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Do’s and Don’t in Pattaya

Below is a list of 24 “do’s” and “don’ts” to observe while vacationing in Pattaya.

1. Do be careful in South Pattaya late at night, especially of ladyboys and those that approach you! Of course, more often than not, are simply trying to secure as a customer for their services, but robberies do happen fairly often in South Pattaya late at night.

2. Do be careful of motorcycle (razor bag) bandits. They drive by while a person is walking, cut their shoulder bag loose with a razor or just grab it, and drive away.  Thai females are usually the victims  but no one is immune from these attacks.

3. Do be suspicious of beggars. There are a lot of phony beggars out there, perhaps the most common being woman with children.  Be especially suspicious if a beggar gets angry because you do not give them enough!!

4. Don’t go to Dong Tan Beach if you have very bad feelings about gay people and ladyboys!! This is a gay beach and the chances are single men will be approached, especially on the northern, more deserted end…the gays logically assume that single men come to this place for that purpose!

5. Do be very careful when trying to cross the main beach road in Jomtien. It is a two way road, and actually traffic is going two ways in each lane!!!! Motorbikes dart in and out of traffic, often unseen. This road is very busy around four to five PM.

6. Don’t buy a condo until you consult with an attorney. A pile of money and a signed contract do NOT guarantee your deal will be recognized by the Thai government!!

7. Don’t fall in love overnight. Take time to know her!! Most Thai ladies are basically okay but many have families and life histories that you simply can’t imagine…these things are only learned with time.

8. Do take time to get a two hour Thai massage. It might be one of the best experiences of your life. It will certainly be one of the most financially reasonable as basic rates are between 150 and 200 baht an hour.

9. Do be very careful about renting jet skiis. There have been several confrontations during the past year between jet ski operators who claim  jet skiis were damaged by the user, and the user. It is possible that the local police are cooperating with the jet ski operators to unfairly charge users.  If you have a problem, call the tourist police…fast.

10. Don’t worry if you don’t know how much to pay for a meal at a street stand. Just give the vendor a fifty baht note and they will almost always give you correct change.

11. Do feel free to hang out all night at places like McDonalds or Burger King… Just enjoy your coffee. These are safe, comfortable places to wait for sunrise.

12. Do feel free to hang out on Jomtien Beach late in to the night if you want to. The beach is well lighted and you will have lots of company. Sometimes people do get a little loud, but  they are seldom threatening.

13. Do be careful at the full body (soapy) massage places. Try to find out exactly how much it is going to cost you…if “tips” are expected and how much.

14. Do try to learn how to eat at street stalls and simple Thai restaurants. You can save a lot of money this way and enjoy good food, too. There are a few standard foods such as chicken rice, “Chao Pat Gai” you can easily memorize and learn how to pronounce.

15. Do be aware that businesses operated by foreigners, often Scandinavians, usually charge more than similar businesses operated by Thais. This has nothing to do with matters of honesty or integrity. It is simply a reflection of how different people calculate price and value. If price is a major consideration for you, Thai operated businesses are usually the best bet.

16. Don’t ever expect to receive a refund for goods you buy in Pattaya. The best you can possibly hope for is to exchange a broken or defective item for an item of similar value. This is usually done only at larger, more Western style stores.

17. Don’t worry too much about what the baht buses charge on their routes. These days, most charge a standard rate although knowing what the rate is can be difficult. It is unusual if a rate would be more than 20 baht. It you want to go somewhere not part of a standard route, negotiation is necessary.

18. Do beware of touts who promise you money or prizes to go see a property presentation…these offers often have various  conditions so that even if you endure a presentation, you might not be able to receive the “reward.”

19. Do watch out for dangerous creatures such as jelly fish or sea urchins while swimming or wading in the ocean. These creatures do visit the beach from time to time. Don’t worry about sharks. They are not a problem.

20. Do be aware that if you visiting Pattaya with a single entry tourist visa, you must go outside of the country to get another visa. This can’t be done inside the country. If you have a multiple entry visa, then you still must make a day trip to another country to activate the second or third entry portion. Many travel agents will arrange this “visa run” – usually to Cambodia – for you.

21. Do ask how much it will cost to rent the beach chair and umbrella. Recently many beach stands have introduced a chair which is much more expensive than the old type… and maybe not as comfortable. Check now to avoid being angry latter!

22. Do not bother to make a hotel reservation in Pattaya…except during December and January, or for an important holiday.  If you see a place you like be sure to check it on the internet. There might be an “internet special.”  If you must walk out of a hotel you like, and then go to an internet café and make a reservation…do it!!!!

23. Do use 7-11. These convenience stories are all over the Pattaya area. They sell the same ranges of goods, charge standard prices, and post prices. Traditional Thai style minimarkets can be interesting and sometimes offer more variety, but 7-11 is usually much more stress free for the inexperienced foreign shopper in Thailand.

24. Don’t be surprised at “double pricing.” Double pricing happens when Thai people are charged less for a good or service than foreign people. It is most common at large tourist attractions. If this happens to you, then don’t let it ruin your day…or if you feel that the price difference is too much, simply say “no thank you” and leave!!


Bangkok to Pattaya

Pattaya Attractions

How to Get Around In Pattaya

Festivals and Special Events

Muay Thai In Pattaya

Shopping In Pattaya

A History and Introduction to Pattaya

Do’s and Don’t in Pattaya

The Cost of Living in Pattaya

Weather and The Best Times to Visit Pattaya

Sports in Pattaya

Guide to Street Food

Bangkok or Pattaya? Which one is better?

Some Helpful Thai

Other Useful Guide