Pattaya vs. Bangkok: Which Is the Better Vacation?


When in Thailand, it comes down to two different types of destinations: coastal and interior. Along the Thai coast, Pattaya’s city on the Eastern edge of the kingdom is one of Thailand’s most popular resort destinations. The capital city of Bangkok is the site of the country’s cultural, economic, and political identities and the site of the royal family and palaces. Which of these two Thai destinations is better for a vacation?

If you truly want to experience Thailand’s ethos, a trip to Bangkok is the better option for a vacation. Pattaya is a beautiful representation of the city’s many coastlines, but Bangkok is filled with many cultural and historical attractions. There is more to do and see in Bangkok. 

CategoryPattayaBangkok
Cost Per Person (One Week)$595$735
Main AttractionsNong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Jomtien Beach, Sanctuary of Truth, Big Buddha, Art of ParadiseGrand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Traimit, Temple of The Golden Buddha, Wat Suthat
FoodThai cuisine is considered to be some of the most fragrant and well-seasoned food on the planet. Dishes range from flavorful and light to searingly hot and spicyThai cuisine is considered to be some of the most fragrant and well-seasoned food on the planet. Dishes range from flavorful and light to searingly hot and spicy
WeatherThe weather in Thailand is hot and humid throughout most of the year. Spring and summer are very hot and moist, while fall and winter are mostly dry and warmThe weather in Thailand is hot and humid throughout most of the year. Spring and summer are very hot and moist, while fall and winter are mostly dry and warm
SafetyPattaya is a very safe city. Law enforcement keeps a tight and orderly grip on the citizenry, and only minor scams and petty theft are ever reported from visitors. Bangkok is a very safe city. Law enforcement and royal guards keep a tight and orderly grip on the citizenry, and only minor scams and petty theft are ever reported from visitors. Be sure to never defame or insult the monarchy or any member of the Thai royal family; even foreigners can be arrested and imprisoned for this crime
TransportationTrains, buses, and cars are the main forms of transportation throughout Pattaya. Motorbikes, bicycles, taxis, and even boat rides are also availableTrains, buses, and cars are the main forms of transportation throughout Bangkok. Motorbikes, bicycles, taxis, and even boat rides are also available
CustomsTo vacation in Thailand, you will need a valid passport; a visa is not required if your stay will be 30 days or lessTo vacation in Thailand, you will need a valid passport; a visa is not required if your stay will be 30 days or less

Choosing to spend a vacation in either Pattaya or Bangkok will most likely seem like the difference between night and day. Bangkok is much busier and crowded, yet this is the better option for those wishing to absorb Thai culture. Pattaya is a tropical paradise and represents a great way to experience a tropical vacation in Southeast Asia. This article will explore both cities through a range of categories to discover, which is better for a vacation.  

Cost of Stay

A standard one-week vacation in Pattaya will usually cost about $595. This is an incredible price considering that this is a popular beachside resort town. Bangkok costs a bit more, which is normal considering that this is the nation’s busiest and most popular city. A standard, one-week vacation in Bangkok will usually cost about $735. You may end up spending a bit more money in Bangkok; therefore, be sure to plan accordingly.   

Affordable Hotel Options

In Pattaya, there are many affordable hotels to choose from. The Inn House Hotel located near the beach is a great choice if you do not want glitz and glamor yet still want to experience a beachside hotel stay. The rooms are decently-sized and include all the standard hotel amenities you could expect from a mid-range hotel. 

In Bangkok, there are also quite a few affordable hotel options. The Hotel Royal Bangkok Chinatown is an affordable, clean and royal-themed hotel that is nestled in-between some of the capital’s city’s busiest and most popular regions. 

Main Attractions

In Pattaya, the main attraction will undoubtedly be the miles of endless beachfront views that define the atmosphere of the area. But when you want to venture further into the city, consider spending a day at Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. This lush and expansive, 500-acre garden and biome is a pristine representation of natural Thai architecture as well as a grand showcase of the nation’s wildlife. 

In Bangkok, a visit to the iconic Wat Traimit, Temple of the Golden Buddha is a must-see attraction in the bustling royal metropolis. This temple’s centerpiece is the large, medieval rendition of a Buddha that has stood for nearly 700 years. 

Food

In Pattaya, many of the more tropical flavors of Thai cuisine come to life. Be sure to visit Mantra Bar and Restaurant, which specializes in a range of spices geared towards tropical dishes. The balance between sweet and spicy is incredibly unique. 

In Bangkok, there is a wide range of choices to choose from. One of Bangkok’s unique restaurants is an eatery that combines all of Thailand’s distinctive regional flavors: Nahm. This superb restaurant is located inside of a hotel, yet the incredible array of authentic Thai flavors resonates long after you have left its small and quaint dining room. 

Weather

The weather in Thailand is hot and humid throughout most of the year. Spring and summer are very hot and moist, while fall and winter are mostly dry and warm. Be mindful of tropical storms during the Monsoon season (May-October) when in Pattaya. 

Safety

Both cities are considered to be very safe. Law enforcement and royal guards keep a tight and orderly grip on the citizenry, and only minor scams and petty theft are ever reported from visitors. Be sure to never defame or insult the monarchy or any member of the Thai royal family; even foreigners can be arrested and imprisoned for this crime.

Transportation

Getting around either of these cities presents a wide array of options to choose from. Trains, buses, and cars are the main forms of transportation throughout both cities. Motorbikes, bicycles, taxis, and even boat rides in Pattaya are also available.

Customs

To vacation in Thailand, you will need a valid passport; a visa is not required if your stay will be 30 days or less. There are no restrictions regarding entry into Thailand; just be sure to apply for a visa if you will be staying past the 30-day window. 

Customs

So, between Pattaya and Bangkok, which of these two cities is the better choice for a vacation? When it comes to seeing and experiencing Thailand, there is simply no better choice than spending a vacation in Bangkok. Pattaya is one of many resort towns in Thailand, which is essentially just a coastal vacation without much else to do and see. 

Bangkok just has so many things to see and cultural attractions to absorb and experience. You can tour the Grand Palace or spend a day taking in the many monuments and relics throughout the city dedicated to Buddhism.

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