If there is
one thing that stands out about the central Pattaya beach section, I would have to
say that it is the hassle factor.... it is ridiculous and much worse than other Pattaya beaches!
On the other hand, if you want to stay at a hotel near to the central part of the beach, there are some excellent options! My two favourites are:
Be aware that on this part of the beach, you won't get more than a few moments of peace at any given time before you are interrupted by the next salesman! It drives me crazy, but it is best not to get angry!!
The hassle factor does make this part of the beach particularly difficult to enjoy but, if you can get over that, the other outstanding feature here is that the water sport activities are all really close by. You have lots to choose from but you need to exercise some caution because it is easy to fall prey to a scam that could cost you some money.
Sand Quality. As mentioned on the other main Pattaya beach pages, the sand is OK but not great.... it feels a little grainy underfoot. As you move from the north in a southward direction the beach starts to get a little narrower. There isn't a huge difference, but it does mean that you will tend to be sitting nearer and nearer to the water as you move southward. This means that it is more likely that you will be sitting on damp sand rather than dry sand as you move away from the north. If you want to sunbathe, it is harder to find any space on dry sand here because deck-chairs take up most of the space.
Cleanliness. Central Pattaya beach is not particularly clean, but I've seen worse. The restaurants overlooking the southern part of the beach are still some distance away so the pollution from there is minimal. However, the central part of the beach does get busy and people do sometimes leave their discarded rubbish here. That said, most of it gets cleared away by the deck-chair owners. The water is OK; I don't have any concerns about swimming in the sea.
Hassle factor. Like I said in the
overview, this one is the real kicker for me. I generally like to sit
back and relax when I'm on the beach, but the endless trail of salesman
makes that very difficult. You get people selling seafood, massage,
ice-cream, fruit, watches, towels, toys etc. They just won't leave you
Don't get angry though... these guys are not trying to irritate you, they have difficult lives and are just trying to make enough money to get by. This is their country after all, you are a guest here and you need to keep reminding yourself of that. Losing your temper is considered to be really uncool in Thailand culture and it won't help you... just smile and say no thank you!
Entertainment. The beach sports entertainment on the main beach is very good. If you like water-skis, jet-skis, parasailing, banana boat and so on, all are readily available. Be aware of the scams that I mentioned in my North Pattaya Beach report; they can cost you a lot of money if you are not careful.
As well as the beach sports, you can get food & drink on the beach, or alternatively, Soi 7 and Soi 8 offer a range of bars and restaurants. Obviously these sois are not on the beach itself, but they are so close that you can practically visit the beach, then a soi, and then return to the beach and so on. In short, there is lots of entertainment on offer.
Beauty and Scenic aspect. As with all parts of the beach, you can look forward to a nice sunset from the central Pattaya beach. It is not quite as good as you get in the north part because the sun sets over the southern section of the bay. The natural curvature of the bay means that, from the north, you will naturally be looking out to the South West where the sun sets. From the central part, you will be looking out to the west where you can still get some nice views.
Ease of Access. As with all parts of the beach, access is easy. The central part is not too far from any part of Pattaya and, as mentioned, it is right next to sois 7 & 8 if you are planning on moving on there after the beach.
Privacy and Seclusion. Sorry... you have little or no chance of getting either of these. You're better off trying a different beach if these are important to you.
Safety. You should have no concerns over this. There's not really any dangerous waste to avoid, and the number of other people around ensures that you won't have any trouble with muggers. Again, there is not much of a lifeguard service, so you need to keep watch over your children.
started this page by pointing out that the hassle on this part of the
beach is on the high side, and I think that it is worth reiterating. On
the other hand, your personality might not find this sort of thing
irritating at all, you might even like the variety of goods that are
being offered for sale... if that's the case you will probably quite
like central Pattaya beach. It does have plenty on offer, and your
children will enjoy themselves here.
Personally, I prefer the northern part of the beach as I find it has a more slow-paced feel somehow. When I go to the central part of the beach, I normally keep my visits to less than an hour.
It is very conveniently placed though if, like me, you enjoy going to Soi 7 and Soi 8 Pattaya. You can walk from the beach to these sois in around 3 or 4 minutes.
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