Pattaya is one of the most well-known destinations for travelers visiting Thailand for some sun and fun. Although the beach city is forever crowded with both locals and international visitors, it doesn’t stop tourist from coming back for more fun. Is it just because of the sun and night life that makes the city so attractive? Consequently, no. If you’ve been to Pattaya at least once, only then would you fully grasp the huge range of activities the city has to offer. So if you’re planning on a first time visit (or even returning visit) and you’re wondering what the top must-dos are; here you go:
‘Koh’ in Thai, means ‘Island’, while, ‘Larn’ means ‘Million’. The island which takes about 30 minutes boat ride from Pattaya pier to get to, is a definite must visit. Expect to be greeted with breath-taking white sandy beaches with clear waters. If you’re going as a family, kids would love snorkeling. Plus, standing waist deep, you can sometimes already see small school of fishes swimming around before disappearing and then circling back. A day trip to Koh Larn is very much possible with the last boat leaving back to the mainland late afternoon. If you want to stay on the island for the night, there are also a few hotels to choose from.
Khao Kheow Open Zoo
Besides beaches and nightlife, Pattaya has zoos, gardens and the famous crocodile farm that visitors may want to visit. If you’re planning on visiting just one of them, Khao Kheow Open Zoo is recommended. It is, as the name goes, an ‘open zoo’. If you have a rented car, you could drive through and make stops throughout. Otherwise, they have golf cars you could rent. It’s near impossible to walk through the entire zoo and it is quite big.
The best part is the fact that you get to mingle with some of the animals. Near the entrance you’d be greeted with a group of young deer that you’d be allowed to feed and pet with no extra fee. Just walk straight in, amidst the animals. Now if you’re up for some adventure, go for elephant rides into the wild and their night safari which are also offered by the zoo.
Private Beach Experience
As crowded as Pattaya may seem, if you were looking forward to a more peaceful and relaxing trip, it is still very possible. Stay at a Pattaya resort or hotel that offers private beaches. There are a few options out there. Here are my recommendations: Pullman Pattaya Hotel G, Royal cliff, Sheraton and Centara Grand. Do take note that the latter 2 are rather costly if you’re on a budget. For a private beach experience at an affordable price, opt for Pullman Pattaya Hotel G. The local hotels are not recommended that much given the service standard can be trying on patience at times.