Moving in, getting settled in Pattaya city
We would like to share with you the results of our experience and researching about finding a place to live. Whether it be a house or an apartment , you need to decide the location most convenient suitable for your needs. We will try to guide you through the processes of choosing a new home.
In this simple, humble way , it is how we are Linking Pattaya Together…
Making the decision about where to live in Pattaya
We could say that we are very fortunate having the opportunity of living in Pattaya, a lively city with a good deal of options in term of places where to live: from houses to condominiums, from buildings on the beach to great villages in beautiful estates on the east side, from the town centre to quieter suburbs. Even consider finding a large, cozy house within one of the golf clubs not so far from the city, which, at the same time, is the closest you could get to the courses, for the delight of golf lovers…
The majority of apartments, condominiums and houses have a predominantly Western or Thai design but with Western equipment, and are already furnished, ranging from basic to luxurious with everything in between.
If Only I’d known…
A Golden Rule for this time: you need to feel at home,being so far from your own home, as soon as possible. Do whatever you can to feel that your new place in Thailand is your HOME. The faster you do it, the quicker you will settled down and will start enjoying the city, the opportunities that it brings, and of course, you will make friends.
Houses in Pattaya
Although a great number of expats, especially those who come with children, prefer houses located in compounds that include security gates and guards, leisure facilities, children’s play areas, public and private swimming pools, there is also the possibility of finding a single-family house that suits you or your family.
If only I’d known…
- You may have an idea of the type of housing that will suit your and your family’s needs, but is is advisable to inspect several types before making your decision.
- It is also advisable to check the surroundings of the village or single house during different times of the day and at night. There is a risk of discovering a noisy karaoke bar opening at night time, which you wouldn’t be able to notice during your daytime research.
- Similarly, religious sites, such as mosques or Buddhist temples (wats), may have their ceremonies and prayers very early in the morning with speakers at their highest volume levels. It is not totally unbearable, but it might make you think twice.
- Or, if you find a house on a privileged location, say on the beach, be sure that there’s not empty land nor plan for a high rise condominium being built next door. It can happen, more often than not, sadly.
Condominiums in Pattaya
The are plenty of condominiums and high rise blocks of apartments in Pattaya, and during the last few years, the availability has multiplied at an incredible rate. There are residential buildings, from bungalows to skyscrapers, being built on any spare piece of land, not only in the city, but also along the city coast, resulting in a dramatically different and sometimes crowded coast line. This ‘construction wave’, as there is less land available in the city, is progressively moving south , towards Jomtien, Na Jomtien and further.
Condominiums and apartments are generally well equipped in Western style, and prices vary from very reasonable to very expensive, depending of the location. The closer to the coast, the higher the prices.
Living in a condominium or apartment building complex often includes security guards and laundry services, leisure facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and fitness gyms, which sometimes, make a huge difference at time of deciding where to live.
If only I’d known…
- Living in Pattaya, the first and more tempting option, for many, is to rent or buy an apartment with a sea view, the closer to the beach the building is, the better. The views are really wonderful, but that would also mean that prices are much higher than in any other location, due to the “sea front effect”.
- It is highly advisable to inspect at different times of the day and night, the surroundings, especially in the case of apartments offered as having ”exceptional sea view”. Pattaya City Hall has not the same standard for approving new projects that those which we might be used to. So, it wouldn’t be surprising, if a few months after moving into your apartment, after having been told that nothing could be built in front of it, that a construction site starts to be organized, cranes arriving and before you realized it, you will have a high-rise building obstructing those extraordinary sunsets and blocking the beautiful view that you paid , and very well, to enjoy.
- The experience of living in Pattaya for several years, has told us that the only way of being sure that nothing will block your view is just find an apartment building on the beach. Then the apartment you choose, should be , one of those called “seafront” ( we mean , looking the sea and not to the sides of the building) .Also it is advised to check whether the land at the sides of your building is empty because the risk of having another building being built next door, is really high.
- Having said that, there are only a few places in the Pattaya city area where condominiums are on the beach. These are mainly in Naklua, Na Jomtien, or further south in Baan Amphur and Bang Saray, and that is because there is no a beach road, as it happens in Pattaya and Jomtien, As consequence, the construction of condominiums is stronger in the southern areas of the city.
