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Your comprehensive online travel guide to Pattaya, Jomtien and Thailand - now completely revamped and with an all new design. Find everything you need to know about holidays, life and lifestyle in Pattaya and the Land of Smiles. Useful info for tourists, "long stayers" and expats alike.
Pattaya & Thailand News Update - Daily updated news from Pattaya & the rest of Thailand!
Find Pattaya Hotels & Resorts
Pattaya offers a wide range of hotels, resorts and guesthouses, from budget accomodation to five-star luxury seaside resorts.
In general, rooms in Pattaya are fairly cheap, with rates starting at less than 400 Baht per day. To offer you an extensive selection of over 7,000 hotels in Thailand's top holiday destinations at discount internet rates starting at only US$10, we have partnered with Agoda.com - a Bangkok-based hotel reservation service specialized in securing the lowest prices in Asia. For a great choice of over 800 hotels in Pattaya, please use our hotel search box tool or browse Agoda's multi-lingual website: Pattaya Hotels
Pattaya Travel Guide
Since Pattaya's "discovery" by U.S. soldiers in the 1960s, and its rapid transformation from a virtually unknown sleepy fishing village to one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations, Pattaya has gone through some significant changes but has always remained loyal to its good old "Funtown" image.
Less than a two-hours drive from Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi Airport, Pattaya has become famous for its sunny tropical beaches, dozens of nearby tourist attractions, excellent restaurants and shopping facilities but, most notably, its infamous nightlife and "sex industry" which initially laid the foundation for Pattaya's boom as a tourist destination.
Pattaya in the 21st century, however, can no longer be reduced to its bustling nightlife, thousands of beer bars, nightclubs and massage parlours. Pattaya today attracts millions of foreign tourists from all over the world every year and has something on offer for everyone: single tourists, young and old, couples, families and pensioners alike. Some of the "must-see" tourist attractions include, e.g., the Sanctuary of Truth, the Pattaya Floating Market, Crocodile Farm, Elephant Village, Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens, or Pattaya's own "coral island" Koh Larn. Other daytime activities, aside from shopping and sunbathing on the beach, include scuba diving, bungee jumping, deep-sea fishing and Golf, to name but a few. To cut a long story short: No matter what you're looking for, you can be sure you'll find it in Pattaya!
About Pattaya Jomtien Beach How to Get To Pattaya Get Around Pattaya Map of Pattaya
Tourist Attractions & Sightseeing Activities & Sports in Pattaya Pattaya Shopping Guide
Pattaya Photo Galleries Pattaya Videos
Pattaya Nightlife Guide
Yeah, right, gentlemen, we all know you're coming to Pattaya only for the beautiful beaches, fascinating Buddhist temples and the delicious Thai food. Fair enough; that's what I would tell my mom, too. But even if these assumptions were true ... If you've read Pattaya's history carefully, or just stroll down Pattaya's (in)famous Walking Street after sunset, you simply can't ignore the "naughty" side of Funtown. More than half a century after U.S. soldiers initially discovered Pattaya as an R&R destination, Pattaya is still a true Disneyland for adults and particularly single male mammals. After all, let's assume that Pattaya's nightlife and the city's seemingly endless supply of beautiful Asian ladies were the main reasons why the U.S. soldiers of the Vietnam war era fell in love with Pattaya so quickly!
And if Thailand's amazing culture should really be your major subject of interest, well, you may also have heard that prostitution, in spite of not being "strictly legal", has a lively and much longer tradition in the kingdom than modern-day mass (or "sex") tourism and is deeply ingrained in its culture? And let's not beat around the bush now: If you wish to study this tricky aspect of Thai culture more profoundly, then Pattaya is the perfect environment for in-depth field research at the grass-roots level!
Yep, now we're talking about Pattaya's notorious nightlife and infamous so-called "sex industry", including thousands of bars and nightclubs, discos, pubs and GoGo bars; last but not least, let's face this pretty fact, Pattaya's beautiful and charming ladies ...
On our dedicated Pattaya nightlife pages, you will find all you need to know about Pattaya's notorious nightlife. Let's sneak a peek at what you may expect in a typical Pattaya "girlie" bar or GoGo bar. Learn how to spot a ladyboy; how much to pay for a "lady drink"; what is the so-called "bar fine"; what's the difference between a traditional Thai and a soapy "body massage" ... and all the rest of it!
