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Even if you know exactly what to expect of Pattaya, it still comes as an eye-popping sensory explosion. Multicultural, hyper-touristy Pattaya (เมืองพัทยา) boasts some excellent and good value places to stay and eat, and the area is also a family-friendly resort coast. Nevertheless, the city itself is no tropical paradise; its reputation for sleaze is totally deserved, with hundreds of beer bars, go-go clubs and massage parlors. Much of the rest is dedicated to mass-market sun-seeking tourism, with a huge retired expat population, and enormous tour groups hurried through town in an almost constant stream. For a relaxing stay in Pattaya, base yourself outside the central area.

The city is built around Ao Pattaya, a wide, crescent-shaped bay that was one of Thailand’s first beach resorts in the 1960s when American GIs came here. Pattaya Neua (North Pattaya) is more upmarket while Pattaya Tai (South Pattaya) remains the nightlife hub.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Pattaya.


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