Diving and snorkelling

Though Pattaya’s reefs are far less spectacular than those along the Andaman Coast, they can be dived year-round, and underwater visibility is consistent. Most dive trips focus on the group of “outer islands” about 25km from shore, which include Ko Rin, Ko Man Wichai and Ko Klung Badaan, where you have a reasonable chance of seeing barracuda, moray eels and blue-spotted stingrays. There are also three rewarding wreck dives in the Samae San/Sattahip area. Be careful when choosing a dive operator as there are plenty of charlatans around. All tour agents sell snorkelling trips to nearby islands, the majority of them going to the reefs and beaches of Ko Larn. You can also make your own way to Ko Larn by public boat from the Bali Hai pier at the far southern end of Walking Street.

Watersports

Beachfront stalls in Pattaya and Jomtien offer waterskiing, parasailing and jet-skiing, but you should avoid the last-mentioned: the jet-ski jockeys are notorious for finding scratches on the machine at the end of the rental and trying to charge an exorbitant amount in damages.

Massage

In among the full-body soaps and “full-service” massage joints, you’ll find the traditional Soi Yodsak, where you can have a proper Thai massage, or a herbal compress, oil or foot massage; it also offers two-week massage training courses.

Cooking classes

Happy Home offers morning (including a market visit) and afternoon classes, with vegetarian versions of all dishes available, and including a weekly dessert class.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Thailand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

11 Aug 2017 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Why Thailand is the wine destination you never knew existed

Why Thailand is the wine destination you never knew existed

Asked to name the world's best wine country and you'll most likely tout the undulating vineyards of Italy, France or California. But Thailand? With its smo…

26 Jun 2017 • Tamara Hinson local_activity Special feature
Go it alone: solo travel in Thailand

Go it alone: solo travel in Thailand

Thailand is the quintessential backpacker destination. Here you can make the first footprints on secluded sands, dance shoeless under a full moon and swim benea…

15 Feb 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month