Pattaya, it’s often been considered as the poor cousin of Phuket, but Pattaya’s reputation is rapidly transforming and we’re here to say it’s worth considering for a family-friendly holiday. Located just one and a half hours away from Bangkok, its a cheap and accessible seaside destination.
We speak from experience, we’ve been there and one of our team even lived there for three years.
Here’s our top list of family and child friendly activities to do in and around Pattaya, Thailand.
There’s an awesome array of food options, from the spicy to the luscious fresh produce, priced from 150 to 300 baht per dish (about $5.50 to $11). It is nearly always fresh, fragrant and delicious and our idea of fast food.
For something a little different head to Cabbages & Condoms restaurant just a short distance out of town. Don’t worry, the quirky name simply highlights a serious cause with profits going towards the needy.
The spectacular seaside location matches the delicious food on offer.
2) Family Friendly Resorts in Pattaya
This is one of the main reason why Pattaya is fast becoming known as a family friendly destination.
There are a number of child (up to teens) friendly resorts in Pattaya, our top picks are:
The Mecure Pattaya
Located in the shopping district The Mecure has an awesome family room, which has a separate kids section with a slide & toys, the pools are never over crowded and the breakfast and dinner buffet is great value for money.
Hard Rock Hotel
Located near the Central Festival Mall on Beach Road, this is our pick for families with teenagers. This is one very cool hotel, the pool is surrounded by beach and the “Kids Suite” comes with bunk beds and toys! There are almost daily concerts around the pool and a range of activities available for the kids, so you can sit back and enjoy those lychee cocktails!
Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort
Located at the northern end of Pattaya this place is a destination all by itself, if you don’t fancy leaving the resort you don’t have to! There are countless adventures for the kids that will keep them entertained for hours, and will ensure they hit the pillow totally exhausted! There is a ‘Lost World’ waterpark, lazy river 12 waterslides, waterfalls, Camp Safari kids club, rock climbing and the list goes on. There are lifeguards located around the various pools and extremely efficient poolside service!
3) Nong Nooch Gardens
Your kids will love this place, it’s a fantastic day trip, not far from Central Pattaya. From Thai cultural shows, elephant shows, petting zoos, and elephant rides, plus a tour through the gardens, this is Thailand at it’s best.
Need to Know
Nong Nooch Garden is a 35 minute drive (100 baht shuttle or 800 baht private car) from central Pattaya. Entry is 500 baht for adults & 250 baht for children. Elephant rides were 400 baht per adult or 200 per child.
4) Koh Lan (Coral Island) Day Trip
If you want time out from the hotel pool and you’re looking for white sandy beaches, it’s best to head out to some of the nearby islands. Catch a private speedboat or a local ferry and head to Koh Lan (Coral Island) for the day. The ferries stop at a huge floating barge just off the island where you can parasail, and if you’re lucky swim with the local monkey’s, this is an incredible experience, or you can head straight to the Island where the sands are pristine, snorkel, jet-ski or indulge in an authentic Thai meal on the beach.
Need to Know
The ferry is cheap at 30 baht each, but can be slow. A speedboat is anywhere from 1500 ($57) to 2500 baht ($95) depending on how many people in your group. Tip, haggle with the speedboat operators for the best price but make sure your boat looks safe and the driver is registered!
5) Elephant Village Pattaya
Located just outside of Pattaya, the Elephant Village is great fun for everyone. The Mahouts (elephant drivers) take you on an hour trek through a river, a village & a beautiful rainforest with a bountiful platter of fresh local fruits waiting for you when you finish!
Need to Know
The one hour trek is 1200 baht ($50). There are 3 hour treks also available.
6) Massages & Manicures
Head to the tourist beach in Pattaya and indulge in head to toe massages for around 200 baht ($8.00) per person, finish off with a manicure and pedicure!
Million Years Stone Park & Crocodile Park
This place pops up regularly if you’re searching for things to do in Pattaya, but it’s tired and they don’t treat the animals well. It also has a reputation for changing tourists more than locals.