Medical Tourism Destination in Thailand
Just over an hour from Bangkok is the irresistible seashore city of Pattaya. Once a playground for GIs and single males, Pattaya has transformed into Asia’s leading vacation destination for family-friendly fun and leisure activities. Besides the legendary nightlife, energetic island hopping and relaxed sunbathing and swimming, there is one of the world’s largest open zoos, tropically exquisite gardens, mind-blowing museums, thrilling theme parks, internationally renowned transvestite cabarets and music festivals, delightful diving, world-best golf courses, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, go-karting, bunjee jumping, motorsports, shooting, windsurfing, shopping, dance shows and art exhibitions; just name it, and Pattaya has it.
With all that incredible fun readily available, it’s amazing that medical visitors even have the time to fit in a visit to one of Pattaya’s private hospitals and clinics for the treatment of their choice. Leading the way is the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital; with Joint Commssion International accreditation, BPH is among the world’s best hospitals. Bangkok Pattaya Hospital has more than 100 specialists, fully trained nurses and interpreters fluent in 20 different languages, ensuring its place as one of Asia’s international forerunners in medical tourism. In nearby Chonburi City, there is yet another JCI accredited hospital, Samitivej Chonburi.
Most visitors to Pattaya come directly from Bangkok, either by bus from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport or Ekkamai Bus Terminal, or by minibus, taxi, rental car, or even train. There is an airport at nearby U-Tapao that is serviced by Bangkok Airways; however, this flight only connects Pattaya with Koh Samui.
Once in Pattaya there are numerous ways to get around, including taxi, rental car (with or without driver) and via the ubiquitous blue songtaews, pickup trucks with benches in the back bed.
Hundreds of thousands of visitors are drawn each year to Pattaya to play on the beach or take trips to nearby islands. Golfers, both novice and expert, are well catered to, with a wide selection of golf courses around Pattaya, including Phoenix, Pattaya Country Club and the Navy course near Sattahip, which offers 18 holes of golf for around 1,000 baht (around 30 US dollars)! Other attractions popular with visitors are Tiffany and Alcazar Cabaret shows, Nong Nooch garden, Wanasin farm, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo and the nearby island, Koh Larn.
Pattaya is a city well-known for its night life, beaches and water activities. Other exciting and fun-filled activities include Miniature Racetrack (Go-Karting), Pattaya Park and Pattaya Lake Land cable ski, windsurfing and paragliding. At the beach, visitors really get into banana boating, jet skiing, waterskiing and parasailing.
Another major draw for recuperating medical tourists is the wide selection of restaurants serving some of Thailand's freshest seafood. In addition to excellent seafood and Thai food, because of the high number of expatriate foreigners in Pattaya, there is an excellent selection of authentic foreign eateries serving French, Italian, Swiss, German, Hungarian, Scandinavian, English, Indian, Moslem, Japanese and Chinese cuisine.
As in all Thai tourist destinations, there is no shortage of shopping options in Pattaya, including Beach Road, Walking Street, and South Pattaya, all of which have many shops selling goods for visitors. Every Sunday there is a street market at Naklua, just north of Pattaya City. In addition to these tourist-oriented markets and shops that sell souvenir goods, beach supplies, and handicrafts, there are shopping malls, supermarkets and department stores that sell groceries and household products, including furniture and electronic appliances.