Once a small fishing village, Pattaya in Thailand become a huge tourist destination after American troops stationed nearby during the Vietnam War spread the word about its large beach and tropical climate. As a result the town is bustling with hotels, bars, restaurants and shops ready to welcome visitors. It’s a great place to get your bearings before exploring other parts of Thailand.

The Sanctuary of Truth is one of the more interesting buildings in Pattaya. Made entirely out of wood, with not a single metal nail or screw, it’s an architectural tribute to four of the cultures that have influenced this region of south east Asia. Thai, Chinese, Khymer and Indian iconography covers every inch of the building, which is still being constructed.

Catch a ferry from the bottom of Walking Street to Ko Lan. This idyllic tropical island is just 45 mins boat ride from Pattaya. There are five beaches to choose from, or hike up the wooded slopes to the Buddhist shrine overlooking the ocean. There are a few guesthouses where you can stay overnight and experience the island once the day trippers have gone.

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Read more on Pattaya below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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