Pattaya Nightlife Guide Pattaya Beer Bars Pattaya GoGo Bars Pattaya Bar Girls Pattaya Ladyboys
Body Massage Gay Pattaya Pattaya Nightlife Photos Pattaya Nightlife Videos
Thailand Travel Guide
Our general Thailand tourist guide pages provide you with all the information you'll need before traveling to the Land Of Smiles. Do I need a visa to travel to Thailand? Where can I find the nearest Thai embassy in my country, and what kind of Thai visa can I apply for? What is the current Thai Baht exchange rate? What's the weather like in Thailand at the moment? And what's the best season for a trip to Thailand?
Here you'll find all the info you need about Thailand's most popular tourist destinations, Thai history, people and culture, climate, holidays and festivals, and a guide on how to get around in Thailand.
This section also features various Thailand-related articles of interest for tourists and expats alike, covering such diverse topics as Thai dating sites, golf and scuba diving in Pattaya, business, property and investment, health care, teaching English (TEFL) in Thailand, national holidays, the difference between traditional Thai and soapy massage, and the various kinds of "long-stay" visa available for Thailand.
Learn Thai language? Our Thai language pages give you a basic introduction to the history and structure of this fascinating language, including basic Thai vocabulary and lots of useful phrases.
Looking for cheap accomodation in Thailand? We have partnered with Agoda.com to offer you a selection of over 7,000 hotels and resorts in Thailand's top tourist destinations, from budget rooms at special discount internet rates starting at only US$10 to five-star luxury seaside resorts ...
Thailand Tourist Guide Thailand Visa Information Get Around In Thailand
Thai Language Guide: Basic Thai Vocabulary & Useful Phrases
Pattaya Pattaya - From Fishing Village To "Funtown"
To give you an idea of how Pattaya has changed over the decades since it was first discovered as a tourist destination in the early 1960s, here's an amazing slideshow of old photos of Pattaya taken between 1960 and 1990. By contrast, the clip on the right - Pattaya's self-titled favourite party song - shows Pattaya and its world-famous nightlife as we know it in the 21st century. Yep, the times are truly changing ...
Popular with tourists and expats alike, Pattaya city has attracted nine million visitors in 2013 and is mostly famous for its sunny beaches, legendary nightlife and 24/7 party atmosphere. Here at Pattaya-Funtown we'll always seek to equip you with all the info you need before traveling to Pattaya. How to get to Pattaya? Need a hotel room or guesthouse? What to do and what to see? And what should single male tourists expect when they venture out into Pattaya’s nightlife? Find the answers to all your questions here on our website!
Pattaya Videos of the Week
Pattaya by night - Disneyland for adults!
Long-Stay Tourists & Expats! New Stricter Visa Regulations - Latest Updates
It's certainly never been easy for expats and long-stay tourists to obtain a proper visa for Thailand that enables to stay in the kingdom for longer than just a couple of weeks or months. Since May 2014, this has certainly not become easier and several changes to Thailand's visa regulations have been announced by the immigration bureau. The purpose of many of the new rules is obviously to crack down on long-stay tourists who illegally work in Thailand. In many cases, the new stricter rules aren't really new - often they're just existing rules that were previously only laxly enforced. This is obviously changing now. More detailed information on the new regulations and related stuff can be found on our dedicated Visa News page. Here is a summary of the main changes:
- Starting from August 2014, out/in visa runs, e.g., to the Cambodian or Lao border, but also "visa runs by air", are basically a thing of the past. The Nation reported on July 15: "From August 13, people [who have not obtained a visa prior to their visit to Thailand] will not be able to re-enter the country, regardless of their choice of transport."
In other words: If you haven't obtained a regular visa prior to your visit to Thailand, but wish to stay longer than just for a brief holiday, then "visa runs" are no longer a viable option to extend your stay in the kingdom. If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than a holiday of 30 days or less, you're advised to apply for a tourist visa at your local Thai embassy or consulate in advance. A single-entry tourist visa is good for a 60-day stay in Thailand and can be extended locally for another 30 days. If you wish to wish to stay in Thailand more or less "permanently" and not just for an extended holiday, you should obtain the appropriate (Non-immigrant) visa prior to entering the country.
- The ongoing crackdown on out/in visa runners then has obviously been expanded to also include foreign visitors holding valid tourist visas. AsianCorrespondent.com reported on July 16: "Even those on valid tourist visas may be denied entry if immigration officials suspect feel they are spending too long in the country or working illegally."
