You’re probably aware of the reputation that Pattaya has managed to earn for itself after several decades of entertaining the world’s single male travelers and, let’s be honest, it’s a well-deserved reputation.
The red-light areas that many cities of the world provide are a little different here. Traditionally, you could have regarded the entire city as being one big red-light district!
But things are not as they once were.
Thailand is changing quickly and, while some may prefer the glory days of old, the relentless march of progress stops for no one...
That’s not to say that the city has lost its charm or its appeal, and you'll certainly have no problems finding companionship here with the sort of fun-loving ladies who simply aren’t available in other places of the world.
Pattaya remains the sort of place where first-time visitors are blown away by the best nightlife in the world, but these days the city has a much broader appeal than in times past. If you travel here today you will be rubbing shoulders with the most diverse group of people you’ll ever meet. Single guys, families, couples, groups, and even female travelers come here these days.
It remains a firm favourite with western tourists, but there is also a lot of interest from around Asia i.e. China, Japan, South Korea, India and so on. The implication of it all being that the range of attractions has ballooned in recent decades.
If Thailand is of interest to you – Pattaya should be on your radar.
It will, of course, never shake off its seedy image for a lot of people, but that can be a good thing. The sort of people who turn their noses up at what goes on here are, generally speaking, some of the least adventurous, and most pretentious, condescending, bores on the planet – so avoiding them is a selling point as far as I’m concerned!
Pattaya is a place unlike any other, and it always makes an impression. Whether it's the
Thai culture, the nightlife, the climate, the cheap prices, or the
warm friendly people,
there is something here that leaves visitors with a longing to return.
If Thailand is the land of smiles, this place has to be the land of great big grinning smiles! Those great big grinning smiles are yours, of course, and with good reason... you feel like a superstar here.
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One of the selling points for Pattaya is the ease with which it can be reached. I believe that all long haul international flights to Thailand arrive at Bangkok, and from there Pattaya is less than 2 hours away via taxi. Compare that to Phuket, for example, which requires an extra flight from Bangkok.
Pattaya gets quite a lot of weekend travelers coming down from Bangkok, and with the new ferry linking Pattaya to Hua Hin, the city’s travel links are making it more and more accessible.
In fact, Utapao Airport is only 45 minutes away from Pattaya and from there you can enjoy cheap internal flights to Chiang Mai in the north or Phuket in the south (both flights taking around 1 hour and 20 minutes). This is all good stuff, and a key selling point if you want to base yourself somewhere where all parts of Thailand are easily reachable.
If anyone has any concerns over the general level of safety then all I can say is that I have lived there peacefully and spent countless nights wandering the streets at all hours… and never even witnessed any trouble. There is, as with all cities, a minority of people that are no good but this is not something to be concerned about.
Petty crime like pick-pocketing and bag snatching are no more nor less prevalent than in other parts of the developing world, but violent crime towards foreigners is very rare. The Thais are world renowned for their tolerance and even when a tourist unwittingly causes offense by breaking some local custom, it is very rare that there will be any repercussions.
Aside from the danger of getting into a road traffic incident (which can easily be mitigated by avoiding the motorcycle taxis), there is no real danger. Accidents happen, but intentional violent crimes are not something to worry about. You are more likely to face violence from other tourists than from a local Thai.
You’ll be happy to read that the cost of living in Pattaya is very low by international standards. It is also low by comparison with Bangkok or Phuket (although Chiang Mai is significantly cheaper still). The exchange rate worsened very significantly after the 2007-08 financial crisis and has never really recovered, so things are not as affordable as they once were, but they are still relatively cheap.
If you are interested in Pattaya as a place to retire to then you can do it on a show-string budget if you avoid the tourist areas like Walking Street. Modern accommodation can be found a few kilometers inland in East Pattaya at incredible value.
When you consider that Thailand has a modern infrastructure, with world class medical facilities, you can see why it remains such a popular retirement location. The city has a large expat population, possibly the largest in Thailand, and whilst they like to moan about the strength of the baht amongst other things, only a relatively small number of them would consider leaving Pattaya to return to a life back in their homelands.
The Nightlife - if you are thinking about coming here, you must be aware that the nightlife here is world famous for being a LOT of fun! This section gives full details of the main nightspots in the city and where to find them. Be aware that your options on where to go for a night out are very generous. You have lots of choices depending on what sort of night out you are looking for and there is plenty available for people of all ages. Pattaya is a very cosmopolitan city and you’ll see people here from all over the world.
