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Pattaya is split into three main areas that bring diverse activities and venues from one to the other. We have summarized below each part of the city:
There are two roads that serve the Central area of the city, namely the 2nd Road that runs in parallel to the Beach Road along the 3 kilometer stretch of beach.
Central is the busiest of all with lively soi (small streets) swamped with bars and entertainment activities that connect both roads. Tourists will find good value accommodation with most of them being within a walking distance to the beach.
Any one staying in Central does not need any form of transportation as there is a vast choice of restaurants, bars or open-air bars, all sorts of outlets in or outside department stores. In the worse case, a Tuk Tuk or motor taxi would drive you away.
Central Pattaya is easy to navigate; there are three streets running perpendicularly from the beach to the highway: North Road (Pattaya Nua), Central Road (Pattaya Klang) and the South Road (Pattaya Tai). Three streets run parallel to the beach: Pattaya 1 or the Beach Road, Pattaya 2 and Pattaya 3.
The city’s main attraction is the promenade at Central Pattaya and the adjacent beach. From there, stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Thailand can be seen. The wide sidewalk is crowded with joggers and tourists; a low wall separates it from the narrow and sandy shore. During the days, banana-boats cater there for riders. Opposite the beach are plenty of shopping centres, coffee shops and restaurants.
A bit north from the junction between Pattaya Two Road and Pattaya South Road is the Royal Plaza Garden, the best mall in Pattaya. The building occupies all the way from road one to two and it hosts the Marriott hotel. Its third and last floor is dedicated mainly to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and to a humble food plaza. The two floors below it have many shops; in the backside, facing Road Two, there is a branch of the excellent Au Bon Pain. On the second floor, close to the front side there is a branch of Asia Books – selling books in English – next to the Black Canyon Coffee. At the beach side there is a branch of the World of Coffee with a decent view of the sea. At the waterfront there are branches of Chicken Treat, Burger King, Hagen Dazs, McDonald’s, and KFC.
Many Pattaya villas are located on or around the promenade. The promenade ends as it reaches the small hill at the southern tip of the small bay. From there, beyond a small marina, starts the Walking Street of Pattaya, that hosts many night-clubs, restaurants and Pattaya serviced apartments.
There are hourly buses to Pattaya from Ekamai (the Eastern Terminal) and Mo Chit (the Northern one) in Bangkok; the trip longs around two hours. Be careful not to take the buses leading to Jomtien since they collect passengers along the way and stop in every town along the way – you can use better the extra two hours of the way.