Pattaya: One Of Leading Dental Tourism Destinations
One of the hottest beach-resort destinations in Thailand, Pattaya may not be idyllic but it certainly makes up for it with a wide variety of activities, accommodation and nightlife venues.
Pattaya is a popular beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand just 150 km. southeast of Bangkok - a mere two-hour drive. Pattaya’s pulsating nightlife is well known, but local authorities have, in recent years, improved the quality of the beaches and reinvented the resort as a more family-friendly destination. Today, hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn each year to Pattaya to windsurf, water ski, swim, sunbathe, snorkel, sail, or take trips to nearby islands. Other activities include Bungee jumping, cycling, skydiving, go-Karting, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and Paintball. Golfers, both novice and expert, are well catered to as well, with a wide selection of golf courses around Pattaya. Another major draw for visitors to Pattaya is the wide selection of restaurants serving some of Thailand's freshest seafood. Due to the high number of expatriate foreigners in Pattaya there is also an excellent selection of authentic foreign eateries serving French, Italian, Swiss, German, Hungarian, Scandinavian, English, Indian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. Drawing such a large number of diverse visitors from across the world, it’s no surprise that Pattaya also boasts an incredible choice of accommodation. Those on a tight budget and those with money to spend are equally able to find rooms to suit their needs. Visitors can always find some peaceful beach time at nearby Jomtien beach, just 3 kilometers south.
Just over one hour from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Pattaya is a lively beach town that draws visitors from around the world. With activities that include a wide array of water sports, golf, shopping, cabaret shows, an elephant village, and fascinating museums, it’s impossible not to have an action-packed Pattaya holiday. Unless of course its relaxation you crave, in which case there are beach chairs and umbrellas lining the Pattaya shore, where wandering vendors will cater to your every need: from barbequed shrimp to a foot massage. Pattaya is certainly a Thai beach resort that meets the needs of any visitor on any budget.
- Only fish during the appropriate fishing season.
- Dress politely and take off your shoes before entering Buddhist temples.
- Examine rental motorbikes and cars thoroughly before renting.
- Drive motorbikes and rental cars with extreme caution.
- Beware of con-artists who prey on new tourists to Thailand. While most Thai people are just being friendly, be careful of those offering to do you too many favors or promising you incredible bargains.
- Beware of pick pockets, especially on Walking Street when it's crowded.
- Beware of entertainment venues that have poor signage or are poorly lit inside; some venues offer free admission and then refuse to allow visitors to leave until they have paid exorbitant bar bills.
- Do not purchase or consume illegal drugs or participate in illegal gambling.
- Show respect to the local Thai people and the Thai police. Guilty or not, your display of anger will only make things worse.
- Haggle in a good natured way with small shop vendors. A polite “no thank you” will be more effective than a loud display of emotion.
- Ask for the price first when ordering food and before getting a massage or manicure on the beach. Do likewise before renting a jet ski or getting in a tuk tuk or taxi.
- The sun in Pattaya is very strong; apply sunscreen liberally and frequently.
- Tap water in Thailand is not safe to drink; however, bottled water is cheap and readily available.
- While illegal, the sex industry is a reality in Pattaya. It is strongly advised to protect yourself accordingly, both from sexually transmitted diseases and from theft.
Most people departing Bangkok for Pattaya travel by bus. It is possible to get a bus directly from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Pattaya or from Bangkok’s Ekkamai Eastern Bus Terminal.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) there are busses that leave directly to Pattaya from the airport's Transport Center, which is served by a complimentary shuttle bus that circles the airport. These air conditioned buses leave every couple of hours, cost just over 100 baht, and arrive at the North Pattaya Road bus station about 1 ½ hours later.
From the Eastern Bus Terminal (next to the BTS Ekkamai station, opposite Sukhumvit Road Soi 63) there are bus departures throughout the day, leaving approximately every thirty minutes from around 5 am to nearly midnight. These air-conditioned busses cost just over 100 baht for a one way ticket and complete the journey from Bangkok to Pattaya in around two hours.
From Bangkok’s Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal and the Sai Tai Mai Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), buses leave less frequently throughout the day, but at similar cost and travel time as those from Ekkamai.
If your final destination is Jomtien Beach it may be preferable to get a 2nd class bus rather than the 1st class busses mentioned above, as many 2nd class busses continue on to Jomtien thus saving you the time and hassle of arranging a transfer from North Pattaya Road bus station. The bus station for the 2nd class buses is on South Pattaya Road.
