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The Backpacker Guide to Pattaya in Thailand

Updated on June 20, 2011

Why Not Pattaya?

For some very odd reason Pattaya in Thailand does not appear on the Backpacker circuit. They arrive in Bangkok from wherever and head north to Chiang Mai or south to Phuket. They may even pass Pattaya by as they approach the border and into Cambodia. Koh Chang island is another popular Backpacker destination and again Pattaya is missed out on both the outward and return trips.

True enough Pattaya only gets a brief and unflattering entry in 'Lonely Planet' and I think that must be the reason.

The Secret is Out

It seems sad to me that the Backpackers miss out on Pattaya because of a book. The most popular destination for young travellers in Bangkok is Khao San Road. Pattaya is a hundred times better and a thousand times bigger. Pattaya is exciting, it is safe, it is fun and it is CHEAPER than Bangkok.

Getting to Pattaya from the airport.

If you are on a budget then really it has to be the cheapest route. The route you take is going to largely depend on your arrival time. Whatever time it is fight through the offers of cheap taxis and make your way down to Level one and move along to Door 8. Here there is a desk where you can buy a bus ticket for 106 Thai Baht. This really is cheap! There is a board which displays the time the bus leaves and the last one (at present) is before 6 in the evening. The times are a bit haphazard and so it is little point in stating them but the bus will arrive at the time stated.

The journey to Pattaya takes about two hours during which you will be given a Taro bun to eat and a drink of water.

You want to disembark at 'Pattaya Klang' stop. When you get off there will be a SangThaew waiting. You could hire a motorbike or cross over the dual carriageway and make your own way by foot into town....about 20-30 minutes. It is better to take the Sang Thaew. He will charge 100 Thai Baht per person, and yes you are is a rip off but it eliminates hassle. Don't pay more though!

Ask to be taken to Soi Honey. It is a bit of a wild street but everyone, honestly is very friendly. There are several guesthouses and hotels on the street or close by.

If you get really stuck then pop into a bar and buy a beer and buy a beer also for a bar girl. Bar Girls live in the street and know the wherabouts of cheap rooms or know someone who does. Befriend a Bar Girl! They live cheaply every day.

Staying in Pattaya

There are hundreds of big expensive hotels in Pattaya catering to the millions of International tourists who visit each year. There are numerous luxury apartments and villas for those who spend all or part of the year there. Pattaya has everything you could want in a city or in a holiday. Every amenity is there and then some.

The Backpacker on a budget is not forgotten. There are fan rooms available for as little as 150 Thai Baht and decent air conditioned rooms for around 500 Thai Baht. That's less than 10 UK two sharing it is a good deal. Street food is cheaper than Bangkok and just as good. You could live off the street for 100 Thai Baht a day.

Western food of every possible kind is readily available. Eating the days 'Specials' is a good option and will cost less than 100 Thai Baht each.

If food is your interest then you could start with a hearty Western Breakfast for around 75 Thai Baht. Meander down to the Beach for lunch. Hire a deckchair and eat ten huge prawns and two crabs for around 150 Thai Baht.

Still hungry? Wait till evening and go to an all you can eat buffet for 99 Thai will maybe skip breakfast in the morning.

Getting About

Pattaya is well served by a huge fleet of Sang Thaew. These multi passenger pick ups stick to a set circuitous route which allows you to get on and off where you want. Each trip costs 10 could not be cheaper. For thirty Baht a motorbike taxi will take you to your door from anywhere in Central Pattaya.

There are regular buses from the bus station direct to Bangkok....or you could catch one on Sukhumvit road. There is a train too but it is a bit slow. There are minibuses running all through the day for a set fee of 150 Baht. These are quick and offer the best speedy deal for the money. Do it yourself because exactly the same arranged through a hotel or guesthouse will cost 600 Baht.

What to Do?

Pattaya is most famous for its nightlife. It is not to be missed and is good safe fun for both sexes. Chill out, enjoy. Don't miss Walking Street...really a laugh a minute. A bit like Khao San Road for adults and five times as much fun. Eating there is a little pricey as is the beer so head out along Beach Road and to any of the Beer Bars in the side roads or along 2nd Road or Soi Bukhao.

In the day there are almost too many places to see and visit: Take a look at The Pattaya Hubs: This will give you a lot of practical information including tips on cheap living in Pattaya.

Definitely don't miss trying Thai Whiskey....even if you are not a whiskey drinker. It is not the same.


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    • scraw profile image

      sean crawford 4 years ago from los angeles

      Hello fellow hubber! I can relate to you as far as packing up and leaving the typical life behind. I quit my job to travel in Mexico. I stayed for a year and now plan to do the same in Thailand. Only this time I may backpack more and visit more places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Cambodia and Pattaya. I will not overllook Pattaya and will remember to visit Soi Honey. Thx

    • ismiskin profile image

      ismiskin 5 years ago from Bali

      Buying cheaper accommodations at the best guesthouses in Pattaya, Thailand, is certainly a wise move for many tourists, because it leaves more in the holiday budget to sample Pattaya’s abundance of seafood restaurants, beer bars, sports bars, discothèques, go-go bars, and nightclubs. All kinds of world cultures are represented here, from English and Irish pubs to Chinese and Thai nightclubs.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 6 years ago from South East Asia

      You are right pattayalover - a great place for a holiday.

    • pattayalover profile image

      pattayalover 6 years ago

      Pattaya is a good place to visit. It's not only about sex but there are more to search for.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Thank you lifeisabeach. I agree. A great place to hang out for a while.

    • lifeisabeach profile image

      lifeisabeach 7 years ago

      Pattaya is much more than sex, thank you for a valuable and insightful hub.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Weltreise - Thank you. You will definitely have fun. Chill out relax and enjoy.

    • profile image

      Weltreise 7 years ago

      Hi! Thx for this post. We will go to Pattaya tomorrow and I was little afraid of it. Now we are looking forward to have fun there.

      Gretings from Thailand

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Shop around. If you get out of the city proper...over the railway tracks you will find the cheapest places but even in the city you can find rooms for 150. My very best advice on getting a cheap room is for you to make friends with a bar girl. They know where you will get the cheapest deals.

    • fynxs23 profile image

      ivyjean 7 years ago from Philippines

      may i know where i can get the cheap room for 150 thai baht?. Ive been to pattaa many times but i cant find the cheapest room. Im going back this week to pattaya. Hope u could help.tnx

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

      Melina - Pattaya is definitely as safe as or safer than anywhere for a girlies night out or 10 nights and days. You will have a great time. Like anywhere though let common sense rule your head and don't cloud your judgement with too much alcohol. Have fun.

    • profile image

      Melina 7 years ago

      Is it a safe place to visit if it is a group of girlies only that want to vist Bangkok / Pattaya for a week to 10 days.

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 8 years ago from South East Asia

      Looking is fine. It is good for the heart and lighter on the wallet.

    • Will Apse profile image

      Will Apse 8 years ago

      I enjoyed Pattaya when I visited last year. It was less expensive than I thought it would be and still fundamentally Thai. The number of attractive women is astonishing though my wife wouldn't let me look for too long!

    • Peter Dickinson profile image

      Peter Dickinson 9 years ago from South East Asia

      I agree but then 'people watching' is free and Walking Street is amongst the best places in the world to do that.

    • profile image

      pattaya addict andrew 9 years ago

      i can imagine how miserable it feels standing on Walkin' street with 5$ in your pocket only..555