While many questions remain unanswered for now, it's obvious that the use of back-to-back tourist visas will no longer be permitted; foreigners who use back-to-back tourist visas to continually extend their stay in Thailand and, in some cases, work illegally, now have to get an appropriate long-stay visa or - if they don't qualify for one - remain outside the country for an unspecified amount of time. Ajarn.com anticipates that "from [August 12th], apparently no one will be allowed to use back-to-back 60-day tourist visas to enter Thailand. You can use one 60-day tourist visa to enter the country [one time], but forget about using a second one. Apparently you'll be refused entry at the airport as well as any land border."
- Foreign tourists and expats who overstay their visa for Thailand for more than 90 days may get blacklisted, i.e. banned from returning to Thailand, for 1-10 years in the future. Until now, tourists who overstayed their visa were usually simply fined 500 Baht/day up to a maximum fine of 20,000 Baht; only when an "overstayer" was caught within the kingdom, he/she faced getting arrested and deported. Overstayers were not blacklisted. According to the new rules, however, foreigners who overstay their visa for more than 90 days will automatically get blacklisted for a period of 1-10 years. The new rules will reportedly take effect late August 2014. Further details have been announced on the website of the Immigration Bureau in Bangkok: http://bangkok.immigration.go.th/popup_anounce.html.
- In July, the Ministry of Education has also announced new, stricter requirements for education visa (ED visa) extensions and released new application forms for extensions. The new requirements are obviously meant to prevent students from "abusing" ED visas to work illegally in the kingdom and check whether they are "genuine" students and can support themselves financially. According to a post on ThaiVisa.com, the new requirements include a "proof of income".
- According to a report on ThaiVisa.com on July 29, immigration in Hua Hin announced that "from today [they will be] enforcing the existing rule that foreigners are required to carry a valid photo ID at all times." However, this does not mean that foreigners have to carry their passports with them all the time. On July 31, ThaiVisa.com reported they had "obtained official clarification" from a "senior official at Immigration headquarters in Bangkok" who confirmed that "tourists can of course leave their passports locked in their hotel safe and enjoy their holiday in Thailand without worrying about the need to carry their original passport ... for expats living here, a Thai driving license or photocopy of your passport can be used as a form of identification. However, if Immigration Police suspect an individual to be overstaying in Thailand or being involved in illegal activity, then the individual would be required to produce their original passport promptly ... if we think a foreigner is involved in illegal activity then we will of course need to see their original passport, this is normal."
Failure to carry a valid ID may result in a fine of 2,000 Baht, and violators may be subject to a thorough "background check", just to make sure you have a valid visa and are not on any "wanted list".
- ThaiVisa.com also reported on July 29: "Hua Hin Immigration is from today [July 29] also enforcing the requirements that you and your landlord (condominium owner, house owner etc.) must report to Immigration within 24 hours of moving in to a new address. On your arrival card you already reported your place of stay, and if that changes you need to visit Immigration and report your new address."
Note: If you're a tourist, the hotel where you're staying must report you to immigration; so this is more relevant to expats and long-stayers. Furthermore, this is basically also an existing rule which immigration is only expected to enforce nationwide soon. So in case you change your address in the future, e.g., you move in to another condo or house, you must now visit your local immigration office and fill a certain form notifying them of your address change. The form can be downloaded from the ThaiVisa website.
There's reportedly also another new reporting obligation applying to foreigners who visit another province (than the one where they are registered) and stay there for more than 48 hours; e.g. if you visit your Thai girlfriend's home in the countryside for a week or so during your stay. ThaiVisa.com reports: "In that case the reporting of the new address must be provided to the police, or the immigration, within 48 hours." The applicable form can also be downloaded from the ThaiVisa website.
- But there are also some good news for "genuine" foreign tourists who wish to stay in Thailand for not longer than 60 days. If you're eligible for a visa-exempted stay of 30 days in the country, you will soon no longer need a 60-day tourist visa if you wish to stay in Thailand for more than a month but not exceeding 60 days. All you need to do is visit your local immigration bureau after your first 30 days have expired and apply for a 30-day extension (currently only 7-day extensions are available).
ThaiVisa.com reported on July 20: "The Immigration Bureau has announced that of August 29. 2014 you will be able to extend your visa exemption period whilst you're in Thailand by 30 days, instead of the current 7 days, giving a total visa-exemption stay of 60 days. The fee for extension of stay is 1,900 Baht (unchanged)." In a nutshell: Tourists who are eligible for a visa-exempt entry of 30 days will soon be able to stay in Thailand without a visa for a total of 60 days. The new visa exemption extension rules will reportedly be in force from the end of August 2014.
- As we are still waiting for all the new visa regulations to be officially confirmed and enforced before we will update our general visa pages, more detailed information can currently be found most conveniently on our dedicated Visa News page.