Known for its beaches, bar and fairly niche expat community, Pattaya is often overlooked by younger travellers exploring Thailand. But look beyond the GoGo bars and Pattaya becomes a haven to escape to after a busy bustling time in Bangkok.
Hostel/Budget rates – 350 – 750 THB for a dorm bed or around 1000 THB for a private room.
Midrange Hotel rates – 800 – 1600 THB for a private room in a hotel, even on a beach location.
Luxury Hotel rates – 5-star hotels start at around 1750 THB per night but expect to pay around 2200- 3000+.
Transport – Renting a motorbike costs 150-200 THB depending on the vendor, motorbike taxis are around 30 THB whilst songthaew are common and cost 5 THB but expect to pay 10 RHB if you’re a foreigner. Taxis are available but can often refuse to use a meter – instead, we chose to use LYFT (similar to Uber) which can give you the price of a journey before booking the car.
Average cost of food – As with most places in Thailand, street food and local food are readily available for a very low price. Of course, street vendors will upcharge you in the tourist areas but you can still expect to pay between 20 – 60 THB for a pad thai or some meat skewers. Sit down local restaurants will cost around 100-200 THB per person. Local beer costs anywhere between 65 RMB – 120 RMB depending where you are drinking whilst Western food will cost between 500 – 1000 RMB.
Where to stay
Hostel/Budget – Fun Dee Hostel is a small, fun hostel near Pattaya Park and not far from Jomtien Beach, with dorm beds starting at 204 THB. If you are looking for a cheap private room, check out PJ Inn Pattaya in the heart of Beach Road – private rooms start at 750 RMB.
Midrange – We enjoyed staying at the Nautical Inn on our first trip to Pattaya, spacious private rooms started at 1400 THB and the hotel is on the beach and within a few steps from all the bars and restaurants. If you are looking for a quieter area, V Residence Pattaya is a popular choice, with rooms starting at 678 THB.
Top End – My all-time favourite hotel in Pattaya has to be the Garden Cliff Resort & Spa. This is a luxurious 5-star hotel with a private beach, beautiful bars and restaurant area and with private rooms starting at only 1700 THB. For a real splurge, check out Centara Grand Mirage Beach with rooms starting at 5120 THB.
How to get there
Fly – Most people with fly into Bangkok and then travel the two hours down to Pattaya however it is possible to fly to U-Tapao – an air force base that is used for limited international and domestic flights and is based around an hour away from Bangkok.
From Bangkok – We wrote a full guide on the different ways you can travel from Bangkok to Pattaya but to summarise, you can take a bus, train or taxi/Lift. At the time of our visit, Uber was still active in Thailand, so we opted for this because it was easier although more expensive than all other routes.
The main bars and restaurants along Beach Road are all fairly walkable, especially if you have opted for a hotel near Walking Street. For attractions outside of the city centre, you can take a Songthaew like a small open bus) or opt for a taxi or LYFT (similar to Uber). Personally, we choose to avoid taxis in Pattaya as much as possible because they rarely use the meter, therefore using an app like LYFT felt much easier.