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[Published on 2011-08-18 in Pattaya by Chris Thompson]

Why Buy A Property In Pattaya

Picture of Jomtien from Le Saigon RestaurantFor over two decades Pattaya has grown from a small fishing village into a small town and has now graduated to legitimate city status. The three main beeches of Wong Amat, Pattaya Bay and Jomtien Beach all contribute to make Pattaya City, one of Asia's most premier beach resorts. On going foreign investment and continued government infrastructure improvements are contributing to Pattaya's rise and reputation and it's quickly becoming the number one destination for tourist and ex-pats alike.

Thailand is still very attractive from an investors stand point

Whether you're a holiday maker, long-term visitor or residing here in Pattaya almost anything you can find at home is available here. Pattaya is home to some fantastic shopping Mall's featuring world recognized international brands and designers such as Christian Dior', Prada, and Armani. The latest addition on Pattaya's beach Road is the massive Central Festival Center that features cinemas, bowling alleys and even a 3D-Motion theater! There are also a multitude of super markets throughout the city that sell imported goods from all over the world as well as local foods and produce.

Nearly all sports can be played, practiced or taken up while in Pattaya. There are a number of world-class golf courses around the out-skirts of the city. Tennis, squash and badminton clubs are in no short supply, there are around 5 very large gymnasiums competing for custom including the world famous California WOW. Other sporting facilities can be found in and about town such as Muay Thai boxing academies and other martial arts centers. For the more adventurous Bungee jumping, sky diving and off-road buggy racing can all be found in Pattaya. Water sports are also a given, scuba diving a must for anyone who loves the sea and there are lots of dice schools in and around Pattaya that hold lessons and provide dive trips along the coast.

The night-life in Pattaya is second to none and plays a major part in the allure of Pattaya for tourists and travelers from every corner of the world! The world-famous walking street is home to literally hundreds of bars, from the traditional Go-Go bars to newer trendy Coyote bars and chill out lounges. There are a host of night clubs specializing in every musical taste from electronic dance music to hip-hop and R&B to live rock 'n' roll bands and a blues club. Some of the more higher end bars can be found in some of the 5 star resorts, such as Mantra in the Amari hotel, The Bed Club and Minus 5 Bar in the Amari Nova-tel and the Deep Bar on roof-top of Dusit D2. Further into the city and away from the heavily tourist populated area's you can find selection of Thai disco's and bars. They usually feature live bands, DJ's and show dancers. Whatever you're seeking from a night out Pattaya has it covered!

Pattaya has an almost never-ending list of restaurants on offer. There are many Asian restaurants such Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean. A host of international restaurants catering for tastes ranging from Italian, Russian, French, and Swiss to Traditional English & Irish Pub fare. You can find authentic Middle Eastern and Turkish Kebab houses, pizzerias and all the usual fast food chains, like Burger King and KFC. Obviously Pattaya has a vast array of Thai cuisine on offer, with foods from the different provinces throughout Thailand. Pattaya is famous for its sea food restaurants right on the beach and street stalls selling BBQ treats to spicy Thai salads!

Pattaya is a fun city and has much to see and do. There are various means to getting about the city. The public transport system is cheap, easy and plentiful. You have Baht Buses which constantly circle the city and will also take private fares, air-conditioned taxi meters and motorcycle taxis for shorter journeys. Motorbikes and private car hire are very good value for money and readily available, and for the more adventurous you can find Jeep's and Quad bikes for rent too. Suffice to say getting about Pattaya is fast, cheap and easy.

So back to our question;

Why Buy A Property In Pattaya?

Well, if the above overview of what Pattaya has on offer isn't enough to temp you, lets get down to business. what are the long-term growth and investment benefits of acquiring property in Pattaya?

Thailand as a whole and Pattaya in particular has remained strong throughout the last two years of the global financial crisis. Due to a serious recession back in 1996 Thailand along with other countries in S.E Asia learned not to over extend themselves in debt and as a result have fared much better than Europe, Great Britain and the United States. Continued foreign investment remains strong despite some political unrest last year. Thailand is still very attractive from an investors stand point and is considered stable compared to most other S.E. Asian countries. The housing market in particular is set to grow this year and well into 2012. Conservative estimates are forecasting an impressive 6-10% rise throughout the country with even higher yields in more affluent areas, such as Pattaya.

Pattaya city is and continues to be one of the most cosmopolitan coastal cities in Asia and should be your number one stop when searching for a home or investment opportunity in S.E Asia.

[Published on 2010-02-02 in Pattaya by Andrew]

Scuba Diving in Pattaya

Scuba Diving in PattayaDare to take the plunge?

