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A Guide to the Best Beaches in Pattaya

By Chris QuanUpdated Apr. 22, 2021

Located a short 150 km (90 miles) east of Thailand's capital city Bangkok, in the province of Chonburi, Pattaya is a popular destination for those wanting a taste of Thailand's coastal highlights without having to give up on the creature comforts of big city life.

Pattaya's beaches are not as picturesque as the kingdom's southern islands, but that's not to say that they aren't beautiful in their own right. There is a perception that Pattaya is a little seedy, but that is a tiny part of an otherwise bustling and beautiful city.

Take away its infamous reputation, and you are left with a lively bar and restaurant scene and some fantastic beaches if you know where to look. That's where we come in with our guide to the best beaches in Pattaya that you should be visiting on your next vacation to Thailand.

Pattaya Beach

The main beach in Pattaya shares its name with the city. It is a 4-km (2-mile) stretch of sand right among Pattaya city's bright lights and high-rise condos.

The main attraction of Pattaya Beach is the array of water sports on offer. Jet ski and banana boat rides and paragliding go on from dawn till dusk. There are plenty of beach bars to quench your thirst in the daytime, while at night, the bars and clubs turn the beach into the city's main party area.

The beach is a haven for party animals.

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Jomtien Beach

Another prominent beach in Pattaya city is Jomtien Beach, which sits just 2 km (1 mile) south of Pattaya Beach. Although the two beaches are close together, there is a big difference in terms of crowd turnout between the two.

While still being close to the city action, Jomtien has a slightly more laidback vibe so you can have the best of both worlds. There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the beach, as well as activities like windsurfing and kiteboarding.

There is even a waterpark in Jomtien, making it an excellent destination for families with children. The beach is perfect for solo travelers, couples, and family groups.

Bang Saray Beach

Located an easy 25-minute drive south of Pattaya, Bang Saray is one of the best beaches in the area.

Bang Saray has a very local feel, and even in the peak season, you are more likely to see fishermen and local families than foreign tourists. If you like quiet rural beaches with powdery sand, this is the place for you.

Bang Saray is one of the best places in the area for diving. On rare occasions, you can even spot whale sharks in the seas around the beach.

You'll also find fresh seafood served up at the small restaurants around the beach's piers, which draw locals and expats from all over the Chon Buri province.

The beach is most suitable for families, couples, and diving enthusiasts.

Naklua Beach

Naklua Beach is located around 9 km (5 miles) north of Pattaya Beach. Nestled in a residential part of the town, the beach is distant from the excitement of the city and offers a slightly more secluded feel, while still having enough activities and amenities to keep you entertained.

The area's main attraction is the famous Sanctuary of Truth, which is a temple hard-carved entirely in teak. The construction of the temple began in 1981, and it has been an ongoing task ever since.

This is because the wood used to build the temple is untreated and eventually rots in the tropical climate. The constant maintenance work that is required is said to be a representation of never-ending human development.

Wong Amat Beach

Wong Amat is one of the better beaches in the area, and some very classy 5-star hotels have popped up around it in the last few years.

There aren't any water sports on Wong Amat, making it a much better choice for swimmers than Pattaya Beach or Jomtien.

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Cosy Beach

One of the smallest beaches in Pattaya, Cosy Beach is nestled in a tranquil little bay between Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach.

A favorite with the locals and expats alike, it is one of the quietest beaches in the area. Cosy Beach has all the amenities of the other beaches in Pattaya, such as hotels, bars, and restaurants, but on a much smaller scale and with a more relaxed feel. It is best for single travelers, couples, and families.

Escape to the Tropical Island of Koh Larn

Koh Larn, also known as Ko Lan or Coral Island, is located just 7 km (4 miles) off the coast of South Pattaya.

Koh Larn is a tropical paradise, with clear turquoise waters and quiet hidden beaches that are extremely popular with day-trippers from Pattaya.

There are six main beaches on the island, and each has a different feel to it. There are several coffee shops, bars, and restaurants on Koh Larn as well as a fresh market and a 24-hour 7-11 store.

If you are heading over to the island, consider staying overnight as the day-trippers usually leave by evening, and you'll have the island all to yourself.

Koh Larn is accessible by ferry from Bali Hai Pier at the end of Pattaya Walking Street. The crossing takes around 40 minutes.

Koh Larn's laid-back tropical feel makes every one of its beaches suitable for all travelers.

Tien Beach

With some of the whitest sand and clearest water on Koh Larn, Tien Beach is the most beautiful beach on the island, but it can get reasonably busy, depending on the time of day and season.

There is no proper road to the beach, so you have to access it by boat. Once you see the crystal clear, turquoise waters surrounding the beach, you'll find the journey worth it.

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Samae Beach

Samae is a 500-meter (1,600-foot) stretch of sand on the west side of the island and is the island's second busiest beach. The sand here is a little grainier than on Tien Beach, but it's still well worth a visit.

The beach boasts a 100-room hotel and an array of dining options to suit any budget as well as a small market selling snacks, clothes, and souvenirs.

Tawaen Beach

Tawaen is not the beach to head to if you don't like crowds. It gets anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 visitors a day, making it by far Koh Larn's most popular beach, especially with tour groups.

Here you'll find restaurants specializing in international food to cater to the taste buds of Russian and Chinese visitors. You can also find seafood and Thai restaurants, souvenir shops, and massage stations along the beachfront. There are designated swimming areas as well as jet skis to rent, and banana boat rides on offer.

Nual Beach

Nual Beach, known locally as Monkey Beach due to its hillside inhabitants, is a quiet beach located on the northern tip of Koh Larn. The beach boasts a resort that was never opened due to local protests, giving the beach a deserted feel.

You will find plenty of deckchairs and sun loungers on the beach, which you can rent for THB 100, as well as shower and toilet facilities. There are several shack-style restaurants serving food and drinks, giving the beach an authentic, rustic Thai island feel.

Nual Beach is one of the quietest beaches on the island and one of the best places to spend a few hours relaxing in the sun.

Ta Yai Beach

Ta Yai Beach is the smallest of the main beaches on Koh Larn, but one of the most picturesque and peaceful. Situated on the east coast of the island, Ta Yai Beach is perfect for visitors looking to escape the crowds altogether.

There is one restaurant serving Thai and western food and a few sun loungers for rent. However, what it lacks in facilities, Ta Yai more than makes up for in tranquility. Grab a towel, find a spot in the sand, lie back, and relax.

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