Pattaya Unplugged, a site that claims it is “enriching lives through the delivery of honest, consistent, and raw Pattaya and Thailand media’’, has published an editorial-styled article which is all about making comparisons between Pattaya and Bangkok; said to assist travellers trying to determine their itinerary for a trip to Thailand.

See https://pattayaunplugged.com/

Just for fun we’ve reproduced that article but added some extras; our comments about how Hua Hin could be compared with the two aforementioned options.


From Pattaya Unplugged

When travellers are trying to determine which city in Thailand should be added to the itinerary, it can be quite confusing. Many choose Bangkok just because it is a large city that is quite a familiar word to them. Everyone knows that Bangkok exists, it is the first Thai big city you hear about in geography so naturally, people choose the familiar.

Thailand is a small country, that being said, there is so much to do here and so many different things to see and ways of life, that you should definitely do some research on the other options available.

Below we will compare and contrast Bangkok with Pattaya, another of Thailand’s infamously fun cities. Both cities see their fair share of tourist annually and both are similar, yet very very different from each other.

From the Royal Coast Review

Yes; do your research as Bangkok, Pattaya and Hua Hin are very different, but let’s just leave out the descriptor ‘infamous’ when it comes to Hua Hin.

From Pattaya Unplugged

Accommodation:  Being as both cities are large tourist hubs, both cities have more than enough hotels, guest houses, and resorts to choose from. The abundance of hotels in Thailand creates periods throughout the year where you can find a room for dirt cheap due to all of the hotels competing with each other to fill vacancies.

Bangkok is larger than Pattaya and is the financial centre of Thailand so naturally, they have a larger hotel presence as well. While both cities have similar styles and categories of accommodation, Bangkok is also the pricier choice for a long holiday.

From the Royal Coast Review

Hua Hin is a tourist hub, just not too large.  An abundant range of accommodation from luxury to very basic is available, with prices generally lower than either Bangkok or Pattaya; long or short term.

From Pattaya Unplugged

TransportationIn the transportation department, there are some similarities and some differences between Bangkok and Pattaya. While both cities have baht buses and motorbike taxis that you can hire to scoot you around as well as a normal car taxis (generally a pricier travel fare), only Bangkok has a Subway and the BTS Skytrain for the time being.

The major difference between the two cities is travel time. Bangkok loses out in this category due to the sheer volume of people that live and do business there. Traffic is often at a standstill and you will more than likely have to learn to leave early if you have to be on time for an event or meeting.

Pattaya wins out in the transportation and ease of access department by a long-shot. Though the city streets are busy during high season, they still flow at a reasonable rate of speed (especially if you are on a motorbike and can zip in and out of the cars).

Pattaya overall has fewer people living here and also fewer people that frequent here for important business. The most congested traffic in Pattaya happens when Bangkokians travel to Pattaya for their weekend holidays.

From the Royal Coast Review

Getting around Hua Hin really is a breeze.  Whether that be by songthaew, tuk tuk, motorbike taxi or the recently emerged Grab or similar transport options.

Weekends, especially when a public holiday is added makes a difference, again because of Bangkokians escaping the congestion of the big city.

From Pattaya Unplugged

Bars, Gogos and GirlsNo matter which city you stay in, it is easy enough to find plenty of beer bars, gogo bars and girls. Bangkok tourists in search of these commodities will find them in one of the cities red-light districts (Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza, Patpong and Soi Twilight). Prices and participation may vary.

Pattaya is a much more, “in your face” kind of scene. Though there are areas of town that are known for having what you are looking for (Walking Street, Soi 6, Soi Buakhao, LK Metro), you can pretty much find it down any road you choose. Some say Pattaya doesn’t have a red-light district, it is one. Close your eyes, make a wish, count to three.

From the Royal Coast Review

The need to prioritise Bars, Gogos and Girls as a source of comparison between cities says more about what Pattaya is all about than Bangkok.  Although the Pattaya city fathers are eager to move away from the image that “Pattaya doesn’t have a red-light district, it is one”, thePattaya Unplugged analysis says that is still an “in your face” kind of scene.

Hua Hin is far from puritan in it’s entertainment persona, but being family-friendly is more important.

From Pattaya Unplugged

Prices: One of the first things that people tend to look at when they choose what city they will holiday in is the variation in price from one city to the next. TLDR: Bangkok is more expensive.

That being said, Bangkok is also the main business and financial hub of Thailand and is the home of many prestigious international companies who have chosen to set up their headquarters in the city.   This, in turn, draws in a higher population of people for business and the demand for products and services, which also drives up commodity prices.

