See more all interesting in Pattaya, Thailand
Away from the sea there are other exciting opportunities on offer. Bira International Racing Circuit, 14kms outside Pattaya on Route 36 hosts international motor and motorcycle races. The 2.4 km circuit is ideal for Formula 3 races and is open every day (02-522-1731-8). In Jomtien, the Pattaya Kart Speedway (038-422044) is one of the first built in Thailand and meets international standards. There are three tracks catering for all ages and standards of driving. Not far away, next to the small lake in Jomtien, is a 50-metre bungy-jump with international jump-masters and a bar for recovering from the rush afterwards (tel.06-378-3880).
Pattaya City is clogged with small motorbikes but you can hire a Harley-Davidson, a big Honda or a similarly powered machine in several places along Beach Road, Sois 2, 8 and 13/1 and on Sukhumvit. Some of them go very fast and the laws and local traffic should be seriously noted. Many companies restrict the use of these bikes to 50kms per day and do make sure the insurance is in order. A big bike will cost you around 1500/2000 baht a day unless you bargain.
Pattaya, being a tourist resort by the sea, offers an exciting selection of unique and fun activities which can be arranged either through one of the many tour agents scattered around the city or often through your hotel or condo. Jet skis can be hired directly from most beaches in Pattaya for around 1000 baht per hour and fast speedboats can be hired by the hour or day for 1500 to 5000 baht. Para-sailing takes place offshore, depending upon wind and sea conditions, throughout the year, with pick up boats from the New Pier at the end of Walking Street or from the Pattaya beach.
Pattaya is also one of the oldest diving centres in this part of Asia. It has a year-round diving season with good visibility, and a sea temperature of around 28C which means that there is a rich variety of marine life and coral. Most of the diving companies have offices along the waterfront and in Walking Street. More on Diving in Pattaya.
Many of the speedboats plying their trade from the Pattaya area are specialist game fishing boats which are out for the big fish further south in the Gulf of Thailand. They are all for charter, hire or offer day fishing. The fish go to over 1000lbs. There are many agents along the coast roads and specialist shops dotted around. Fishing from the shore is very popular with both the local Thais and visitors alike. More on Fishing in Pattaya.
Swimming and fitness
Pattaya can get pretty hot at times. Being by the sea means a more even climate than in most of Thailand and the refreshing sea breeze is welcome the closer you get to the beaches. Most hotels and condos of any size have at least one swimming pool. Alternatively, if yours hasn’t, others are happy to have you as a daily guest of their pool for a small charge. Most people who come to this seaside resort also enjoy swimming in the warm tropical sea. More on Pattaya beaches.
You can keep yourself in shape during your stay here at one of the many gyms that admit people on a daily/weekly or monthly basis. Tony’s on 3rd Road, South Pattaya and also in Walking Street is the most famous and offers modern equipment, swimming, tennis, Thai boxing and more. Sitpholek Sports Centre off Sukhumvit in North Pattaya also has top class facilities (09-934-5001 for English speakers). There are a good number of smaller gyms all round Pattaya and many of the larger hotels have their own facilities for guests although some of these have only basic equipment.
The Hash House Harriers have a busy programme and details can be obtained from the local English-speaking press or from the Scandi Bar on Beach Road. They usually meet on Mondays at 15:30 from this same venue, with a large and social group that has been going for more than 20 years.
Golf and tennis and outdoor activities
Pattaya is a golfer’s paradise with over 20 international-standard golf courses within very easy reach. Many people come from all over the world to Pattaya just to play golf on top quality courses for a fraction of the cost at home. Tournaments, both domestic and International, are played at various courses. Green fees start at 300 baht in low season, but the best courses will charge 1000 to 2000 baht, caddies cost 250 baht, golf cart fees are 500 baht. More on Golf in Pattaya.
Tennis is popular in Pattaya and most of the larger hotels have an available court for visitors. Dusit Resort Pattaya (03-842-5611) and Amari Orchid Resort (03-842-8161) both have excellent facilities as does Tony’s on 3rd Road.
Horse riding can be enjoyed at various stables, including Horseshoe Point Riding Academy (03-8735050) and trekking near the Bira Circuit (01-302-0814), with free transport. The International Polo Ground, just outside Pattaya, is visited by the King and Royal Family, as is the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, which hosts World Championships throughout the year off Jomtien.
Indoor bowling is very popular with both locals and tourists with several alleys to choose from around the city, the one above Tops Supermarket on the corner of 2nd Road and Central Pattaya Road is a favourite with both locals and tourists. Snooker halls in Pattaya are everywhere, as are pool and billiard bars. There are also a pistol shooting gallery, clay shooting range and archery range. Theatres, cinema, festivals and live music for all tastes are listed in the local community magazines and newspapers.
Metaphysical and new age pursuits
In Pattaya other activities include the many relaxing spas and beauty treatments, yoga classes, courses on cooking, Thai language schools, massage, meditation, tai chi and the opportunity to visit the wonderful tropical gardens in the area. Details of all these are in the regular local English newspapers and magazines. More on metaphysical pursuits.