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The Pattaya vs Phuket debate has been going on since people first started coming to Thailand on their holiday. Like most things, the right answer is subjective and there is no single best place in Thailand for everybody. A lot is going to depend on what you want to get out of your trip and picking the best location for you based on your expectations. This list is based on personal observation and experience from years of travel in and around Thailand. Being close to the beach is a big draw for choosing either Pattaya or Phuket as your destination. While both have excellent access to the beach, the beaches in both locations are not exactly created equal.
Phuket has some of the best beaches in Thailand. Known for the white sand and beautiful water, it is a great tropical beach getaway. The main area of Patong has a long stretch of beach, which can get very crowded during high season. However, Phuket is a large island and there is more than one option for visitors. Patong, Karon, and Kamala are three of the main resort areas. If you want to get away from the mess of tourists in Patong, Kamala is an excellent spot to chill out and relax. In addition to the main beach areas, there are some smaller spots that you can drive to on the island.
Laem Singh beach is very popular and for good reason. The beach is hidden away in a small cove without all the clamor of the beaches on the main drag. Both of these look like something out of a movie probably because both of them were actually in the movies. If you plan on spending your time at the beach while in Pattaya you may be disappointed. The main Pattaya Beach is a tiny version of what it once was due to years of erosion. It is a tiny strip of sand just off of Beach Road. In addition, the waters off of Pattaya strike me less than clean.
You can watch the storm sewers deluge dirty grey water right into the water near the beach area. Both of these places have ificantly nicer beaches to relax and enjoy the ocean. If you want the tropical island feel and beautiful beaches, you are in luck. While the island can be crowded during high season, it is well worth the trip. While you do have beach options, no one goes to Pattaya just for the Beaches. Both Phuket and Pattaya are major tourist destinations so you will have plenty of options for checking out the local attractions.
Outside of the main draw of the Beach, Phuket has limited sightseeing but plenty of activates for you. Day trips are a big part of staying in Phuket. You can also set up activities like scuba diving and sea kayaking through some truly beautiful areas around Phuket.
Phuket is a little lacking on tourist attractions and cultural activities as much of the activity is focused on the beach and island activities. There are a lot of things to do around Pattaya. A lot of them were built to entertain tourists, but they are well worth checking out and will keep you entertained for a days. If you like cabaret shows Pattaya has three of them. There are literally dozens more attractions in Pattaya.
Renting a jet ski beware of scams and parasailing over the beach. Both of those you can do at your own risk. Plenty to keep you occupied during the day in Pattaya.
Many people are attracted to these two locations because of the nightlife. Both are known to have a dedicated party street with beer bars, go-go bars, and night clubs. The nightlife in Phuket centers on Bangla Road in Patong. The road closes at night to all but foot traffic as tourist mill up and down the road and into the side streets.
While there are other bars and clubs dotted around town, Bangla road is the epicenter of nightlife and doubles as the red-light district. Pattaya is one giant party zone with bars all over the city. Walking Street in Pattaya is famous around the world and is as much a tourist attraction as it is a pickup place for girls and ladyboys. Most of the nightlife here involves the naughty kind. However for those tourists looking to have some drinks, listen to some live music, or dance the night away the clubs and beer bars welcome tourists of all sorts.
So, is the nightlife better in Pattaya vs Phuket? Whether you are there for naughty nightlife or just want to dance and drink yourself silly. Pattaya has many more options. The food options in both Pattaya and Phuket are really good. You can eat at anything from a food cart to fine dining at a resort. If I had to give an advantage it would be Pattaya, but I think this one is a toss-up. If you need to do some shopping you can find whatever you need in either Pattaya or Phuket.
They both have modern shopping malls, pharmacies, and an endless supply of stores. Pattaya is a larger city and has more shopping options. The large and modern Central Festival is a great mall catering to just about any need a tourist has. And those are just a few of the malls, markets, and outlet stores available.
Not to mention the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of small stores around Pattaya. Phuket has one main shopping center, the Jungceylon Mall which is also big and modern. You will be spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels in either location. Phuket being a beach destination has a much higher concentration of high-end beach resorts and four and five-star hotels. There are fewer options in the budget to mid price range. And most are farther back from the ocean. Pattaya is the opposite. There is also plenty of budget accommodations in Pattaya.
Most are not listed on the internet of booking sights like Agodabut all you have to do is take a wander around town in your favorite area and you will have a ton of options to choose from. So who wins the Pattaya vs Phuket hotel comparison?
It depends. If you are looking for a hotel in Pattaya check out our guest friendly hotel guide. Your budget will vary obviously depending on your accommodation, drinking, and nightlife habits. This is just for comparison purposes. All prices in USD. Though Pattaya can be cheaper than Phuket, it all comes down to your spending habits.
You can blow out your budget in either location. Which is cheaper, Pattaya vs. Cost Advantage: Pattaya gives you more opportunity for spending less, but you can do so in either location. It comes down to personal choice and how you want to spend your vacation. If you prefer to spend your time on a beautiful beach, with some good nightlife, Phuket is probably for you. But this is my opinion based on my experiences. Someone else may think otherwise. The Pattaya vs. Just make sure the destination you choose is the right one for you and not the one somebody else tells you to visit.
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Pattaya Hotels Pattaya is the opposite. Similar Posts. Planning Hotels Expand child menu Expand. Nightlife Expand child menu Expand. Toggle Menu Close. Search for: Search.Phuket or pattaya
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Pattaya vs Phuket - Pattaya Forum