- Another issue to have in mind is that if you have or plan to have pets, you should look for a house, because pets are not allowed in the majority of condominiums or apartment blocks. So, it is strongly advisable to ask before making any decision.
Long-term Hotels and Service Apartments in Pattaya
This is a very good option for expats who don’t know the length of their assignment, or when arriving in Pattaya for the first time. This choice is ideal for spending the first few months, getting a better idea of the dynamics of the city, such as different areas to live, which activities could be done and where, where the Health centers , international schools, supermarkets are located, and so on. You could rent on short-term basis, and extend it if necessary.
If only I’d known…
- First of all, do not rush into deciding where to live. Do not rent long-term and much less do not buy without living for a while in Pattaya. There are plenty very good hotels or service apartments that could serve as a transitory home during the first months that you will need to settle yourself in your new surroundings.
This is an important detail overlooked many times, ending in another move after only three or four months living in the first choice. How many times we have heard: “If only I’d known this, I wouldn’t have rented this house…
- It is strongly advisable to visit the place that you have chosen, during the weekday and weekends , just to check how that specific location is during daytime and nighttime, whether there is enough transportation services, or whether it is dark , noisy or quiet at night, before signing any contract. This is valid for all locations in the Pattaya area.
- So, we have put together a few things to consider when choosing where to live in the Pattaya area:
– Do you have your own transportation or will you rely on public transport?
– If you have children attending school, which school will they attend? How close to the school do you want to live? Does the school offer a bus service?
– Shall they go into the city with friends frequently during weekends or after school? Are there enough means of transportation for that ?
– How long is the commute to/from work, in the case that you or your husband work?
– Where are the supermarkets and other commercial businesses located?
– Do you need or wish to live in an area where other foreigners also live?
– Do you want to be in the center of town or in a quiet, modern village, close to or on the beach ?
– In case that you have free time while your husband is working, which activities are you going to do? Where are these activities carried out? How long it will take the driver to pick you up and then, before going to collect your husband? So, what time will you have to finish your activities every day?
– Do you have a pet? If the answer is yes, you should look for a house since you wouldn’t be allowed to have pets in condominiums
Finding a new Home in Pattaya
Once you have a clearer idea of which kind of accommodation you are seeking, you can then embark on finding it.
The first option are the Real Estate agents. There are many in Pattaya used to dealing with foreigners, so they are fluent English speakers, which makes it easier. You need to know that in Pattaya, the real estate agencies are members of different Real Estate Broker Associations, which means that all members have access to the same list of all properties that are in the market. In this way, it doesn’t matter a lot which real state agency you consult, because the list of properties will be the same.
If Only I’d known..
- For those coming to Pattaya for working reasons, sure enough the company will make all contacts with a real estate agency they are used to working with; but for those who have to find their homes by themselves, there is not a magical recipe, but you could start with one real estate broker, and if this agency doesn’t give any offer that suits you, just choose another one.
- When going to an real estate agency, on your own or along with the personnel of the company where your husband works, it is advisable to prepare before hand a basic idea of what you are looking for and ask for that: rent or buy, apartment or house, single or enclosed in a village house, number of bedrooms, close to the sea or closer to international schools or close to industrial estates, or golf courses, and so on.
- If you go with a blank mind, you will have no choice but to follow the agency employee’s suggestions, who will offer what they think would be better for you but that, in many cases, it is not what you need. They may also try to persuade you to buy something that benefits their company not you.
- One interesting, and sometime useful way is having a look at local newspapers and free magazines with information about Pattaya’s real estate market, which also include an extensive list of houses and condominiums offered for rent or sale. So, if there is one that might fulfill your needs, go to a real state agency, paper or magazine on hand, and ask for that specific house or apartment. Doing so may save a lot of time and money.
- Another option would be to visit the websites of those magazines or real estates agencies or directly the Real Estate Brokers Associations’ websites where you could find all properties offered by the many agencies which are members of it.
- In this way, one could start looking for a place before arriving in Pattaya while still at home or, at least, to have an idea of what is being offered.
