Pattaya City Profile
Pattaya City is a somewhat tacky resort town - the Hollywood Boulevard of Thailand - full of foreign tourists and sailors from the nearby naval base, many of whom are looking for (and finding) short-term lovers.
The area's seafood is excellent, but fairly expensive. If you miss food such as Tex-Mex or pizza, or want to see Thai boxing as you sit at a bar, you'll find it in Pattaya.
Despite its lack of traditional culture, there's a beautiful beach near Pattaya City, and teaching here might appeal to teachers who want to live in a smaller town reasonably close to Bangkok. To avoid the sex scene, Jomtien Beach-area guest houses are recommended.
Pattaya is a city on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, in Chonburi Province. It is a three-hour bus or train trip from Bangkok.
Pattaya's weather is similar to Bangkok's, with the highest temperatures in April, and the most rain falling from May to October.
It is possible to get to Pattaya by bus or train, but not by air. For local trips along the beach, songtaews cost US$.20, but foreigners are sometimes pressured to pay more.
Places of Interest
There are hundreds of restaurants, shops, discos, brothels, and even a transvestite cabaret in Pattaya. The beach is beautiful, but ask about current water quality before swimming.
Diving and snorkeling are popular at one of the four small islands off shore; however, hiring a boat to get there is expensive (US$50 for a day trip).
The 24-hour restaurant, Kiss, is popular due to its reasonably priced food that includes American- and European-style breakfasts. For evening fun, head down to Beach Road, where you can meet up with other ex-pats before hitting one of the bars, which cover the spectrum of Thai entertainment possibilities.
The most important safety measure you can take in Pattaya is to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS and other STDs are rampant in brothels all over Thailand, and are spreading through the rest of the population quickly.