For us, a vacation means sitting at one beautiful place for long hours and relax. We don’t like to roam around the city to make our days hectic and call it a vacation.
Earlier we used to make an itinerary before going to vacation. We used to make a list of places to visit during our vacation. But with time, these activities became stressful for us. We were not enjoying our vacations.
I remember, how we made travel itinerary for our San Jose vacation but our travel experience was not pleasant to cherish forever. We spent all our days in exploring the city with a time schedule in our hand (to see maximum things in our limited days of vacation). We came back tired like if we were on a research mission.
After few months, we went to Hawaii for 8 days without any pre-planned agenda. We stayed in a resort with a private beach. We were not running to see all the beaches of Hawaii rather we used to decide our daily routine at our breakfast table. There was absolutely no pressure of enjoying the vacation, making a list of best beaches and booking the activities in advance.
Although we missed the popular sunrise point in Maui and a romantic sunset cruise trip (‘coz of our relaxed attitude), but it was the most memorable trip of our life. From that trip, we experienced the real meaning of vacations. Our Hawaii trip became the benchmark for us to compare our upcoming travel trips.
Now we plan long vacations so that we can enjoy the local culture and explore the city at a slow pace. It’s a vacation man! Do whatever you want to do without following any schedule.
vacation means……. Vacate yourself!
Last year, my husband convinced me for a month long vacation in Goa. Trust me, It gave us a whole new experience of actually enjoying vacations. All the tips and tricks that learned from our Goa vacation helped us to plan our two-month long vacation in Thailand.
Listing down the places we visited and activities we did during our stay in Pattaya.
1. Jomtien Beach
We had our resort near Jomtien beach, it was just 15 minutes walk from resort to Jomtien beach. Jomtien beach is more like picnic beach for local people in Pattaya. We saw people coming with their families and friends to spend the leisurely day on sandy shore, having their food & liquor packed from home and sit for hours, drink and chit chat.
It was the summer time, the weather was hot & humid in the daytime. So we stayed in the apartment in the day and spent our evenings at the beach, pretty much like locals.
That was part of our daily routine during our vacation, to walk to Jomtien beach and spend 2-3 evening hours on the beach. We used to discuss our future plans and things to do while relaxing on the beach & gave our son his “me time”. He was totally involved in his sand and water activity.
Travel Tip: Bring a water bottle and some eatables in your bag along with a beach towel to sit & relax. If you are travelling with a child then bring beach toys for your child to play.
2. Apartment Swimming Pool & Gym Facilities
We booked 1BHK apartment at Park Lane Resort with a tiny kitchen. The apartment had all the sufficient material that a small family needs for their stay. Resort has a large swimming pool and gym that we enjoyed a lot.
My son loves water activities. So we fixed a time to take him to the pool every day. He spent 2-3 hours of his day schedule in the pool while we were doing our work on the laptop.
It’s a good exercise and activity to do during your vacation when you can’t go outside in the sunny days.
And every facility was included in the rent of your apartment. Doesn’t it sound awesome?
We did a lot of research work on Airbnb before we booked our apartment in Pattaya.
Money Hack: Signup for AirBnb by clicking here, get 1000 rupees once you complete your first trip.
Travel Tip: While booking an apartment on AirBnb, look for amenities like pool, gym, security gate, free wifi, free parking, proximity to public transport, nearby markets, restaurants, check if the water & electricity charges are also included in the rent.
3. Pattaya Floating Market
In our first weekend at Pattaya, we rented a bike for a day and went to Floating Market.
Pattaya Floating market is divided into the four regions (north, northeast, central and south), where each region represents the different culture of Thailand and sell the products from their region.
To experience the floating market, you can hire a boat & discover the beauty of over 114 shops. You have to buy an entrance ticket to experience the beauty of floating market. This place also has plenty of authentic Thai dishes.
Travel Tip: Avoid to go in the afternoon, it’s too hot. Experience will be much better if you go in the morning or when the weather is pleasant.
4. Walking Street Pattaya
WALKING STREET is the first thing that comes to people’s mind when someone talks about Pattaya. It’s the signature place of Pattaya. It’s a 500 meters long road, gives fun & excitement to travellers.
Walking street starts at the end of Pattaya’s Beach Road. No vehicles allowed to enter after 6:00 pm till midnight. After 6:00 pm, walking street becomes the most happening place in Pattaya. It has nightclubs, beer bars, restaurants or go-go bars on both sides of the road. So late evening, you can see the street, packed with food vendors, street performances and party animals from around the world.
Travel Tip: We visited walking street between 5:00 to 6:00pm to check out the fun factor of this place. We wanted to avoid the place after 6 pm because of our son 🙂
5. Big Buddha or Wat Phra Yai Temple
18 metre tall Buddha, the largest in the region – is the main attraction & highlight of Wat Phra Yai Temple. This temple was built in the 1940s. The staircase entrance to the temple is quite amazing, as there are golden dragons on both sides.
Another attraction point of this temple is, different postures of Buddha (sitting, standing, sleeping, lying down) which represents the different days of the week. Flower offering and incense create a receptive environment for pray.
Travel Tip: Shorts or mini dresses are not allowed at this place, you can plan your dress accordingly or carry a wraparound in your bag. You can pick wraparound from outside the temple also.
6. Coral Island
The actual name of this island is Koh Larn, a small piece of paradise near Pattaya. You can plan your one day trip to Coral island. A small island yet filled with a number of beaches. Each beach has its own scenic views.
