It is fair to say that Pattaya’s beaches often come in for plenty of criticism, and while some of that may be justified, the area has some great spots. Over the last few years, a significant amount of effort has been made to tidy up beaches and the promenades. Even Pattaya Beach is considerably better than it was five years ago, although most would accept that there is still some way to go. Here are some of the best beach options, starting from the south.

Bang Saray Beach

Bang Saray has dramatically increased in popularity in recent years, but its beach has managed to remain largely unspoilt. The golden sand and turquoise waters are a superb place to relax, with the water being considerably cleaner than at many of the beaches in downtown Pattaya. Another advantage is that you are rarely troubled by hawkers, and the bars and restaurants are set back slightly from the beach.

Ban Amphur Beach

Ban Amphur Beach is a tree-lined beach to the south of Jomtien. You will find some of the city’s best restaurants, such as Bacco Beach and The Glasshouse, around this area. Like Bang Saray Beach, the waters are clean, and the beaches are largely unspoilt. It is a popular spot for Thais at weekends and Public Holidays.

Jomtien Beach

Jomtien Beach has been improved significantly in recent years, with the promenade now making it a great place to walk, jog or cycle. The beach itself is long, meaning that you can easily find a more secluded spot to yourself. There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area if you want to cool off and get out of the sun. The waters are generally clean, and it is a fantastic place to watch the world go by.

Dongtan Beach

Dongtan Beach is a relatively small beach between Jomtien and Pratamnak and is an excellent place to walk with no traffic. The beach is well maintained and popular with couples, including same-sex couples. The waters are again clean, and the fact that it is lined with trees means that you can get plenty of shade. There are a few places where you can get a drink, but by and large, the fact that it isn’t surrounded by bars and restaurants is one of its most attractive features.

Cozy Beach

Cozy Beach is regarded by many as being the best beach in Pattaya and is in the Pratamnak area. It is quite a small beach that is clean with stunning views across to Koh Larn. The downside with the beach is that you can be bothered by hawkers, especially in the high season. However, it is an excellent place for beach lovers, sun worshippers and families.

Wongamat Beach (Bamboo Beach)

Some areas of Wongamat Beach have fallen into disrepair in the last few years, which is a shame. However, Bamboo Beach at the northern end of Wongamat, close to The Palm, is a quiet cove with clean sands and seas. You will find a restaurant of the same name behind the beach that serves excellent Thai food with loungers also available.