Popular with tourists and expats alike, Pattaya has attracted nine million visitors only in 2014 and is mostly famous for its sunny beaches, legendary nightlife and its 24/7 party atmosphere.
Pattaya-Funtown.com is your comprehensive online travel guide to Pattaya, Jomtien and Thailand, providing you with all the information you need before traveling to Funtown. Find everything you need to know about holidays, life and lifestyle in Pattaya here on our website. Useful info for tourists, “long stayers” and expats alike.
- 48-Hour Alcohol Ban for Buddhist Holidays – July 30, 31July 28, 2015This year, the back-to-back Buddhist holidays of Asarnha Bucha and Khao Pansaa fall on Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31. Both are important public holidays, and government offices, the local immigration bureau, banks and many other businesses will be closed for two consecutive days. As mandatory on the most important Buddha days, alcohol sales...
- Young Norwegian Attempts Suicide by Slashing WristJuly 28, 2015A 20-year-old Norwegian tourist apparently tried to kill himself by slashing his wrist with broken glass in a Pattaya hotel room Sunday afternoon. The suicide attempt took place at the young tourist’s rented room at the Tassanee Garden Lodge on Naklua Road Soi 27. Fellow residents had heard the Norwegian man groaning in pain and...
Featured Pattaya Video of the Week
Since 2014, a number of changes to the visa rules have been announced by Thai immigration. You can find a summary of the main changes here or at the bottom of this page. For further details, please also view our dedicated Thai visa section.
An English amateur writer named Allan Dudson and of approximately the same age as your webmaster recently sent us an email asking us to help him promote a book he had written more than a decade ago but failed to publish the old-fashioned way.
In brief, the subject of his autobiographical work is Pattaya and his adventures here as a young British “sex tourist” over numerous visits to the city between 1996 and 2002 – a topic we thought some of our readers might enjoy too.
Allan has now published his book on Amazon Kindle, hoping to sell enough copies to get him and his family – a former bar girl from Soi 8 he married in 2002 and their two kids – back to Thailand once again; a country they last visited in 2006.
We’re happy to support Allan and have now posted a series of excerpts from his 301-page book Walking the Wild Side – The Life of a Sex Tourist in our blog. If you like our “literary appetizers” and want to read more – you can purchase the book at the Amazon website at just £2.67. But to start with – here are some freebies:
Ladyboys are certainly not everyone’s “cup of tea”. While some guys swear they’ve had the hottest sex ever with a ladyboy in Pattaya, others might despise them as a matter of principle, or simply not know how to tell a ladyboy from a “real” girl.
But like them or not – their often massive silicone boobs, their extra gateway through the backdoor, and the potential to offer you a sexual experience of a “different” and slightly sleazier kind, are additional sweeteners that Thai girls usually can’t offer.
If you wish to learn more about Thai ladyboys, learn how to spot a ladyboy, and find out where to meet ladyboys in Pattaya, feel free to have a look around our popular ladyboys page.
If alternatively you’d rather meet a cute Thai ladyboy online before you even visit Pattaya, this free ladyboy dating site offers a good opportunity to make yourself more familiar with what might be your secret object of desire? And if you’re more serious about your “ladyboy adventure” and wish to date a “normal” Thai ladyboy that doesn’t work in a bar, MyLadyboyDate.com is the perfect platform to hook up with decent Thai ladyboys that don’t just want your money.
Pattaya Travel Guide – From Fishing Village to “Funtown”
Since Pattaya’s “discovery” by U.S. soldiers in the 1960s and its rapid transformation from a virtually unknown fishing village to one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, Pattaya has gone through some significant changes but has always remained loyal to its good old “Funtown” image.
Less than a two-hour drive from Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi Airport, Pattaya has become famous for its tropical beaches, dozens of nearby tourist attractions, excellent restaurants and shopping facilities but, most notably, its world-famous nightlife and “sex industry” that kick-started Pattaya’s boom as a tourist destination in the 1960s.
