Phuket or Pattaya - which place to visit on your next Thai vacation?
If you're planning a budget vacation in Asia to soak up the beach and do whatever your heart desires, there's only one place that comes to mind - Thailand!
Unfortunately, with Phuket on one end of the country and Pattaya on the other, it's not always possible to travel to both destinations. So where would you like to go?
Resort city or island life?
Phuket and Pattaya are located about 900 km apart. Pattaya is located near the capital Bangkok and is visited by many tourists. Phuket is much more relaxed. Here is a beautiful beach away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Both places have their advantages. Each tourist can choose one or another place in accordance with their preferences. Many factors influence the choice of location, such as budget and interests.
Both Phuket and Pattaya have a tropical climate. During the rainy season in Pattaya, there is a massive cloud cover that increases the humidity. It usually lasts until the end of the monsoon in August. By October, the air temperature is relatively cool, and it can be cold in the evenings.
Meanwhile, Phuket gets much more rainfall during the monsoons, usually during the day. Starting in November, the island has the best weather with cool winds and gorgeous summer skies.
For the most part, both locations are safe for the traveler. Phuket and Pattaya are great places for tourism, so they both have a large concentration of tourists.
It has its own special red-light districts that attract visitors from all walks of life. In Pattaya, it is advised to be careful with "ladybugs" (the local term for transgender or transvestites), which are not so common in Phuket.
Jewelery theft is one of the most common crimes in Thailand, especially in Pattaya, while Phuket has its fair share of tuk tuks, jet skis and taxis being stolen.
Both places have the usual rules for travelers, such as watching your drink, avoiding empty night alleys, and visiting unknown places with strangers.
If you are careful while traveling in Thailand, there should be no problem. When deciding to visit Pattaya or Phuket, it is always worth paying attention to make sure that the trip goes without any unpleasant difficulties or incidents.
In terms of cost, Pattaya is slightly cheaper than Phuket. Traveling around the city on your own is reasonably acceptable compared to local tuk tuks, public buses and rental bike options, unlike in Phuket where you may occasionally need to use ferries while traveling, especially if you are intrigued by the prospect of island hopping.
Both cities have an active nightlife full of go-go bars, discos and red-light districts, but the average night in Pattaya will cost you less than in Phuket, although the difference is quite negligible.
When it comes to accommodation, Phuket is a beach destination with many trendy 4 and 5 star hotels. The best places are usually reserved for these establishments, while the cheaper ones are further away from the ocean.
In Pattaya, there are many inexpensive hotels, but few luxury hotels. Due to the large number of guesthouses here, you can stay in a hotel with a pool in a great location at affordable prices.
If you are interested in a good beach, then Phuket is what you need. It is known for its fine white sand and crystal clear waters.
It is a large island with many holiday options away from commercial activity such as Karon and Kamala which are mostly resort areas. Laem Singh Beach, James Bond Island or Koh Phi Phi are all great places to enjoy the ocean.
This does not mean that there are no good beaches in Pattaya. Naklua Beach and Jomtien Beach are still lesser known areas with soothing waters. If you want to go to the best beach in Pattaya, take a ferry to Koh Larn.
If you are looking for a place that will introduce you to Thai culture, then Pattaya is the best choice. You can visit the famous Temple of Truth or Big Buddha Hill and then head to Nong Nooch Botanical Garden and Silverlake Vineyard.
Since it is more of a beach holiday, there are not many cultural activities in Phuket. There are some attractions such as the giant Buddha statue or the revered Wat Chalong temple. Old Phuket offers a pleasant introduction to traditional Thai life.
Both Pattaya and Phuket offer fun activities for the whole family. In Pattaya, you can rent an ATV or take part in live Muay Thai fights. In addition, you have the opportunity to feed the crocodiles in the Rock Park or ride the elephants.
Admittedly, Phuket's entertainment is much more conventional, such as karting and mini golf. For those interested in water sports, you can find canoeing at most resorts in Phuket.
While Phuket has its advantage with modern shopping outlets like Jungceylong Mall, Pattaya's proximity to Bangkok provides a lot more shopping opportunities.
From Central Festival Mall, Tukcom IT Mall and New Harbor Shopping Center to small street shops selling souvenirs and decorations, you'll be spoiled for choice.
If you are hoping to leave Thailand with a lot more stuff than you came (and at reasonable prices!), then Pattaya is where you should be.
Both places in Thailand are quite exciting, offering unique experiences, but each has its own preferences when it comes to travel.
If you take into account the above factors that will make your trip a success before choosing between Phuket and Pattaya, then you are sure to enjoy your vacation!