Pattaya/Koh Larn


The infamous seaside city of Pattaya was up until the 1960s a small fishing village, now a lively, busy and popular resort city. Located just south of Bangkok on the east coast of the Gulf Of Thailand, Pattaya is world famous for its wild nightlife and draws tourists from all over the world. One of Pattaya's draws is it's close proximity to Bangkok, only a few hours ride by taxi or bus. U-Tapao international airport is also about an hours drive away.


During the the day within the city there are various things to do. Pattaya is home to a range of shopping options, including various large shopping malls, markets and street shops. Whilst the clubs are closed during the day most of the bars are open except in the famous Walking Street, bars around the city will be busy with people enjoying a cold drink whilst escaping from the heat. The beach is full of fun water activities like jet skis and parasailing. The beach itself however is very poor compared to other Thai beaches with many opting not to use it. That being said the Thai authorities have made an effort in recent times to tidy the beach and beach front to make it more appealing. 



When it comes to hotels in pattaya there is an unbelievable range of choices. Hotels, guesthouses and rooms to rent are everywhere. Prices of accommodation vary massively with what standard your looking for. But with such a high number of hotels in the city, prices are very competitive, so look around because there are some real bargains to be found when searching for somewhere to stay.


A great service Pattaya offers is it's songthaew, a very cheap bus/pickup truck that follow set routes round the city. Just wave it down and jump on, ring the buzzer then jump off wherever you want, remembering to pay the driver when you get off. If you miss one don't worry one will follow it shorty, they are everywhere and run all day and night. The motorbike taxis are also very popular in pattaya and very easily found. Just be aware of being overcharged by some of the drivers, especially at night time.


When it comes to food in pattaya you really are spoilt for choice. Restaurants catering for every taste and there are food options from all over world. From fine dining to street food it's there in abundance. You'll find something to eat on nearly every street in pattaya. And like with the hotels, prices for food are very reasonable. Also worth a mention is Food Panda, a food delivery App service that will deliver restaurant food to your hotel, always good after a long day if not wanting to venture out.

 

As the sun sets and the night draws in Pattaya comes to life, it becomes evident to see why this city is so famous for its night life. The city awakens and becomes colourful and animated with an electric feel. Sex tourism is a big part of the nightlife, with countless amounts of girls, guys and ladyboy's working in the endless amounts of bars and clubs. Though Pattaya is generally busy everywhere at night time with exciting and intriguing places to enjoy, it's most famous night area is it's Walking Street. A vibrant and busy street crammed tightly with neon lit bars and clubs, attracting a wide range of people from all over the world. Whilst yes Pattaya's sex and entertainment industry seems to dominate a lot of the city at night, it's slowly changing, it's welcoming nightlife is enjoyed by couples and families also. 

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With Pattaya slowly trying to change it's image from a nightlife only place it has developed quite a few tourist and family orientated attractions in and around the city. 
There are animal attractions that include zoo's, tiger parks, crocodile and snake farms, fishing parks, an elephant village and the quite unusual sheep park. 


There is a tropical gardens, various golf courses and a selection of Muay Thai training camps and stadiums to watch live fights. Religious land marks such as the Sanctuary Of Truth and The Khao Chi Chan Buddha.



The city hosts various cabaret shows, a newly built floating market and an impressive viewpoint. Pattaya is also close to the very popular Cartoon Network Water Park and Ramayana Water Park.



Whilst Pattaya's wild and seedy nightlife is what put it on the map, the signs are there that this city is slowly trying to change its ways. Whether or not this will ever be achieved to come in line with other Thai holiday destinations remains to be seen. Sure Pattaya is not as an attractive option as some of Thailand's other places but If you visit Pattaya and accept it for what it is then your sure to have a good time. Some people hate it, some people love it, it's definitely worth a visit to make your own judgement on. And one thing that's guaranteed whatever your thoughts are on Pattaya your stay there is bound to be a memorable experience.


Another reason why people visit Pattaya is that it's very close to the island of Koh Larn. An island roughly an hours ferry trip or 30 minute speed boat from Pattaya pier. Visiting koh Larn can be a welcome break from the craziness of Pattaya. Despite being only a short journey away from city the contrast couldn't be bigger.


The water at the island is clear and comes as a welcome surprise considering the beaches at pattaya. Though a reasonably small island it has a community of people that live there, a town, hotels, market, shops, bars and restaurants. The island is not small enough to walk around, so motorbike taxis, buses and tuk tuk's are on hand to take you around, or alternatively rent a motorbike for the day and travel the island yourself (roads here a very very quiet).


There are 6 main beaches, Tawaen Beach, Samae Beach, Nual Beach, Tien Beach, Tonglang Beach and Tayaiy Beach. Most people who visit just come for the day, but I'd suggest spending the night that way you have time to explore the whole island, find your favourite beach (mines Nual Beach), and enjoy the island after most of the other people head back to the mainland.


Koh Larn is equally popular with tourists and locals. Be aware when visiting at the weekend as it can be extremely busy with people from Bangkok and other surrounding areas visiting on their days off work. And if wanting to stay on the island book before you go. There is not a huge choice of accommodation but all price ranges are covered. Though not far from pattaya and Bangkok, The clear water and soft sand will make you feel a million miles away from the mainland. While it doesn't rival the Islands of southern Thailand its a great little place considering how close it is to Bangkok, and a good escape for a day or two to re energise your body before heading back to the mainland.