Living in Pattaya – The complete guide
It is far different from coming to Pattaya on holiday than living in Pattaya.
Living in Pattaya is a big decision. There is a lot to consider when you decide to move to Pattaya. Living in Thailand permanently is far different from living back home. Once you get past the glimmering lights and active nightlife, you need to consider how you will live here.
The first question has to be what brought you to Pattaya in the first place? Was it the neon lights and beautiful girls, or was it the climate and beaches? Are you here due to work commitments or are you at the end of your working life and fancy retiring here? Are you travelling alone or do you have a family to consider?
So with all the above factors playing a part in your decision to move. Living in Pattaya, you need to be aware of certain aspects of life here.
Finding the right accommodation in Pattaya.
OK, first thing is first, you need somewhere to live. If you are working in Pattaya, is your company going to give you accommodation, or will they pay towards your rental fees? Have you checked out what type of accommodation they provide for you?
Condominiums, in general, have good facilities available. Gym’s, communal pools and gardens, some have bars and restaurants as well. Some offer spas and other beauty treatments.
There are some condominiums that provide courtesy transport, which if you do not have a car or bike is handy. Getting around is easy though, especially with a large amount of taxis available. There are a lot of nice areas in Pattaya.
You need to consider when you are looking at a property, if it’s furnished or unfurnished. If you have just arrived, in particular with a family in tow, furniture could be a necessity. If your property comes unfurnished, you need to think about the cost of decent furniture. Yes Thailand is a cheap place to live, compared to many other countries. But, if you are looking for modern, European style furniture, that comes at a premium price.
The further away from the city center you go, the cheaper accommodation becomes. A standard two bedroom villa in East Pattaya is very affordable indeed. Likewise, living in Pattaya city center will cost a considerable amount more!
Here are some recommended Agents to assist you in finding the right property:
Whats the cost of buying food living in Pattaya?
This depends on two things. 1) what is your ability to eat spicy and sweet foods. 2) What is your daily budget for food?
Spicy food is as you may have already guessed, part of Thai culture. Thai food is very spicy in most cases, and be warned, often comes with a spoonful of sugar added! So if you have a sugar intake problem, you must make sure you find the right dishes. If you can eat spicy food and have no issue with sugars, well Thai food is very cheap. You can pick up a local dish for around 40B – 50B, and the food is delicious.
But, if you are not leaning towards eating Thai food, and want western food things change. The first thing is that imported food in Thailand is very expensive. Your home favourites that you crave may come at a premium price.
Restaurants that provide foreign food, are more costly that Thai restaurants. The average western meal (excluding “Daily Specials”) will cost approximately 200B-300B. This works out at approximately £7 which may not sound expensive. But if you have a family of four, then you are looking at £800+ a month. remember this is an average cost, a lot of dishes cost a lot more to buy.
If you are a dab hand in the kitchen you may want to cook your meals instead. Fruit and vegetables are in easily obtainable in many local Thai markets. If you need more specialist food such as sauces and pastas, then you will need to visit somewhere like Foodmart. These food shops have a large selection of foreign food available, but again at a premium price.
European Food Outlets:
Entertainment in Pattaya
This is a subject that is very easy to answer. There is almost every conceivable entertainment option available to everyone who visits Pattaya. The nightlife is what Pattaya is most known for, but there is a lot more than meets the eye here. Is Pattaya seedy, well you be the judge of that!
Yes Walking Street, LK Metro and Soi 6,7,8 are the places to visit if it is girls you have come to see. Away from these locations, there is also a hive of entertainment happening. Live music, with some great bands playing rock and modern cover music. Thai bands playing a mix of all kinds of music, often located in smaller bars in Soi Buakhao area.
Pattaya has many Cinema complexes, a Bowling Alley, Pool halls and entertainment complexes. There is plenty to do to keep both you nd your family entertained. There are live shows such as Alcazar and plenty of nightclubs such as 808 and Lucifers.
If watching sport and having a beer is more your kind of thing then you have many choices available. Retox Game On and I-Rovers sports bars offer comprehensive live sports coverage. You can find many other bars that show sport, you won’t miss out.
Keeping fit living in Pattaya.
Because of the nightlife temptations, drinking more than normal becomes a frequent habit. Pattaya has a saying that “everyday is Saturday”. It’s true, everyday you go out is like a Saturday night out with your mates back home.
So, unless you want to hit the slippery slope of obesity, you need to stay in shape. Fortunately Pattaya has a very large network of fitness places to choose from. Swimming pools to stay in shape located everywhere. Most likely your condominium will have a pool as will a community village. Gymnasiums are plentiful, with gyms offering CV or weight training facilities. You can find hard core gyms, as well as more relaxed gyms, without any grunting and screaming.
If you want to try your hand at Muay Thai, again you will find a Muay Thai gym pretty much every where. Thais love their National sport and there are plenty of people able to train you. If you are a novice, or consider yourself an experienced fighter, there is a gym waiting for you.
Football, cricket and rugby are also available. So if you enjoy chasing around after a ball, Pattaya has it covered. There ae plenty of clubs available for many other sports. Badminton, running, cycling are all available. The best way to get involved is look for a local ex-pat hang out and ask around.
Recommended Gyms and sports facilities:
Health Cover in Pattaya.
This often gets overlooked or ignore, yet when it’s needed it’s normally too late! Thailand does not offer a National Health service. This means you need insurance, especially if you ride around on a motorbike.
Hospitals will expect payment for any treatment. It does not matter how large of small the treatment was, payment will be due. Treatment can be very expensive, often running into thousands of pounds. Make sure you have adequate insurance cover.
There are several Insurance companies that can offer you comprehensive medical cover. Pop in and see a broker and get yourself covered.
Insurance Brokers for Healthcare:
Learning to speak the Thai language.
For most people they are not interested in learning to speak Thai. But after you have been living in Thailand for a year or more it may start to annoy you. Communication is all part of living in Pattaya. You need to be able to communicate, and although a lot of Thai people speak broken English, not all do.
You may not need to be fluent in thai, for most that is never a necessity. but you should know some of the basic words and sentences, especially living here.
There are plenty of schools available for you to learn in. There are also many teachers who work one-to-one, which is better in our opinion. Large classes seem to cause confusion on tones and pronunciation. Thai language is not as hard as it may appear, with determination and commitment you can learn Thai. The level you learn to is down you your desire and ability to learn.
Thai Language schools in Pattaya
Driving around Pattaya.
So, yes you can hire a motorbike here. In many places you can hire a motorbike without even a licence. Although we strongly advise you not to do this, sadly it happens. But, if you do ride around Thailand, and in particular built up cities such as Pattaya, you will be stopped by the Police.
Not all International driving licences are recognized and you may find not accepted. You are far better off, especially if you are living here, to get a Thai Driving Licence.
It’s a very easy process and not hard to get. You can apply and pass your Thai driving licence normally within a few hours, or at worst, a day. You will need all your relevant paperwork, passport and photos. Then head to a test center and take the test.
Test normally involve watching a video, completing a colour blindness test and a reaction test. Fail the reaction test and you really shouldn’t be on the roads anyway. You may be asked to ride your bike around a predetermined circuit. This is very easy and again, fail this, you should consider using taxis as a way of getting around Pattaya.
Pattaya is a wonderful place to live. The city is constantly developing and making improvements. The city is undergoing a transformation, and for the better. There is so much to see and do as well as having a vibrant ex-patriot community. If you are considering living in Pattaya you have made a good choice!