In both cities, prices drop significantly as you move farther away from the touristy areas into more local Thai areas of the city. If you are looking for a deal, one simply needs to go exploring to find it.

Prices on almost everything in Pattaya tends to be slightly cheaper than Bangkok. Pattaya is still not on the same development level as Bangkok and is more of a full-blown touristy beach resort. Although the city sees many tourists every year, there is not as much business and commerce happening in the not-so-sleepy little beach resort as there is in the bustling metropolitan city.

From the Royal Coast Review

Prices on almost everything in Hua Hin tends to be slightly cheaper than either Bangkok or  Pattaya; enough said!

From Pattaya Unplugged

RestaurantsWhen it comes to food options, especially for foreign visitors, Bangkok wins by a landslide. The number of options available to you in Bangkok is borderline ridiculous. The city has both amazing Thai food restaurants (naturally) but they also have a huge selection of comfort food from back home at their international restaurants as well. If you have a craving for it, chances are, you can find it in Bangkok.

Food selection in Pattaya is more…portable. Sure, there are a fair number of restaurants around town that are frequented by ex-pats that live there and the like, but most of the tourists you see walking around are generally snacking on something picked up from a Thai vendor that they can snack on while they are on-the-move. Pattaya also has a decent selection of foreign restaurants but nowhere near the options offered in Bangkok.

From the Royal Coast Review

We’re confident that Hua Hin matches the quality, if not the quantity, of dining options offered in both Bangkok and Pattaya.  Every high end resort feature fine dining restaurants and the market scene is justifiably proud of fresh local seafood plus the cuisine from all the regions of Thailand.   

From Pattaya Unplugged

ShoppingThis is one area where Bangkok fares better in prices. Visitors that take the time to search around will find that prices (including local markets) are cheaper for the most part.

Pattaya offers much the same in the way of Thai markets and trinkets, though it seems as though Pattaya has a wider tourist selection of items being sold across the markets as a whole.

Someone once told me, “If you have been in one Thai market, you have been in every Thai market”. Personally I have found this to be false on many occasions. It is true that many vendors at local markets carry the same items and that if you walk around, you will likely find the same t-shirt hanging up at different stalls. That being said, there are many Thais who come up with their own unique products as well that can only be found in certain locations.

Both cities have numerous shopping complexes where you can find all of your name brand favourites from back home.

Some of the major shopping malls in Bangkok are Terminal 21, Siam Discovery, Central World, Platinum Fashion Mall, EmQuartier, and Siam Paragon. This is not, however, a comprehensive or exhaustive list of the outlets available.

Pattaya city may be smaller, but it hosts quite a few of its own shopping malls, to include Terminal 21 Pattaya, Harbor Mall, Central Pattaya Beach, Royal Garden, and The Avenue. There are more than enough places to choose from to find whatever it is you happen to be looking for.

From the Royal Coast Review

Bangkok’s shopping options are world-renowned and too many to mention.  Whether that’s huge mall style venues or extensive markets such as Chatuchak, it’s all there; as long as travellers have the time and energy to find and explore them all.

Similar to Pattaya, Hua Hin has modern shopping malls, Market Village and the Blúport Resort Mall or factory outlets, if that’s the style you are looking for.

To find authentic Thai products, the market scene is alive and well and being so accessible is a major bonus for Hua Hin.

From Pattaya Unplugged

In conclusion, both cities have their pros and cons but both can be equally fun and entertaining at the same time. Pattaya is slightly cheaper for a holiday than Bangkok is, providing that you won’t be spending your entire holiday shopping for new clothes.

In both places, you will find plenty of beautiful women, free-flowing booze, and great tunes being blasted out through the front of neon-lit bars. The main difference is the purpose of each city. Pattaya may be small, but it has essentially been built to cater to the tourists primarily, while Bangkok caters to both tourism and Thailand’s flourishing business economy.

If you are looking for a vacation with all the amenities of a big city without the New York like crowds and traffic, Pattaya is the superior choice for your destination. We do recommend that everyone visits both cities, however. You never know where the next place you will fall in love with will be.

From the Royal Coast Review

We believe that tourists considering their ideal destination in Thailand care about many more factors than accommodation, transportation, shopping, prices and especially bars, gogos and girls.

The omission of factors including the geographic attractions, recreational and relaxation opportunities, overall lifestyle and welcoming ambience, makes this comparison between Bangkok, Pattaya and Bangkok somewhat futile.

As the primary entry point for tourists coming the Thailand, Bangkok deserves it’s place as Thailand’s must-visit destination.  But when the allure of the ‘Big Mango’ wears off and there is a need for some time off, Hua Hin is beckoning.