There are numerous malls, supermarkets, bazaar-style markets, and thousands of other shops. Sadly, you’ll be seeing a lot of the same stuff over and over again — there’s no endless variety in Pattaya.
Foreign currency can easily be exchanged for Thai baht at the many exchange booths which can be found in all areas popular with tourists — there are even mobile exchanges/ATMs in specially adapted minivans that are set up as and when and where the need arises.
Central Festival. One of the largest malls in Asia. Opened in mid-January of 2009, this sprawling complex has really put Pattaya on the map for grand scale shopping and dining. It is the best shopping mall in the region and now attracts customers from all over, adding to the traffic chaos of Beach Rd. Fashion, electronics, health & beauty, kids activities and food are all here. With the obligatory cinema complex and bowling alley on the top floor, this mega-mall is styled on the big Bangkok destination shopping areas like Siam Paragon.
Central Festival Center. A large mall on Second Rd across from Soi 2. It includes the Big C department store, and an IT Corner with mobile phones and accessories but no computers.
Mike Shopping Mall, (on Beach Rd between Soi 11 and Soi 12). The ground floor has many small stalls selling clothing, tourist souvenirs and many other inexpensive items; above that there’s a department store; on the 5th floor there’s a food court; and up on the roof (10th floor) there’s a public swimming pool.
Royal Garden Plaza, (adjacent to the Pattaya Marriott Hotel on Beach Rd between Soi Post Office (Soi 13/2) and Soi Pattayaland 1 (Soi 13/3)).
Tuk.Com (Com City), South Pattaya Rd. A new and predominantly IT mall. In the basement is a Tops supermarket, a food court, and various other (mostly clothes) shops as well as a spare parts department that sells a variety of electronic (e.g., transistors) and other parts (e.g. clothes washing machine lint filters), and the ground floor hosts an assortment of regular shops. However the upper floors are almost exclusively mobile phones (1st floor), computer software and MP3/video CDs (4th floor), and computers and handheld electronics (2nd/3rd/5th floors). Prices are significantly higher than in Bangkok though.
There are many bazaar-style markets in Pattaya where you can haggle ’till you drop, including:
Thepprasit Market, (on Thepprasit Rd near the junction with Sukhumvit Rd). F-Su 18:00-00:00. You can find the cheapest books in Pattaya at this night market.
Soi Buakhao Market, (on the corner of South Pattaya Rd and Soi Buakhao, across from the Friendship Supermarket). Daytime on Tuesday and Friday; plus an evening market further along the same road.
Made In Thailand Night Bazaar, on Second Rd near Soi 10. 08:00-23:00. Despite the wrongly spelled name, it is also open in mornings.
The Market Pattaya, (on Second Rd near Soi 5). This market is a little lonely, but some evenings it has students giving music or dance performances on a small stage.
Just some of the shops you will encounter in Pattaya:
Convenience stores are everywhere, especially 7-11 and Family Mart shops (all open 24 hours), plus countless independents. If you use the family-run shops the prices aren’t always marked but should be the same, or just a baht or two higher.
Gold shops abound, with concentrations around the market on South Pattaya Rd and around Central Pattaya Rd near Second Rd, plus numerous jewellery shops towards the south end of Beach Rd. Small jewellery shops can also be found as part of supermarkets.
Art galleries are also considered to be rising business in Pattaya, most of the places will offer variety works and services including custom orders and art reproductions. These galleries in Pattaya have reputations in affordable prices and skilled artists.
Tailor shops are everywhere, offering men’s clothes, but quality is variable. Ideally, make sure you get two fittings before buying.