Pattaya is a city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast known for its beaches. A quiet fishing village as recently as the 1960s, it’s now lined with resort hotels, high-rise condos, shopping malls, cabaret bars, and 24-hour clubs. Nearby, hillside Wat Phra Yai Temple features an 18m-tall golden Buddha. The area also features several designer golf courses, some with views of Pattaya Bay.
Jet-skiing and parasailing are popular activities on Pattaya’s busy beachfront, which is lined with lounge chairs and umbrellas. Jomtien Beach, to the south, is quieter and popular for windsurfing. Neon-lit Walking Street, which is closed to traffic each night, is packed with go-go bars, discos, and massage parlors, while Art in Paradise features 3-D and interactive paintings. To the north, Naklua Bay also has beaches, a village-like vibe, and the Sanctuary of Truth, an wood shrine covered with intricate Buddhist and Hindu carvings.