Everything you wanted to know about Pattaya

The ever-growing Pattaya FAQ list

All information you need to know before traveling to Pattaya

Welcome! We, from hotel villa oranje, want all visitors to Pattaya to have a great experience in our great, bustling city.

We decided to make a list of the most frequently asked questions and answers on Pattaya. This way we create our own little Pattaya travel guide, right here on this page, not only for visitors from our hotel, but for everyone.

Here you will find everything you need to know about Pattaya. This page will be updated regularly. If you have any question, do not hesitate to ask us!

Pattaya walking street nightlife bar area

Pattaya General

Can I visit Pattaya now?

Yes! Pattaya is open for everyone, so you can visit Pattaya easily. Tourism has started to speed up recently and most bars, restaurants and nightclubs are open. It’s not yet as busy as before the pandemic, so you can enjoy lower prices everywhere. Having said that, you will enjoy, everything is open and the city is bustling as ever.

Travel restrictions to Thailand eased a lot. It is now easy to visit the land of smiles.
COVID measures vary in time of course, so it is important to always check the latest entry requirements, for example via the official Thai Tourism website.

Are Pattaya hotels open?

Yes! Pattaya hotels are open again! It is low season until november (but the weather is still great), so many discounts are to be found in this period.
Our hotel “Villa Oranje” is also open with discounted prices. We hope to see you soon, check out our available rooms.

Can I drink tap water in Pattaya?

Almost all tap water, is unsafe to drink in Thailand. Pattaya is no exception. The tap water is safe to shower, but don’t use it for drinking. If you have a sensitive stomach, don’t use it for brushing your teeth either. You can get bottled water at every 7/11 (and they are everywhere) in Pattaya.
A tip from us, there are local “mom and pop shops” throughout Pattaya, real Thai convenience stores that sell bottled water much cheaper then at the 7/11 stores. At these mom and pop shops you can get 3 bottles of 1.5 litres for around 100 Baht.
Here at Villa Oranje we provide you 2 complimentary bottles of water every day.

What is the weather in Pattaya per month like?

Pattaya is nice to visit all year rond, but it depends a bit on your preferences. A guarantee is a day time temperature of 30 degrees or more all year round.
January, February are generally considered very good months to visit Pattaya. They are part of the so called “dry season”, so there is almost no rain and blue sky’s. The weather won’t be so humid. It can be crowded in these months. Prices tend to be higher as well. All bars are fully open and very busy.
March, April are considered “hot”. And if the Thai call it hot, it can be very hot, especially in april. Temperatures up to 42 degrees celcius can happen that month. Having said that, the weather will be dry, lot’s of sun and of course there is in the hottest month the famous Songkran festival. That will cool you down a bit 🙂 It’s lot’s of fun and people cool each other by throwing water. Of air conditioning in shopping malls, such as in Terminal 21 make these locations a perfect getaway on the hottest days. March and april are fun months to travel to Thailand in general and Pattaya in specific. There are many activities this month in Pattaya.
May, june, july, october are considered part of the ‘rainy season”. Having said that, it is often just some rain in the evening. It rarely happens that it is raining all day long. Temperatures are still 30+ , but it is a bit humid. The sun is sometimes covered by clouds, but still there is quite some sunshine almost every day. These months are also considered low season. So expect cheaper prices everywhere, especially at hotels, but also in bars and restaurants. Actually it is quite relaxt in these months. It is never too busy always some place to sit and chill and to have the discount feeling all the time.
November, december are very good months to visit Pattaya. November, but especially december is in dry season, so perfect weather! But being the holiday season also more crowded and busy.
We at Villa Oranje, are open all year round. We have a good deal for you in every month. Also when it get’s too hot, just chill in our private swimming pool. Enjoy Pattaya right in the city center here at Villa Oranje.

What should I avoid in Pattaya?

