Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Pattaya is a popular travel destination in Thailand. The coastal city offers fantastic beaches, endless entertainment and attractions, and a lively nightlife scene. It is also just a short distance from Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok. The quick trip from Bangkok to Pattaya is made easy with a variety of convenient and affordable travel options.
The distance from Bangkok to Pattaya is only about 147 kilometers, or 91 miles. Several major highways (Highway 3 and Highway 7) conveniently connect the cities. The trip takes approximately two hours depending on your mode of transportation and traffic (rush hour and Fridays are travel peak times on this route).
The most cost-effective and highly utilized travel option is arriving in Pattaya via bus. Taking a first-class bus is the preferred option by many, providing an air-conditioned ride with minimal stops. Buses to Pattaya depart from several stations in Bangkok, some as frequently as every 30 minutes. Departing stations include the Eastern Bus Terminal and Northern Bus Terminal. Traveling by first class bus typically costs 120 baht or less for travelers. Taking a second-class bus costs slightly less at about 100 baht but does not provide air conditioning and has much more frequent stops. While taking a bus is a great option, it does have a few minor inconveniences. When arriving to Pattaya, travelers will have to arrange transportation to their final destination in the city. Additionally, traveling by bus can be a minor challenge depending on the amount of luggage a traveler brings along with them. There is also a frequent private minibus service run by Bell Travel.
Many travelers also choose to drive from Bangkok to Pattaya. While more expensive, it is an attractive option for those wanting a more private means of transportation and a slightly shorter overall trip. If driving, travelers often consider renting a car. Several major rental companies have locations near Suvarnabhumi and offer competitive rates. These include Budget, Hertz, Avis, and National. Travelers can also check rates and reserve vehicles through company websites.
Traveling to Pattaya by taxicab is also an option, but a more expensive one. The official meter-taxi rate is about 1500 baht from central Bangkok and 1110 baht (including expressway fees) from Suvarnabhumi Airport. Taxi fares can often be negotiated, though, prior to starting the trip. Hotels and travel agencies can arrange for a taxi, or travelers can call a taxi from the street, with the latter providing the most flexibility when negotiating. Travelers should always make sure taxis have proper licensure before departing.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Pattaya is a popular vacation destination for international travelers, offering beautiful beaches, endless activities and festivals, and an exciting nightlife. The Thailand city caters to visitors of all ages and nationalities, truly providing something for everyone. Despite the modernization and transformation into a premier tourist destination, Pattaya has managed to retain parts of its rich and vibrant history and culture.
Pattaya originated as a small fishing village in Thailand and remained so until the mid to late 1900s. In the 1960s, American service members discovered Pattaya while looking for a place to relax during the Vietnam War. Soon after, the quiet coastal town started attracting visitors in astounding quantities, resulting in the fast and plentiful addition of guest accommodations and means of tourist transportation. Despite the rapid growth and increased tourist interest, there are still aspects of historic Pattaya and Thai traditions that are intact and give a peak into the culture of Pattaya and its people.
Many local homes in Pattaya still observe the Thai tradition of erecting a spirit house, a small shrine to give shelter to spirits. They are made in the image of Thai temples, only smaller. It is part of Thai culture to leave daily offerings in the ornate spirit houses consisting of food, drink, flowers, and incense. Thai spirit houses are probably the most visible insight into Thai culture for tourists, located throughout various areas of Pattaya and even along the roadsides.
Pattaya features several temples and shrines that are popular stops for visitors. Perhaps the most well-known is located on Phra Tamnak Hill where visitors can view the giant golden Buddha statue of Wat Phra Yai. Tourists can also visit the temple of Wat Yansangwararam. This is one of the most significant temples in the general Pattaya area and includes many historic Buddhist relics. Built in 1976, visitors can enter the temple at no cost, one of the few free tourist attractions in the area.
One of the most spectacular monuments and attractions in Pattaya is the Sanctuary of Truth. The amazingly large wooden building began construction in 1981. Rich in Thai tradition and culture, the sanctuary stands about 105 meters tall and is covered in wooden sculptures to reflect ancient Thai history and culture. A popular location for tourists, the site of the sanctuary also offers daytime activities such as their popular dolphin shows.
Perhaps one of the best ways to experience local Thai culture in Pattaya is visiting the Floating Market. This is the only one of its kind in Pattaya and provides a unique shopping experience for all. From artisan demonstrations to traditional Thai food, a trip to the Pattaya Floating Market is guaranteed to be a worthwhile stop during your visit.