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New to Pattaya – A simple guide

Below is a list of tips that should make your trip easier and more enjoyable.  The list is aimed at Pattaya newbies but is also applicable to those who have been to Pattaya many times.  Like anything please treat this for what it is and treat every situation on its own merits.  The best attitude to go to Thailand with is to go with the flow, be agreeable and smile a lot.


Explore Pattaya using our map above and find where you want to go!

General Tips

  • Never travel anywhere without travel insurance, insuring this includes full medical cover and repatriation.
  • Thailand is not like your home.  You will find some of the ways the Thais do things different, often more practical and better than some western ways.
  • All vehicles on the road have right of way as far as pedestrians go.  Do not assume pedestrian crossings across the roads are safe.  Motor vehicles here have no obligation to stop for you if you are using these.  When crossing the road always look both ways before setting off.  This includes one-way streets
  • Never drink the tap water.  Bottled water is cheap in Thailand.
  • Be respectful of Thai culture and traditions.  Do not insult the king or Buddha.  It is considered an insult to go in public without a shirt covering the shoulders.
  • Also stand for the national anthem when its played, this could be in the cinema theatre.
  • For Thais there is a bodily hierarchy.  The head is far higher than the feet, with lower body parts being less important.  For this reason do not touch a Thais head.
  • It is considered rude to show the bottoms of your feet.
  • If you are eating with Thais don’t blow your nose at the table.
  • When using a toothpick, put one hand in front of your mouth
  • Always smile and don’t act aggressively
  • Don’t talk to anyone with a clipboard in their hands.  These people are usually promoting time-shares.  They are not good investment opportunities!  Likewise avoid shaking the hands of the tailors.  They are very reluctant to let go.
  • Carry small change for the Baht bus.
  • In bars check your check bin from time to time.
  • You are not obliged to buy a lady drinks so be firm but polite.
  • Keep tips to small amounts unless you have received special treatment.
  • Don’t get involved with drugs.  If you do the best you can hope for is contributing a very large sum of money to the police fund.  If it is serious or you don’t have enough money you may spend some hard time in the ‘monkey house’ (jail).
  • Don’t carry around you foreign ATM card as it will be difficult to replace.
  • Only carry as much money as you need.
  • Don’t flash a lot of cash or wear expensive jewellery.  This only attracts the attention of people who you may not want noticing you.
  • Always carry some form of ID.  Legally you are required to carry your passport but this is not practical.
  • Thais are fairly conservative for that reason avoid showing affection in public.  You will not have any problems in Pattaya but you may elsewhere.
  • Don’t bring too much with you from home.  Anything you forget or need can be bought cheaply.
  • Don’t get yourself involved in arguments in Thailand. This includes trying to help in an argument involving a Thai girl.  You will only lose
  • Never try to take a photo in a gogo bar.  If you need to look at your camera inside a gogo bar make it evident that you are not taking a photo.  It is best not to get your camera out at all.

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