Water Sport Activities in Pattaya3 February, 2016
A town just off the Eastern gulf of Thailand, Pattaya is well-known for its pristine beaches and teeming marine life. This tropical haven attracts tourists all year round to visit her sandy shores particularly to enjoy the thriving water sports scene. Whether you are a complete beginner or highly experienced, Pattaya has something in store for you! Let us take you through the activities you do not want to miss if you are heading down to this seaside paradise.
If you fancy a rush of adrenaline while having a bird’s eye view of the beautiful coastline, this is just the sport for you!
The rider (or riders; 1-3), wearing a life jacket, is safely harnessed to a parachute and towed by a speedboat after a running start. Instructors may accompany riders if requested or if the wind currents are too strong; but if you are feeling adventurous you may also choose to man the sails on your own.
This activity can be done between 8 am to 5:30 pm when daylight is sufficient but it is also subjected to the prevailing weather. Prices usually start at 600 baht for a solo rider and is often open to negotiation. There are no age or height restrictions and children are welcomed to participate. You should expect to get drenched upon landing but fret not, the instructors are there to guide you every step of the way and ensure a safe and enjoyable ride!
Most tourists have particularly praised the services at Jomtien Beach which is located just 20 – 25 mins away from Central Pattaya on a tuk tuk or a taxi. Public transport is a viable alternative if you are familiar with the bus route.
Pattaya City has started a bus service on 3 routes around the city but they are not as regular as the Songthaew (Pickup trucks with sheltered seats) and covers the main streets of Pattaya, Naklua and Jomtien. The 3 routes are designated by 3 colours, green, red and yellow. The bus stops are also coded with the respective colours and numbers for passengers to know where to board and disembark. All routes start from Big C supermarket at Central Center Pattaya (Moo 9 Bang Lamung, Chonburi, Chon Buri 20260, Thailand). A one-trip fare is around 20 Baht. Brochures with the information on the routes and bus stops are available from the bus drivers and in most hotels and resorts.
Jomtiem beach has always been a tourist favourite as compared to the other beaches as it is cleaner and better maintained, making it a more pleasant tourist destination. However, do note that several vendors choose to take advantage of the tourist crowd by hard selling their goods at inflated prices.
TIP: Whilst at Pattaya, head to Joe’s Market, a wonderful air-con souvenir mini-mall if you wish to shop. Many things can be bartered for without being followed or harrassed by street vendors!
2. Scuba Diving
Explore the magical underwater kingdom that resides beneath the beaches in Pattaya and get up close and personal with exotic marine life!
Armed with an oxygen tank, goggles and flippers, you can enter the depths of the ocean and into the homes of colourful fish and beautiful coral reefs. Scuba diving is a popular past time in Pattaya due to their efforts in marine conservation to preserve their aquatic environment.
For those who are interested in becoming a certified scuba diver, ‘Real Divers’ and ‘Mermaids Dive Centre’ (both found at Jomtiem Beach) are highly acclaimed vendors that offer 2 – 4 day courses. While Real Divers provides hotel accomodation within their package, Mermaids Dive Centre offers transport from hotels direct to their boats. There are over 20 diving sites around the coral islands of Pattaya and these vendors will be sure to cover all of them. There are also courses available for non-swimmers so that they will not miss out on the sights of the underwater world.
Freshly cooked lunch is provided on the diving boats, which are fully stocked with diving accessories and safety equipment. (Vegetarian options are available) Prices typically start at 3,000 baht (S$140) per person for two dives, including the rental of diving equipment but 2,500 baht (S$100) if you bring your own.
A younger sister to scuba diving, snorkeling requires far less equipment and is perfect for admiring the coral reefs closer to shore!
Prices typically start at 1,000 baht (S$40), inclusive of transport from the hotel, snorkeling gear and lunch. Snorkeling may be more suitable for those who simply wish to experience the visuals of Pattaya’s marine life without committing to a course. Such packages are available from the same vendors – Real Divers and Mermaids Dive centre, both of which have been highly acclaimed by customers who had patronised their services.
For those of you who seek a thrilling twist to this age-old sport of kite-flying, why not try out kitesurfing for a change?
