When we say that we love Pattaya, we usually hear mixed reactions. Love it or hate it, these 23 amazing attractions are sure to put Pattaya on the itinerary for your next Thailand holiday.
From peaceful temples to delicious cafes and gorgeous nearby islands, there is plenty to keep you busy in the Chonburi region. As an added bonus, Rayong with its non-touristy destinations is nearby.
Come for the beaches, but stay for the culture and wildlife encounters. Whatever your motivation, you’ll love this close-to-everything region!
1. Find Your Inner Child – Themed Parks in Pattaya
From refreshing waterparks to cultural excursions, Pattaya has a week’s worth of themed parks. You’re sure to find something for the inner child in you!
1-a. In a Fantasy World – Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark
Did you know the world’s first Cartoon Network themed park is in Thailand? Neither did we until we heard about the Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark.
With 5 main (and huuuge) water attractions, and 9 main shows going on everyday – both adults and kids alike are bound to have incredible fun. At this unique park, you can slip and slide with all of your Cartoon Network friends, including the Powerpuff Girls and Jake from Adventure Time.
A few of our favorite rides include Alien Attack where 2 riders swirl down 320 meters in a water coaster ride where you get to battle Swampfire, Cannonbolt and NRG from Ben 10 Ultimate Alien!
There’s also the Humungosaur, the first fully themed monster water park ride where 4 riders seated in 2 person rafts race down twin tracks spinning 213 meters before a super crazy vertical drop.
Video via Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark
Video via mehdizatout
Not enticed yet? How about the Adventure Zone, the first Adventure Time themed water park!!! (If you can’t already tell, some of us at TripCanvas are great fans. :p) All we can say about Adventure Zone is… Expect nothing but incredible exhilaration, whether at the Jake Jump, or Rainfall Rainicorn!
And if all else fails, head to the Cartoonival, “The world’s largest fully themed cartoon water park for kids and adults featuring 9 water slides and 2 massive water buckets and more.”
Of course, don’t forget to the catch any of the 9 main shows happening everyday.
Whether it’s the Johnny Bravo and Princess Bubblegum Show, or the New Powerpuff Girls Show, or even the Polynesian Show – with rides and shows galore at Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark, you know you’re guaranteed nothing but the utmost fun!
PS: Families will be happy to know there are cabanas for you to catch your breath at when you tire from all that fun. And for the adults, a spa is available to soothe your aching muscles too!
1-b. A Blast From the Past – Thai Thani Arts & Culture Village
Take a step into Thai history at the Thai Thani Arts & Culture Village. This innovative park allows visitors to wander among traditional Thai-style architecture and Thai historical artifacts.
Photo by foot
There are also Thai performances to enjoy throughout the day and a Northern-style “Khan Tok” dinner every evening. If you’d like to learn a new skill on your holiday, check out the fruit carving lessons, Thai cooking sessions or even learn to play a traditional instrument!
2. Bathe in the Neon Glow – Bioluminescent Plankton (1 hour drive from Pattaya)
Each rainy season (from June until July), Bang Saen Beach is thwarted by plankton blooms. During the day, these turn the water from a refreshing blue to a swampy green. The beach also takes on a fishy smell.
Photo via Aonzphotographer
While the state of this beach may not be great during the day, it is a wonder at night. When disturbed, these plankton become bioluminescent and appear to glow in the dark of night.
This is a defense mechanism produced by the plankton to evade predators. When excited, several functions in the body combine to create light-producing chemical reaction, or chemiluminescence.
Photo via maytallica.p
To see this phenomenon, simply visit Bang Saen Beachat the end of the year during the winter season. You can usually spot the bioluminescence near the docks or the shore where the water hits something solid. If you dare to go swimming at night, you might even be able to disturb the plankton yourself, making it look like you’re floating or swimming in glowing water!
3. Get the Most Instagram-worthy Photos – Grand Canyon Chonburi (1 hour drive from Pattaya)
A popular spot for Instagram photos, the Grand Canyon of Chonburi is practically unknown by foreign visitors.
Photo via stellarbalcony by Pupé Pemika Thiravanitkul 1
The Grand Canyon used to be a functioning quarry with a reservoir at the bottom. It still sits on private property so exploration is discouraged. However, the view from the top is one of the most Instagram-worthy in all of Chonburi. From here you’ll see the glistening emerald pool set in a deep canyon.