Avoid arguments with local Thai people. No matter how tall or strong you are, no matter if you are with a group of people, don’t argue on something like a dispute in a bar even if it is unfair.
Just pay the amount, leave and never go back to that place.
Did you take a lady to your hotel, but it appears to be a a ladyboy? Oops, you are not the first and certainly not the last. Don’t make trouble. Pay the guy (at least the bar fee and some compensation) and accept your losses. You need to realize they all work together, a problem with one is a problem with many.
Don’t argue with bouncers in clubs, there is no chance of winning this. Forget about it, pay your drinks and leave.
Don’t go to places you don’t know with people you don’t know.
Also avoid taking no ID with you. Just make a small photocopy of your passport, that is sufficient. If you don’t take any ID (or the photocopy) you have a risk of getting fined.

What is Pattaya darkside?

The Pattaya darkside isn’t as sinister as it sounds. There is no batman flying around there. The darkside is actually quite a nice area to visit, but it is harder to get to being in the east of Pattaya without any good public transport.
Even Grab or Bolt taxi’s can take a while if you need them there.
Having said that the area isn’t expensive and there are also quite some nice bars and restaurants.
The darkside area is mainly used by expats or families who stay for a long time in Pattaya as it is a more relaxing area without all sounds and lights. There are also not a lot of hotels in the darkside. Lodging limits to condo’s and long term rentals.
The name “darkside” most likely came from the fact that in the past there was no street lightning in that part of town. The area around beach road was called -guess what- : “brightside”.

What is so special about Pattaya?

The answer to that question is different for everyone. However in general, Pattaya is maybe the most complete holiday destination in Thailand.
Pattaya got famous because of it’s (naughty) nightlife. That’s still there, Pattaya is still (next to Bangkok) the best nightlife destination of Thailand. Having said that, the Pattaya government has invested a lot in alternative things to do, so if you are not into nightlife, there are nowadays so many other things to do as well.
Need some relaxation or instagram pictures? Go to the beautiful “bounty islands” within easy reach from the city center and just a short boat ride away.
Pattaya is so easily reachable from all over the country, but Bangkok (and the largest airport from Thailand) are just only 1,5 hour away by taxi. Pattaya also has a train station and countless buses terminate in Pattaya every day.
There are so many beautiful temples in Pattaya, you can visit temples in the morning and then in the afternoon relax at the 15km long beach, right in the city center.
Into watersports? Diving, water skiing, parasailing or just sit on a ‘banana’ being pulled by a boat, it’s all possible.
Pattaya is a small city with sometimes a big city feeling. There is very good medical healthcare, lot’s of expats (but these can also be avoided if you want).
Some areas in Pattaya give a real “Thai Feeling”, much more then for example in Phuket.
The shopping possibilities are for a city of it’s size excellent, from modern shopping malls to markets and even a floating market, it’s all there.

Come visit Pattaya, you won’t regret it. The most complete and easy to reach holiday destination in Thailand. Pattaya is blessed with tropical weather all year round. There is always (some) sun no matter which season.
If you decide to visit, checkout our hotel, right in the center of Pattaya, but tucked away in a quiet side street. Maybe the cosiest hotel in Pattaya!

On traveling

Pattaya vs Bangkok, what is the difference?

Bangkok is great! It is an awesome city, but also called by many “the hottest city in the world” and it is one of the most polluted cities in the world. If you feel you are in need of fresh (sea) air, less pollution, but still great weather, take a ride to Pattaya from Bangkok. Pattaya is situated directly on the gulf of Thailand and is an excellent getaway from Bangkok.
In some ways you can call Pattaya, “little Bangkok”. Here we have also markets where you can buy “knock off” clothes, just not as many as in Bangkok, but for sure you will find something in the various (night) markets here.
High buildings? We got you covered. True, our skyscrapers are not as high as in Bangkok, but we do have several sky bars, with sea view! Eat that Bangkok!
Beer bar’s? We wouldn’t say we invented them, Bangkok was a bit earlier, but now the majority of beer bars can be found here in Pattaya. We outnumber Bangkok by many (including that sea breaze) :).
In terms of restaurants, Pattaya has restaurants from all over the world, just as Bangkok has, only here they are far more easy reachable. You don’t need to wait hours in the horrible traffic as in Bangkok to get to your favorite restaurant. Just walk, take a short taxi ride or even an open “Baht Bus”. Speaking of those, Bangkok hardly has any Baht Buses, good for us, because here there are plenty. Feel the wind in your hair while you commute!
See you soon in Pattaya!

