Coral Island, or Koh Larn, is a picture-postcard island off the coast of Pattaya. The popular day-trip destination is set up for underwater diving in the surrounding coral, glass-bottom boat tours and beachfront relaxing at one of several beaches on the island.
Activities like sea-kayaking and parasailing are also catered for, and buffet lunches are served on the sand.
Traditional market buildings perched on stilts over the water offer a refreshingly different place to shop at the Pattaya Floating Market. The thatched huts are filled with stalls selling Thai handicrafts, delicious street food, and souvenirs.
The Mud House Village and Old Market have joined the attractions here, along with a woodcarving museum, flower fair, and agricultural demonstrations. Dance troupes dressed in traditional finery regularly perform at the floating market, along with shell dancers and sea boxers.
Traditional boats ferry visitors around the market’s canals, past boat vendors selling Thai food from around the country. It’s an especially picturesque sight at dusk.
Intricately sculpted knot gardens create a world of beauty at the Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. Elephant and Thai cultural shows are held in these lovely botanical gardens, which include notable collections of palms and orchids. The elephants play football and basketball, and Thai dancers and actors re-enact historical events and Muay Thai boxing.
A resort adjoins the 240-hectare (600-acre) gardens, so if you run out of time you can easily spend the night here. There’s also a range of different cuisines to choose from at several restaurants.