LIVING IN PATTAYA
I’ve been living in Pattaya now for around 2 weeks. I’ve had a bit of time to explore the area, get into a routine, and experience life in this part of the world.
I’ve had a few people ask me about what I think about living in Pattaya, particularly for people working online like myself. So, I thought I’d do a bit of a breakdown of what I think of life out here in this post!
Side note – if you’d like to see what a day in my life looks out here, take a look at the vlog I made below.
There’s a few factors I consider when choosing a place to live. A few of the main categories I consider are the cost of living, weather, things to do, nightlife, and community. I’ll give you my thoughts on each of these areas in Pattaya below, giving each a ranking out of 5.
Cost of Living = 4/5
The cost of living in Pattaya is cheap. Very cheap.
If you’re coming from a Western country like Australia, you’ll really be amazed at just how cheap it is for a high quality of life.
As an example, I’ve got an apartment here for 1 month for a price of 11,000 baht, or just over $400AUD. It’s a 1-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, gym, and one of the best pools I have ever seen!
An aerial view of my apartment’s pool.
Great food is cheap and readily available, you can hire a motorbike starting at $8AUD per day, and beers can be had for just $1.60. You can easily live an amazing quality of life here for under $1500AUD per month. A lot of people seem to retire here which makes sense considering how little their pension would get them back at home compared to here.
Pattaya isn’t quite as cheap as Chiang Mai, but it is very close in many regards. If you’re coming from a Western country, you’ll likely feel very rich out here.
Weather = 4/5
I am here in high season, meaning it’s sunny all of the time. In fact, it’s been just over 2 weeks and it hasn’t even rained yet.
Obviously everyone has different preferences, but for me a temperature of between 30 and 34 degrees Celsius is perfect. Luckily for me, that’s exactly what the weather is like here.
Every. Single. Day.
The only downside for me and reason I’m not giving this a 5/5 rating is the pollution levels. I left Chiang Mai because of the burning season where farmers burn their rice fields, filling the city with hot smog for a period of 2-3 months.
Though what I didn’t realise was how much pollution there is in Pattaya. The sky is often grey, despite their being no clouds. It’s a bigger city than I had anticipated, and it’s really not that far away from the massive city of Bangkok.
There are no regulations on emissions here, and cars and motorbikes that spew out black smoke are plentiful. On top of that, the amount of rubbish that gets burned adds to the problem.
It probably won’t be a big deal for most, but coming from a quiet town in the outskirts Melbourne, living on the side of a mountain covered in trees, with hardly any neighbours – the amount of pollution here is pretty noticeable!
Things To Do = 4/5
Pattaya is big. Much bigger than I expected!
Due to it being a large city, just about everything you need or want is available. There are big shopping centres, movie theatres, markets, beaches, bars, and even a 30 baht ferry across to a beautiful island!
Thanks to its size, just about any activity you’d like to do can be found here in Pattaya, and normally at a pretty affordable price.
Nightlife = 2/5
Pattaya is known as a bit of a crazy city, notorious for its nightlife. So you may be confused as to why I’ve given the nightlife here only a 2 out of 5 rating. Let me explain.
I don’t mind a bit of crazy nightlife, in fact, Bangla road in Phuket is one of my favourite places in the world. I found walking street here to be a lot different.
Just like in Phuket, the sex industry is a big part of life out here in Pattaya. Walking street is one of the main places it exists. I don’t really care that it exists, as long as there are regular clubs and bars catering just to your everyday tourists.
That’s what I like about Bangla road. You can easily stay away from all of the old fat blokes and their young Thai “girlfriends”. There’s lot of clubs and bars for backpackers and holiday makers who just want to have a bit of a party.
I found that the walking street here in Pattaya was seriously lacking in these types of places. The clubs I went into were tiny, the tourists inside were 90% men, with the vast majority of them being over 40 years old.
I get it, and I don’t judge. A lot of the guys that come out here are retiring early, have been through a divorce, and want to relive their youth.
For them, the nightlife in Pattaya is probably ideal, but for me it did not appeal at all.
For my month here I’m trying to stay focused on work and keep drinking to a minimum, and luckily the nightlife here won’t be a temptation at all!
Community = 2/5
A big part of my reasoning for moving out to Thailand is to be around like-minded people. A lot of people in Thailand work online, and it’s a great place to meet awesome people, learn new skills, and discover new opportunities.
I purposely chose an apartment here that was located nearby the co-working space, Anchor.
Unfortunately, I’m one of the very few that use the space.
Pattaya isn’t known as a ‘digital nomad hotspot’ and is comprised of mostly Russian tourists, and retirees.
It’s not a big deal for me right now because I have a lot of work to knuckle down on without distraction. Long term though, the lack of an entrepreneurial community here would get pretty lonely for me.
In Conclusion = 16/25
Overall, Pattaya is in my opinion, is simply ‘okay’.
Most people I have met either love Pattaya, or hate it with a passion. Personally, I can understand both points of view.
I can see that it has a bunch of great benefits, particularly if you’re on a tight budget. It is lacking in a couple of areas as well, and for me just doesn’t tick enough boxes to pick it as a long-term destination.
Personally, I think that whilst Pattaya has a lot of great amenities and activites, those things can be found elsewhere. There are many nicer beaches elsewhere in Thailand.
And while Pattaya is cheap, so is everywhere in Thailand. I’d much rather spend an extra 10-20% to stay somewhere else in Thailand that I enjoyed more. It would still be a very, very cheap cost of living for a high quality of life.
Personally, a place like Koh Phangan meets my needs at a lot higher of a level. There’s a bigger community, better beaches, and I prefer the nightlife there. Keep in mind though that I’m not a big city kind of guy. I much prefer a quiet and relaxing place with fewer people – at least for a long term place that I’m going to call home.
Will I ever return to Pattaya – maybe.
It’s not high on my list, but I can see how it would appeal to a lot of people.
My personal recommendation would be to experience it yourself for at least a week or 2, and decide for yourself!
Thanks for reading!
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