Facilities in Pattaya
Local public transportation is by bus. Any destination in Thailand can be reached via direct line services, often departing several times each day. Service to Bangkok is available at 30 minute intervals from 6.00 am till 9 pm. Taxi or limousine service to Bangkok airport is available for 1200 - 1500 Baht (US$ 30 - 35), and mini-bus services are a vailable for around 300 Baht (US$ 7). Public transport in Jomtien Pattaya is by 'Baht bus' (from 10 - 20 Baht), or by 'motor bike taxi'. For outings, a car+driver can be hired for around 1500 Baht for 8 hours.
Currency and banking
Money exchange rates differ very little from bank to bank, and this service is usually available till 8 pm. ATMs are everywhere, open 24 hours, and most of them accept major credit & charge cards. Do mind that using your foreign ATM card will incur a charge of Bt 200 per transaction. We advise you to change your foreign currency in a bank. Paying with credit cards in a shop costs 3% per transaction, but at your local bank's exchange rate.
Banks are open on weekdays from 8.30 till 3.30, and closed on (many) bank holidays. Most banks have smaller outlets in department stores and shopping malls, they are open daily from 11.00-19.00, also on bank holidays. These smaller branches will accomodate almost all your needs.
The Internet in Thailand has vastly improved in speed and service during the last five years. Coverage and speed is now close to as you are accustomed at home. WiFi packages are available in most 7-11 shops and in department stores. Buy a SIM card with instant access. One-2-Call and TrueMove offer good packages with very good coverage, especially in Bangkok, Pattaya and in most populated areas. 3G and (some) 4G coverage is available in the kingdom. You need to show your id card.
All telephone cables (no fiber optics) are above ground, and this sometimes causes interruptions, especially in the monsoon season.
We all hope we do not need them, but they have to be there, just in case! Jomtien Pattaya counts 3 private hospitals, of which the 250 beds Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital is the largest and best equipped. The hospital has a large staff of multi-ligual doctors, often educated in the USA or Australia. The nursing staff all speak English. This hospital is also linked to the much larger Bangkok General Hospital in Bangkok, which provides even more access to excellent doctors and facilities, just in case...
Why not rent a water scooter? Or do some paragliding, or take the 'banana', or do some surfing, or snorkeling? If all else fails, you can always rent a rubber tube to keep you floating! More serious sports like diving and deep-sea fishing is done near the many close-by islands with their magnificent & nearly deserted beaches and coral reef formations.
There are many regular boat services available, and all types of boats for rent. The area also boasts several marinas and Yacht Clubs. Those preferring terra firma can fish from the piers, or watch the many fishing boats at night with their bright lights attracting squid, or visit one of the many close-by fishing villages. A real must!
Close to home is a veritable 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not', top floor, Royal Garden Shopping Center. The same floor also offers a spectacular 3-D movie joy ride, and other attractions, plus 2 cinemas. More & better choice of movies is offered at Big C Center's 4 cinemas.
On Sukhumvit is Mini Siam, offering miniatures of well-known temples and famous buildings from all over the world. Spectacular is the Wooden Temple on Wong Amat beach in Naklua. Difficult to find, but worth a detour! For kids there is Pattaya Park on Tappraya Road (close to Jomtien Complex). Giant water slides are its main feature, but you can also glide down by cable from the high tower with its revolving restaurant and lookout terrace. Make sure you are properly insured!
Sport activities of nearly every kind can be practiced in the area, with golf, tennis, bowling, deep-sea fishing, and diving as the clear local favorites. There are at least a dozen golf courses in the immediate vicinity, some with 36 holes. They were mostly built with Japanese and American golfers in mind, and are of excellent quality.
Tennis can be played at the larger hotels by becoming a member of their Health Club. Favorites are The Royal Cliff Resort and The Dusit Resort.
There are 4 bowling halls, the largest one (above Tops Supermarket) with 32 lanes. Joggers prefer the steep area around Pratumnak Hill (close to The Royal Cliff Resort), and "surplace" excercises are practiced in the numerous local Gyms. Believe it or not, there is also a veritable lawn bowl court (off Soi Buakao, near Soi Diana), and several shooting ranges, of which the one in the basement of Tiffany's is the most popular.
For go-karting there are 3 venues, one next to Mini Siam, and the other two on or near Theppasit Road. For snooker, pool, darts, ULV-flying & many, many other tastes you can get information from The Pattaya Sports Club on Third Road, near Pattaya Nua.