And don’t forget to snap the requisite shot on the train tracks behind the viewing platform. Just be careful of oncoming trains.
Located in the same compound, you’ll find Snow Mountain. It’s impossible to get real snow in Thailand. The snow on this mountain is actually fine stone that looks as white as snow. Many surmise that it’s the material dug out of the Grand Canyon in the mining process. Either way, it’s great for photo or two and fun to climb on!
4. Baa Baa Black Sheep – Pattaya Sheep Farm
If you’re traveling to Pattaya with children, you won’t want to miss the Pattaya Sheep Farm. Opened in 2013, this is the best place in Thailand to get up close and personal with cuddly baby sheep. As an added bonus, this attraction is affordable for the whole family.
Photo via mihan le, kero.si, jellyjoong, impeishan
The Pattaya Sheep Farm is home to dozens of adult and baby sheep with which you are free to interact. Other residents of the farm include ponies, piglets and a selection of birds.
Photo via muaun.k, tatiana permyakova
Upon entry to the farm, you’ll be able to purchase a bottle of milk for 20 Baht (USD $0.60) to feed the baby sheep. Be ready! They will come running as soon as they see the milk.
There is also a pony ride and trampoline to keep children entertained. Parents will love the Barn Steak House where they can enjoy a gourmet meal after a day on the farm.
Want to mix your love of the beach and animals? Then, head to Pattaya Sheep Farm for some cuddly adventures!
5. Discover New Latitude Wines – Silver Lake Vineyard
New Latitude Wines are defined as those produced in non-traditional climates. Silver Lake Vineyard and other Thai wineries are pioneers in this type of wine production. Because of the strong coastal sun, rich soil and long growing season, wine production in Thailand has thus far been successful.
Silver Lake Vineyard is the product of Mr. Surachai Tangjaitrong and Ms. Supansa Nuangpirom who began wine production in 2002. To date, they have produced a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chenin Blanc. Many more varieties are expected in the coming years.
Today, visitors are more than welcome to visit the facilities. You can just stop by for a tasting or take a tour of the production area.
In addition to producing tasty wines, Silver Lake Vineyard is also a venue for local and international musicians. The beautiful setting is perfect for large gatherings or intimate concerts. Be sure to check the schedule on their website for more information.
6. Take a Breath of Fresh Air – Golden Meadow in Rayong (2 hours drive from Pattaya)
Ready to escape the congestion of Bangkok and Pattaya? Head to the beautiful Golden Meadow of Rayong where a carpet of yellow-green shrubs blankets the landscape.
What was once a booming shrimping town is now a tourist center. It’s shrimp stocks were completely wiped out by overfishing, leaving little choice for fishermen than to move elsewhere. In the absence of these environmental pressures, the mangrove estuary here has thrived.
Today, there is a boardwalk and a few look-out points where you and your friends can take gorgeous photos of the golden meadow.
If you happen to visit at night, you’re in for a real treat. For 400 Baht, you and a group of friends can charter a small speed boat. On the river, between the mangrove trees, you’ll see hundreds of fireflies congregating on certain plants. This lightning display is one you are sure to remember for years to come!
7. Chill Out – The Ice Bar V20
One of the coolest bars on Pattaya Walking Street – literally! The Ice Bar V20 is partially made of ice and kept at a cold negative 7 degrees Celsius.
Photo by YacchanAmerone
The ice room is a small section of the bar. You’ll be given a fur coat and ushered into the freezing room. Here you can order a selection of drinks from the full bar. Get your pictures quickly as you can only stay in the freezing conditions for ten or fifteen minutes.
Photo via vekovd, captainvaljunior
Once you’ve had your fill of the freezing temperatures, relax in the other section of the bar. Here you can finish your drinks in style or warm up enough to hit the ice one more time.
This probably isn’t the only bar you will visit during your time on Walking Street, but it’s the best bar for Vodka in the area.
There’s nothing stranger than walking around in the ice and the snow before wandering back out into steamy Pattaya!
Relocated to Phuket: 8. Aargh Mateys! – The Admirallica, a Pirate Cruise
Take some advice from Captain Jack Sparrow and join the Admirallica for a day trip of pirate-y fun. This colonial-era galleon is manned by a swashbuckling crew who don’t always play nice. The whole family is sure to enjoy a bucket full of laughs on this unique tour.