Thailand is as famous for its diving as it is for its silk, spice's and welcoming smiles. The southern shores of Koh Samui, Phuket and the Phi Phi islands are not only world renowned, but world class dive destinations. Pattaya too can be added to the list with its own sub aqua paradise, nestled on the Gulf Of Thailand's Eastern Seaboard.

There are numerous dive schools dotted along both Pattaya and Jomtien beeches. Courses available vary from one day beginner classes to advanced open water instructor courses. The list in between is vast and far too much to summarize here. Suffice to say, if its scuba diving related, Pattaya has it covered! Recreational dive trips cost as little as 2,900 Baht and range to a host of instructor courses for over 50,000 Baht and beyond.

Scuba diving is a fun, thrilling and adventurous sport. Diving can also be an extremely relaxing and tranquil way to discover another world. Diving can be enjoyed by almost everyone regardless of age, gender or current level of physical fitness.

Scuba diving is one of the very few water sports that can be taken up by people with physical disabilities. Dive schools and trip operators can accommodate  people with disabilities, but will ask to see a medical certificate from a doctor. It's a fact that almost any disability can be overcome by just a variant in swimming styles, and anyone who suffers with any physical aliment should not be put off by any means. Everyone is welcome to strap on a mask and tank and head into the water!

There are five major dive agencies operating throughout Thailand that you can train with. The BSAC which stands for British Sub Aqua Club and happens to be the largest in the world and has been established since 1953, the SSI 'Scuba School International' NUAI 'National Underwater Association of Instructors' the TDI 'Technical Diving International' and PADI 'Professional Association of Dive Instructors' which is the most commonly found agency around Pattaya. Whatever course or agency you choose to use, all of the above offer well designed straightforward courses at each level of competency. Courses allow students to learn at their own pace and to grow confident in the water with each new skill they master. If you're already an accomplished diver and have trained with another agency that does not operate in Thailand, don't panic, any school will permit you to dive their sites, as long as you bring along your card or certificate as proof.

Dive trips and dive sites in and around the shores of Pattaya are plentiful and range from uninhabited islands and coral reefs to ship wrecks dating back to the 1940's.

Around five kilometers off the shores of Pattaya and Jomtien beach sit a cluster of three stunning islands. Koh Larn, which translated into English, simply means Coral Island, is the largest and shares the surrounding waters with two smaller, unspoiled islands known as, Koh Sak and Koh Khrok. Both equally beautiful, yet unique enough to make separate dive trips worthwhile. Whether you take a day trip to just one or take the opportunity to visit all three, you will, without doubt, be rewarded with the most serene dive experience.

Koh Larn

Being the largest of the three, Koh Larn inevitably has more dive spots to choose from. The sea life here is varied to say the least, so don't be surprised to see the odd turtle among the scores of Cuttle Fish on your sub-aqua adventures.

Shark Point:

As the name suggests this spot is your chance to see first hand Tawny Nurse and Bamboo sharks. These particular breeds live close to the coral and use a powerful suction mechanism to hunt their pray such as octopus and sea urchins. They will literally suck them from the small caves and crevices in the coral reef. These are nocturnal breeds so you'll need to delve beneath the coral and under rocks to find them! Both are docile by nature and tame compared to most fish and other sea life, the Tawny Nurse will happily let divers get close and even touch them, but please remember to show respect for these magnificent creatures and bear in mind you are a guest visiting their home.

Laem Tong:

Laem Tong, which means Golden Bay in English, is located on the west side of Koh Larn. The coral line here extends down to around twenty five metres and below that you can dive down to around fifty metres to the sandy sea bed. The hard coral can be found around seven to ten metres down. This is a multi-purpose dive spot, in addition to the coral life you'll find sharks, Spotted Rays and a host of other fish to intrigue and amaze you.


"The under water restaurant" Not your normal restaurant or indeed dive spot, but this site is something of a wonder. The restaurant was never intended to be under water although some dubious engineering left the ill fated project to slowly sink into the sea before work was even completed. Over half of the restaurant is under water and the marine life has moved in and taken root. Vertical concrete tubes are now teeming with coral and a huge variety of fish live among the man made caves and crevices. Truly a one of a kind dive spot!

Koh Sak

There are two dive spots here, known as Koh Sak East and Koh Sak West. Both start in a secluded bay which makes these spots popular with dive schools for training students and is an ideal starting point for those just dipping their toes into the scuba world. Many returning divers are drawn to these sites to gently ease themselves back into the water. Both east and west offer stunning hard coral to observe, which in turn will treat you to the vast array of sea life that call the coral home.  to name but a few, Butterfly Fish, Jacks, Rabbit Fish and Angle Fish along with thousands of Damsel Fish are all inhabitants of this under water metropolis! Both spots dive down to about twelve to fourteen metres; this may be shallow by some standards but the marine life and hard coral make it a must for all and not just the first time and beginner divers.

