Drawing the crowds for its nightlife and serene resorts, there’s a lot to love about Thailand’s second most-visited city.

For many years, this famous Thai city located about 150 kilometres to the south-east of Bangkok has had a racy reputation among visitors. It was here where the American troops fighting in the Vietnam War would come to visit the massage parlours, go-go bars and discos, which have been its biggest attraction for decades. These are all still here and there are lots of them, as you’ll quickly realise when you arrive and head down Walking Street. Yet in recent years, it has become a rather more sophisticated destination too.

All across the city you’ll find a dazzling array of beautiful beaches. These are popular with visitors looking for a place to relax, soak up the sun and to enjoy some fun and games by the sea. Head to Pattaya Beach and spend some time lazing around on one of sun loungers while working on your tan.

For a rather more fast-paced adventure, there’s jet-skiing, parasailing, diving or snorkelling to the nearby Kho Lam Island. However, if it’s and serenity you’re after, simply enjoy the tranquil spots around the region such as Dongtan Beach or Crescent Moon Beach, two great locations where you can while away a few hours far from the crowds and the noise.

When you’ve had enough of the beach, head to Pattaya Elephant Sanctuary, where you can ride an elephant on a jungle safari and learn more about these towering and majestic animals. If you’re interested in something a little different, visit the Sanctuary of Truth, an intricate and beautifully designed wooden complex, which brings together symbols and signs from the four main religions across Asia, based on traditional Thai artistry. If you’re looking for souvenirs or some delicious street food, the Pattaya Floating Market has everything from handicrafts to food on offer from across the country.

Getting around is easy, with cabs and motorbike taxis around practically every street corner. Traffic is often chaotic and tricky to navigate, especially if you’re not used to the frenzied pace of the roads here. If you feel confident on the roads, hire a car, jeep or moped to get around at your leisure. Or you can even hail a songthaew, or ‘Baht Bus’, which takes you on set routes around the city: you’ll find plenty of these running too, and won’t have to wait long for a ride.

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