Undeniably, Pattaya is one of Thailand’s top tourist destinations. It is also where I came from.
But Pattaya is not somewhere I’m familiar with. I have been living in Bangkok for more than half of my life. Back when I lived there, the “Pattaya City” was not somewhere I would frequent either. Pattaya was touristy (and sex-driven, as you know) with super bad traffic, so the locals (like my family) usually stick to the local areas like Naklua, Nongprue and so on.
But Pattaya has changed a lot in recent years. I don’t know why but the Thais seem to like it there again. There are lots of family-oriented destinations, with beautiful cafes and restaurants and it’s not far from Bangkok. Compared to Hua Hin, Pattaya is just a stone’s throw away from Thailand’s capital. Especially since COVID-19 happened, with international tourists completely wiped out, Pattaya has begun to emerge in another different version, which is a lot more friendly.
My little Pattaya rediscovery started from a stay at Ana Anan Resort & Villas Pattaya, a property of my friends who own several hotels and restaurants in town. Telling them I would be there for so long, we had a chance to really be there last month. And to tell you the truth, I have to say they did a great job considering that they are a home-grown local resort.
That day, it was a bit foggy with the PM2.5 but we really love it there. Personally, I’m not a big fan of modern architecture, but my friends made it cosy enough with cute tiny little details (like the kitchen garden by the lobby and lights at Over the Moon bar). The building is black, but inside the guest rooms are lofty with white color and vast space. We got an upgrade to the Oceanfront Skybath room, which was perfect for a sunset dip. We did try the spa as well to try my friend’s selection of essential oils (not too overwhelming or feminine, just as she said). Looking forward to be there again soon.
If you go from Bangkok, you can take the motorway and Bangkok-Pattaya and Pattaya-Map ta Phut (Rayong). The resort is near the Huay Yai exit near Ocean Marina.