Adventurous visitors will love nothing more than the Flight of the Gibbon tour. This experience will see you zip lining across a forest canopy, exploring a spectacular landscape from above. If you’re interested in the world lurking beneath the sea you can experience it at Underwater World, an aquarium featuring themed sections of marine life, with feeding shows and the chance to dive into the tank.
The city’s beach offers a huge host of water sports, from jet skiing and kayaking to kite boarding and windsurfing. You can try some boxing and fitness training at the Muay Thai camp, or you can take the more relaxed route of a few rounds of golf in the city’s fine courses. One of the most unique experiences available is to take an elephant ride, or you can hike across the city’s natural surrounding landscape.
The middle of April sees the city come to life with the Pattaya Festival, which hosts the Miss Pattaya Beauty Pageant, aquatic competitions, flower floats and fireworks displays. The Songkran Thai new year festival is held around the same time, and could be interpreted as a huge scale water fight, as water is thrown across the streets in celebration.
Pattaya Beach stretches alongside the city centre, extending along a three kilometre stretch of lively restaurants, bars and shops. You can enjoy phenomenal views of the city from Buddha Hill, one of the highest points and home to the biggest statue in Pattaya. You can see some magical sights together at the Pattaya Elephant Village, which offers elephant rides and shows covering subjects such as elephants at work in the jungle.
Shopaholics will find plenty to keep them busy in the city’s array of malls, which feature everything from department stores and discount shops to bowling alleys and cinemas. The area is home to a collection of spas, where you can indulge in some pampering or a massage for two. Culture fans can find some interesting exhibitions across the city’s galleries and museums, which include the Anek Kuson Sala, a grand art gallery.
You can sample some authentic local cuisine in the night markets, which serve street food and small dishes you can eat on the go. If you want a more romantic evening meal there are plenty of local and international restaurants, some offering pretty sea views as you dine. Seafood lovers should head to the Chonburi Province.
Boasting phenomenal views of the Royal Cliff Bay, the Royal Cliff Beach Resort is perched on a headland overlooking the area. Couples will enjoy a romantic stay here, with opulent rooms, a stunning beach and five swimming pools to relax in. Activities include tennis and squash, or you can spend your time relaxed in the spa.
The striking Baan Sukhawadee is a pastel coloured mansion with an opulent interior that was created with no expense spared. Outside, the building is nestled on a pretty landscape of gardens. A more historical sight can be seen in the Sanctuary of Truth, an ancient wooden temple that although remains unfinished, is still a striking place to see.
You can spy some exotic animals at The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm, which sits on a lovely setting of flower and rock gardens. Some rare sights can be seen here, such as albino bears and hundreds of crocodiles. Pattaya’s culture can be soaked up in its bustling markets, which sell everything from books to local crafts. Some also offer small performances of dancing and music.
Visitors are presented with a vast choice when it comes to eating out in Pattaya. The streets are filled with local vendors and food markets serving authentic street food and local cuisine. A good range of international restaurants offer more familiar menus for the pickier members of the household, from Italian and American to Mexican and British.
The Woodlands Hotel & Resort is a great choice for families who want a peaceful hotel outside of the centre of Pattaya, but still within easy access of its fantastic attractions and welcoming atmosphere. This family-run hotel will cater for your every need, offering two swimming pools, a swim-up bar and an on-site bar. Its own restaurant serves a range of cuisine and a juice bar will keep you well hydrated in the glorious Thai sunshine.