Although Pattaya is not as popular for shopping as Bangkok, it’s quite a good place to buy simple things such as clothes. Prices are reasonable and the selection is quite good, as long as you know where to shop and where to avoid.
In this guide, I would like to talk about the best places to shop in Pattaya, as well as the best products you can expect to find in each mall. You will find my top recommendations and advice below:
Central Festival is easily the largest shopping mall in Pattaya. It is simply gigantic, with the new Hilton Hotel on the upper floors and several floors of retail stores, a cinema and other shops in the main shopping area. If you want brand names or high street items, this is the place to spend your time in Pattaya.
Mike Shopping Mall is a smaller shopping mall on Beach Road, I assume owned by Mike, which is popular for tourists. The clothing and items here are nothing special — you can expect the usual Thai tourist t-shirts, jeans belts, and some other items. This shopping mall is really not so special aside from the low prices of items.
Outlet Mall Pattaya is a small mall on Second Road in Pattaya that is famous for discount sales on brand name items. The selection at this mall is not very good and the brands available are often quite dull and boring. However, this is a good place to shop for running shoes if you can find brands such as New Balance and Nike on discount.
Where do you like to shop in Pattaya?
I like to shop, and although Bangkok is better it is still possible to shop for most things here in Pattaya without having to drive to the main capital city. Where do you like to shop in Pattaya, and what do you like to buy?
One of the most common problems I have in Pattaya is finding and buying good coffee. Yes, it’s easy to find cafes here and many places serve excellent coffee, but I mean buying coffee to make and enjoy at home.
There is nothing like waking up to a nice, fresh cup of coffee. Since I use a Nespresso machine I bought many years ago, I prefer to use the single-use capsules instead of preparing coffee from a bag for use in the reusable capsules. Unfortunately, Nespresso capsules are not so easy to find in Pattaya.
Unlike in Bangkok, there is not a Nespresso store in Pattaya. This means you can’t go to sample the coffee as you can in the capital and buy your favorite flavors. Luckily, there are some other options.
First, you can buy the capsules online from the Nespresso Thailand website. This is a good way to get the capsules at a fair price. However, the downside is you must wait for them to be sent to your address, and hopefully not get “lost” along the way or end up at the wrong home.
If you want to do this, you can do it here. I recommend you check this list of the best Nespresso capsules before you order to choose the right flavor.
The other option is to buy the capsules from Central Festival. The supermarket on the fourth floor has a range of Nespresso and Dolce Gusto capsules. The downside in this case is the price — they are almost 30 baht each, which is very high. However, I think it is worth it for the great convenience, both of not having to ship coffee from Bangkok and not having to clean up after making coffee from the capsules.
Enjoy your coffee!
Pattaya is one of the world’s top nightlife cities, and when you visit here for any length of time, it’s easy to understand why! There are more bars in Pattaya than in most cities 10 times its size, and many are full of friendly girls (and men, if that is your thing) that are happy to meet you and enjoy time together.
However, one impediment to this can be the city’s hotels. While some hotels in Pattaya are very much guest friendly, many hotels, especially “higher end” hotels such as chains, are known to turn guests away. Others are starting to charge a “joiner fee,” sometimes of 1,000 baht or more, which is obviously not a good thing if you want to spend quality time with a guest or friend at the hotel room.
To make your life easier as a tourist in Pattaya, I have put together a list of some of my favorite guest friendly hotels around the city. My list is short — only my top five hotels — but you can find more in this list of guest friendly hotels in Pattaya, courtesy of GuestFriendlyHotelsBangkok.com.
Update: There is now a newer and more comprehensive list available at Guest Friendly Hotels Pattaya, complete with full reviews for each hotel.
Anyway, no further introduction needed, here are my top five:
- LK Metropole Hotel. This hotel is great. It’s a short walk from Central Festival Pattaya, where you can shop your heart out, and a nearby distance to many of the best places to eat and drink in Pattaya. Prices are medium and very affordable overall for the quality of the hotel.
- LK The Empress. As you can tell from the name, this is part of the same brand of hotels as LK Metropole. The Empress is more upmarket and has a better location right on the main Beach Road, making it good if you like to be close to the sea. Rooms are what you would expect if you have stayed at Metropole; very spacious and “grand” in style.
- Hilton Hotel Pattaya. If you have a high budget, you will love to stay here. Easily the nicest hotel in Central Pattaya, although the price very much matches the great quality of the rooms. I recommend this if you like dining as this hotel has several excellent restaurants with views of the sea.
- Intimate Hotel. This hotel is a great budget pick. Although it’s a three star hotel the quality level is very high and the location on 2nd Road is not very far from Central and other attractions. Overall I like this choice if I am in Pattaya and don’t want to spend a fortune on accommodation.
- Sunshine Hotel & Residences. My final recommendation, Sunshine Hotel is close to Soi 6, which is a fun place to enjoy the nightlife. This is one of the best hotels if you want to be close to nightlife without paying a premium price for a four or five star hotel.
What is your favorite Pattaya hotel?
In my opinion, Pattaya has some of the best hotel selections of anywhere in Asia. The prices are low and the quality level is high, with very large rooms compared to most of the other Asian cities I have visited.
What is your favorite Pattaya hotel? Please let me know your recommendations and I will use them for any future guides I write to accommodation in Pattaya. Thanks!