During the pirate-filled day trip, you’ll enjoy breakfast and a buffet lunch on board as well as speedboat tours of Koh Rin, Koh Ped and Monkey Island where children can play games and adults may snorkel, swim or fish.
On the way back to port, a disco foam party allows you to mingle with all your new pirate friends.
Photo via irina snajper, varentinochka
The “Treasure Hung Pirate’s Day Tour” on the Admirallica departs every Saturday from the Ocean Marina Yacht Club at 10AM and arrives back to port at 5:30PM.
Grab your parrot, peg leg or eye patch and board the Admirallica, Thailand’s only pirate-themed cruise.
9. Enlightenment by the Sea – The Sanctuary of Truth
Although not in use as a center of religion, a visit to The Sanctuary of Truth is sure to be an enlightening experience. This wooden structure is filled with intricate wooden carvings and is located on the beach in the northern section of Pattaya. It has been under construction for the past 20 years and is just now half way finished. During your visit, you’re sure to see woodcarvers at work.
Photo via luckydrone
The Sanctuary of Truth, also called Prasat Satchatham, is built following both the Buddhist and Hindu styles. At each corner of the 100-meter high building, you’ll find figures representing Cambodian, Thai, Indian and Chinese beliefs. The wooden carvings serve to further emphasize tales from these four regions.
Photo via wongkayee 24, natalyagold
On your trip to The Sanctuary of Truth, be sure to opt for an English speaking guide who can explain the complexities of the building. Also, take some time to enjoy the view of the sea. The setting along with this gorgeous building leads to fantastic photo opportunities, so don’t forget your camera!
Phoot via iamfeliciaa
10. Explore a Royal Thai warship – HTMS Prasae, Prasae Beach Rayong (2 hours drive from Pattaya)
If you seek an adventure that’s super different, make your way down to HTMS Prasae in Rayong. It’s a refreshingly fun exploration of a retired royal Thai warship!
Built in 1943, this ship was originally named USS Gallup until it was sold to the Royal Thai Nay after the second world war.
Only recently in 2000 was it decommissioned and docked in Paknam Prasae. Upon reaching, you’ll realised how truly huge the ship is, and you’ll be spending at least 30 minutes to an hour just climbing around the ship.
You’ll have to climb up vertical ladders to get to the different decks on different levels. On each level, there are interesting things to discover, from the naval artillery such as cannons, the engine room, and more.
Other than that, the views of the beach from the ship itself is pretty marvelous – and you might want to plan a trip here along with a day out on the beach, or a walk along the mangroves nearby in the Golden Meadows of Rayong.
PS: Look out for little carts around selling trinkets such as seashell chimes for a mere 10 baht!
11. Wander Through Horticulture History – Nong Nooch Tropical Garden
If you’re a traveler at heart, then you’ll love visiting the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden during your stay in Pattaya. The 2.4 square kilometer park is beautifully landscaped and is perfect for an all-day trip.
Photo via flo traveladdict
Originally purchased by Khun Pisit and Khun Nongnooch Tansacha in 1954, the gardens have been completely transformed from the mango, orange and coconut fields that once dotted the landscape. After traveling far and wide, the couple decided to recreate some of the flower gardens they’d seen around the world. They also dreamed of building tourist facilities such as Thai-style houses, swimming pools and restaurants.
Photo via jojogia
Today, their dream is a reality. From a world-class orchid nursery with 670 native varieties to a 17th-Century French garden and a recreation of Stonehenge, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is a haven for horticulture enthusiasts.
Photo via lenochkamukhina, ericvdaniel, anzelasharin, alinashatlygina
Here’s a hot tip! Rent a bicycle at the entrance to the gardens. That way you’ll be able to cover more ground than you ever could by foot.
Photo via Permyakova evgeniya
You’ll also have the chance to see fascinating cultural shows during your visit. Each day there are Muay Thai demonstrations and Thai dance performances.
12. A Force of Nature – Jellyfish near Rayong (2 hours drive from Pattaya)
In August and September, thousands of colorful jellyfish appear off the coast of Rayong Province in Eastern Thailand. They are quite near Mae Ramphueng Beach.