Real State Brokers Association – Eastern Seaboard :
Asia Property world
Pattaya property Guide
Geographical areas of Pattaya
When thinking about which location would better suit your needs, it is advisable to have a look at a map of the Eastern Seaboard area to get familiarized with the place where you and your family will live and carry out your activities. It is important to have an idea of the locations of industrial estates, where the majority of expats work, or international schools, where children would have to go, on a daily basis, hospitals, and always bearing in mind where your daily social activities will take place. Keeping these in mind helps you to start seeking the more suitable location for your new home.
We have included here the geographical description of Pattaya’s areas already mentioned in our page Pattaya City Information , but we thought that it would be easier to understand our tips with this information at hand, so please, see below.
There are areas popular with expats along the Eastern Seaboard. Each has its own character as well as advantages and disadvantages. So, depending whom you are talking to, you will have all the pros and cons of living in each one. So, it is advisable to have a look at this map and then, ask to any of your new friends who already live in the particular area who think will suit you, before make any decision.
Starting from the North area of Pattaya :
Naklua and Wongamat Areas (1-2) :
The name ‘Naklua’ translates as ‘salt fields’, with salt farming being the main industry of the area before the tourists arrived. If one wishes to know how Thai life was go to Naklua Village, at the north of the city. The further north, the more you get away from the westernized parts of the city and into more traditional Thai communities, with their narrow streets of wooden shop-houses, a fresh food market, temples, stilt houses along canals, which are worth a visit, especially in early morning when boats are coming back from the night fishing.
The beaches in this northern part of greater Pattaya are among the finest and cleanest in the city, bested only by those found on the surrounding islands or in Sattahip district. Consequently, during recent years five-star hotel chains and high rise condominiums have been built in the area, dramatically changing the shore line. The sad conclusion of this ia that its beaches became more and more crowded .
This area is very easy-living and we could say ‘self-contained’ neighborhood. There are dozens of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues; there’s a big Tesco Lotus complex for daily shopping; it is not so far from Pattaya centre with more shopping malls; it is close to Bangkok Hospital Pattaya. In terms of transport, it is close to the North Pattaya Road Bus Station which is good when thinking of going to Bangkok or to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and to the entrance to the Chonburi- Bangkok Motorway.
If Only I’d known…
- For many expats, Naklua is by far the best place to live, with many condos on the beach with stunning views (the only place in Pattaya city that you could find this), close to hospitals, plenty options at the time for dining, shopping, or any other social activity.
- If you do not have a car and will rely on public transport, you should look for a place close to Naklua Road where there are many baht buses going along it at any time. If you live in any of the condos closer to the beach, you will have to rely on taxis and motorbike taxis deployed in front of the hotels, but this is more expensive than baht buses. So, it is advisable to have this in mind when choosing a place to live.
- If you have teenage children, living in Naklua is a good choice: they could go to school on the services provided by any of internationals schools, and also they will be independent when going to town in their free time, after school or during weekends.This is also an important issue to have in mind when looking for a house.
Naklua has been a traditional area for Germans, so is the best place to find German restaurants with excellent German food and beer.
Pattaya City Area, Downtown Pattaya (3):
This part of the city is what we called ‘town’ or just Pattaya. We could say that it is the part of the city that never sleeps, where pubs, shopping malls, stalls, restaurants and bars pack the roads. It is essentially a tourist area, so there are plenty hotels, condominiums aimed to satisfy thousands of tourists, but it is not what we would call a residential area, so the variety of homes available is a little more limited to condos and low-rises.
If shopping is a main consideration for choosing where to live in Pattaya, this area is the place to look: Foodland, Villa Market, Best, Friendship , Big C, supermarkets, not so far from Naklua seafood market and, of course, Central marina shopping Mall, Royal Garden Plaza and the mega-mall Central Festival on Pattaya Beach Rd, plus the massive ( still under construction) Terminal 21 Shopping Mall . All them are in this area.
If only I’d known…
Having said that, it is also true that there are many houses and shophouses at affordable prices, in the area, between Second Road and Sukhunvit Road. It is advisable to have this in mind if you don’t need a big house, do not have car and enjoy living close to town.