How many days should I stay in Pattaya?

That’s a difficult question to answer as it depends on your personal preferences. There is so much to do in Pattaya that you can easily stay here for 3 weeks and do something different every day.
In general, if you arrive from another timezone, we suggest to at least stay 5 days. That way you can see at the highlights from Pattaya and take some rest. Better is to stay 5-10 days. You can explore the area at a slower pace (remember it is very hot here).
We at our apartment complex Villa Oranje, also have many guests staying for a month or longer. And that’s -if you have time- of course a great option. Remote working is getting more popular and Thailand is a great destination for that.

How far is Pattaya from Bangkok?

Officially Pattaya is located exactly 147km from Bangkok. By taxi it will take about 1.5 hours to drive from Bangkok to Pattaya. Currently the taxi rate is around 1500 Baht.
Buses depart frequently from Mo Chit bus station and take you to Pattaya in about 3 to 4 hours for around 6 dollar.
Train lovers can also take a train from Bangkok to Pattaya. A little more adventurous and there are only 2 trains per day. It can take from 2.5 to 4 hours depending on the train. Price is around 5 or 6 dollar.
Departing from Suvernabhumi airport? That is slightly closer to Pattaya, around 120km. From the airport taxi’s are directly on the highway so you might be in Pattaya in close to an hour. Buses also depart from the airport.
There is currently no ferry service between Pattaya and Bangkok.
Our hotel, villa oranje is in the center of Pattaya. If you do not want to hassle with taxi drivers, we are happy to arrange a taxi for you at a fixed, cheap price. Just ask us.
The travel time from Bangkok to Pattaya in an infographic below:Travel time from Bangkok to Pattaya Thailand

Pattaya vs Phuket, which one is better?

Pattaya or Phuket? You can do both and we are happy to assist you in arranging a package!

If you have to choose our comparison below, may help you decide:

Ease of accesibility:
Pattaya, is slightly easier to reach from Bangkok as it is just a taxi or bus ride away.
To go to Phuket, you need to take a plane from Bangkok, that’s often more hassle and more expensive.

The Thailand feeling:
Pattaya feels more like the real Thailand. There are so many street food stalls and scents here, locals live and work here. Pattaya wins on Thai Feeling for sure.
Being an Island, Phuket has a more closed and touristic feeling. If you really want to experience Thailand with locals, go to Pattaya.

Nightlife (solo travelers):
Pattaya’s nightlife, especially for solo travelers is much, much better. Pattaya city center is one big party every night, 365 days a year.
The nightlife in Phuket is more family oriented. It is also more expensive. So if you are a solo traveler who prefers a very good nightlife, Pattaya is your best destination.

Nightlife (general):
While Pattaya is great for a visit, also when you are with a family, it is slightly less perfect, compared to Phuket, as most nightlife has loud music, beer bar’s etc.
Phuket has a more family oriented nightlife. Having said that, not far from our hotel, about 10-15 minutes by taxi, we have JomTien, which has a very family oriented atmosphere. Totally different from Pattaya.

Pattaya has less appealing beaches then Phuket, but having said that, Pattaya has easy access to islands with great views.
Phuket, being an island has stunning views at and from their beaches. So the difference is great views vs stunning views.

Pattaya is for sure a bit cheaper then Phuket. That’s why we give 5 stars on prices for Pattaya. You will save some money here, that’s for sure. Prices are sometimes 20% lower then in Phuket.
Phuket is really more expensive. It is a bit more upscale and Pattaya -being not an island- has fierce competition. That’s why we give one star less on prices to Phuket. If you prefer a cheaper destination, choose Pattaya.

Our Hotel, Villa Oranje Pattaya has 5 economy double rooms right in the city center. Low prices, maximum comfort!

What to do in Pattaya on a rainy day?

In Pattaya it doesn’t rain often, only in the rainy season from may to october you might encounter rain. Usually not long, just a couple of hours, often even less.
But in the occasion the rain does lasts longer, there are plenty of awesome things to do in Pattaya, such as (but not limited to)

Pattaya underwater world. We promise you stay dry! But you do see lot’s of amazing creatures!

