Teeming with entertainment, beaches, and islands, alluring Pattaya draws international travelers year-round. With its close proximity to Bangkok, the resort city on the Gulf of Thailand is a lively, yet less-crowded, alternative to the capital. Here are some ideas for a 3-day stay.
Day 1: City streets and sandy beaches
Start the day with a visit to the tailor. Select material for a suit, and you’ll have one custom-made within 24 hours. Then, head to the Pattaya Floating Market with a guide. The canal network is fronted by Thai-style structures and waterfront shops, and your guide will help you bargain for the best prices.
Following a lunch of Pattaya street food, it’s time to hit the beach. To be where the action is, hang out at the city’s namesake beach, where Jet Ski and parasailing adventures await. Alternatively, a speedboat can whisk you away for the day to a popular offshore destination such as Coral Island (Koh Larn), with its palm-fringed sands and tropical fish.
Day 2: A walk on the wild side
From ziplining to sea walking, you can go from flying sky-high to descending many feet underwater in just a day. Soar and rappel between platforms through the rain forest canopy. Or, stroll the seafloor with a guide while breathing through a specialized helmet. At lunchtime, order the catch of the day, or try your hand at sea fishing just off the coast and feast on your own fresh-caught meal.
Later, slip away to Frost Magical Ice of Siam, Cartoon Network Amazone, or Ramayana Water Park for some novel fun. Just be sure to save some energy for a night out. You’ll find the densest concentration of bars and clubs on famous Walking Street and along Pattaya Beach.
Day 3: Island paradise
By now, you may be ready for some serious downtime—so take an easy day trip to Paradise Island (Koh Samet), off the coast of Rayong. Should you tire of simply sunbathing, you’ll find an array of activities, such as windsurfing, sailing, and snorkeling. And if you feel like staying longer in the vehicle-free national park, check out the beach bungalows for overnight accommodation. Alternatively, island-hop with a guide to Duck Island (Koh Ped) and Monkey Island (Koh Ling)—many tours include hotel transport, lunch, and snorkeling gear.