Photo via Richard Barrow, da voda
This is a natural phenomenon that happens every year, seemingly overnight. However, the number of jellyfish change from year to year. Sometimes you might only see a thousand, and, at other times, you might see more than one million jellyfish in the sea!
The best time to see the jellyfish is in the morning and late afternoon, so be sure to plan your visit for these times. If you’d like to see more than just those around the dock, local fishermen give tours of the waters in their boats.
Be careful not to get too close to the jellyfish. They can sting and are potentially deadly. Swimming and fishing in the area are banned while the colorful jellyfish are in town. Even if you cannot see the jellyfish, they may be beneath the surface in the heavy current.
13. Jump Off a Building?! – Pattaya Park Tower
Pattaya Park Tower is a local landmark in Pattaya. The building itself is advertised as Thailand’s first and tallest seaside tower and revolving restaurant.
Photo via armktt
On the 52nd, 53rd and 54th floors, three revolving restaurants look out over the sea. Head to the 55th floor and you’ll find the Apex Observation. From here you can see Jomtien Bay and Pattaya City.
Photo via evgeniaparker, gaurav rawal, jineze
While the view from the top may be impressive, it’s the way down that is the most exciting. Your entrance fee includes the thrill of a lifetime, a cable jump from the top of the building. You can soar down 55 stories solo or with a friend wearing only a harness attached to a cable!
If you would rather not scream all the way down, you also have the option of taking a cable car which boasts impressive views of the sea.
14. Your Own Pristine Paradise – Ko Lan, Koh Samet
There are many little islands around Thailand, which is why the country is fantastic for some island hopping action. In Pattaya/Chonburi region’s case however, the only two you need to know about are Ko Lan, and Ko Samet!
14-a. The affordable island getaway (30 baht?!) – Ko Lan
Also known as Ko Laan or Ko Larn, this island paradise is only 7.5 kilometers from Pattaya, making it easily reachable for a day trip or an overnight adventure just by a 30 Baht boat ride. Two small villages on the island offer accommodations.
4 kilometers in length and 2 kilometers in width, the best of Ko Lan’s beaches are located on its west side. Tawaen Beach is the most popular with visitors, but do try to explore the other pristine beaches such as Tien Beach, Tonglang Beach, Samae Beach and Naon Beach.
During your visit to Ko Lan, be sure to try one of the local restaurants. Their specialty is seafood, and it is divine!
Photo via russthorne
Once you tire of the beach, be sure to hike up into the hills. There you will find monkeys and wonderful views. There’s also the Buddha Hill Temple. It’s quite a hike to the top, but the view from the top is the absolute best on Ko Lan!
Tip: To get around on the island, you may hire a Songthaew to get to the more popular beaches. Alternatively, you may also try to hire a motorbike taxi to get to the less visited beaches like Tien Beach.
14-b. Indulge in a relaxing day at the beach on this sleepy island – Koh Samet
Within easy reach of both Pattaya and Bangkok, Koh Samet offers travelers the chance to relax in paradise. With miles of white sand beaches and crystal-clear water, Koh Samet has a way of charming everyone who visits.
Photo via weddingonkohsamet, palisisland, kkkkaren, jessie62094
The island hasn’t suffered from overzealous development in the same way many Thai islands do. It’s still sleepy and clean. Yet, Koh Samet has all the necessary tourist infrastructure to make a fantastic destination for your holidays.
Between the 10 beaches and inland hills, there’s plenty to keep you busy. You might also wish to participate in an island speedboat tour or work toward a scuba diving certification.
Several local eateries serve up Thai specialties and a trip to the island wouldn’t be complete without a banana roti.
If you’d like to mix daytime relaxation with evening drinks, there are plenty of options on Koh Samet. While it may not have the backpacker party vibe found on other islands, there are beachside bars and a few discos to keep you out until all hours of the night.
15. A Dose of Cuddly and Cute – Teddy Bear Museum
The brain-child of Mr. Kim Hyun Chol, an executive of Teddy Bear Island LTD, the Teddy Bear Museum is one of the largest museums in Thailand. Built to convey the warm feelings a teddy bear gives us, this Pattaya museum is perfect for recreating childhood memories.
Photo via pangwaan, gladysglado