Pattaya is a popular coastal beach and nightlife escape for local residents and tourists alike. The busy season sees visitors from all over the world coming to celebrate New Year's Eve in Thailand. Plus, being only a 2-3 hour drive from the capital city of Bangkok, it’s perfect for the non-planners, looking for a destination out of the city to celebrate.
You can have a little bit of everything, with both beaches and bars thriving in Pattaya. So, when it comes to celebrating New Year’s, there’s something for everyone - loud and festive parties, to something more low-key with close friends or family.
With the new ferry operating between Hua Hin and Pattaya, you can even choose to make it a week-long or month-long trip, celebrating in the busier Pattaya and adding a few days to explore the more relaxed Hua Hin.
Here are our top spots in Pattaya to countdown to 2018.
1. Walking Street and NightlifeEasily one of the most popular things to do is a night out on the town. There is no shortage of nightlife options when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Pattaya.
The bigger bars and clubs all have events running, including spots like The Hard Rock Cafe and MIXX Nightclub, with special DJ’s and bands in-house.
Not sure if you want to commit to an event? Wander down Walking Street and pop into a bar that looks happening instead. The Hard Rock Cafe is always busy for New Year’s, alternative options include the Beer Garden just down the road. If the night brings you into the early hours of the morning, you’ll find lively clubs on the same street to continue the celebrations.
Walking Street is just south of Beach Road. As well as the bars, there are cabaret shows, and a Thai Boxing arena, making it a great place to turn up and see where the night brings you.
2. Fireworks By Pattaya Beach RoadThe city’s main event and suitable for all ages is the entertainment stage by Bali Hai Pier. Organised by the city of Pattaya, there are usually several concerts and fireworks displays by the beach. The entertainment includes local and international music and performances.
There’s nothing that is as iconic and magical as seeing the sky light up in color and formations for that final 3.. 2… 1. Join the many that crowd the beach and feel the pulsing of the crowd when the final hour on the clock strikes.
All along Pattaya Beach road you’ll find stalls selling food and merchandise, so head down early and go for a wander before the main event.
3. New Year’s Eve Gala DinnersAround town, you’ll find many Gala Dinners and New Year’s Eve set dinner specials, sometimes including a show. A way to escape the busy streets of Pattaya with a good meal and a glass of wine in a classy setting. Take your pick from the big hotels to the restaurants like The Chocolate Factory Pattaya.
4. Expat-Run EventsSome of the local expat groups like British Clubs, the Norwegian Church Abroad organize special New Year’s Eve events for interested parties. For something similar to the gala dinners but a more informal crowd, join one of the local expat organized dinners. To find them you can search for the “[country] club pattaya”, for example “british club pattaya” and find more information on their club websites or Facebook pages.
5. Champagne With A ViewWith all of Pattaya lighting up for New Year’s celebrations, you might choose to stay indoors. If you’re staying in Pattaya, consider renting a private apartment with a balcony view. Treat yourself to a luxurious bath, order food in and have a glass of bubbles on the terrace. Watch the fireworks and the countdown from the privacy of your place. The best part is skipping the getting home part, with your bed, ready when you are!
If you’re here for a holiday or long-term travels a longer stay at one of Pattaya’s apartments for monthly rental might be an excellent choice as a base to explore the surrounding areas.
6. Exploring The CityIf you can’t make up your mind, make your day the main event. Spend the day snorkeling at Coral Island or wine tasting at Silverlake Vineyard.
Exhausted from a day of activities, you can enjoy an unplanned nightspot and simply explore many of the above, from the Walking Street to Pattaya Beach Road to the Bali Hai Pier. Eat some street food or a last minute dinner set menu. Look up to the fireworks and enjoy a pina colada or mojito at one of the lively bars.
You’ll enjoy not sticking to one spot as you take in the entire city in an all day New Years eve celebration. Count down with friends and family surrounding you, the street performers and the Pattaya fireworks in the background.