The beach & golf resort of Pattaya which lies about 2 hours driving south east of Bangkok and only 75 minutes from Suvarnabhumi International airport, is home to over 26 golf courses. Pattaya, originally a quiet fishing town with tranquil beaches, has become South East Asia’s fastest growing resort with a busy nightlife scene and a multitude of bars and restaurants. Popular with both families and single travelers and continuing investment makes it the fastest growing region in Thailand.
Pattaya Golfing Information
Pattaya was voted Best Golfing Destination for Asia and Australasia 2012 by members of IGATO and the likes of Nicklaus, Dye and Faldo have all added their magic here. Over 500,000 rounds of golf were played by golf vactioners last year, and the resort hosts the Asian Tour and LPGA tournaments every year. With an excellent climate you can enjoy golf here 365 days a year.
Siam Country Club, The Old Course
, is the first privately owned golf club in Thailand, originally designed by I. Izumi. The golf course opened in 1971, and had hosted the Thailand Open four times together with many Asian Golf Circuits, and most recently after renovation in 2007, became the home of the Honda LPGA Thailand since 2007.
The golf course and clubhouse underwent a complete renovation in 2006, and reopened in March 2007. Lee Schmidt of Schmidt & Curley Design Inc. took on the redesign the Old Course but kept the original routing of I. Izumi and many of the old characters. Bunkers are added for a modern esthetic look, feel and landscape. Seashore Paspalum is chosen for fairway grass, and Novotek for greens. Despite a new look, the Old Course remains a classic traditional tree line with many fond memories of the past. Classic, beauty, and challenge are what the Old Course is known for today in Thailand. The clubhouse has been upgraded to a modern look that offers a cozy and relaxed atmosphere to view all 18 holes. Definitely a must on your list of courses to play.
Siam Country Club Plantation was simultaneously built at the same time during the renovation of its big sister, Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course, and opened in April 2008. Designed by Lee Schmidt of Schmidt & Curley, the Plantation is a 27-hole golf course and meant to have a clear distinction from the Old Course. Fairways, bunkers and greens are uniquely different from any other golf courses in Thailand. The routing sits high on rolling hills of the natural terrain meandering mountains and natural creeks with a panoramic view of Pattaya. Strong wind is one of the natural character and part of the challenge but the breeze makes the hottest day more pleasurable. The “PLANTATION” name was given in the honor of the historic Sugar Cane, Tapioca, and Pineapple plantations, and each nine-hole is named accordingly. One year after the Plantation open, it hosted the Honda LPGA Thailand 2009 in February, a testimony to quality and service of the golf course. From 2009 onward, the Plantation has been awarded the “Best Maintained Golf Course in Asia Pacific.”
Siam Country Club Waterside is the latest addition to join the country’s largest golf resort adding 18 holes and opened in 2014. Designed by IMG Golf Course Design and built by Pirapon Namatra who also created Banyan in Hua Hin, they have managed to offer golfers a very challenging but fair round of golf. The Waterside is an 18-hole, par 72, 7454 yards covering the area of 525 rai (200 acres) and holds the same championship qualities of the successes of the Old Course (18-hole) and Plantation (27-hole) on the property next door. Strict environment cares, esthetic beauty, challenge and friendly play are the emphasis of the Waterside design, with many water-feature holes and well placed bunkers. Much emphasis have been given to challenge golfers and, most important, happiness at the end of the day. Highlight of the Waterside includes their modern clubhouse with 180 degree view of the beauty of the course, lakes, creeks and landscape blending with natural surroundings.
Laem Chabang International Country Club
is without doubt the leading course in the area. It actually may be the best or at least in the top three in all Thailand. A fantastic Jack Nicklaus designed facility with 3 different 9 holes, named Mountain Lake & Valley are all equally challenging. Typically Nicklaus, with wide, but well bunkered fairways, there is plenty of water awaiting the errant shot. Large sloping greens also demand full concentration while putting to ensure a good score. There is also an excellent clubhouse, recently modernised with equally good facilities. If you have the time, order some refreshments and local snacks after your round to take in the sights and enjoy the clubhouse’s excellent restaurant. All of the staff are extremely professional including the well trained caddies. This makes for a wonderful total golfing experience.
Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club is a 27 hole club perched on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. New owners have recently brought in Thai designer Pirapon Namatra, who built Banyan Hua Hin, to add his magic to the Ocean, Mountain and Lakes courses, offering wide fairways, fantasic bunkering, lakes and undulating large greens. One of the fastest draining courses in the region, this course benifits from excellent sea breezes to keep you cool all year round. Well worth a visit and only 20 minutes from central Pattaya.
The sandy shoreline of beach resort Pattaya now stretches over 25 kms from Nakula Beach in the North down to Na Jomtien and Bang Saray in the South. Beach is part of the lifestyle here and you are never far from the warm blue Gulf of Thailand. Great if you are a windsurfer or want to try Paragliding, it’s all here.
In the north of Pattaya, close to the Dusit Thani Hotel you will find Wong Amat Beach and Palm Beach. These pleasant beaches include long, straight stretches of sand, as well as rocky coves and coral strands. It is possible to rent boats at Wong Amat and Palm Beach, but in general these beaches are more popular with swimmers and deck chair devotees.
