Information about Pattaya
Jomtien & Pattaya surroundings
The total Jomtien Pattaya area has around 100,000 inhabitants, stretched out over a large area. All main roads run parallel to the many beaches and coves, of which the main ones are Wong Amat beach (north), Pattaya beach (central), and Jomtien beach (south).
Each beach has its own character, with Jomtien beach being more exclusive. The area has hundreds of hotels and guesthouses, from 2 to 5 stars. Around 2 million people visit the area each year, and this does not include the many Bangkokians who stay here during weekends, often in their own weekend apartments.
Hand-weaving is a craft practiced all over Thailand with varying local patterns. Silk and cotton are commonly used. Thai silk is world famous, and rightfully so, if you see the beatiful patterns and color schemes. With such a talented people there are many other handicrafts as well, such as dressmaking, pottery, silverware & goldsmiths, lacquerware, basket weaving, hardwood & rattan furniture, paintings, and so on. The list is endless, as Thais definitely are art-oriented.
The prime attraction of Jomtien Pattaya are its beaches. They are everywhere, always with enough parasols to avoid sunburn, and mostly enjoying a gentle sea breeze.
These features make this area so popular with tourists including, of course, Thais from near-by areas like Bangkok. Drinks & food are available everywhere, and seafood often on the menu. Beachfront areas have an endless array of restaurants & foodstalls. Beach vendors will sell you almost anything. Food, icecream, clothing, watches, sunglasses, lottery tickets, manicure & massage, and so on
Next to the many beaches, there is a variety of other daytime attractions on offer, such as the interesting temples of Wat Yansanwararam (road to Sattahip) with the giant Buddha figure carved on the face of a near-by hill. Next door is Nong Nuch Tropical Garden, a huge complex with beautiful gardens, a small but attractive open zoo, and a great show.
There are also at least two Elephant Villages on that road, but the best one is at Siam Country Club Road (follow the elephant signs). That road also leads to The Million Years Stone Park & Crocodile Show, another large garden complex with crocodiles, tigers, and a show thrown in as extras. Follow the signs to The Horseshoe Point for a spectacular 'Spanish School' horseriding show. The complex also has interesting pagodas.
On the 'Chonburi Bypass Road' you will be able to go to the Sri Racha Tiger Zoo with its large collection, the Butterfly Farm, reputedly the largest in Asia, and the very large Khao Kiew Open Zoo, of which the aviary is truly spectacular.
In the streets
Pattaya by NightThe city changes its character completely at dusk, when hundreds of stalls suddenly arise on the sidewalks in the main shopping & tourist areas.
They offer an enormous variety of goods at low prices if you do your bargaining well! Compare prices from one stall with the other. Gold & Jewelry shops are everywhere.
Thai Gold shops (always with a red facade) offer items - mostly chains & bracelets - in 24 karat gold only, and charge the daily gold price plus a few hundred Baht for making the item. You can always exchange the items, as they are often used by Thais as a 'second bank account'. More risk-taking is involved with buying gems. Rubies & saffires are delved in Thailand, but it is safe to buy only from reputable shops, as copies are on sale in the street!