Along with the popular night market on Thepprasit Road in Jomtien, this is Pattaya's largest and oldest Thai-style open-air market and is held every Sunday. Both food and non-food items are available here. Located on Sawang Fa Road in Naklua, between Pattaya-Naklua Road and Sukhumvit Road, this market is extremely popular especially with locals and foreign residents of North Pattaya.
Located next to the Tesco Lotus hypermarket on Sukhumvit Road in Jomtien (just around the corner from Thepprasit Road), Outlet Mall features original brand-name clothing at discount prices.
Pattaya Floating Market
Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien (south of the junction with Soi Chaiyapruek)
Pattaya's own Floating Market opened to the public in November 2008 and claims to be to be the biggest floating market in the eastern region. It features more than 100 boutique-shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, regional products, native food and specialties from all over Thailand. Designed to resemble Bangkok's famous Floating Markets, the entire compound covers an area of 67 rai (~100,000m²) and is actually more of a tourist attraction than a shopping complex. The Pattaya Floating Market opens daily from 10am to 11pm. There is no entrance fee (usually) and you don't have to buy anything.
There are about 80 boats on standby to ferry visitors around the extensive network of canals and wooden bridges, where freshly cooked Thai delicacies are available from water vendors. Stalls sell the usual souvenir and handicraft touristy bits, only cheaper than in the "tourist traps" on Pattaya Beach Road, and vendors are also less pushy and friendlier. The compound also features rice farming, sunflower fields, a wood carving museum, as well as outdoor cultural performances like Thai classical dance or martial art demonstrations.
P.S. Plaza/Tops Supermarket
The P.S. Plaza, at the junction of Central Pattaya Road (Pattaya Klang) and Second Road, features Tops Supermarket, a number of restaurants, retail shops and stalls, a snooker hall, and P.S. Bowling on the top floor.
Royal Garden Plaza
This large air-conditioned three-storey shopping mall, next to the Marriott Resort & Spa between Pattaya Beach and Second Road, features upscale shops with international brand-name articles (e.g. Adidas, Nike, Boots Pharmacy etc.) as well as small souvenir and Thai handicraft stalls along the central corridors. While there are numerous outlets of world-famous fast-food restaurant chains on the ground floor, the top floor features an international food court, a video games arcade, and the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum.
By the way: At night hours, the Pattaya Beach Road area outside the shopping mall becomes a notorious meeting point for freelance prostitutes and ladyboys trying to chat up potential "customers". Watch your handbag, necklace and wallet!
Soi Buakhao Market
Located near the corner of Soi Buakhao and South Pattaya Road (Pattaya Tai), this popular and usually crowded open-air market is held every Tuesday and Friday. As on all local Thai markets, anything is available here, from cheap clothing, counterfeit CDs and DVDs to household products and posters of the royal family. Popular with tourists and locals alike.
Even if shopping shouldn't really be your favourite pastime, it can be fun to sit in one of the little bars and restaurants around the busy market square, which are usually packed on Tuesdays and Fridays.
South Pattaya Market (Talaat Wat Chai)
Located on South Pattaya Road (opposite the Wat Chaiyamongkon temple, near the junction with Pattaya Second Road), this covered market area is open every day and features both food and non-food items, e.g. reasonably priced clothing, counterfeit products, household items, or anything you'd look for on a typical Thai-style market. Thai people know this market by the name talaat wat chai.
Supermarkets: International Supermarkets
Those who stay in Pattaya a bit longer or have decided to settle down here and get tired of dining out every night, may sooner or later develop some kind of "culinary homesickness" and wonder where to buy some original French cheese, English sausages or German bread? All no problem in Pattaya. As a truly cosmopolitan melting pot, Pattaya features a handful of international supermarkets which offer many imported quality products and cater to the culinary everyday needs of Pattaya's large expat community.
Apart from the larger supermarkets listed below, there are 7-Eleven and Family Mart convenience stores (open 24/7) that meet most of your basic needs at virtually every street corner.
Located next to the Dolphin Roundabout on North Pattaya Road (Pattaya Nua), Best Supermarket probably has Pattaya's most extensive liquors department. Big C (North Pattaya)
Central Festival Center, Pattaya Second Road (northern section) Big C (South Pattaya)
Sukhumvit Road, around the corner from South Pattaya Road (Pattaya Tai) Big C Extra (formerly Carrefour)
Central Pattaya Road (Pattaya Klang, corner of Soi Yume)
International department store with many imported high-quality products, reasonably priced own-brand items and a highly recommended butcher department. Central Festival Pattaya Beach
Pattaya Beach Road (near Soi 9 and the Pattaya Police Station)
Asia's "largest beachfront shopping complex" also has an international supermarket with lots of imported high-quality products. Reportedly a bit more expensive than its competitors. Foodland
Central Pattaya Road (Pattaya Klang)
Pattaya's oldest and premier Farang supermarket features a variety of imported quality products. Good bakery and probably Pattaya's best butcher department. Foodmart
Thappraya Road, Jomtien (just around the corner from Thepprasit Road)
With many imported quality food products, Foodmart is a good alternative for expats living in Jomtien, however slightly more expensive than its central Pattaya competitors. Friendship Supermarket
South Pattaya Road (on the same side as Tukcom, near Soi Buakhao)
Along with Foodland and Big C Extra, this is Pattaya's most popular international supermarket with lots of imported quality products. Tesco Lotus (North Pattaya)
North Pattaya Road, Pattaya Nua Tesco Lotus (South Pattaya)
Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien (around the corner from Thepprasit Road) Tops Supermarket
P.S. Plaza at the junction of Central Pattaya Road (Pattaya Klang) and Pattaya 2nd Road Villa Market
The Avenue Mall, Pattaya Second Road (roughly opp. Royal Garden Plaza)
Quality imported products, Western food and wine from all over the globe. www.villamarket.com
If you need to overhaul your business wardrobe and look for moderately priced tailor-made suits, then Pattaya is probably your second best choice next only to Bangkok.
