Finding Your Way Around Pattaya

map of Pattaya, Thailand

ALL roads in Pattaya lead to the beach.

Pattaya Beach is split into three main areas: north, central and south. All these are linked by a very loose grid system, so once you've figured it out, it's easy.

Firstly, no prizes for guessing where Beach Road is: it's right next to the sand.

Running parallel to this is Second Road, then Third Road, and behind that is Sukhumvit Road.

Rather helpfully, three main roads then cut across these routes: North Pattaya Road, Central Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road. The legendary Walking Street is at the far end of South Pattaya. map of Pattaya & Jomtien

There are dozens of small side streets, or sois, off from these main roads. Many are simply numbered, but others are named after prominent buildings, such as Soi Post Office, or in the case of one erstwhile club, Soi Batman.

If you go beyond south Pattaya and over a hill, you'll come to Jomtien, a slightly quieter resort.

North Pattaya

HOME to the Hard Rock Cafe and several other well-known restaurants,this is where most families tend to hang out.

Hotels here can be pricey but luxurious, although there are some bargains to be found.

Among the night-time attractions are X-Ray A Go-Go and the Shark Pub and Restaurant

Central Pattaya

WALKING from North Pattaya into the central area, you will notice the number of bar beers starts to increase and the number of fancy hotels diminishes.

Here is also the place to buy any souvenirs, as there's the excellent Royal Garden Plaza and Mike's Place.

Should you need the police, their main station is based here, as is the Memorial Hospital.

The beachfront promenade, when it's not being ripped up for road works, offers a pleasant promenade stroll on one side with the beach inches away.

Down on the beach you can sleep your hangover away in a deck chair while the locals give you a massage. Or, if you have the energy, there are jet-skies, banana boats and other water sports to try out.

On the other side of the road sit dozens of small shops and stalls, selling bags, jewellery, CDs and DVDs.

South Pattaya

OK, South Pattaya is the real reason you came here.

This is where the fun starts, with literally hundreds of bars to choose from.

The main attraction here is Walking Street, a pedestrian area overflowing with go-go bars, pubs, seafood restaurants, and clubs.

South Pattaya also hosts numerous tailors who can knock out a quality suit for about $70 in a couple of days.