Pattaya, located on the eastern Gulf of Thailand, is a city known for its vibrant nightlife, bustling beaches, and array of entertainment options. For those pondering things to do in Pattaya, soaking up the sun at Pattaya Beach, the city’s main beach, and exploring Walking Street, a lively stretch filled with bars, clubs, and restaurants, are top activities.
The city’s Sanctuary of Truth, a stunning all-wooden structure adorned with intricate carvings, offers a unique architectural experience and insight into Eastern philosophy. Nearby, the Pattaya Viewpoint on Pratumnak Hill provides panoramic views of the city and coastline, making it a popular spot for photos.
Beyond its urban and beach attractions, Pattaya also offers a range of family-friendly activities, including the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark and the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. For those seeking the best places to visit in Thailand, Pattaya’s blend of lively atmosphere, cultural landmarks, and recreational options makes it a diverse destination.
Table of Contents
Attractions & Things to Do in Pattaya, Thailand
1. Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is a majestic wooden structure situated by the sea, constructed entirely without nails. It is a fusion of art, religion, and philosophy, with intricate carvings depicting various religious narratives.
Travel Tip: Visitors should dress respectfully, and be aware that the temple is an ongoing project, with construction expected to continue for several years.
2. Walking Street
Walking Street is the bustling hub of Pattaya’s nightlife, filled with clubs, bars, and restaurants. The street comes alive at night with neon lights, loud music, and street performances.
Travel Tip: While it’s an adult-focused area, it’s best to explore in a group and keep an eye on personal belongings as it can get very crowded.
3. Pattaya Floating Market
This market showcases the unique and traditional way of buying and selling goods in Thailand, set upon water. Visitors can explore the market on foot or by boat, sampling local foods and shopping for souvenirs.
Travel Tip: Try to visit in the morning when it’s less crowded and the heat is more tolerable.
4. Jomtien Beach
A quieter alternative to Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach offers a long stretch of sandy shore, with a more relaxed atmosphere, suitable for sunbathing and water sports.
Travel Tip: If you’re looking to escape the crowds, weekdays are generally less busy than weekends.
5. Pattaya Viewpoint
For the best panoramic view of Pattaya’s crescent bay, the Pattaya Viewpoint on Pratumnak Hill is the place to go. It’s particularly striking at sunset or at night when the city lights sparkle.
Travel Tip: The viewpoint can be reached by a short hike, taxi, or motorbike; go early or late to avoid the tourist rush and the heat of the day.
6. Art in Paradise
Art in Paradise is an interactive 3D art museum that encourages visitors to become part of the art with optical illusions. It’s a fun excursion for families or groups of friends.
Travel Tip: Make sure your phone or camera is fully charged; you’ll want to take lots of pictures interacting with the exhibits.
7. Underwater World Pattaya
This aquarium offers a glimpse into the marine life of Thailand, with a 100-meter-long acrylic tunnel and various zones such as the Coral Reef Zone and Open Ocean Zone.
Travel Tip: Check feeding times for different exhibits to enhance your visit with some interactive learning experiences.
8. The Million Years Stone Park & Pattaya Crocodile Farm
This park is home to impressive landscaping, fossilized trees millions of years old, and a variety of animals, including a crocodile farm with exciting shows.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss the crocodile feeding shows, and remember that while the animals may look tame, they are not—maintain a safe distance.
9. Pattaya Elephant Village
This sanctuary offers visitors an opportunity to learn about Thai elephants and interact with them, providing insight into their significance in Thai culture and the conservation efforts to protect them.
Travel Tip: Always choose ethical animal experiences that prioritize the well-being of the elephants and do not support riding them.
10. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
This vast botanical garden features beautifully landscaped gardens, a variety of themed gardens, cultural shows, and even a car museum.
Travel Tip: Rent a bicycle or take the garden’s bus tour to cover more ground, as the park is expansive.
11. Tiffany’s Show Pattaya
Tiffany’s Show is one of the most famous cabaret shows in Pattaya, showcasing the talents of Thailand’s transgender community. With spectacular costumes, music, and dance performances, it is a celebration of beauty and artistry.
