I’m sure the title of this story is going to raise a few eyebrows, but hear me out. As an American woman living in Pattaya for the last two years I have observed some very good reasons to raise a family in Pattaya if you choose to call Thailand your new home. Some of them include the relative safety of the community, the choice of good private and international schools, the diversity in people, and food, the access to great hospitals and high quality medical and dental care at low costs, the close proximity to 3 international airports, and all the things to see and do, not to mention the amazing value when purchasing a home or condo in and around Pattaya Beach.
Pattaya, despite its raunchy reputation for Go Go bars and red light districts actually has confined that adult themed entertainment to certain zones and it is quite easy to avoid those areas like Walking Street and the more notorious Soi 6 whilst living in the belly of the beast as it were.
Another point to keep in mind when considering the crime rate is that the majority of crime that does happen in Pattaya is between the hours of 1:00 am and 7:00 am, and if you are going to be wandering city streets intoxicated during the wee hours your chances of falling victim to a crime will increase in likely every city on this planet. The local news reports on suicides and drug crimes on a weekly basis. These two recurring incidents make Pattaya appear to be a little worse than it really is for the average tourist or expat living here.
There are a number of great schools in and around Pattaya. There is a Regents campus near on the East side of town that has been providing British Curriculum since 1994 and has well established sports and art programs. There is Tara Pattana International School which is now in its 5th year of operation, and provides both day class options as well as boarding. Chon Buri International School offers the American Curriculum, and outside of Pattaya about an hour is a campus of St. Andrews Green Valley, offering up a private Catholic curriculum. In addition to the international schools there are also several private Thai schools as well with programs offered in Thai, English, and Chinese.
The diversity in Pattaya can nearly be equated to that of any average city in American. There are expats calling Pattaya home from all corners of the globe. One can regularly run into people hailing from the UK, the USA, Canada, Nederland’s, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, the Philippines, various parts of South America, China, Korea, and more. With the great diversity of cultures, people, languages, and food there is a diversity in Pattaya that is unlike anywhere else in Thailand.
The food in Pattaya is easily the most diverse in all of Thailand. There are several major grocery outlets that provide numerous imported items such as coffee, cheese, meats, canned and jarred goods like pasta sauces, pickled items, olives, and condiments. The major big box retailers like Tesco Lotus and Big C have a hug variety of imported goods to choose from, and there are literally dozens of small cafes, eateries, restaurants and bars that cater to all tastes and budgets. One can easily find kebabs in chicken, lamb or beef, hamburger stands, hotdog shops, classic delis, restaurants serving cuisine from Mexico, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Greece, America, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Brazil, and many many others. Do not forget the amazing seafood that comes from a city that has it’s roots as a fishing village.
Entertainment & Theme Parks
Pattaya is a growing tourist town and more and more attractions are showing up on the horizon. Currently people living and visiting here are able to enjoy the Sri Racha Tiger zoo, home to over 400 tigers, the Dinosaur Bone park, where guests can experience scale models of dinosaur bones, Amazone Water park, the themed waterpark after cartoon characters featured on Cartoon Network. There is a large sports stadium already built and another on the way, a racing circuit comes through town, and new bike paths, and sustainable green tourist attractions are currently under way. Pattaya is also a beach city and with that come a plethora of water sports.
Pattaya is a beach town, and with it comes all he different water sports one could imagine. The weather in Pattaya is cooler than most other places in Thailand during the hottest parts making the beach much more bearable especially in the hottest part of the year. One can enjoy SCUB diving and snorkeling at various islands near Pattaya. There are banana boats available to take 4 – 5 people adventuring behind a speed boat. Every morning you can watch the parasailing on Pattaya Beach, which takes full advantage of the Pattaya winds for which the seaside resort gets its name. There are jet skis available for rental, there are two Yacht Clubs where one can charter a yacht, or even a pirate ship. AND in 2012 Fly boarding kicked off in Pattaya, which allows riders to fly like a bird and swim like a fish.
Conclusion – Moving to Pattaya with the Family
There are a number of reasons for families to consider relocating to Pattaya. Despite the precarious reputations and the nickname of Sin City there are many reasons that Pattaya is indeed a family friendly resort town. Yes, there is crime, however, the risks are mitigated for just about anyone with the exception of those looking for drugs, girls, and other improprieties. Overall, unless, you plan on traipsing through town in the wee hours of night, Pattaya is a fine place indeed to raise ones’ family.