Those looking for a family-oriented vacation spot might think twice about bringing the kids to Pattaya in Eastern Thailand. Infamous for its go-go bars and rampant sex tourism, it isn't exactly the ideal spot for good ol' clean fun. Or is it? While the sight of fat Western men walking with young and pretty Thai girls are still common in this tourist hub, local authorities have taken steps to provide more family-friendly attractions in Pattaya. From water sports to zoos to theme parks, there are a surprising number of activities for families in Thailand's Sin City.
While tourists go to Pattaya Beach to swim and relax, families with kids might want to consider going to the more quiet Jomtien Beach ten minutes away. After all, that's what most Thai families do. Jomtien Beach is less crowded and offers a wealth of water sports like banana boat riding, water skiing and windsurfing, just to name a few. If you tire of the beach, take the kids to the Underwater World and the Institute of Marine Science Aquarium and Museum. If you want to swim with the dolphins, there are guided trips at Oasis Seaworld. Watch the elephants play football at the Pattaya Elephant Village or monkeys climb to pick coconuts at the Monkey Training Center. Other attractions that feature animals include the Khao Khew Open Zoo and the Sriracha Tiger Zoo. The magic performances and crocodile shows at the Million Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm will surely enthrall the young and old alike. And don't forget to check out the Coral Reef Submarine Tours, where you can observe colorful underwater life aboard a submarine.
There are loads of eating places all over Pattaya so there's no reason to go hungry here. There are many restaurants as well as bars and clubs clustered along Walking Street in Pattaya Beach. Many bars and cafes have also sprouted along Soi L.K. Metro between Second Road and Soi Buakhao. More international cuisines can be sampled in the Food Wave located atop the Royal Garden Plaza shopping mall. But if you want cheap delicacies, head to the Thep-Pra-Sit Night Market.
You won't run out of places to shop in Pattaya, especially with the opening of Central Festival, one of the largest shopping arcades in Asia. Get your souvenirs at Mike Shopping Mall, while upscale boutiques can be found at the Royal Garden Plaza. For your consumer electronics needs, don't miss Tuk.Com on South Pattaya Road.
217/26 Moo 9, Soi 8 Beach Road
499 North Pattaya Beach Road
4 Phra Tam Nak Road
Brids and Bees Resort, Nongprue Banglamung
North Pattaya Road