Terminal 21 in Pattaya is Pattaya’s largest shopping mall. It’s travel themed an extra incentive to visit. Countless Baht Buses terminate here, so easy to get to.

Go watch a Muay Thai boxing fight. A spectacular technique that goes back thousands of years.

Art in Paradise is an interactive museum where you can make great 3D pictures and videos for instagram, tiktok and more. Great fun!

If you don’t want to go out in the rain, just stay in our hotel. Our outside terrace is covered and we still serve ice cold beers and great food, also during the rain. Besides that we have a communal room where there is a free pool table, a large DVD collection for you to watch movies and even a mini library with many books (most are in Dutch, so if you have spare English books, do take them!).

Bonsutip: If you are here during the rainy season you also enjoy much lower prices everywhere. First time some rain will put a smile on your wallet en face 🙂

We hope to see you soon in Pattaya.

Can I visit Pattaya with kids?

Absolutely! Although Pattaya is famous for it’s nightlife, party atmosphere and of course the sex industry, it is very well possible to visit Pattaya with kids. And if you do, you are not the only one. Thousands of family’s visit Pattaya each year and year on year the family visits increase.
The Pattaya government is actively improving the experience for family’s by upgrading Na Kluea and Koh Lan Island and building more theme parks.
Pattaya gradually sees itself as a fun and vibrant hub of activities for domestic and international
crowds, developing a full calendar of events from annual celebrations to sports tournaments,festivals, and concerts.
Because Pattaya is such a vibrant coastal city with so many facilities, it is worth a consideration to visit Pattya with kids. Because of it’s size there is always something to do. Your kid’s (and you) won’t be bored. There are water parks, theme parks, beautiful Islands, temples, tiger farms, a zoo, a 3d art museum and much more. And all of this is also very affordable. Pattaya is a cheap destination, also for families.
So yes, you can visit Pattaya with kids and avoid the nightlife and party area’s. There are plenty of beaches that are awesome to visit with kids and also lot’s of kids friendly activities to do.

Should I Take Cash or a Debit/Credit Card to Thailand?

The short answer is both.

The longer answer:

Cash is still king in Thailand and for sure in Pattaya, you can pay everywhere with cash and for sure not everywhere with card.
If you need to exchange money in Pattaya, bring as large notes as possible. Larger notes usually give a slightly better rate.
TT currency exchange can be found everywhere in Pattaya (the yellow booths). Ask for a better rate when you have larger denomination notes to exchange, they sometimes do.

There are a lot of ATM machines in Pattaya, countless to be honest!
That’s for a reason they charge you:

-A fee for withdrawal (sometimes up to or slightly over 200 baht)
-There is a minimal exchange rate charge.
-There is a charge by your home country bank often as well.

So by using an ATM you get screwed 3 times, maybe even 4 times:

Another difference between western and asian ATM’s is that ATM’s here usually dispense cash first, then card second! This is opposite to many Western ATMs. Not a big problem if you are sober, but it can be a big problem when you drank some diet coke beer.

So try to avoid ATM’s if you have a regular bank card. If you do use them and need to choose between “conversion or non conversion” usually the non conversion option is slightly cheaper.

Payment by credit card only works in larger stores, like Terminal21 or a bit larger restaurants. The small bars/restaurants all work by cash.

Line is a chat app, popular in Asia, that also has a payment possibility. If you get Line Payments to work, you can pay as a local. It depends the store if they accept line payments.

Another option that can be cheaper is a “Revolut” debit card. Revolut issues cards that sometimes (depending on the subscription and amount) give free withdrawals.

If you are on a shoestring and you need to exchange money at Suvernabhumi airport, the cheapest booths can be found all the way down to the lower ground level, towards the Airport Express platform. Use the exchanges there, you will get a slightly better rate than the exchanges in the main terminal area.

For those of you that think: “there is a solution for all these problems, bitcoin payments over the lightning network”. That is true, but bitcoin payments for goods and services are illegal in Thailand unfortunately.

