This city is the hidden gem of Thailand
When the weekend rolls around and the tropical temperatures climb, the upper echelon of Bangkok society heads out of town for a few leisurely days by the sea. Thanks to its convenient location a little over an hour’s drive from the capital, the beach town of Pattaya has become a deservingly popular getaway. With an abundance of world-class spas, golf courses and other upscale diversions catering to discerning travellers, here’s what to do in Pattaya when you want to get away.
Play golf on a championship course
With more than half a dozen pro-level courses scattered around the area, Pattaya is a dream for golf lovers. Siam Country Club is located on the lush, undulating terrain of a former pineapple and tapioca plantation. The Old Course, a sprawling expanse of immaculately tended green, has ranked among the region’s finest since it opened in 1971. The course was originally designed by I. Izumi, but the legendary Lee Schmidt of Schmidt & Curley Design Inc. added his own aesthetic flair during an overhaul in 2006. Schmidt engineered the impressive Plantation, a 27-hole course known for its challenging winds and striking views of the surrounding scenery.
Indulge in a spa treatment followed by a romantic dinner
Soothe away stress at Amburaya Spa, the elegantly designed pampering locale at the InterContinental Pattaya Resort that draws on Thailand’s revered holistic healing practices. This opulent oasis turns to the wisdom of centuries-old traditions in treatments such as their signature Amburaya Embrace, which combines five different massage techniques into one utterly blissful experience. After your treatment, head to Infiniti Restaurant for modern Mediterranean dishes, such as sea bass carpaccio, presented on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It’s the perfect perch to watch the sunset over a glass of fine wine or a craft cocktail.
Savour fine cuisine
Chefs at fine-dining eateries all around town take advantage of Pattaya’s top-notch seafood in all sorts of innovative dishes. Casa Pascal offers up succulent scallops in garlic butter, as well as seared foie gras and the classic pan-fried Dover sole meunière. Cafe des Amis dishes up decadent French specialties accompanied by imported wines in a wonderfully atmospheric Thai house. Finally, The Glass House may be a bit of a drive from the centre of town, but its exquisitely prepared dishes more than merit the journey—as does its stellar beachfront setting, which, since the walls are all glass, you can enjoy from pretty much any table.
Discover Thai culture and mythology
Dive into Thailand’s captivating legends and lore at KAAN, a pulse-pounding, 90-minute extravaganza that draws on the country’s literary history. High-budget special effects, elaborate costumes and dazzling acrobats combine to bring these ancient stories to life. Afterwards, be sure to visit The Sanctuary of Truth, a visually striking wooden structure covered in ornate carvings representing various elements of Thai philosophy. More than 100 metres high, the building is a truly impressive example of contemporary Thai craftsmanship.
Cruise the high seas
Sail the turquoise waves just off the coast with Pattaya Yacht Charters, which boasts a state-of-the-art fleet of watercraft ranging from catamarans to ultra-luxe super yachts. Among them, the 16-metre Silver Princess is a thing of beauty, with three elegantly appointed staterooms and a fully loaded galley. The pride of the fleet is the Golden Boy, one of the largest super yachts ever constructed in Thailand and a masterpiece of craftsmanship. Up to 16 passengers can enjoy lounging on the plush furniture in the boat’s salon or take advantage of the waterskis, kayaks and snorkelling equipment all stocked onboard. The most important asset, however, is the expertly trained crew, who can skillfully sail travellers to the sugar-sand shores of islands such as Koh Rin, Koh Phai and Koh Larn.
These are just a few of the ways you can enjoy a seaside stay in this charming resort town. With so many possibilities for living on the luxe side here, it’s no wonder that both Bangkokians and international visitors choose to return again and again.