Pattaya is known far beyond the borders of Thailand. During the Vietnam War, there was a barracks for the American army east of Pattaya. When the Americans went out, they went to Pattaya. The soldiers were less interested in the region’s attractions than in the resulting red-light district. The red light district has become a sad landmark for Pattaya. Pattaya, like Thailand as a whole, is trying to shed the image of “the world’s largest brothel”.
Pattaya is located 170km southeast of Bangkok in the north of the Gulf of Thailand.
The best way to get to Pattaya is by flying to Bangkok, and from Bangkok you have the option of taking a bus or train to Pattaya. The train is the cheaper option and you can admire the natural attractions comfortably from the train. However, the train rarely runs.
Pattaya is also reached from Phuket and Koh Samui.
The best time to travel to enjoy Pattaya’s attractions is from November to February.
The rainy season is from June to October.
Pattaya’s attractions not only include the long beach and the
offshore islands, which are ideal for diving. As in all of Thailand, there are also a number of temples in Pattaya,
each of which is an attraction in itself. The two most impressive are Wat Yansangwararam about 17km
from Pattaya and Khao Chinchan (Rock Buddha) about 25km from Pattaya.
Pattaya itself was a small tranquil fishing town until the Vietnam War.
Due to the very young history, you will not find any historical attractions in Pattaya.
The most important attraction in Pattaya is the cabaret Tiffany’s Show, which is well-known throughout Thailand.
More and more posh luxury hotels are emerging in Pattaya, which are aimed at wealthy tourists.
Pattaya is trying to get away from the red light image. At the moment there are still hotels in all classes in Pattaya. A special recommendation, especially for diving, is the Siam Bayview Hotel.
Diving and diving areas in Pattaya / Thailand
In Pattaya there are some diving centers that make diving a very special attraction.
The renowned diving stations, the diving trips from Pattaya to the offshore islands, which are particularly suitable for diving, follow here in alphabetical order:
Aquanauts Scuba Divers
Daves Divers Den
Dive South East Asia
Mermaids Dive Center
Neptun Dive Center
Paradise Scuba Divers Pattaya
PJ Scuba Co. Ltd.
Seafari Dive Center
The above dive centers offer diving trips to Koh Sak West, Koh Krok, Koh Rin,
Kho Samaesan and Koh Chuang. These dive sites are particularly good for scuba diving.
Unfortunately, the visibility in the north of the Gulf of Thailand, with a maximum of 12m, is not a unique
attraction for diving.
Koh Sak West is up to 15m deep. Visibility varies from 3m to 10m due to the changeable current. Turtles are the attraction when visibility is good. Koh Sak West is more suitable for advanced surfers.
Koh Krak is up to 22m deeper than Koh Sak West. Koh Krak is also an advanced dive site.
Visibility is between 3-9m. The current at Koh Krak is changeable.
Koh Krak’s attractions include turtles and clown fish.
Koh Rin is an attraction because of its coral diversity. Visibility ranges from 5m to 12m
which is quite a lot for the dive sites around Pattaya. Koh Rin is up to 15m deep and
only recommended for advanced divers because of the changeable current.
Koh Samaesan is the wreck of a WWII Dutch ship.
Due to the changeable current and the dangers of a wreck that is one of the attractions
, Koh Samaesan is only suitable for diving for experienced divers.
The wreck is up to 26m deep. There is a strong current at the wreck.
Visibility is limited to 3m to 10m. Moraines have settled in the wreck, which are the attractions next to the wreck itself.
At 28m, Koh Chuang is the deepest dive site for scuba diving in the north of the Gulf of Thailand.
Due to the strong current, Koh Chuang is only recommended for experienced divers.
Visibility here is also only 3m to 10m so you have to be lucky to see the barracuda and rays that populate the reef around Koh Chuang.