From the Northeast (Isaarn) and the NorthThere are direct air conditioned buses from Nong Khai, Khon Kaen and Nahkorn Ratchasima (Khorat) to Pattaya. From other northeastern towns it’s best to get a bus to Ratchasima (Khorat) and then buy a ticket from there to Pattaya.
From Chiang Mai and Mai Sai there are direct busses to Pattaya.
A third-class train connects Bangkok’s Hua Lumphong Station with Pattaya, a journey that departs Bangkok weekday mornings around 7am and costs less than 40 baht for the three hour trip.
The nearest airport to Pattaya is U-Tapao, which is serviced by Bangkok airways; however, this flight only connects Pattaya with Koh Samui. The other nearest airport is Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), where there is bus, taxi, and limousine service to Pattaya, a 1 ½ to 2 hour drive from the airport.
You can visit the website of Tourism Authority of Thailand for more information.
If you’re travelling from abroad the best way to get to Pattaya would be to fly to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). Pattaya is located 147 km from Bangkok and can be reached in a comfortable 2-hour drive.
Where: 999 Bang Phli District, Samut Prakan 10540, Thailand Call: +66 2 132 1888
If you plan on flying from within Thailand, U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport (UTP) is at Sattahip, just off the main Sattahip-Chanthaburi (Sukhumvit) highway, 30 km south of Pattaya. It is primarily a military facility and the closest airport fielding commercial passenger flights, but only to Phuket and Samui domestically. There are no commercial passenger flights connecting U-Tapao directly with Bangkok.
Where: Pla, Ban Chang, Rayong, Thailand Call: +66 38 245 595
If you have arrived at Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), the best way to get to Pattaya would be to travel by bus or taxi.
There are also buses and trains that run regularly between Bangkok and Pattaya.
Get on board a Songthaew! Songthaews are also known as public passenger pick-up vehicles, these are dark blue pickup trucks converted to buses, also called Baht Buses.
There is also the Beach Bus that runs on a fixed circular route and taxis are a common sight too. However, the quickest, albeit less safe way to get around would be a ‘moto-taxi’.
Things to Do
Pattaya is not only one of Thailand’s prime tourist destinations but also one of its leading medical tourism destinations, and is home to many private and government-run hospitals. So if you’re not in Pattaya to see the doctor, why not visit:
Anek Kuson Sala (Wihan Sian), located 800 metres from the intersection at the reservoir, is an art gallery with high-class Chinese architecture and fine arts constructed in 1987 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Birthday. As well as ancient paintings and pottery, you will find precious antiques such as the large white jade Bodhisattva Kwan Yin's image, terra-cotta soldiers and horses from the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang and an emperor’s golden throne.
Located Sukhumvit Road, surrounded by Soi 33, you will find Mini Siam, featuring miniature replicas of iconic structures from Thailand and all over the world. It is one of the most famous model villages in the world.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is definitely worth a visit, it is located 15 minutes east of town centre (163 Sukhumvit Rd). Here you will come across beautiful gardens with waterfalls, elephant shows, "Cultural Extravaganza" performance, restaurants, etc. It’s enough to keep you busy the whole day!
For something a little different, check out Tiffany's Show. Tiffany's is a family-friendly ladyboy cabaret show. The 19:30 show is considered to be the best of the night, after the show the ladyboys gather outside available for photos sessions with interested audience. However, be aware that taking photos with the ladyboy means you are obligated to give the ladyboy tips.
Where: 464 Moo 9, Pattaya 2nd Road Call: +66 38 421-700(-5)
Mood Blues Cafe is a family friendly hassle free bar so, you’re not going to leave with a massive dent in your wallet. It’s famous for the many talented blues artists it attracts, it is a must go for all you jazz and blues aficionados out there.
Where: Soi 6, off Pratumnak Road Call: +66 38-252-989
Where to Eat
Make your way over to Elements Restaurant where you can relax and surround yourself in the bright atmosphere as you enjoy a selection of the Thai, Asian and Western favourites that the restaurant has to offer.
Where: 437 Phra Tamnak Road Sheraton Pattaya Resort, Pattaya Call: +66 38 259 888
Mai Thai Cuisine is perfect if you’re looking to enjoy a Thai meal with friends and colleagues. It’s difficult to fault this place, the food is great, the prices are great, the décor’s great and the service is wonderful.
Where: 157/84-85 Moo 5 Pattaya Naklua Road, Pattaya Call: +66 38 412 164
Ways to Pay
The basic unit of Thai currency is the Baht.