Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Things to do in Pattaya, Thailand

by Antony Chapman

There is more to Pattaya than most people would think, the city being undeniably modern, with all the usual entertainment that you would expect from a bustling metropolis, as well as a few that you might not expect!
Visitors often think immediately of the beach (and well they should with so much going on there) or the nightlife (with its infamous reputation), but don't overlook the following:

Water Sports The number of water sports available in Pattaya is mind-boggling. Try your hand at sailing, wind-surfing, jet skiing, para-sailing, kayaking or banana-boating. Plus, if you feel like it, mix a boat ride to the outlying islands with some fishing or snorkeling.

Other Sports Pattaya has some gorgeous golf courses (no need to bring your own gear if you are struggling with luggage already), as well as a number of great go-karting courses. You can also try out paintball or laser tag.

Amusement parks In and around Pattaya, there are a couple of parks that should form part of any visit, especially for families with children. Underwater World boasts a fantastic aquarium with many activities for visitors. For something a little more adventurous, try Funnyland Amusement Park, with its carnival rides. Alternatively, Pattaya Water Park offers similar fun, of a watery kind.

Wildlife Parks If you are more interested in seeing some of Thailand's more exotic wildlife, there are a number of parks that offer a taste of nature. Sriracha Tiger Zoo offers a close (very close) look at these magnificent wild cats. The Million Years Stone Park and Pattaya Crocodile Farm mixes plant and animal life in its beautiful grounds. Alternatively, visit Nong Nooch Tropical Garden for a glimpse into Thailand's amazing flora. And of course no visit to Thailand is complete without experiencing the elephants who have their own Elephant Village in Pattaya.

Shopping Pattaya has a number of modern shopping centres, together with a number of factory outlet malls offering brand names at fantastic prices. Just make sure you have enough space in your suitcases. Remember too that tourists can claim back on the VAT.

Eating out All along both Jomtien and Pattaya beaches you will find some great restaurants offering a mixture of Thai and Western cuisine. Make sure you try the seafood and look for the restaurants that Thais are eating at, as they will be the ones with the freshest ingredients!

Museums with a twist Nearby, Mini Siam offers a glimpse into Thailand's past, with mini being the operative word, since everything this reconstruction boasts scaled down miniatures of historic buildings. Otherwise, check out Ripley's Believe It or Not for a museum visit with a difference.

With so much to do, you can easily fill a two week holiday - just remember to make some time for just relaxing!

About the Author

Antony Chapman runs Sailing Pattaya, a sailing school and yacht charter service in Pattaya, Thailand.

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