Pattaya is much more than an adult entertainment haven. Apart from Walking Street there are many things to see and do in Pattaya that are family friendly activities. Pattaya of course is a beach town, so many of the activities revolve around water and the great outdoors, but there are a surprising number of museums in the quaint little beach town that run the gamut from hot sauce, to teddy bears. The largest seaside mall in Asia is right on Pattaya Beach, and the largest Jewellery store in the world also is nestled in North Pattaya. There are quite a few fun live entertainment options as well that are great for all ages.
Pattaya Bay became a favorite spot for US soldiers during Vietnam because of the half moon bay covered in golden sands. Troops stationed at Utapao would travel the 40 km to Pattaya to take advantage of the perfect beaches in the late 60s. Today Pattaya is a world renowned beach destination with all the activities that go along with the water.
There is some great SCUBA diving just outside of Pattaya, there are shipwrecks near some of the small islands, and the waters are very calm and great for beginners. There are multiple islands nearby and those make for some great day trips to get out of Pattaya as well.
Pattaya was named for the winds and every morning you can see why with the parasailers out flying high in Pattaya Bay. There of course are other classic water sports to be had like renting a Jet Ski, or the Flyboard, the jet ski boots that allow you to swim like a fish and fly like a bird.
If all that activity is too much the other option is to simply sit down on a beach chair and watch the tide roll in and out while sipping on an ice cold coconut.
Pattaya is tropical and the heat is tempered by it’s close proximity to the beach, and the winds for which it gets its name. This means outdoor activities are pleasant year round.
Flight of the Gibbons is a zipline adventure through the treetops about half an hour outside of Pattaya. ATV Adventures is nearby the Gibbons and can take riders out on a 2 hour to 14 day trek into the jungle. Travel a little further and you can get to half a dozen different national parks.
Much closer to the city center you will find Big Buddha Hill, the largest Golden Buddha in Chonburi. Out near the floating market is another unique attraction to explore. The Nong Nooch Gardens and their world renowned botany collection.
The KAAN show is a must see for any and every family visiting Pattaya, and for anyone looking for the next generation in live entertainment. The KAAN show is played live in a theatre that was built especially for this show. Living in rural Thailand I have seen the KAAN show in puppet show form countless times as the story is embedded into Thai culture. The KAAN show theatre takes this simple puppet show and with computer powered animatronics brings the puppets to life in a 4 dimensional show that will surely entertain anyone at any age.
The other three shows are all variations of Drag shows with different story lines. The entertainment is fun, and a bit slap stick and appropriate for children 1 year and older. Enjoy something different with these.
You may not know this but Pattaya is also an absolute mecca for power shoppers. The shopping in Pattaya is world class and plentiful, and has been growing with the Terminal 21 shopping mall currently under construction with its own airplane hanger! The shopping is good now, and it will only get better.
Central Festival is actually the largest seaside shopping mall in all of Asia. The six floor shopping mall has dozens of international brands names, several full department stores, a cinema, a whole floor dedicated to dining + a food court, and a video arcade perfect escaping the rain, or sun.
Pattaya Gems is the largest jewellry retailer in the world and features 100s of precious and semi precious stones for sale in settings of gold, silver, or platinum. Tukcom is an IT geeks dream mall. An entire mall dedicated to nothing but electronics divided by floors into computer, telephone, camera equipment etc.
The Pattaya Floating Market has traditional Thai food from all regions, and the NaKlua Fish Market is where to get the best seafood in the Kingdom.
Pattaya has some other gems that are definitely worth a mention. There are some very strange and unique museums in and around the city, as well as some wild art galleries or displays. One thing Pattaya consistently attracts is eccentric people. It always has and at this rate always will.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a never ending structure that is carved from wood on the seashore, and as soon as it is finished begins eroding so is in a constant state of flux. It was started by an eccentric Thai billionaire and is intended to show the heavens, earth, hell, purgatory and everything in between.
In a city that celebrates and attracts eccentrics where else would you find an interactive art gallery dedicated to the late Vincent Van Gogh? This gallery actually brings Starry Night to life as it is projected onto the large LED screens and visitors can become part of the art. Other places where visitors can become the art are Art in Paradise, and Love Art Park.
Then there are all the fun and wacky museums, like Ripley’s Believe it or Not, WaxWorks, the Teddy Bear Museum, and even the Hot Sauce Museum. And no one can forget Jurassic Garden, where you can find life size replicas of the greatest land animals to ever walk the Earth.