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Pattaya is nestled along a picturesque bay on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 170 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. From a fishing village in the 1960\'s, Pattaya has emerged as the favorite Southeast Asian vacation center. A fascinating escape where tourists, holiday makers and vacationers from around the world unfold an incomparable array of possibilities to unwind during an exotic holiday beach vacation.
Unlike other beach resorts, where natural surroundings are used as magnets to attract tourists, Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to provide the best of everything. Here, everything means everything a tourist can imagine while on holiday: recreation, entertainment, sports, sightseeing and fun. To put it simply, Pattaya is a paradise for everyone, as it has a variety of attractions suitable for all types of visitors. This is the place where you can fill your day, from dusk to dawn, with endless activities, or you may choose to do nothing at all and relax.
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.
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.
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.
Bangkok Airways provides daily flights connecting Ko Samui and U-Taphao Airport. (Approximately 30 kilometers south of Pattaya).
Siam Bayview Hotel
Start: 3,200 THB .
Welcome Jomtien Beach Hotel
Start: 950 THB .
Natural Park Resort, Pattaya
Start: 1,200 THB .
Pattaya Park Beach Resort
Start: 1,300 THB .
Eravana The Hideaway Pattaya
Start: 5,650 THB .
Aisawan Resort & Spa
Start: 3,900 THB .
Mountain Beach Hotel
Start: 1,100 THB .
Momchailai Pattaya Retreat
Start: 2,100 THB .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.