Koh Krok

This is a long eel shaped island that sits along the tidal flow and therefore is the destination for the drift dive. This spot has a depth of around eleven metres and is long enough for a forty to forty five minute drift dive to be easily done. The sea life here is made up of mostly sea Anemones and their accompanying Clown Fish.

The Far Islands

There are three sets of islands that lay around fifteen kilometres off shore in Pattaya Bay. Being further out the journey takes around ninety minutes cruise time to get there. The advantage  for divers, of course, is that the islands don't receive the same volume of visitors, speed boats and jet-skis you may find at the nearer islands. Anyone who has visited the far islands before will tell you that the extra travel time is well worth it!

Koh Rin

North Rock, also known in Thai as 'Hin Khoa' and South Rock 'Hin Ton Mai' Make up two of the three dives spots on Koh Rin.

South Rock is the more popular dive spot of the two and has immense sea life including Moray Eels and Barracuda. Hard and soft coral's are plentiful here and home to some interesting invertebrate like Brittle Stars and Feather Stars. The coral at this site extends down to around fifteen metres.

North Rock is lacking in coral reef compared to South Rock, but boast large rock outcroppings that are home to sharks, eels and some rarer breeds of fish such as the Pipe Fish and Razor Fish. The site has good diving down to around fourteen metres.

The third dive spot on Koh Rin is actually Koh Rin Bay itself and is part of the main island. The dive goes down to twelve metres and being in the bay, makes this site well protected from the currents and provides a more relaxing dive than the two rocks.

Koh Man Wichai

Koh man Wichai has two fantastic dive sites, the first of which is known as 'The Wall'. This is a sizeable site and cannot be completed in one dive alone. The Wall is a seven metre high coral that runs down from a depth of nine to twenty three metres and is enough of a dive in itself. The waters around the wall are excellent. The dive can be started from the bay and goes out along the soft coral line at to around eighteen metres. There is also a hard coral line at twelve metres, giving you two environments in one dive, that shows the contrast between the different types of fish who live in and around each one. This spot is highly recommended and one of the most popular and diverse dive sites Pattaya has to offer.

Another popular dive site on Koh Man Wichai is called 'The Fingers' It is a set of five long finger shaped rocks that stretch out from the rocky shores into the sea and reach a depth of twelve metres, the hard coral here is massive and the fish life abundant! It really is an awesome dive and gives the feeling of diving across a giant hand on the ocean bed.

Koh Hu Chang

This is by far the smallest of the three islands. However you will still find beautiful waters to dive. The depth here is about ten metres and the coral and sea life is as abundant as anywhere else in the waters of Pattaya and Jomtien. Koh Hu Chang is well protected from the wind and is a very relaxing dive spot.

Klung Bedan is another dive spot that is also quite shallow, with a maximum coral depth at around the twelve metre mark. This spot has some great examples of Stag Horn and Table corals, as well as Boulder corals that house the famous Christmas Tree Worms, which make this site a must see!

Koh Phai & the Khram Wreck

Koh Phai, Bamboo Island in English, is an island under control of the Royal Thai Navy and although diving here is permitted the use of some beaches are restricted. The main dive site here is located on the south shore and is a small sheltered bay. This is a great spot for novices and beginner divers to hone their skills.

The main attraction of Koh Phai however is the Khram Wreck. HTMS Khram was originally a U.S landing vessel used in World War Two and carried cargo from troops to armoured tanks. On the 25th of May 1962 the United States gifted the ship to the Royal Thai Navy, for whom she continued to work until February of 2003. Sixty years after setting sail HTMS Khram was finally laid to rest when the Royal Thai Navy sank the ship to mark the 50th birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. The ship was sunk to a depth of twenty eight metres around three hundred metres from Koh Phi. The sinking of HTMS Khram was intended to create an artificial reef and has done so wonderfully. Most of the inside can be explored, making this wreck dive a real adventure. The site is perfectly safe for divers as the Royal Thai Navy took great care in preparing the ship prior to sinking. Armaments, oil and any other contaminates that could be environmentally unfriendly were removed, as were any other potential hazards to divers. Some of the more interesting compartments to see on the wreck are the bridge radio room, which is located on the highest area of the ship, and has become the unofficial presentation room for new divers to receive their card in. The deck area and side passageways are free to explore, as is the engine room which is located at the back of the vessel. Entry is gained through a large hole in the loading deck that also lets a lot of natural light in. The two massive engines that use to power this ship were removed prior to sinking, however this room is still interesting and is often used as a tech dive with pipes, dials and gauges covering the walls and ceiling.