Travel Tip: Booking tickets in advance is recommended as the shows often sell out, especially for the preferred seating near the stage.
12. Pattaya Night Bazaar
The Pattaya Night Bazaar is a covered market offering a cooler, shaded shopping experience during the day and a lively market atmosphere at night. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs, clothing, and Thai handicrafts at reasonable prices.
Travel Tip: Haggling is expected, so don’t be shy to negotiate on prices, but do so respectfully.
13. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Located in the Royal Garden Plaza, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! offers a collection of oddities, record-setting feats, and interactive exhibits that challenge perception and reality.
Travel Tip: Consider purchasing a combo ticket if you’re interested in experiencing the other attractions in the building, such as the waxworks and the 12D Moving Theater.
14. Mini Siam
Mini Siam features miniature replicas of iconic structures from Thailand and all over the world. It’s a fun way to see the world’s landmarks without leaving Pattaya.
Travel Tip: Visit at dusk; the miniatures are beautifully lit at night, offering a magical atmosphere and cooler temperatures.
15. Pattaya Sheep Farm
A charming family-friendly attraction, the Pattaya Sheep Farm offers interactive experiences with sheep and other farm animals, perfect for children and animal lovers.
Travel Tip: Bring some extra cash to purchase food to feed the animals, which can be a delightful experience, especially for kids.
16. Colosseum Show Pattaya
The Colosseum Show is another extravagant ladyboy cabaret performance in Pattaya, known for its stunning set designs and elaborate costumes. It draws inspiration from Roman architecture, creating a unique backdrop for the performances.
Travel Tip: Similar to Tiffany’s, book your tickets ahead of time, and consider the VIP seats for the best views.
17. Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark
Inspired by the popular children’s channel, this themed water park is filled with high-speed water slides, a wave pool, and attractions that feature Cartoon Network characters.
Travel Tip: Check for online deals or family passes that may offer discounts, and remember to pack sunscreen and swimwear.
18. Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Hill)
Wat Phra Yai hosts the biggest Buddha image in the region and provides a peaceful, spiritual retreat with panoramic views of Pattaya. The site is not only a tourist attraction but an active temple with local worshippers.
Travel Tip: Dress modestly and be prepared for a climb; there are quite a few stairs to reach the Big Buddha.
FAQ About Things to Do in Pattaya, Thailand
What are the must-visit beaches in Pattaya?
Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach are top choices for sunbathing and water sports. For a more secluded experience, visit Wong Amat Beach or the nearby Coral Island (Koh Larn) for its clear waters and quieter shores.
Can I see a cabaret show in Pattaya?
Absolutely, Pattaya is famous for its dazzling cabaret shows, especially the Alcazar Cabaret and Tiffany’s Show, which feature spectacular performances and elaborate costumes.
Are there family-friendly attractions in Pattaya?
Yes, Pattaya offers several family-friendly attractions such as Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark, Pattaya Dolphin World, Underwater World Pattaya, and the Pattaya Park Tower with an amusement park and water park.
What cultural sites should I not miss in Pattaya?
Don’t miss visiting The Sanctuary of Truth, a magnificent wooden structure showcasing intricate carvings, and the Big Buddha Hill with its huge golden Buddha statue and panoramic views of Pattaya.
Where can I enjoy nightlife in Pattaya?
Walking Street is the epicenter of Pattaya’s nightlife with its myriad of bars, nightclubs, and live music venues. It’s a vibrant and bustling street that comes alive after dark.
Is there any opportunity for island hopping from Pattaya?
Certainly, you can take a boat trip to the nearby Koh Larn (Coral Island) for snorkeling and beach activities or explore the less visited islands such as Koh Sak and Koh Krok for a day of adventure.
What shopping experiences are unique to Pattaya?
Pattaya offers a unique shopping experience at the Floating Market where you can buy local crafts, textiles, and snacks. The Mimosa Pattaya and Pattaya Night Bazaar are also popular for picking up souvenirs and local products.
Are there any nature escapes in or near Pattaya?
For nature lovers, the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden offers a splendid escape with its beautifully landscaped gardens, cultural shows, and an elephant show. The nearby Khao Kheow Open Zoo is also a great place to interact with wildlife in a more natural setting.