You must have heard a coastal city named Pattaya, which popular amongst adults with its night life. What if I tell you that you can get the best of Pattaya with kids in two days?

We were also skeptical about it in the first place, until we decided to take the plunge. Guess what, it was one of the best vacations our kids ever had and they begged us to come back again! Two days worth of reinventing Pattaya with kids and this post will assure you why Pattaya is a kid-friendly travel destination while you are in Thailand!

Best Time to Visit

To be honest, there are only two seasons in Thailand : hot and super hot. However, as a local, I would say December-January would be the best time to visit, as Thailand is having its “winter” season. By winter, do not expect anything lower than 20 degree celcius, but be grateful when you get even 25-26 degree celcius. Unfortunately, these months are also considered peak season, so make your bookings in advance and expect crowded attractions and inflated rates.

June-October is basically the low season when prices are cheap and tourists attractions are not crowded. But again the weather is still very hot and you will experience rain every now and then. I have to warn you that rainy season in Thailand could be extreme with flood and strong winds. It’s all coming back to your choices.

Getting to Pattaya (from Bangkok)

There are several ways to get to Pattaya. On normal days, it will take less than two-hours to get to the center of Pattaya through the highway, but during peak holiday season, it could get worse to 3-4 hours. You can get there by:

Public Bus to Pattaya

There are two terminals, one is in Ekkamai (right next to BTS Ekkamai) and the other one is Mo Chit Bus terminal at Don Mueang Airport. You don’t need to worry about running out of buses because every 30 minutes there is always a bus that goes to Pattaya.

The bus rate starts at 150 baht per person. However, by taking a bus to Pattaya, you should expect a longer time to get to Pattaya since these buses quite often make a detour from the main road and drop off passengers at some areas.

Train to Pattaya

The train from Bangkok to Pattaya route is not very popular because there is only one morning service every Mondays to Fridays. The available seats are also class 3 which means the seats are made from wood and they do not have AC.

However, on weekends, the class 3 seats are replaced with air-conditioned seats and also the trip duration is shorter 3.5 hours to 2.5 hours. Trains from Bangkok depart from Hualamphong Station in the city center.

Rent A Car Service Company (with driver)

If you want no hassle and comfortable is your first priority, and money is not an issue, then this is your option. During our first couple of years in Thailand, we always opt for this option to go to other towns and airport transfers. All we did was sit back, the driver will pick us up at our place and drop off wherever we wanted. Normally, the rate is including highway fee, gas and driver fee. There are various options of vehicles from sedan, hatchback, SUV to van.

We always use a company called INSTYLE Travel and Service (English speaking driver, punctual, safe driving, and prime vehicles). For pick-up and drop-off only Bangkok to Pattaya, their rate is ranging from 1500-3000 baht (Depends on the type of vehicle). You can hit me up on instagram if you’d like their contact number.

Rent A Car (no driver)

For this specific itinerary, I would suggest you to pick this option, as we will need to stop over on our way to Pattaya. It is considerably easy to rent a car in Thailand. All you need is your driver’s license and credit card.

This time we rented a car from AVIS. The street map and road signs in Thailand are also pretty much clear to follow, as GPS will lead you on. There are other reliable companies that you can try as well, such as : Hertz, Thai Rent A Car, Siam Rent A Car.

Grab/ Taxi

This is also another option, although I don’t really recommend for tourists as scams could always happen. There are good days and bad days, but you could never know when bad days happen. When travelling with kids, safety is our top priorities. But if you ask me, yes it is possible to take a grab/taxi to go straight to Pattaya. Yet if you want to follow my itinerary here, grab/taxi is not possible, read on my story and you will know why.

The Itinerary

Day 1
06.00 – Depart from Bangkok to Khao Kheow Zoo
07.00 – First stop at 711 to get snacks
08.00 – Explore Khao Kheow Zoo
10.00 – Snack break at Khao Kheow Zoo
12.00 – Depart from Khao Kheow Zoo to Pattaya
13.00 – Lunch at Glass House Boho Beachfront Restaurant
15.00 – Check in at Movenpick Jomtien Pattaya Hotel
15.00 – Kayak, Swimming, Sunset
19.00 – Night Market and Dinner

Day 2
07.00 – Breakfast at Hotel
08.00 – Sand play, water play, kayak
11.00 – Brunch at Hotel
12.00 – Playground and Kids Club
13.00 – Check out from Hotel
13.30 – Nong Nooch Botanical Garden
15.30 – Back to Bangkok
18.00 – Arrived in Sukhumvit, Bangkok

Things To Do with Kids

When I was looking for activities to do in Pattaya with kids, the search results come up with “adult” show, outdated floating market (that’s very very small), old waterparks, tourists trap etc. So I talked to my Thais’ moms’ circle which are more reliable and the list below are definitely the activities that are worth paying visits and worth your time there.

Khao Kheow Zoo

This 2,000 plus acres zoo is located just about one-hour away from Bangkok, in Bang Phra area. It is the reason why we rented a car in the first place, because this zoo will be our first stop before we get to Pattaya. It contains more than 8,000 animals and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

The zoo has an open zoo concept where you can opt to drive your own buggy or get on their bus to see the animals being out in the open with very little in the way between you and the animals. I would recommend to get your ticket here for a better offer than getting your ticket at the admission booth at the zoo and of course to avoid long queue.

I would admit that this is an ethical zoo judging by their invested space and habitats, though it might need more investment and restoration. Obviously, the place needs more people to work there but their animals are in good hands.



The place is HUGE (thus, the buggy ride!) and the fun part is, feeding the animals! My kids had fun feeding the giraffes, hippos, elephants, and even lions, at VERY cheap fees (20 baht!). So unlike zoos in other countries with rip-off prices, this zoo probably has zero scam at all. One thing that I must warn you, do not let your stuff unattended in your buggy ride and this including your food and drinks, since the wild monkeys there are real thieves!