At Villa Oranje you can use cash and credit card payments for the rooms and bar. Not a problem!

On Food

Where can I get the best (coffee) beans in Pattaya?

In our opinion the best coffee available in Pattaya, is “Hilkoff coffee“. Hilkoff is a brand from Thailand (Chiang Mai) that has a branch in Pattaya as well.
They sell Thai coffee beans and coffee. Even coffee from various heights so you can really taste the difference.
Their address in Pattaya can be found here. You need a taxi or motorbike taxi to get there from most places in Pattaya, but worth a visit for coffee lovers.
If you don’t want to do so much effort for a coffee, just enjoy one at our hotel. We serve also excellent coffee.

What are the top 3 Thai dishes that you must try when you visit Pattaya?

There are so many dishes available in Thailand so it is very difficult to pinpoint it to 3 dishes. But if we have to make a shortlist it will be this one:

1) Pad Thai is our number 1. It is available everywhere and you can get it in various variants. Shrimp, chicken, beef, it is all available and it tastes really better then Pad Thai at home.
Our tip: when you are in Pattaya, try Pad Thai at “Tree Town food market” they really have good food, not expensive and everyone there speaks English so you can easily customize your meal (less sugar, less spicy etc). Tree town food market is just at a 5 minute walk from our hotel/apartment complex.

2) Massaman, in Thai gaeng massaman. Massaman is a Thai curry with coconut and potato and can also be made in various variants, for example without meat, vegan style. It’s not a very spicy dish.

3) Tom Yum Goon, the most difficult one to pronounce but certainly one for this list. Tom means boil, so it makes sense this dish is a soup. It’s not only very tasty, but also healthy. Thai people say this is one of their healthiest dishes. It has vitamin A, B1, B2 and B3. and it also helps if you are having a cough.

There is so much more to add to this list. Go out in Pattaya and you will easily find the dishes written above and many many more!
Try the food stalls or small Thai restaurants in Pattaya and you will be surprised by price and taste!

Tip: when you don’t want to go out to a restaurant, use the app “Grab Food” It is an Asian super app useful for many tasks, but one of them is food delivery. Very easy, in English and a huge assortment of food delivered to you in (sometimes) minutes.Good safe street food in Pattaya Fon Fon Tree Town near soi bukhao

Is there a McDonalds in Pattaya?

Yes, if you can’t live without McDonalds, don’t worry. Along beach road there is a large McDonalds. Just as good as at home, just cheaper 🙂 Also in the city center you can find McDonalds.

On nightlife

Can I fall in love in Pattaya?

Yes, you can fall in love in Pattaya, even multiple times a day.
But do keep your head clear and cool. Stay rational.
We can advice you to watch this animation on YouTube.
Enjoy Pattaya, but stay cool!

When I pay the bar fine in a bar, can I take her/him to another bar?

Yes, that’s perfectly possible. Just bear in mind that all your expenses will be doubled. She will also wants to have drinks in the other bars. By paying a bar fine earlier, you will be sure the girl of your dreams won’t leave with someone else.
Do keep in mind that this is all a business transaction. Don’t get too emotionally involved. (at least try :)).

What is a lady drink?

When you visit the bar area (for example at soi bukhao), and you are in need of some company, there is always a lady (or boy) that would like to talk to you.
Often they will ask you for a “lady drink”. It is simply a compensation for them to talk to you. The price of a lady drink is a bit higher then a regular drink. It is very simple: the bar gets the drink cost and the lady get the rest as a ‘commission’.
So lady drinks are not a scam (as sometimes mistakenly is told on some youtube channels). It is simply a business model for the girls and boys working in the bar. It is very common in Thailand and especially in Pattaya and Bangkok.
Prices are always transparent and often even visible on the menu. Ask for the price before you order a lady drink. If prices are not transparent, just go to another bar.
To avoid any problems, just make sure you check the bill as soon as the lady drink has arrived. It is very normal to double check these things.
If you follow these rules, you will have a great time in any bar in Pattaya.

On shopping

Where to buy electronics in Pattaya?

