Just a 2.5-hour drive from Bangkok, Pattaya is one of Thailand’s most easily accessible seaside resorts and—with its long sandy beaches, palm-fringed promenades, and lush tropical gardens—it is deserving of its popularity. While Pattaya’s tourist boom might have afforded it a reputation as a hedonist getaway, behind the strip of go-go bars, massage parlors, and cocktail bars, there are plush resorts and pristine beaches to tempt even the most discerning traveler. The beaches and buzzing nightlife might be the main draw, but it’s worth taking the time to explore Pattaya’s other attractions. The hilltop Wat Khao Phra Bat temple, with its gigantic golden Buddha, affords spectacular views over Pattaya Bay; the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is bursting with vibrant orchids and exotic plants; and Pattaya Floating Market is one of the liveliest in the country. For adventurous types, the Flight of the Gibbon at Khao Kheow Open Zoo should be top of your list, while nearby Jomtien Beach is a hotspot for water sports including windsurfing, parasailing, and scuba diving. Off the coast, there are several possibilities for island day trips, with Koh Si Chang, Koh Samet, and Koh Larn island all just a short boat ride away.