Though not home to Thailand's best dive sites, Pattaya's proximity to Bangkok makes it a popular spot to get some underwater action.
The diving in Pattaya is often over shadowed by the more famous dives sites of the Andaman Sea, despite this Pattaya has one massive advantage over these places, it has no monsoon season, hence there is diving all year round!
Pattaya is known as the ‘Wreck Diving Capital of Thailand’, with the majority of wrecks being at a depth between 26-31 meters. The 3 wrecks jewels in Pattaya are HTMS Khram, donated by the Thai Navy, and sunk on 30 January 2003 to provide an artificial reef, which nowadays busts with spectacular soft corals and the surface of the wreck is covered in shell life. The HTMS Kood, the sister ship of the HTMS Khram, also donated by the Thai Navy, sunk to create an artificial reef on 2006 in honor of the King of Thailand's 60th year on the throne. And Hardeep, A WWII Wreck formerly known as ‘Suddhabid’, which was used by the Japanese to carry freight.
The rampant development of Pattaya has meant that the reefs closest to the shore have suffered a great deal. Overfishing, heavy boat traffic and poor land management have resulted in the aquatic environment becoming somewhat barren, due to the above factors these sites often suffer from poor visibility.
Nearby Ko Larn, Ko Sak and Ko Krok are good for beginners, while accomplished divers may prefer the outer islands of Ko Man Wichai and Ko Rin, which have better visibility and marine life.
In most places expect 3m to 9m of visibility under good conditions, or in more remote sites 5m to 12m.
(By Jenna Yates)
Tourism in Pattaya is colossal, and this is mainly thanks to its proximity from Bangkok, only 2 hours by road from the capital. Pattaya is a vibrant city by day and night. By day there’s a huge array of activities on offer; land based fun includes tennis, go-carting, motorbike racing, squash, badminton, bowling, golf, jogging and bungee jumping and of course nothing beats swimming in the ocean or tanning on the beach. On top of all that there’s a whole host of water sports including windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing, parasailing, game fishing, snorkeling, not forgetting scuba diving too. And when the sun goes down its time to check out the nightlife.
The half moon shape of Pattaya Beach stretches out over 4km, with a road running parallel to the beachfront. The southern end is home to the nightlife that gives Pattaya its notoriety, while the northern end is calmer and less densely built up.
In terms of accommodation, Pattaya has hordes of hotels that cater for any taste and budget. If your looking to be in the center of all the night life stick to the southern end of Pattaya. For those who are after a bit of peace and tranquility maybe consider Jomtien, which is located slightly away from the city centre. A bus from Jomtien beach to anywhere in Pattaya costs only 10 Baht, so you are only a stone throw away from the hustle and bustle.
For a panoramic view of Pattaya beach and the city, head up to Khao Pattaya (Khao Phra Bat), it’s a small hill to the south of Pattaya Beach, a popular place to sit and watch the sun go down.