Wat Khao Phra Yai is a small temple complex high above town to the south (go by songtaew toward Jomtien, and then hop off and climb the steep hill). The temple has excellent vistas and a 10m (33-ft.) gold Buddha serenely surveying the western sea.

The Sanctuary of Truth was started in 1981 by a Thai millionaire and remains a work in progress to this day. The structure, made entirely without nails, was originally constructed as a statement-making piece of art about the balance of different cultures. It has four wings in total, and they're dedicated to Thai, Khmer, Chinese, and Indian iconography.

Ko Lan is a popular beach escape only 7km offshore. The island is accessible by speedboat in just 15 minutes (approximately 2,000B chartered near Beach Road) or via a ferry leaving from the South Pattaya Pier (30B; 45-minute ride). Ferries are often very crowded and fill up fast, but they leave 11 times a day; the last boat returns around 6pm. On Ko Lan are five white sand beaches with plenty of places to grab snacks or lunch (they're all indistinguishable from each other so don't be too picky), and water that is much cleaner than nearby Pattaya. Tip: It’s best to early in the morning to claim a quiet spot before the mid-day rush.  

Especially for Kids

Art in Paradise at 78/34 Moo 9 Pattaya Sai 2 (www.artinparadise.co.th; tel. 03842-4500), uses cleverly drawn 3D paintings to create wild optical illusions. If ever there was a place for embracing Asia’s selfie-taking habit, this is it. Tickets are 400B for adults and 200B for children. Hokier still, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 218 Beach Rd. (www.ripleysthailand.com; tel. 03871-0294) is open daily 11am to 11pm (admission 500B). It’s crammed with exhibits highlighting odd facts from around the globe, alongside an infinity maze, and lots of optical illusions. Great for kids and families looking to escape the heat or an occasional rainy day. Underwater World, 22/22 Moo 11, Sukhumvit Road (www.underwaterworldpattaya.com; tel. 03875-6879) is a large aquarium with touch pools, feeding stations for hungry koi fish, and glass tunnels that pass through tanks filled with sharks and colorful fish. Admission is 500B for adults and 300B for children.

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.