Pattaya in the 21st century, however, can no longer be reduced to its bustling nightlife, thousands of beer bars, nightclubs and massage parlours. While the city’s “adult entertainment industry” certainly still plays a major role in attracting tourists to Funtown, more and more couples and families, many from emerging source markets, have discovered Pattaya in recent years as their new favourite destination, urging the city to refocus also on the needs of this new breed of tourists.
Indeed, Pattaya today is more than just the old “Disneyland for adults” and has something on offer for everyone – young and old, single and couples, families and pensioners alike.
If lazy sunbathing on Pattaya beach and shopping sprees on traditional markets fail to satisfy your adventurous soul, then how about a jet ski or banana boat ride, or a day trip to some of the “must-see” tourist attractions like, for example, the Sanctuary of Truth, the popular Pattaya Floating Market, Crocodile Farm and Elephant Village?
Other popular daytime pastimes include a boat trip to Koh Larn island a few kilometres off the coast off Pattaya, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing or bungy jumping, to name but a few of the things to do in Pattaya.
And if you don’t like being stuck in the same place for the entire length of your holiday, Pattaya is a perfect starting point for round trips and excursions to other popular tourist spots like Bangkok, Koh Chang, Ayutthaya, or the bridge on the River Kwai.
Rest assured that no matter what you’re looking for, you can be sure you’ll find it in Pattaya! And if you’re more into, eh, night-time activities, just scroll a bit further down …
Pattaya Nightlife – “Disneyland for Adults”
Having said that Pattaya is in the process of revamping itself as a suitable destination also for families – if you’re a single male tourist visiting Pattaya, your folks back home will hardly believe you that you’re coming here merely for the beautiful beaches, fascinating temples and deliciously spicy Thai food. Guess what, their disbelief is justified!
If you’ve studied Pattaya’s history carefully or just stroll down the city’s beach promenade or (in)famous Walking Street after dark, you simply can’t ignore the “naughty” side of this self-proclaimed city of extremes.
Let’s not beat around the bush: GoGo bars and bar girls are part and parcel of the Pattaya-by-night experience. And prostitution – in spite of not being “strictly legal” – has a lively and much longer tradition in Thailand than modern-day mass or “sex” tourism. In fact, it is deeply ingrained in its culture.
Sure, more than half a century after U.S. soldiers “discovered” Pattaya as a R&R destination, Pattaya is still a true “Disneyland for adults” and particularly single male mammals. After all, it’s only fair to assume that Pattaya’s nightlife and bar industry, with a nearly endless supply of beautiful Thai girls from the countryside, were the main incentives for the soldiers of the Vietnam war era to fall for Pattaya so quickly!
Yep, now we’re talking about Pattaya’s notorious nightlife and “sex industry”, with literally thousands of bars and nightclubs, discos, pubs and A-GoGo bars; last but not least – let’s face this pretty fact – Pattaya’s beautiful and charming ladies.
In our extensive nightlife section, we’ll sneak a peek at what you may expect in a typical Pattaya “girlie” bar. Learn how to spot a ladyboy; how much to pay for a “lady drink” or a so-called “bar fine”; what’s the difference between a traditional Thai and “body massage” – and all the sexy rest of it.
To start with, why not just have a look around our popular nightlife pictures and video galleries to get a feel for what’s awaiting you in Funtown? We’re sure you’ll acquire a taste for it very very quickly.
And remember, if bar girls and the “organized sex trade” are not your thing, an increasing number of Thai girls who look for a foreign guy are active members on dating sites like Thai Friendly. So if you’re tired of wasting your Baht in bars, paying bar fines and all that stuff, why not go and find a cute Thai girl online before even touching down in Thailand?
Thailand Travel Guide – Welcome to the “Land of Smiles”
Our general Thailand tourist guide pages provide you with all the information you’ll need before traveling to the Land Of Smiles. Do I need a visa to travel to Thailand? Where can I find the nearest Thai embassy or consulate, and what kind of visa can I apply for? Find all you need to know about Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations, history, people and culture, climate, holidays and festivals, and a brief guide on how to get around in Thailand.
This section also features various Thailand-related articles of interest for tourists and expats alike, covering such diverse topics as dating “normal” Thai women (that don’t work in a bar) and how to find a cute Thai girl online, doing business in Thailand, national holidays, the difference between a traditional Thai and a “soapy” massage, and the different types of “long-stay” visa available for Thailand.