Initially the Khram Wreck was a gift for His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, it has since become a gift to the Gulf of Thailand itself and every diver who visits her.
For more information on Koh Phai visit:

Samae San

The dive sites off of Samae San offer some of the best diving in the area and most divers who visit Samae San are attracted to another deep sea wreck known as the Hard Deep Wreck. The Hard Deep was an Indonesian freighter that sank in 1943. Over  sixty five years on the ocean floor has given the wreck plenty of time to evolve into an outstanding soft coral and tube sponge garden. As with all the islands of Pattaya the variety of sea life here is phenomenal. Inhabitants include Angel Fish, Queen Fish, large Wrasse and Barracuda.
As the ship sank it slowly rolled and came to rest on its starboard side at a depth of twenty seven metres. The wreck itself is entirely safe and diver friendly. The total length is forty two metres and can be thoroughly explored in just one dive day. The large cargo holds allow lots of light in, and there is the engine room which still has the crankshaft intact. This wreck dive is magnificent and given the opportunity, should be taken.

Koh Chuang

Koh Chuang is a large island located south of the wreck. There is a good dive spot on the southern most point tip of this island. The coral life is beautiful, supporting abundant schools of small fish and interesting invertebrate life and you can also expect to see the occasional turtle and cuttlefish. The maximum depth of this dive site is twelve metres.

Koh Chan

Koh Chan is situated south east of the wreck and as with Koh Chuang the best dives are towards the southern most point. This site descends down into a ridge full of soft coral. You will find yourself literally surrounded by hundreds of Yellowtail jacks that will circle around you brimming with curiosity. This is also a great spot to find Tawny Nurse sharks sleeping under the rocks. There is also a large variety of different eels living In the shadows of the ridge.

Submarine Rock

This is a sizeable rocky ridge with a host of hard coral, including barrel sponges and gorgonian sea-fans. The sea life around Submarine Rock are mainly turtles and larger rays.
Whether you are completely new to diving and want to 'test the water' or you're already a seasoned diver, Pattaya is for you, it really is a must and should added to everyone's itinerary.
For a general overview of diving throughout the whole of Thailand visit:

[Published on 2010-01-13 in Pattaya by Chris Thompson]

Pattaya - A Golfers Paradise

Image showing a bunker and fairway on Burapha Golf CourseGolf in Thailand is the equal of anywhere in the world, but at a fraction of the cost, with fantastic courses to suit golfers of all abilities, from those with low handicaps to complete novices. Pattaya, Chonburi and Rayong, along with the other Eastern Seaboard provinces, feature more than 25 of Thailand's finest golf courses in  landscaped, tropical settings, all of which are to be found within one hours drive of Pattaya City centre. Due to the temperate tropical climate, which allows for a year round golf season and the arrival of thousands of golf mad expatriates from all over the world, golf has become the most popular leisure activity in Pattaya.

Because in all Western countries golf is still perceived as an exclusive sport for the rich and club membership fees are too expensive for it to be affordable to the average working man, golf in Pattaya is not just inexpensive for any foreign visitor – it's downright cheap. Green fees from less than 500 Baht and usually not exceeding 3000 Baht, also account for the rapidly rising popularity golf enjoys among Thailand's growing middle and upper classes.

Many of Pattaya's golf courses have been designed by some of the world's most famous names in golf course design, such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Pete Dye, Desmond Muirhead and Robert Trent Jones.  There are also a number of locally designed courses that  make golf in Pattaya a truly unforgettable experience. Clubhouse facilities are excellent, with more than to be expected facilities, including swimming pools, massage services, great restaurants and superb shower and locker rooms. All courses provide caddies to guide you through your round and it is advisable to make use of the buggies, especially in the midday sun. In fact. on the more exclusive courses they are mandatory. On the course, covered drinks areas are strategically and conveniently located every three or four holes.

For those without their own vehicle, there are many specialized agencies that offer regular golf tours and holiday packages and for those novice players, those less experienced players, or those who just want practice their swing, there are several driving ranges right within the city itself. If you intend to play more than one round of golf, then it is worth joining Pattaya Sports Club to take advantage of the discounts offered to members at most of the golf courses.  They can be contacted at Pattaya Sports Club,197 M-6, Pattaya 3rd Road
Banglamung, Chonburi, Thailand 20150. Tel: (66) 038-361-167. Fax: (66) 038-361-929.
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