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.


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.


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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Thailand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Whether you're planning a two-week holiday or an epic backpacking trip, Thailand remains one of our readers' favourite destinations, and with good reason. Th…

01 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right