In Pattaya, it’s really a matter of deciding what you want to do during the day (and night), then choosing your beach locale accordingly.
The best beaches in and around Pattaya, include the following…
This 3km-long crescent of yellow sand is edged by a palm-fringed promenade. Just across the road and in nearby sois (narrow lanes) lie numerous hotels, shops, restaurants and countless go-go bars, discos, cabarets, pubs and live music spots.
The beach is divided into three main areas: the more sedate North Pattaya Beach (the best of the three beaches) is a yellow-sand beach that is home to well-established quality resorts (main photo); central and South Pattaya beaches are lively at any time of the day and night and are lined with restaurants, bars, shops and department stores.
Central Pattaya Beach (photo) is the place to go for watersports, while the southern end of Pattaya Beach is the epicentre of the entertainment hub. Here, in a 500m-long lane, adults can choose from numerous clubs, discotheques and go-go bars.
During the day, the north and central beach areas are a good place to unwind with a traditional Thai massage in the shade of a beach umbrella, to snack on freshly grilled shrimps or to indulge in some water skiing, wind surfing, parasailing.
You can then head off on a snorkelling or diving excursion to one of the nearby offshore islands. This area is mainly popular with singles and some couples.
Located over the headland from South Pattaya Beach and just a 10-minute drive from central Pattaya, this 6km-long golden-sand beach offers a quiet and less-crowded alternative to Pattaya’s raucous 24/7 entertainment strip.
Here you can enjoy a huge range of watersport activities as well as accommodation and restaurants to suit all budgets.
This is Pattaya’s best beach for families, with much cleaner water and softer sand for kids to build sandcastles.
The northern end of this pine tree-fringed beach hosts Pattaya Park, a large amusement playground, as well as various watersport activities including jet skiing, sea kayaking, paragliding and wind surfing.
The southern stretch, known as Jomtien-Sattahip Beach, is more remote, less crowded and home to an upmarket marina and several beachfront resorts.
This gently curving 3km-long beach is located at the far northern end of the Pattaya Bay and is another good alternative for families.
Sunbathe on the beach, go swimming, savour a fresh seafood lunch at an open-air local restaurant and choose from several upmarket hotels that overlook the beach. On the promontory stands the Sancturay of Truth.
This idyllic 1km stretch of golden sand is hidden away on the northern side of Pattaya Bay and is accessed from a narrow lane, just a short walk from any of the beachfront resorts.
The Garden Sea View Resort sits directly infront of the beach.
The beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying a quiet picnic. There are no vendors, watersport activities or shops on this beach.
Located just north of Wong Amat, Nacula is a quiet alternative to Pattaya Beach as it’s located in a residential neighbourhood.
Here you can relax and sunbathe on the beach, go windsurfing and enjoy a tasty seafood lunch at one of the beachside restaurants.
Mainly free from beach vendors, Nacula offers watersport activities and a glimpse of traditional local life. It’s also home to the five-star Garden Cliff Resort and Spa Resort.
(Coral Island) – For an alternative to bustling Pattaya, take the 45-minute boat ride to the idyllic island of Ko Larn, located just 7.5km offshore.
Here you can swim from a choice of white-sand beaches, view coral through glass-bottom boats or go snorkelling and diving.
Try 750m-long Haad Ta Waen beach, located in the northwest of the island. With its crystal clear water and fine white sand lined with colourful beach chairs, shops and restaurants it is most popular beach of Koh Lan.
Nearby lies small Sungwal beach, only 150m long and without shops or restaurants, offering a quiet place to sunbathe and relax.
Beach hopping is easy by motorbike taxi. On the west coast sits Tian beach, a scenic 500m-long beach that lies in a cove with good snorkelling, sports activities and beachside restaurants.
If the beach seems crowded, walk to nearby Samae and Ta Yai beaches, offering soft white sand, a scattering of shops and a few restaurants.
If you’re still feeling adventurous, take a further snorkelling excursion to the nearby islands of Ko Phai and Ko Sak.
Latest update: Pattaya beaches: 6 May, 2022