The hills around Pattaya are known for their great courses, with many international-class greens in a short 40km (25-mile) radius of the city. Caddy fees are reasonable, around 250B, and golf carts are usually compulsory but rationally priced. Among the recommended are:
- Burapha Golf Club, 281 Moo 4, Tambon Bung, Sri Racha (tel. 03837-2700), is the home of numerous tournaments. Greens fees are 2,000B on weekdays and 2,500B on weekends; it's 500B for a two-person golf cart.
- Laem Chabang International Country Club, 106/8 Moo 4, Tambon Bung, Sri Racha (tel. 03837-2273, dial 0), has three 18-hole courses (A, B, and C) designed by Jack Nicklaus and very dramatic scenery. Greens fees are 3,000B on weekdays, 3,500B on weekends.
- Siam Country Club, 50/6 Moo 9, Tambol Pong, Banglamung (tel. 03890-9600; fax 03890-9699), is a short hop from Pattaya and is said to be one of the country's most challenging courses. Greens fees are 3,5200B on weekdays and 3,600B on weekends.
For those who come to Pattaya to do more than party, there is plenty on offer, particularly when it comes to watersports. Pattaya's less than pristine beaches are a good excuse to head to outlying areas, where the conditions are more inviting. Day trips to such nearby islands as Ko Khrok, Ko Lan, and Ko Sok start at 1,000B per head on a full boat (more for a private charter). To go to far-out Bamboo Island, it will cost you a bit more -- about 2,800B. Paragliding around the bay behind a motorboat is a popular beachfront activity, and a 5-minute flight costs from 800B.Jomtien Beach hosts windsurfing and sea kayaking; boards and boats are rented along the beach for 800B per hour. Jet ski rentals are given out to almost anyone without much consideration for age or sobriety. One of the most common scams is beach vendors claiming false damage on jet skis upon return. Just like you would a rental car, review any dents or damage with the rental team before getting into the water. If you’re uncomfortable with the rental guy, just move along—no jet ski ride is worth the argument. Always wear a life vest and be aware of snorkelers and swimmers near the shore.
Pattaya is a good place to learn to scuba dive. It has a number of reputable dive companies with PADI-certified instructors. The underwater visibility is consistently good, so the sport can be done year-round. There are a few dive sites near the islands, just offshore in Pattaya Bay, as well as Ko Si Chang to the north—once famous as the summer playground of foreign ambassadors to Siam during the 19th century—and Sattahip to the south, with diving to a depth of 40m (131 ft.). Adventure Divers, 391/77–78 Moo 10, Tappraya Road. (www.pattayadivers.com; tel. 03836-4453), is one of many PADI-certified companies offering daily trips and courses for all levels.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.