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Orientation in Pattaya City is rather simple; it divided into four major zones: North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Jomtien. Noteworthy, a small mountain known as the Hill, located in-between South Pattaya and Jomtien.
This compact city consists of three, parallel to each other, major roads and one through highway. Right along the beach, a few kilometres long runs the Beach Road, a one-way drive from the north to south. In a hundred or so meters distance east is the Second Road, which carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although partly it is a two-way drive. Then there is Third Road, which many people use to avoid any congestion. The last is the Sukhumvit Road, a continuation of the highway leading to Bangkok.
Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the roads. And it's advisable to walk some of small streets, which are enumerated from north to south, although some have names. These soi’s have the majority of the smaller shops, stores, services, hotels, and bars located on them.
The continuation of Second Road in South Pattaya turns to Jomtien reaching the Jomtien beach within five minutes drive, and continues alongside the Jomtien beach. This two-way drive along Jomtien Beach Road is also parallel to the Sukhumvit Road and is the only road in Jomtien area, except for some connecting streets.
On the other side across the Sukhumvit road are sited several country clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and relaxing countryside.
Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in Pattaya. The everyday traffic is at ease. The city transport is special cars (or songtails), which are customized pickup trucks with the passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as “Baht-Buses), ”, can easily carry eight to ten passengers in the back, plus one or two passengers in front. They circle all around the city and are allowed to stop anywhere although the local police are starting to standardise their stopping points.
In addition to motorbike-taxis, these Baht-Buses), are the only public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private vehicles in most cases belonging to their drivers. There are so many of them day-and-night that oftentimes they are out chasing passengers. A standard fare is ten baht for half way along Beach Road, twenty baht all the way along Beach Road, and twenty baht to Jomtien (half this price for the Thais).
Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps, sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity; so many tourists are tempted by the private drive. Just keep in mind, a drive direction is onward in the left lane, as in England and Japan. Be careful when hiring vehicles however, check for any damage or scratches beforehand.
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