The beaches are famous for beautiful coral formations and underwater life. You can do parasailing, banana boat ride, speed boat ride, water scooter, undersea walk (especially available here), snorkeling or just take the sunbath.
Koh Larn is around 15 minutes away from Pattaya by speedboat. You can rent a speed boat from the Pattaya beach that will cost around 200 Baht. The cheaper option is to take a ferry from Bali Hai pier at the end of walking street, that will take 45 to 60 minutes and costs around 20 Baht.
Travel Tip: If you are a vegetarian and travelling with children then please pack eatables like cooked food, fruits or snacks along with you.
7. Underwater World
My son loved this place. A fun- filled time for children to see & enjoy underwater life. There is a long glass tunnel in which you walk and see the sea life around everywhere, it’s like walking under the sea.
At first, my son was afraid of going near the fishes. But in no time, he started playing with fishes in the tunnel. We also fed big golden orange fishes.
A trip to the underwater world usually takes 2-3 hours in total, so you can plan to visit some other place also along with the underwater world.
Money Hack & Travel Tip: Instead of buying over the counter tickets which are high in price, you can find various websites which provide tickets at the half price.
8. Alcazar show Pattaya
A cabaret show, a delight for viewers eyes. It’s a well planned and executed show, gives a quality experience to your travel in Pattaya.
The show runs approximately 60 to 70 minutes and has around 17 performances (3-4 mins each)
You can book tickets online or from the counter.
Money Hack & Travel Tip: You can buy Alcazar show tickets at half price if you book online from travel portals.
9. Pattaya Beach
It’s not a swimming beach, you just go, sit and relax. You can spend your day on reclining chairs while enjoying sea shores & eating street food from hawkers. You can also do water activities like water scooter, banana ride, speed boat or parasailing.
There are too many beach vendors who come time to time & offer different kinds of foods for you to relish.
If you are a non-vegetarian person then it’s an awesome place to enjoy the street food. But if you are vegetarian like us then you have to get satisfaction from different types of fruits only.
Travel Tip: Take a reading book along with you and spend some “me time” at the beach. You can try beach massage also if you want to relax that will cost you around 200 Thai Baht.
10. Ko Samet Island ( also spelled Koh Samed)
Visiting Koh Samet was the best decision in our Thailand vacation. We booked an AirBnb room and spent three days at the beach. It was like a sub short vacation under our long vacation.
It was an awesome weekend beach getaway. It’s a well-maintained national park which is protected, cleaned & unspoiled by visitors. You have to pay an entrance fee of 200 Baht per adult.
Koh Samet island is emblematic for its magnificent beaches, white sand and surrounded by tropical coral reefs & crystal clear water. You can enjoy delicious cuisine and nightlife on the beach.
Koh Samet is a single main road island, you can rent a scooter for exploring the island. There are multiple beaches to visit in Koh Samet but the diamond beach was splendid in our experience.
Diamond Beach is also known as Hat Sai Kaew, the most beautiful, crowded and white crystal sand beach on Koh Samet. It’s fully packed with deck chairs & restaurants.
If you are staying at Koh Samet for the night stay (that you should) then you must visit the beach between 6:00 to 8:00 pm for the fire show. You should also experience dining on beach side where you will sit on the big cushions on the sand like maharajas. It was the most memorable experience for us.
We also experienced speedboat & snorkeling during our visit to Koh Samet.
I highly recommend you to visit Koh Samet if you are planning to visit Pattaya & Bangkok. Go and fall in love with this amazing place in first sight.
Travel Tip: You should stay near the diamond beach so that you can easily walk to the beach in the evening to enjoy the nightlife.
11. Thai Massage
In past few years, Thailand became infamous for sex business and erotic massages but the spirit of traditional Thai massage is still alive. It’s been said that disciples of Buddha invented Thai massage to get benefits in the meditation.
If you are in Thailand then you must experience the traditional Thai massage. Traditional Thai massage helps in treating the muscle’s pain & give relaxation to the body. A typical Thai massage takes one hour but you can go for two-hour massage sessions for the additional benefits. The basics of Thai massage are stretching the toes, fingers, putting pressure on certain areas of your body and even walking on the back (except spine).
Our son gave Thai massage a new name “Pattai Massage”, because it looks like if they are beating you up.
Thai people are not only expert in massage but they do with a great gratitude that you will feel blessed to have a massage from them.
Travel Tip: Our favourite traditional Thai massage center was “Ayuttaya Baan Suan“. You can also experience the Thai massage from more than one place. After that, you can choose the best place for you to continue.
12. Experience Tropical Fruits & Food
It’s a land of exotic tropical fruits that you can find on every corner of Pattaya. You should experience their gorgeous tasting local fruits like snake fruit, mangosteen, mango, rambutan,durian, longan, rose apple while you are in Pattaya.
We loved their fruits because those are natural ripe, juicy and amazing in taste. We had absolute new taste in papaya, watermelon, mango and pineapples over there. You can find hawkers selling chopped fruits along with a small pouch of salt, sugar & chilli.
Thai cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the world. Pattaya is a city of street foods like our own Delhi. If you are a non-vegetarian then it would be heaven for you to experience different kinds of sea foods.
We used to cook food at our apartment and really liked cooking their rice noodles. You should try Pad Thai, green curry, Thai fried rice, papaya salad of Thailand.
Travel Tip: Before going to Thailand, learn a little bit of Thai language. It will help you to communicate with local people. We felt that local vendor and hawkers are not able to understand English.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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