Staying in Pattaya in Thailand, there is plenty to do at night. In fact, that’s probably the understatement of the decade, like saying that you might be able to find a card game in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know, Pattaya is the adult playground of Thailand; Asia; and therefore one of the most fun places to visit and get yo party on in the entire world. It’s no wonder why more than 32 million tourists, travelers, and vacationers come to Thailand every year – which is about half the population of the native Thais in the country!
That being said, if you’re burnt out on the drinking, Walking Street debauchery and all-night rabblerousing – or if you came with your families or significant others – then you’ll also be looking for atypical alternatives come nightfall in Pattaya.
Thankfully, the night markets are fantastic, and present a clean, safe, and vibrant place to hang out for anyone, young or old. And of all the night markets in and around P-Town, the night market in Jomtien is by far my favorite.
It’s located right on the Beach Road, which is a long strip of bars, restaurants, tourist shops, hotels, and other establishments on the inland side, with a sidewalk and thin grassy median that’s adorned with pam trees on the other, dropping right off to the sand and then the ocean.
The Jomtien Night Market is on the inland side, too, and sits between Soi 6 (Soi means street in Thai) and Soi 7. But just ask any moto taxi driver and they’ll know it.
What you’ll find is a really cool setup in an otherwise vacant lot. Upon walking up to the market, there’s a big area up front with plenty of plastic tables and chairs where people can sit with their drinks and food and hangout. There’s also a neon-flooded stage and a DJ, and people either do traditional Thai dances, little kids jump up and goof around, or drunken tourists may shake a leg later in the night. And speaking of drunken tourists, there are several little cocktail bars and beer tents around for you to get some liquid libation.
Booze aside, the real highlight of the night market is the food. The venue is set up with about four rows of kiosks or stalls that run lengthwise down the property, probably 1/10 of a mile deep for each one.
The first row is predominantly food, with every kind of Thai spicy dish, noodles, fried chicken, roasted pork, ribs, or chicken, sushi rolls, and about every other dish you can think of. They also have fruit smoothie stations, where you can pick your exact smoothie from scratch or just grab one of the plastic cups filled with an assortment of fruit and greens and then they’ll blend it up for you on the spot.
The other great thing this market has to offer is a whole lot of little stalls with souvenirs, nick nacks, clothing, and even some counterfeit items. Sure, you may not need a samurai sword, or wooden Buddha statues, or a traditional Thai clothes, or designer (fake) perfume, but it’s sure good to know where to get it!
In all, this market gives you a wonderful venue to just stroll around, people watching, trying tons of great food, picking up some gifts for back home, and even having a few adult beverages.
It does get hot and crowded, so for a respite, take your food and beer and cross the street where you can sit on the beach or in the bleachers of the sand volleyball court. Enjoy Jomtien’s night market!