There’s more to Pattaya than meets the eye…

Andrew Leeson


Pattaya City Thailand
When Trip Advisor released its list of top 15 attractions throughout South East Asia, 5 of them were in Thailand, and 2 of them were in and around Pattaya, namely the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Gardens, and Cartoon Network Amazone Water Park. “But hang on” I hear you say, “isn’t Pattaya just one long street full of bars and nightclubs?” It does indeed have plenty of night time entertainment, but as we discovered on our latest visit, there’s more to Pattaya than meets the eye.

Following on from last weeks blog at the Expats club, we thought we’d provide a little more information about Pattaya, Thailand’s second most visited city (after Bangkok), which sits provocatively beside the Gulf of Thailand about 140km’s south of the Capital. There’s no hiding the fact that Pattaya has a reputation, but there’s also no denying that the city can be a lot of fun. Officially the city has about 110,000 residents, but the greater metropolitan area has population closer to 1 million, and then of course there are the tourists who flood the city, particularly during the peak season (late Nov through to early Feb) and year round during week-ends.

Life in Pattaya

For our friends at the local Expats Club, they tell us life is great. Longer term residents tend to live a little way outside the main centre, in areas such as Jomtien and Naklua. Rents are cheaper, but its also less busy and provides a nice contrast to central entertainment district.

Cost of Living

Pattaya has a broad range of accommodation options. Ongoing construction projects continue to provide supply, keeping rental prices low and highly competitive, and for shorter term stays, there are an abundance of hotel rooms for all budgets. A wide assortment of dining options also keeps prices low. Its easy to eat out daily at very cheap local restaurants, or if you wish to treat yourself, there’s a huge range of international choices. Utility prices are far below those in Australia, and also more competitive than a number of other popular Thai locations, such as Bangkok, Phuket or Samui.

Getting around the city is also cost effective, with a network of ‘baht buses’ in the central area costing between THB10 and THB 20, and a plentiful supply of motorbike taxis on almost every street corner.


For those retirees seeking an active and highly social retirement, Pattaya really does have it all. There is a significant Expat community, and numerous social clubs covering a multitude of sports and hobbies. As an example, the city is surrounded by approximately 30 golf courses, many of which are considered World Class, designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Nick Faldo. For those who love shopping, there are huge shopping malls at one end of the spectrum, and markets of all descriptions at the other end. The city also hosts various Festivals, Regatta’s and Concerts, and continues to diversify its attractions with amusement parks and popular seasonal events. And then there is the nightlife…

When the sun goes down, Pattaya really does spring to life. The bars, the clubs, the lights, the sights and the sounds all combine in a sensual melting pot to create an environment unlike almost anywhere else on earth.

Air Transport

U-Tapao Airport is about 40 minutes from the city, and is slowly increasing its network of destinations, but for most residents and visitors it is simply easier to drive up Freeway 7 to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (in around 80 minutes) where you have direct links to Australia, and cities all over the World.


Pattaya is well serviced in this area, with 4 major hospitals and a wide range of medical and dental clinics, plus it is also less than 2 hours drive from Bangkok’s highly rated healthcare facilities.

The Future

With talk of upgrading U-Tapao Airport, building a high speed rail link to Bangkok, the construction of new shopping centres, family amusement parks and even cleaning up the beachfront, Pattaya continues to evolve into an increasingly attractive destination for those retirees who enjoy being in the heart of the action.

If you’d like more information or have any questions, please feel free to call 1800-961-377 or email in**@re**********.au and let the team at Retire to Asia help make your dream lifestyle a reality.

Andrew Leeson

Andrew Leeson

Over 20 years of experience helping people live a better life in SE Asia. Having worked in financial services in Asia I understand the challenges when moving to and living in a new country. I have travelled extensively throughout the region and experienced what SE Asia has to offer to retirees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Settings

‘Retire to Asia values your privacy. Our website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Please refer to our privacy policy and terms and conditions for more information’.