Learn Thai language? Our Thai language pages don’t just give you a brief introduction to the history and structure of this fascinating language – you can also pick up some basic Thai vocabulary and learn lots of useful phrases.
Looking for cheap accomodation in Thailand? We have partnered with Agoda.com – a Bangkok-based hotel reservation service specialized in securing the lowest prices in Asia – to offer you a selection of over 10,000 hotels and resorts in Thailand’s top tourist destinations, from budget rooms at special discount internet rates starting at less than 400 Baht per day to five-star luxury seaside resorts.
It’s certainly never been easy for expats and long-stay tourists to obtain a proper visa for Thailand that allows them to stay in the kingdom for longer than just a couple of weeks or months. Since August 2014, this certainly hasn’t become any easier.
Not only were the official requirements for certain types of Non-Immigrant visa tightened in several countries – a number of general changes to the visa rules have also been announced by immigration.
While it still remains to be seen how strictly the new regulations will be enforced, here’s a summary of the main changes. More detailed information can be found most conveniently in the visa section of our website and on our frequently updated Visa News page.
- Starting from August 2014, out/in visa runs, e.g., to the Cambodian or Lao border, including out/in “visa runs by air”, are basically a thing of the past. The Nation reported on July 15, 2014: “From August 13, people [who have not obtained a visa prior to their visit to Thailand] will not be able to re-enter the country, regardless of their choice of transport”.
In other words: If you haven’t obtained a visa prior to your visit to Thailand but wish to stay longer than just for a holiday, then “border runs” are no longer a viable option to extend your stay in the kingdom indefinitely, but you’re advised to apply for a tourist visa at your local Thai embassy or consulate in advance.
- In summer 2014, it was reported that tourists and expats who overstay their visa for more than 90 days might get blacklisted in the future, i.e. banned from returning to Thailand for 1-10 years. The new rules were reported to take effect in August 2014, however, have not been approved as yet, and the whole hurly-burly appears to have been false alarm only. As previously, tourists who overstay their visa are fined 500 Baht per day up to a maximum fine of 20,000 Baht; only when an “overstayer” gets caught within the kingdom, he/she faces arrest and deportation.
- New stricter requirements for ED visa extensions have gone into effect on August 29, 2014. Until then, the same ED visa could be used to study the same subject, e.g. Thai language, for up to five years; the student did not have to leave Thailand but could simply extend his visa at the local immigration office every 90 days.
Under the new rules, an ED visa is valid for a maximum of one year only, provided that the student studies the required amount of hours per week (otherwise an extension may be rejected and the visa cancelled). After one year you will have to leave the country and apply for a new ED visa.
In addition, Thai language students will now also have to attend classes 4 days a week, for two hours per class, in order to extend an ED visa, effectively doubling the hours of study. If students don’t study the required amount of hours per week, their visa will not be extended. Also, when extending their visa for 90 days, ED visa holders will initially be given only a 15-day extension. At the end of this “evaluation period” they must go back to Immigration and will be granted another 75-day extension. This post and this thread at ThaiVisa.com discuss the new rule in more detail.
- Tourist visa applications have not been affected by the new rules. As an immigration official in Chiang Mai confirmed on August 20, 2014, “there is no limit to the number of tourist visas you can apply for, nor is there a minimum time limit between each one.” He also confirmed that a multiple-entry tourist visa will “allow you to exit and enter Thailand however many times you have been granted.”
- Last but not least, there are also some good news. Effective from August 29, 2014, tourists can extend their 30-day visa-exempt stay in Thailand by a further 30 days, not just seven days as previously. All you need to do is visit your local immigration office after your first 30 days have expired and apply for a 30-day extension at a fee of 1,900 Baht; effectively giving you 60 days of stay without having to apply for a visa. Just expect that you’ll be asked to produce a confirmed air ticket out of the country within the 30 days of extension, hotel booking confirmation, and possibly proof of sufficient funds. If you cannot produce an air ticket out of Thailand within 30 days, you will most likely be given only a 7-day extension as previously and have to leave the country within a week.