The Blue Lagoon Kitesurf School offers a range of lessons that caters to both beginners and the experienced who are looking for rental services. Having received many favourable reviews regarding their attention to safety and customer service, Blue Lagoon is a popular tourist hot spot for those who wish for an exciting vacation.
The school offers 1-day beginner courses starting from 4,000 baht (S$160) and could reach 11,000 baht should you opt for a 3-day beginner course that concludes at a level 2 certification. These prices are inclusive of the equipment. However, remember to bring your own sun screen, UV rated sunglasses (which you are prepared to lose), a rash vest as well as a hat with a secure strap. The classes are typically conducted with a ratio of two participants to a trained instructor but private lessons are also available at 8,000 baht.
The Blue Lagoon centre is easily accessible via tuk tuks or taxis and is located:
10 mins from Pattaya town
30 mins from Pattaya airport
1 hr from Bangkok airport
1.5 hrs from Bangkok city
Public buses are also a possible alternative except that the roads might be confusing for you. You could follow the directions on bus maps available at most hotels and resorts as well as in buses and head towards Jom Tiem Beach where the Blue Lagoon Centre is located.
From September till March, Pattaya receives north westerly wind, ranging from 8 to 20 knots, which is perfect for the beginners and intermediates. To avoid high tourist traffic, February to March seem to be the most suitable dates of travel.
DINNER TIP: If you are a big fan of seafood, we have just the place for you. 10 kilometres south of Pattaya (Na Chom Thian, Sattahip District, Chon Buri 20250, Thailand) lies a street lined up with a number of by-the-sea seafood restaurants. One of the more popular dinner venues around the area is Preecha Seafood.
Some of their specialties include “Steamed Meaty Sea Crab” served with hot and sour seafood dipping, “Fresh Blue Crab Spicy Salad”, which has been lightly seasoned to let you enjoy with the natural sweetness of the crab, “Salted Grilled Sea Bass”, “Scallop Phad Cha”, and “Stir-fried Fresh Squid with Egg”, which is perfect with rice. Do note that seats fill up very quickly especially on weekends. If you wish to make a reservation, you can contact them at +66 87 484 6458.
The town of Pattaya is indeed a water sports haven that is full of fun-filled opportunities for you and your family and friends to explore. Here are a few of our recommended tips that can prepare you for an even more delightful vacation:
With regard to the ideal seasons which permits water activities, Pattaya expriences tropical weather all year round but it does have 3 seasons namely – The cool season, The hot season and The rainy season.
The cool season: November through to February sees the perfect weather combo: very little rain and not too hot temperatures (average highs of 31 degrees Celsius, lows of around 21-22 degree Celsius). This is the busiest time on the Pattaya tourist calendar, so expect high season prices.
The hot season: March, April and May are the hottest months, temperatures averaging highs of 33 degrees Celsius and lows of between 25 and 27. It is scorching hot and sticky. The sea breeze helps but the humidity is very high. Often there is a bit of rain to clear the air, especially toward the end of April and into May.
The rainy season: The intense but usually brief downpours between June and October make this low season for tourists (and breeding season for mosquitoes). Rarely, though, does it rain all day or night. Temperatures fluctuate in the low 30s during the day; and between 25-27 degrees Celsius at night. Still a good time to come as the bars and beaches are less crowded, hotel rates are lower and there’s still some tenacious sunshine.
Therefore, we will recommend February and March as well as late December to early January to be the best time to go to Pattaya in order to avoid crowds, inflated tourist prices while still enjoying the sun shine that allows for water sports.
B. Sun protection
The heat in Pattaya is a force to be reckoned with. Make sure you arm yourself with adequate sun block and Aloe Vera gel (can be purchased cheaply at supermarkets, Guardian or Watsons). Hats and sunglasses are also strongly encouraged.
C. Data insurance
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D. Safety first
While having fun is important, safety should always be the first priority; pay close attention to the instructions given to you by the experienced course instructors especially if you are participating in a water sport activity. Even if you are simply frolicking in the sea, take note of upcoming tides and always be accompanied by a swimmer if you cannot swim. Children could be more careless and parents should be extra vigilant around large crowds or if there are boats around the vicinity.
Pattaya is indeed full of wonders awaiting to be uncovered by travelers and is definitely a destination you would not want to miss.
Featured Image Credits: Shutterstock