25 top tips to avoid mistakes in Pattaya

We have all done it, made some silly mistake that meant we did not enjoy our time in Pattaya as much as we could have. Here are some readers tips for avoiding the mistakes and getting the best bang for your baht in Pattaya. These are just some of the tips that we have come across from our time in Thailand. It may seem common sense but it is hard to apply in practice. For example, it seems like paying the bar fine is a good idea when you are ten drinks in.

Do your research and you can avoid these pitfalls!

  1. Booking a hotel that is not guest friendly. Check our list of guest friendly hotels before you book! Avoid joiner fees of 500+ baht.
  2. booking a hotel that is used by tour groups. Constantly moving people at all times of day and noisy bus engines so you can’t sleep.
  3. Package tours in general. Do you own research, its not hard and you will avoid the crappy hotels they put you in.
  4. Name brand hotels. There are Marriots, Travelodges, Holiday Inns etc in Thailand but you can get better value by looking around.
  5. Paying for breakfast. Good food is easy to find in Pattaya whereas most hotel buffets are decidedly average. Plus Pattaya is a night town, you probably won’t wake up early enough to enjoy it.
  6. Don’t drink too much. It’s easy to do. 
  7. If you go out, leave your ATM card in the hotel. Take only what cash you are prepared to spend.
  8. Don’t fall in love with a bar girl.
  9. Don’t get sunburnt. Bring long sleeve clothes or sunscreen. Thailand is a hot country. 
  10. Don’t assume that a girl is on the same page as you. Spell out what you want and confirm understanding.
  11. Taxis are a ripoff, get them to use the meter if you must. Pattaya -> Suvarnabhumi is 1000 baht, Airport -> Pattaya 1500-2000.
  12. Be careful about what you eat. Don’t assume a full restaurant means it’s safe.
  13. Don’t get dehydrated and make your hangover worse. Bottled water is cheap and available everywhere. 
  14. If you’re buying drinks, don’t get sucked into buying drinks for every girl in the bar. They are all “her friend”.
  15. Keep your phone charged at every opportunity. 
  16. Buy a Thai SIM card with internet and call credits.
  17. If a girl seems like she is on drugs, stay far far away.
  18. Don’t change your money at home. Go to the basement Super rich in Suvarnabhumi or shop around once you get to Pattaya.
  19. Don’t stay too long with the first girl you see, or who pays attention to you.
  20. Don’t fixate on one girl. There are so many. 
  21. If someone else gets her first, wait. She will be there tomorrow, or maybe even later in the night today.
  22. Don’t spend all your time in one bar. There are plenty out there.
  23. Don’t forget to bring small change for the songtaew. It’s 10 baht, they dont have change for a 1000.
  24. Don’t send money to a girl in Thailand after you go back home.
  25. Use condoms. Always.

Compared to some places in the world Pattaya is quite benign. The worst case scenario you will lose some money. It is unlikely that you will be a victim of violence unless you provoke someone in the extreme. On the other hand, accidents are common and Thailand does have a horrific road accident toll each year. If you are not confident riding a motorbike in your own country, Pattaya is not a good place to learn as traffic is embedded with drunk drivers, tour buses and crazy van drivers. 


richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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