Pattaya has a large IT shopping mall called “Tuk Com”. There you will find several floors with everything you can imagine on IT. Powerbanks, phones, headsets, computers, laptop’s it is all there. There are also repair shops and shops where you can get “software cheap”.
There are several shops that offer quality products, but do note that there are also shops that sell cheap knock off products, so if a price is too good to be true, it is probably low quality.
Staff usually speaks English pretty well and Tuk Com is open daily from 11am to 8pm.
After the covid-19 restrictions there are still quite some shops closed. But the good ones they have remained. Still plenty of shops to be found.
The bottom floor of Tuk Com has a good coffeeshop, and a McDonalds, so you can prepare for a stroll of a few hours in this complex. The whole complex is air conditioned and also a good visit on a rainy day.
Tuk Com is not far from our hotel and can easily be reached either by foot or a short taxi ride.

Where can I buy fakes in Pattaya?

In Pattaya, everything is available, just a little less than in Bangkok. Bangkok has the well known MBK as large shopping mall where you can buy knock offs or fakes, Pattaya has “Mikes Shopping mall a long beach road” or Pattaya’s night bazaar (which in contradiction to the name is mostly open during the day).
A long beach road there are also some shops that sell the most popular fake products.
If you need sunglasses, there is always someone available along beach road to sell you some fake sunglasses. Don’t pay too much! The quality is good only for a few weeks 🙂

What is the weed situation like in Pattaya?

Thailand has very strict drugs laws. So always make sure you are up to date on the latest legislation to avoid serious trouble. Research multiple websites to make sure you comply with the law when you are in Thailand.
Cannabis in Thailand has been decriminalized since june 2022.
At and near soi bukhao there are plenty of possibilities to get weed. Just search a bit on facebook or walk around. Do NOT smoke in public areas, as for example outside or in a park. It is not allowed.
Also it is possible to easily get cannabis infused drinks at some shops.
Again do your research. The situation here is not the same as in Amsterdam, some states in the US or Canada.

Where can I find good shopping malls in Pattaya

Pattaya has some very good shopping malls. Modern, clean with everything you need. It’s not Bangkok, it’s more limited, but you will find Pattaya a complete shopping destination. Our top shopping malls are:
Mike Shopping mall : It can be compared a bit with MBK in Bangkok. They sell local crafts and souvenirs and cheap clothes. Due to Covid not all stores have opened up again so it’s a bit limited in shops at the moment (2022)
Terminal 21: A great modern shopping mall at the termination point of many baht buses so easy to reach. It is travel themed, each floor represents a country or city. Good food court as well. Stores like Uniqlo, Onitsuka Tiger, H&M and much more.
Central Festival: This shopping mall is said to be the largest in Pattaya and not far from our hotel. It is connected to both beach road and soi bukhao, making it very easily accessible. They have a great airconditioned food court.
Outlet mall Pattaya: Do you fancy some cheap branded clothes? Visit the Pattaya outlet mall. It’s outside the city center, but not too far and easily reached by taxi (or some baht buses). A standard outlet mall as you see them in many countries, but it’s always nice to do some cheap shopping at your holiday!

If you plan to spend a lot, participate in tax free shopping for tourists. All large shopping malls participate.

Koh Larn of the the Islands near Pattaya and not far from our hotel.
Koh Larn, Pattaya, one of the islands in Pattaya

Book your holiday in Pattaya at
Villa Oranje

Our little boutique hotel is in the middle of Pattaya, close to everything you need for a great holiday!
We help you get the most out of Pattaya!

Take a look at our Pattaya picture gallery

And dream away of your holiday

    Cheapest room: 990 baht/night

    Customer Satisfaction Results:

    Robert Jansen, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Wow, just look at the appreciation hundreds of guests gave to this hotel. Just put in ‘Villa Oranje’ and find these numbers:

    • Tripadviser.com 5/5  Excellent
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    • Booking.com 9,2/10  Outstanding
    • Hotel.com 9,8/10  Exceptional
    • Agoda.com 9,0/10  Superior
    • Expedia.com 4,9/5  Extraordinary
    • Trivago.nl 9,1/10  Eminent

    ….. I completely agree with these reviews and rest my case, congratulations!

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