The Pattaya area of Thailand’s eastern seaboard is host to a beguiling range of attractions. The range includes anything from ancient Thai traditions to modern adventures. You can find the simple pleasures of the nation’s most lively party street or be humbled by unique religious treasures. Explore nature, art, science and culture in ways you would never have imagined. Enjoy the raw beauty of the rainforest canopy or the glitz and glamour of the cabaret stage.
These are the absolute must-see features which every itinerary for every visitor should include. Many of the items on our list are unique in Thailand while some are unequaled in the entire world.
Alangkarn in Pattaya Cabaret Shows
There are other cities with famous cabaret shows, but only Pattaya’s takes such great pride in the fact that every single one of the showgirls is, in fact, a show-guy! Otherwise known as the “ladyboy shows”, for obvious reasons, they are so popular that Pattaya has four different venues and hundreds of dancers. Based in grandiose buildings, the performances exemplify extravagance, glitz and glamour, with ornate costumes, elaborate choreography and huge song and dance routines. The shows and individual acts depict elements of Thai and various Asian cultures.
Sanctuary of Truth Banglamung
This one-of-a-kind teak structure is a truly awe-inspiring sanctuary to a philosophical truth, which tells of the importance religion, philosophy and art has played in human development and the folly of neglecting morality and spiritual contentment in the pursuit of materialism. It is a beautiful and humbling demonstration of human endeavour and skill, particularly when you realise that none of the wood being used has been treated or chemically protected. This means that, as one section is completed, another has succumbed to the tropical conditions and must be replaced.
Noong Nooch Tropika Botanical Garden
The 2.4sq.kms of Nong Nooch are full to bursting with some of the most remarkable flowers, displays and landscaped gardens in Thailand, if not the world. The team behind them have repeatedly won international awards for their designs, which include 17th-century-French-style gardens, a recreation of Stonehenge, creative topiary displays and gardens created exclusively with cacti, bonsais and tropical palms. It is also the home of over 670 native and hybrid species of orchid, an excellent elephant talent show and regular displays of classic Thai dancing, boxing and drumming.
Pattaya Floating Market
Correctly known as the “Four Regions Floating Market”, the sub-sections of this 100,000sqm development represent the four major areas of Thailand – the north, northeast, central and south. This representation comes in the form of shops and stalls selling souvenirs, fruits, food, art, handicrafts, postcards and clothing as well as regular cultural shows and demonstrations. Some of the 114 vendors do indeed float, selling their wares from traditional boats and canoes. The rest are built into a sturdy stilted village, with covered walkways and stout bridges connecting them.
Walking Street South Pattaya
The sights and sounds of Walking Street are quite unlike anything else in Thailand. Other towns and cities try to claim to have their own version, but nothing comes close to matching the 500 metres of fun which is found at the end of Pattaya’s Beach Road. Taking its name from the fact that it is closed to vehicle traffic after 18:00, almost every building on both sides of the road – as well as many in the side streets around it – is a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar to the extent that the road is almost completely deserted during daylight hours as virtually everything is shut. At night, however, the road comes alive with neon lights, thumping music from different genres, food vendors, street performances and party animals from around the world.