Most visitors to Pattaya meet on Beach Road, the city’s most popular thoroughfare. Running parallel to the city’s main beach, the road starts at the Pattaya North Traffic circle (roundabout) and goes south all the way to Walking Street. Three beaches can be reached from Beach Road. The North Beach or Pattaya Neu is the least crowded of the three and the most peaceful. It starts from the roundabout to the north.
North Beach has some of the best openair seafood restaurants found right on the sandy beach. The Middle or Central Pattaya beach is the busiest and the most crowded at any time of the day or night. Just a bit off North Beach, passing the Golden Mermaid and Dolphin statues, this is also where shopping malls, boutique shops, bars and restaurants, hotels are cramped together, competing for space. On the beach itself are clusters of deck chairs with colorful umbrellas that can be rented for a few baht a day.
There’s a wide array of foods to choose from, available at the flick of a finger, thanks to those ubiquitous ambulant vendors who sell everything from coco juice to roasted pork and amulets. The South Pattaya beach has a totally different character from the North and Central beaches. There is no beach area here to speak of. The whole beach is occupied by business establishments.
Here, the real fun and excitement starts at 7 p.m. when the street is closed to vehicular traffic and transforms itself into what everybody calls the Walking Street. Most of the city’s songtheaw (blue pickup truck) public transport vehicles ply the Beach Road. One can travel the whole length of the road for a measly ten or 20 baht. Apart from the beach chair, everything else can be rented at the beach, including water sports facilities, like parasails, banana boats and jet skis.Massage service is also available at the beach.