Phratumnak Area (4):
Pratumnak , or Buddha Hill, is located on the south side of Pattaya and is popular for its views and the temple (Wat Phra Yai) on top of the hill. In recent years, Pratumnak has gained in popularity because of its more natural environment, nicer beaches and the convenient situation between Jomtien and Pattaya city beyond the busy main tourist district of South Pattaya and Walking Street, but near enough to get there easily.
This area, one of the most expensive in Pattaya, has witnessed a strong wave of building in recent years. Hotels and a wide range of condominiums have been built, several of them still under construction, which gives an ample offer and opportunity for accommodation. Also, restaurants, clubs,coffee shops and bars are clustered on every street.
While there are some villas, the main form of residence is condos, both low- and spectacularly high-rise. Although it is a little deficient when talking about shopping, it is close to town, so this is not a great problem. Also, it seems that some of the biggest supermarkets are thinking of opening a branch in this area.
If only I’d known...
This is a beautiful area to live, but its down side is that public transport systems are still not so developed. There are baht buses running only along Thapraya Rd and Phratamnak Rd, so if you don’t have a car you should rely on taxis – a more expensive choice.
Before renting or buying, it is highly advisable to check in situ whether there is any other building built or being built blocking the view that you were assured you’d have. This is valid to any of Pattaya areas, but prices in this specific area are higher due to the exceptional views.
Jomtien Beach Area (5):
Although this area was historically favorite among locals, nowadays it is also a choice for ex-pats. Its distance from the main city, makes the accommodations a little bit cheaper and more familiar oriented. The last years this area has suffered a heavily construction process, becoming the new “darling” for developers leaving behind a great deal of residential buildings ,some of them still under construction, changing the physiognomy of this neighborhood especially along the new Jomtien Second rd, which from being a quiet “rural” road became a busy avenue in just two or three years.
If only I’d known…
- Jomtien , during the last years, has become an alternative to Pattaya, with a wide range of restaurants from very affordable cozy places to several of ‘high cuisine’ ones, so this is a good thing to have in mind when choosing where to live.
The area around the junction of Thapraya and Tephrassit Roads is one of the best locations for living if you do not have a car, due to the many baht buses, motorbike taxis that you could find at any time and corner.
- Also, close to this junction is the Bus station from which buses to and from Suvarnabhumi airport are scheduled.
This area is also convenient whether you are an expat wife whose husband works at any of the eastern seaboard industrial states, because Tephrassit Road connects directly to Sukhumvit Road in just five – ten minutes, depending on the traffic, making his return a little bit more endurable.
- There are several condominiums along Jomtien Beach. A fact to have in mind at time of choosing one, is that the north part of Jomtien beach road, being entertainment area, is much more noisier than the southern section where not only the view is magnificent, but is much quieter. But the down side of choosing the southern end, is that it would be advisable to have a car, because the baht bus service, in the area between Chaiyapruek Rd up to the south end of Jomtien Beach Rd, is not so reliable, and is very scarce at night time.
Na Jomtien (6):
Located to the south of Jomtien, Na Jomtien has been traditionally the quieter of all coastal areas. During the last few years it has started to change a little bit with the construction of high -rise condominiums, and 5 star luxury hotels. It is also a favorite place for water sports, including the marina located at Ocean Marina complex.
If only I’d known…
- In this area, as well as in Naklua there are several condominiums on the beach, but with the priceless difference that Na Jomtien is much quieter.
- Na Jomtien has a long, peaceful and beautiful beach what makes it a great place for a family outing. Just think of picnics on the beach, or going to one of these beautiful trendy restaurants that are literally on the beach.It is also the favorite for practicing any kind of water sport.
- For those with little children, who are too young for any water sports, there are plenty of choices, from swimming – paddling on the sea, fishing , looking for shells, making sand castles, etc. This place is really safe.
- Another of the advantages of living in Na Jomtien , is that it is very easy to get to Map Ta Phut and Rayong area industrial estates, – very important for those who have to go on a daily basis to work..
