurf Club. The best period for windsurfing is from October to June, when the water and wind conditions are very good.

Water skiing
The most popular spots are the northern and southern parts of Pattaya beach and Jomtien beach. Besides, water skiing on fresh water is also available.

Golfing
Pattaya and Chon Buri boast an abundance of Championship class golf courses, some of them are designed by renowned golfers. Golfing holidays in Pattaya have become more and more popular due to the low cost, good quality service and large choices of accommodation.

Horse riding
Located off the Siam Country Club Road at Km. 12, the Horseshoe Point Resort & Country Club offers several kinds of riding for all levels, including dressage, trail riding, jumping, polo and pony club riding for children.
Outdoor Riding Stables Pattaya is located at Km. 11 on Highway 36 in the mountainous area east of Pattaya. It provides excursions on horse back for experienced riders and beginners as well.

Bowling
There are two bowling alleys in Pattaya with international standard. Pattaya Bowl is located on Pattaya 2 Road and PS Bowl is on the third floor of the PS Plaza at the corner of the Central Pattaya Road and Pattaya 2 Road.

Paintball
Paintball ground is located on Thep Prasit Road, about 20 minutes' drive from Pattaya city. A game played in a model battlefield in an enclosed spacious area to create the atmosphere of a real fight. All players are provided with safety dresses and masks to protect them from any bodily harm. Air guns filled with plastic shots driven by the pressure of carbon dioxide inside are used as weapons. A shot will burst into colour water when hitting a victim. The players are divided into two teams, each trying to seize the flag of the other team and bring it back safely to their base before the other. Excitement is what the game never fails to offer.

Go Kart Racing
Situated near Paintball, here is ideal for speed lovers who will be provided with a small racing Go Kart with an incredible speed of almost 100 kilometres per hour. Drivers can show their ability in controlling the speedy car in a full flung on a racing field.

Laser Trek
This place is part of Ripley's in Royal Garden Plaza. Here players are dramatically engaged in a simulated star war. Firing laser guns at the rivals and set targets are the excitement of the game, of which the objective is to make the highest scores counted according to the number of targets hit.

Other sports
Other sports and activities which can be enjoyed in Pattaya include tennis, squash, badminton, bungee jump, shooting, archery, sailing, parasailing, gamefishing, etc.
Interested persons should contact the hotel information desk for details. Besides sports, fitness centres are available in many hotels and health clubs can be found easily in this city.

Other activities
Traditional Thai massage & foot massage
Thai massage is famous for its therapeutic efficacy in relieving muscular pain and stiffness. For foot massage, its benefit is curing backaches and stimulating the circulation of blood throughout the body. If you are tired or stressed, you are recommended to have a try to relieve your tension and pressure. Or you may even learn the beneficial massage techniques at numerous resorts and spas or teaching establishments.

Health spas
Like other major tourist cities in Thailand, Pattaya offers a good opportunity to enjoy a variety of spa treatments. There are many quality spas and hotel spas around the city and most of them also provide beauty treatments.

Learning Thai cooking
Thai food is not only delicious, it is also very healthy as its main ingredients are herbs and spices. You can learn this culinary art at cooking schools or Thai restaurants in any major hotel.

Learning the Thai language and culture
For long-stay travellers who are interested in Thai culture and ways of life, learning Thai language and culture is another inviting activity which will certainly make your stay more amusing and meaningful.

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