The Girls - there are an estimated 30,000 bar-girls working in sin-city and they can be extremely charming! If you can't find a lady in Pattaya with whom you can have lots of fun then you may as well give up on fun with girls altogether! There are some serious risks here; you may well have so much fun that you don’t want to leave. There are girls in the beer-bars, gogo bars, nightclubs (and pretty much everywhere else) who will want to spend some quality time with you; this section will prepare you for that.
The Beaches - there's a misunderstanding about the quality of the beaches here. It is true that the main beach along the bay is not great for peaceful sunbathing but, a very short distance away, there are plenty of quality beaches to be found. Whether you like secluded beaches or long sandy beaches with sports activities and so on, you have plenty to choose from. This section looks at the best beaches within a 20 minute trip of the city centre and what each of them has to offer.
Thai Massage Options – Thai massage options come in many different types and for many different parts of your body. Some of the massage types that are readily available are of an 'adult' nature and are referred to as happy ending massages! You might be forgiven for thinking that all massage I sin-city is of this nature but you’d be wrong; Thais love massage for its own sake many Thai ladies have at least some skill in giving massage. If you want to really unwind, there are some good options to consider.
The Ladyboys – Thailand is unique in the world with regard to its tolerance for sexual preference and, within Thailand, this place really stands out for its relaxed attitude about such things. If you are curious about ladyboys and would like to know more about them, this section of my website will let you know all that you need. You’ll find out how to approach them, how they think, what sort of men they are attracted to and where to find the best locations in the city for meeting them.
Hotels - it is easy to pay far too much for hotel accommodation if you are not careful. Don't waste your money... use this section to find my recommendations and reviews of hotels as well as the very best prices around. You can save quite a lot of money here and the more that you save, the more that you’ll have available for spending on the fun stuff. Not that the hotels themselves are not fun, some of them have excellent facilities for enjoying yourself by the pool, the sauna, gym and so on.
Property – For my investment advice about real estate opportunities you should read this section. Of all the sections on this website, this is the one that I have poured the most academic research into. I am a graduate of economics and I’ve used that background to put together a seven-part series about successful investing. It should not be any surprise that a booming economy in a fast developing economy like Thailand’s comes with serious profit-making potential, click here for my thoughts on that.
Thai Dating - online dating has become a mainstream means of making first contact with Thai ladies these days and it is a good option if you want to find a Thai lady for a lasting relationship. If you are making contact from a distance, online dating is your only real option. This section will help you to avoid the less scrupulous online ladies and uncover the genuine ladies. It also includes some ‘dating culture’ advice that should help you to build a successful long-term relationship.
Living in Pattaya – if you have dreamed about getting away from the rat-race once and for all and heading off into the sun, where on earth could be better to set up a new home than in Pattaya? It is a genuine option for a good life and it is one that requires very little money to put into practise. For information about living costs, visa requirements, healthcare, Thai culture and expat life in general, have a good read of this section to get an idea of what your life could be.
Many first-time visitors to Thailand become frequent visitors, and many frequent visitors become expats and choose living in Thailand as their preferred option. Thailand has many wonderful places to visit, but this place stands alone as the party town capital. Many expats in Thailand either choose it either as their hometown or the place that they regularly head off to to get some quality rest and recuperation!
I have myself, followed that path from first-time visitor to frequent visitor to expat living in Thailand. I have chosen Pattaya as my hometown having visited most of the tourist destinations throughout Thailand. I still return back to my home country from time to time, but I find that I miss the place less and less, Pattaya is home for me now.
As already mentioned, the pace of development in the touristic places of Thailand is rapid and if your last visit was as little as five years ago you will find much that has changed. At first glance you might find that some of your favourite attractions have been consigned to history, but I'd encourage you to look again. Some things that were good will have gone, but other things that were not so good have improved greatly.
This is most notable in some of the previously popular nightspots that are now virtually destitute, i.e. the ones near the beach, but wander inland a little and you'll find new hives of activity that have cropped up.
The same goes for the ladies that you'll meet. Where once the bars and clubs were teaming with eligible ladies, these days modern technology i.e. the internet and smart phones cameras have provided new online opportunities to meet foreigners whilst working in the bars has become more risky with regard to being filmed.
Pattaya girls don't want the people back in their home towns seeing them on Facebook in somewhat compromising situations, so many have shunned bar work and turned to online dating sites and the like. The bars are still fun, but the best girls are more easily located online these days.
Throughout the website, the information provided is based on my own experience of Pattaya and that of a small number of friends. Collectively we have many years experience of Thailand, but that does not guarantee the accuracy of the information. Much of the information is opinionated, I don't want to offend anyone, so apologies if you see something you don't like or agree with.
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