The thief is enjoying his pringles


PRO TIP : get there as early at 8 am (opening hour) to snatch the buggy ride and to have the zoo for yourself. It is soooooo peaceful and fun, I am sure the kids will love it!

Beach Hopping

There are many beaches in Pattaya. If any of your friends said that the beach is dirty then they must refer to Pattaya beach. There are other beaches which are less crowded, quiter and definitely cleaner like Bang Saen Beach (one hour from city center Pattaya), Sai Kaew Beach, Jomtien Beach etc. I decided to stay at Jomtien beach as our hotel was there and we only stayed for two days so we didn’t want to get too far from city center. Above are the pictures of Jomtien beach, definitely best spot in Pattaya for sunset.

Day Trip to Koh Larn


Koh Larn is a small island located 7 km off the coast of Pattaya Beach. A day trip to Koh Larn is definitely recommended yet you need more than two days. Pack the kids’ beach toys and enjoy the sunrise or sunset there by getting on a luxury long tail boat. Why is it called “luxury”? Because they will prepare everything from food, drinks, bluetooth speakers, cushions, towels, snorkeling gears, etc. A friend of mine recommended me this company called Tid Koh Larn or if you want a cheaper option with various water activities, I got you covered here. You’re welcome!

Nong Nooch Tropical Garden

Lets be honest, I am not a big fan of plants, but the life-size dinosaurs there…I know my kids would be thrilled to see them. This incredibly huge botanical garden is showcasing over 600 species of orchids, cactuses, bonsai, and several themed gardens such as Stonehenge garden, French Garden, Italian Garden, Desert Rose Garden, and more. Additionally, this garden has more than 1,000 species of palms grown and also has one of the largest collections of cycad species in the world.

Nong Nooch also has its elephants show and rides that you could enjoy. Personally, we didn’t enjoy the exhibit of these elephants as they are treated rather cruelly, chained and often being hit. My kids had fun feeding the parrots for almost an hour for only 50 baht!

PRO TIP : You can definitely walk around Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, but I recommend you getting on the sightseeing bus that you could get into by paying a little more. The dinosaurs area is located at the end of your sightseeing journey with the bus, so you could always explore back into the area with the kids again after the sightseeing with the bus over.

Where to Stay (Hotels)

These are the hotels that are recommended to me by my Thai friends but sadly most of them were fully occupied since our decision to go to Pattaya with kids was very last-minute during peak holiday season.

  1. Grande Centre Point Space Pattaya
    Plus : the spaceship atmosphere design interior, the waterpark, wave pool, walking distance to terminal21 mall.
  2. Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya
    Plus : direct access to the beach, beautiful themed waterpark, spacious room
  3. Movenpick Na Jomtien Pattaya
    Plus : direct access to CLEAN private beach, free water activities (paddle board, kayak), great kids club, separate and big playground and water play, LOTS of sun lounges

We stayed for one night at Movenpick and we LOVED it. We didn’t put much expectation but to our surprise the service is great. All staffs are kind and helpful, pool lifeguards are ALWAYS on duty (we didn’t have this while we were on Marriot Hua Hin), free life jackets-kickboards-floaties for kids.

The only downside is some of the hotel areas are not that spacious such as the breakfast area, lobby area, kids club. However, the soccer area is massive, sun lounges area is massive (again we compared this to Marriot Hua Hin), outdoor playground also provides various fun activities. My kids begged me to come back here again.

Eating Places

To be honest, we are extremely picky with our tastebud. During our stay in Pattaya with kids, we only had dined out once in the restaurant and bought street foods at the night market. I would give two thumbs up for our restaurant on day 1, but the street foods at the night market are just ‘meh’ compared to Bangkok’s street food. But hey, if it’s your first time there, you should go check it out.

GLASS HOUSE BOHO (We had our lunch here)
ADDRESS : 5/22 Moo 2, Soi Najomtien 10, Najomtien,
Sattahip, Chonburi, Thailand 20250

Must order :
– Pineapple fried rice
– Raw shrimp in spicy sauce
– Fried Fish with Fish Sauce

Glass house boho is a beachfront restaurant serving traditional seafood and international food. It was located right next to cave beach club. We were going to dine at Cave Beach Club but the staffs sent us to Glass House Boho, so I guess both of them are sisters companies?

It has outdoor seating, so you eat on the beach and also indoor seating with AC. The overall design interior is so aesthetic and pretty, it reminds me of La Brisa in Canggu, Bali. We opt outdoor seating even though it was humid and hot, but the wind was quite breezy and okay. After all, we were at the beach, right?

The overall food was scrumptious, worth the price. I didn’t manage to get any picture of the food since all of us seemed to be hangry and ate right away. The restaurant open until midnight and I heard it’s even more beautiful at night!

CAVE BEACH CLUB
ADDRESS : Soi Najomtien 10 Najomtien, Sattahip District, Chon Buri 20250

CABBAGE and CONDOMS
ADDRESS : 366/11 Moo 12 Phra Tamnuk Soi 4 Road, Pattaya 20150

SURF TURF
ADDRESS : 99 5 Pattaya-Na Kluea Rd, ตำบล หนองปรือ Bang Lamung District, Chon Buri 20150

If those list above don’t satisfy you, just remember that Pattaya is almost like Bangkok, where you can always order food with LINEMAN or Grabfood right to your hotel lobby (My kids ordered KFC on day 1 at 9 PM :D).

By now you must have been convinced by me that two days would be a perfect short getaway with the kids to Pattaya. Are you ready to book your vacation?

Stay tune for more insider’s travel tips from me.

mommysammy


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