Speed boats, water ski and paragliding equipment is all readily available on the almost 3 kilometres of beach which runs from the Dusit Hotel to South Road. You will also find food and cold drink vendors offering their wares on the beach, but do not forget that the restaurants of Central and South Pattaya are very easy to reach from the sand. Wandering sales people will also offer you a huge variety of goods, ranging from suitcases to kites, and from wooden elephants to newspapers. You tired and weary old body can be revitalized by the skilled hands of massage ladies and men. The cost of such services is very reasonable.
At the end of the Beach Road, which is sometimes called the “Golden Mile” there is a small beach known as Crystal Garden. Nowadays much of this beach has been taken over by the boat operators who use it to store and service their vessels. If you walk along the beach, heading south, you will eventually arrive at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel.
Pattaya’s longest stretch and the main fun beach is at Jomtien. It is rather a long walk from downtown Pattaya to Jomtien, especially on a hot day, and so it is advisable to make the journey in a baht bus. Jomtien Beach runs for a distance of about 5 kilometres. At the Pattaya end of Jomtien you will find the biggest crowds and the most facilities.
Further south you will come across the secluded beaches at Na Jomtien and Bang Saray, where you will find some excellent fish restaurants, Pattaya’s large Ocean Marina and some very clear blue stretches of peaceful shorline.
Apart From Golf
The Pattaya area of Thailand’s eastern seaboard is host to a beguiling range of attractions, with everything from ancient Thai traditions to modern adventures. You can find the simple pleasures of the nation’s most lively party street or be humbled by unique religious treasures. Explore nature, art, science and culture in ways you would never have imagined. Enjoy the raw beauty of the rainforest canopy or the glitz and glamour of the cabaret stage.
Here are few of the best attractions in Pattaya, and we at Golforient would be happy to arrange some trips to some of these attractions for you.
The Sanctuary of Truth. This one-of-a-kind massive teak structure is a truly awe-inspiring sanctuary to a philosophical truth, which tells of the importance religion, philosophy and art has played in human development and the folly of neglecting morality and spiritual contentment in the pursuit of materialism. It is a beautiful and humbling demonstration of human endeavour and skill, particularly when you realise that none of the wood being used has been treated or chemically protected. This means that, as one section is completed, another has succumbed to the tropical conditions and must be replaced.
Nong Nooch Gardens. The 2.4sq.kms of Nong Nooch are full to bursting with some of the most remarkable flowers, displays and landscaped gardens in Thailand, if not the world. The team behind them have repeatedly won international awards for their designs, including several Chelsea Flower Show awards presented by the British Queen. They include 17th-century-French-style gardens, a recreation of Stonehenge, creative topiary displays and gardens created exclusively with cacti, bonsais and tropical palms. It is also the home of over 670 native and hybrid species of orchid, an excellent elephant talent show and regular displays of classic Thai dancing, boxing and drumming. Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00. Location: 34/1 Sukhumvit Road, Na Jomtien.
Pattaya’s Floating Market. Correctly known as the “Four Regions Floating Market”, the sub-sections of this 100,000sqm development represent the four major areas of Thailand – the north, northeast, central and south. This representation comes in the form of shops and stalls selling souvenirs, fruits, food, art, handicrafts, postcards and clothing as well as regular cultural shows and demonstrations. Some of the 114 vendors do indeed float, selling their wares from traditional boats and canoes. The rest are built into a sturdy stilted village, with covered walkways and stout bridges connecting them. Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00. Location: 451/304 Sukhumvit Road, Jomtien.
Art in Paradise takes the traditional assumptions of what an art gallery should be and completely ignores them. Instead, the art is brought to life and the visitors can become part of it through the use of optical illusions and playing with perspective. Stand in the right position and take a picture from the right angle – all of which are clearly marked out for you – and it looks like you are flying a magic carpet in the desert, crossing a rickety bridge in the jungle, swimming with dolphins in the ocean or putting the finishing touches to famous masterpieces. Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00 Location: 78/34 Moo 9, Pattaya Second Road Soi 1, North Pattaya
Finally no trip to Pattaya would not be complete without a climpse of the sights and sounds of Walking Street. Other towns and cities try to claim to have their own version, but nothing comes close to matching the 500 metres of fun which is found at the end of Pattaya’s Beach Road. Taking its name from the fact that it is closed to vehicle traffic after 18:00, almost every building on both sides of the road – as well as many in the side streets around it – is a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar to the extent that the road is almost completely deserted during daylight hours as virtually everything is shut. At night, however, the road comes alive with neon lights, thumping music from different genres, food vendors, street performances and party animals from around the world. Opening Hours: Closed to road traffic 18:00 – 02:00. Bar opening times vary.
Koh Lan Island. 45 minutes offshore by tourist boat or 15 minutes by speed boat, is the largest of Pattaya’s archipelago. Major attractions include viewing coral reefs from glass bottomed boats, snorkelling, scuba diving, wind-surfing, skiing and parasailing. There are a lot of seafood restaurants on the island’s main beaches. Deep sea fishing can be arranged to Ko Lan’s neighboring islands such as Ko Khrok and Ko Sak. Beyond Ko Lan for another 40 minutes sail is Ko Phai, an island currently under the care of the Royal Navy. Visitors are not allowed to stay overnight here, but it has fine deserted beaches that are open during the day.