Located only two-hours’s drive from the capital, Pattaya is the beach of choice for most Bangkokians. Most taxi drivers will be happy to get you there for 50 USD or less. You can also grab a bus directly from Suvarnabhumi Airport or from Ekamai and Mor Chit bus stations.
Along the main Pattaya beaches, you can flag down one of those red trucks plying the beachfront road which charge 20 THB. Further beyond, it’s more practical to rent a motorbike.
Thousands of accommodation choices are available in Pattaya, including some specifically for LGBT tourists who are more likely to find themselves at Jomtien Beach area a few kilometers away, especially around Dong Tarn beach.
The quieter, cleaner Koh Larn is accessible on a 30-minutes ferry ride (20 Baht) from Bali Hai Pier Schedules vary for different beaches. Speedboats (200 Baht) get there faster and run when full. If you prefer quiet time, stay away from the busy Ta Waen beach – very popular among day-trip Chinese tourists. Motorbike rental is the only practical means of transport on the island.
More than sea, sun and sand, it’s the fourth S’s – i.e., sex – that Pattaya is well-known for – and plenty of it. Whether you are into lads, ladies or ladyboys, you’re spoiled for choices here. What’s harder to find, though, is non-transactional fun. On hookup apps, be prepared to ask the awkward question whether you need to pay.
You can find Gay Pattaya in Boyztown and Sunee Plaza with plenty of go-go bars and restaurants with flirty staff. Many gay bars feature transgender cabaret shows, but the biggest cabaret – Tiffany’s and Alcazar – cater to mostly straight Thai and foreign tourists. Lesbians may want to check out Blossom Pub on Soi Bongkot, although it was temporarily closed down for flouting COVID regulations.
Pattaya has many quality hospitals and medical services. But with Bangkok just a few hours away, you may want to wait until getting back to Bangkok for non-emergency procedures.