- Having said that, for the same reasons, it is imperative to have a car to get to the city where not only all social activities are held but all hospitals are also located in Pattaya.
East Pattaya area (7):
Also known among the International community as “The Dark Side” or “East Pattaya”..or just “Outside Sukhunvit”, it includes the zones that are situated to the east of Sukhumvit Road.
Looking at Pattaya map, it is easy to see how Sukhumvit Road, like a scar, divides the city in two parts: the “west”, along the coast, which includes Naklua, Pattaya city, Jomtien , Na jomtien and the “East” , which includes the eastern sections of the areas just mentioned, plus other zones further east.
Thus, whenever you ask for a specific location for your home, you will get the same answer: ” it is located to the east of Sukhumvit Road, in East Pattaya”. Only when you try to be more specific, you will hear about : East Naklua, Nong Palai, Greater East Pattaya, Mabprachan lake, East Jomtien, Huay Yai, Huai Chao Nok reservoir , East Na Jomtien areas.
If only I’d known…
- Please, as we said at the beginning, be aware that this naming it is not an official and accurate geographical division that you will find on any valid and legal map. The popular name of each area generally make reference to a main road name, a local temple, or geographical detail for which that particular area is recognised by locals. Also, it is an easy way used mainly in the real state market, in order for us, expats- looking for houses, to understand a little bit where are the different locations of Pattaya,
- Also, and this comes in relation with the previous point, there is not a clear , concrete and official east border for the so called East Pattaya area which reaches the Highway 36 in some points, especially around roads that goes east up to the highway, as it happens in Mabprachan Lake area with Siam Country Club Road, or crosses that Highway covering areas on the other side , as it is the case of Nong Palai area, which starts next to East Naklua . In other cases, reaches up to the route 331, as in the case of Huay Yai area following Huay Yai Road (Tesabal I Road which is its real name) , in the south of East Pattaya area.
These are quieter areas compared with any of the coastal ones for living, with a huge number of closed compounds, or neighborhoods which have mushroomed during the last few years and that still are being built .These areas are closer to many industrial estates, international schools and golf courses, therefore it is a preferred place for many expats with families to live.
If only I’d known…
- If you would prefer to live in a house, with huge, beautiful gardens, private swimming pool, or whether you need a house because you have a pet, well, do not think twice, this is the place to look for it. There are plenty villages or closed compounds with security, and beautiful settings, there are options for all.
- One important issue to have in mind when deciding to live in any of these areas outside the city, is that you will need to have a car to do anything outside your home . From going to supermarkets, hospital, shopping or any social activity , you will have to travel to the city.
- Another issue to have in mind when looking for a house is the proximity of the village to the main roads that connect the east side with Sukhumvit and thus, to Pattaya city. There are not so many main roads apart from Soi Siam Country Club Rd, Soi Nernplubwan, , Soi Kao Noi, Soi Kao Thalo , the southern Sukhumvit sois 87 and 89 (opposite Under Water World ) and Huay Yai Rd
- These roads, especially Siam Country Club Rd and Kao Thalo could be a nightmare at rush hours. So, it is highly advisable to go, at different times , just to check and to have an idea of how long it will take you just to get Sukhumvit or to get home on your way back from the city. There have been several cases of families moving into a different location after living only few months at their first place.
- Another issue is when you have teenage children, who would like to go to town with friends in their free times, or school holidays, or just to do any extra school activity. So, you should consider how they would be get into town and then come back in the safest way. Here again, there have been several cases of families moving into a different location after living only few months at their first choice for this reason.
- One of the best ways to get accurate references of a particular village is by joining any of the social organizations or clubs and ask several expats already living in the area .
As we said, this is only an introduction, it would be just impossible to try to describe and tell all about this city in one time because it will be endless and difficult to grasp. Just let it to settle down a little bit…and then, visit the other sections of our website, one by one allowing all new information to fall in place. You need to know Pattaya city and all what it offers before deciding where to live.
Pattaya is a city that you must live yourself. As we do. Every single day is a new experience, a new challenge. But we really hope that at least, we have been of a little help in this important issue. Please, if you have some comment, lets know, in this way we could keep linking Pattaya together.