Tailor shops specialized in custom-made ladies' and gents' fashion can be found in practically all major tourist areas of Pattaya and Jomtien (especially along South Pattaya Beach Road), in many of the larger upscale hotels and in basically every Soi.
Usually owned and run by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent, most merchants have a good command of English, but mostly speak some basics or the typical tailor slang of other European languages, too. More experienced "tailors" have been in their business for decades and have an extensive regular customer base. Many of them offer a "ready in 24 hours" service. Some tailors can be pretty penetrant when they chat you up in front of their shops; so if you don't really want a new suit, just ignore their Welcome, Sir! blabla and walk on. (What many foreign customers do not know, is that most of them aren't actually professional tailors, but merely salesmen who take the measurements etc. while the tailoring job is done by contractors in little Thai factories.)
Prices for a suit package start at roughly 3,000 Baht, depending on material and style. However, it is highly recommended to insist on at least two fittings and not to go for unrealistic knock-down prices. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for, so don't expect cashmere when you pay for polyester!
Two large Tesco Lotus hypermarkets are situated on North Pattaya Road (Pattaya Nua) and on Sukhumvit Road in Jomtien (just around the corner from Thepprasit Road). Both complexes also feature a variety of retail shops and stalls, outlets of international fast food chains, food stalls and bank/currency exchange services.
Thai Gold, Gems & Jewellery Shops
Regardless of their social ranking, Thai people from all social backgrounds are literally obsessed with Thai gold. Historically, Thai gold has served as alternative 'currency' for centuries and could easily be traded and converted back into any real currency anytime. Albeit gold is Thailand's premier status symbol and, of course, a shining gold necklace around a Thai woman's neck is more attractive than a five-digit number in a savings account book, there are more intelligent reasons than that for investing in gold, which also make the purchase of Thai gold items as attractive for tourists as it is for the locals.
While the gold price meets a world standard and doesn't really differ significantly from country to country, it's mainly the low cost of craftsmanship in Thailand whch makes gold such a lucrative investment object here. Basically, you only pay for the gold weight of the product plus a moderate surcharge of 5-10% for manufacturing.
The weight unit for Thai gold is the Baht, not to be confused with Thailand's currency. One Baht of gold corresponds to approximately 15.16 grams, i.e. 1/2 ounce. As Thai gold contains a higher percentage of gold (96.5%, i.e. 23K) it is considerably softer and more shining than the average 18K gold popular in most Western countries.
Traditional gold and jewellery shops can be recognized by their red fronts with yellow inscriptions and are usually run by Thais of Chinese origin. They can be found anywhere across Pattaya, but predominantly along South Pattaya Road (in front of Wat Chai market), on Central Pattaya Road (near the junction with Pattaya 2nd Road) and at the southern end of Pattaya Beach Road. Many gold shops are guarded by moonlighting police officers. The shops usually display the daily quotations on signboards attached to their glass fronts with specifications for buying and selling rates. If you're seriously interested in jewellery and precious gemstones, it is highly recommended to use the services of well-established jewellery shops.
Do not buy gemstones from street or beach vendors who might later emerge as professional "con artists", or put your faith in business touts who promise you incredibly cheap bargains when buying gems from a certain shop. In the best case, you might just get overcharged in order to pay for their commission; in the worst case, you might waste your money on fake gems.
Located near the junction of Thepprasit and Sukhumvit Road in Jomtien, and in walking distance of Tesco Lotus, this huge open-air weekend market is held in the evening hours of every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and features both food and non-food items. You can basically buy anything here, from cheap clothes, fashion jewellery, counterfeit handbags and DVDs, to leather jackets, lady's shoes, loudspeaker systems or puppies held in cages!
If you get exhausted from strolling up and down the crowded, narrow market lanes, there is even a little bar to cater for your refreshment needs, or you can have an inexpensive Thai meal at one of the numerous food stalls. Well worth a visit on weekend evenings.
Located on South Pattaya Road (Pattaya Tai, opposite the entrance to Soi Buakhao), Tukcom is Pattaya's one-stop IT center, featuring a wide range of IT products like mobile phones and accessories, computers, notebooks, digital cameras, computer games and pirated software at incredibly low prices.
Tukcom is not your traditional IT department store, however, but a five-storey conglomerate of separate little specialized stalls, with each floor dedicated to certain IT products. Diligent comparison of prices offered at different stalls is recommended if you wish to bargain for the best possible price. Also watch out for their frequent promotion specials. Finally, beware counterfeit products like smartphones at absolute knockdown prices. It should be self-evident that in Thailand - where original IT products are often more expensive than in Western countries - you won't get the latest IPhone for 3,000 Baht or so, ok?