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petrified trees and a crocodile farm. J THAILAND PATTAYA 22 GET INVOLVED


• Go windsurfing or parasailing at Jontiem beach


• Tee-off on one of the many golf courses at a fraction of UK prices


• Shop ‘til you drop in one of Pattaya’s malls, like Central Festival Pattaya Beach


• Go deep-sea fishing for game like marlin and barracuda


• Catch Wan Lai, Pattaya’s version of the Songkran festival, in April


• Go diving around nearby islands and wrecks including HMS Khram


HOTELS NEW OPENINGS


Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort This Centara hotel opened last year with 165 rooms, including family residence units, in exclusive residential area, Phratamnak Hill. It boasts a large ground floor aquarium and a rooftop Italian restaurant and pool (pictured centre right). centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/


Centara Grand Modus Resort & Spa Pattaya The Centara Grand Modus opened late in 2013 with 215 guestrooms fronting Wong Amat Beach at Naklua, next to the Sanctuary of Truth. Family-friendly facilities at the resort include a kids’ club, and rooms which interconnect or have two double beds. Several rooms have direct pool access. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/cgmp


OZO Pattaya


Hot on the heels of a hotel opening in Samui early this year, the OZO in Pattaya is also due to open in 2014. The brand’s concept is ‘buzz and zest downstairs, peace and quiet upstairs.’ ozohotels.com


Centara Sappaya Design Resort Rayong


Along the coast from Pattaya, this hotel reopens in November 2014 following extensive refurbishment and construction of an eight-storey building, and the addition of a new spa, fitness centre and. centarahotelsresorts.com/crr


Koh Chang Tropicana Resort & Spa


Upgraded and rebranded as a Centara, a new kids’ club, adventure playground and lobby bar are among this year’s additions. There’s free wifi access for guests too. centarahotelsresorts.com


PICK OF THE BUNCH Koh Samet is a relaxed honeymoon retreat, particularly on week- days. Paradee is its best-known hotel. Gay tourists favour Pattaya’s party beach, Dongtan


Northern Pattaya has seen something of a renaissance as a number


of the old favourites such as Royal Cliff Beach and the Amari are now like new hotels, while the Centara Grand Mirage Beach has quickly become the place to be for UK families. The Cape Dara also offers a new chic alternative for couples and reflects the new image of Northern Pattaya.


Golfers are spoilt for choice with over 20 courses in the area, including St Andrews, which mimics its Scottish namesake. Big name, big-sized hotels abound – perfect for those who like the convenience of kids’ clubs and a choice of restaurants.


Islands great for twinning with Pattaya are Koh Chang – leafy, large, but laid-back, with an Amari among its resorts – and Koh Samet (or Samed), a small white-sand retreat popular with Bangkok weekenders and reached by boat from Rayong.


ust an hour by car from Bangkok, Pattaya’s proximity to the capital city is handy for families or stopover travellers who want to avoid an internal flight. Pattaya activities, particularly good for older children, include waterparks, go-karting and paintballing, as well as visiting attractions like intricately-carved wooden palace, the Sanctuary of Truth, and the Million Years Stone Park which includes unusual rock sculptures,


Pattaya combines well with...


Bangkok, Koh Chang and Koh Samet


PARTY TOWN, GOLFERS’ PARADISE, FAMILY FAVOURITE AND GAY HOT-SPOT – THAT’S PATTAYA!


HoT SPoT: PATTAYA


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