Because Thailand is a tropical country, Pattaya can get uncomfortably and unpleasantly warm, even during the cool season. So, if you’re wondering what to wear in Pattaya, just keep in mind that Pattaya, like all the rest of Thailand, is hot all year round. Thus, casual and lightweight clothing is always ideal.
While you’re generally expected to adhere to Thais’ dressing norms in Bangkok, especially if you’re temple-visiting, the locals in Pattaya are accustomed to tourists dressing casually. Pattaya, which used to be the home of some hundreds of US military units stationed in the country during the war in Vietnam, is no longer new to the Western culture of dressing.
There are no dress codes and rules in Pattaya. You are welcome to wear shorts, not just in the beach but also in bars and shopping centers. You can go as casual as you like or dressed down and you’d still be considered overdressed at times. You can even go shirtless and wear beachwear shopping around the city and no one will think it odd. Pattaya is a beach vacation spot where seeing guys in summer attire and girls in bikinis is not uncommon.
For men, casual shorts and shirts, button down tops and tank tops are ok. Summer dresses, short pants, short skirts, sleeveless blouses, and spaghetti straps are all acceptable clothes in Pattaya for women. Don’t forget to bring a shawl or a sarong too, as ladies will find lots of use for it. For both guys and girls, swimming wear, sunglasses, hats and SPF lotions are all essential.
For bar-hopping and other night entertainment activities, wear whatever you’re comfortable with. In essence, whatever you wear going to a bar in your country is perfectly fine. You can wear jeans and pants if you want, but as it can get humid even in night time, it’s best to wear a comfortable short pants instead or short skirts for girls. But while it is not illegal to go in clubs wearing trunks – some tourists frequent bars still in their beach wear – some residents take offense from seeing tourists clad in their swimming attire in a bar well into the night.
As for footwear, you can wear your most comfortable ones as Pattaya is as unpretentious as your pair of old flip-flops and slip-ons. Sandals, slippers and thongs are all perfectly OK to wear even when you’re not in the beach. You can wear them in shopping malls, restaurants, historical and cultural establishments should you decide to go on a sight-seeing adventure as well.
So when you’re packing your clothes preparing what to wear in Pattaya, just keep in mind that Thailand is a hot country and you’ll be perfectly all right if you travel light. Pack tropical clothes, clothes with cotton fabric and clothes that dry easily. Of course you could always travel ultra-light and just buy everything in Pattaya. You’ll definitely find everything you need in the city and at a cheap cost too. Shopping and swimming are always good combination, after all.