Lookout below… Pattaya’s most popular viewpoint
When visitors come to Pattaya it’s hardly surprising that among the first places they are either taken or are encouraged to visit is the so-called Viewpoint or Lookout that commands Pattaya Bay.
After all, the primary reason Pattaya grew from a tiny fishing village over just a decade or two into a popular resort was its-then pristine beach and relative proximity to Bangkok.
Of course as the city has grown and expanded and now offers a multitude of attractions it is perhaps easy to forget what is one of the premier tourist sites in Pattaya. And it’s completely free, unlike almost every other attraction in the city and its immediate environs.
The nice aspect about visiting the viewpoint is that it can be done from early in the morning until late at night and offers a variety of vistas, from watching the sun rise to the east, the sun set behind the headland and near Koh Larn, the stunning view of the sweep of Pattaya Bay and out to Koh Larn on a clear day, to admiring the lights of Walking Street and the other busy thoroughfares as day turns into night.
It is arguably the place from which the most photos of Pattaya are taken in a single year. And it may well have always been thus. After all, the viewpoint is perfectly situated where Pratumnak Road links up with the road to the Royal Cliff Hotel and if you follow the narrow road up to the top of that peak you will be blessed with an almost 360 degree vision of Pattaya and its environs.
Photos from as far back as the 1960s have chronicled the growth of Pattaya, and it’s possible to go online and see plenty of examples and, depending on what is visible, it is usually possible to put a decade if not a closer date on the time when the picture was snapped.
Taking centre stage at the viewpoint is a statue of Admiral the Prince of Chumphon. The 28th child of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), Prince Abhakara Kiartiwongse is known as the ‘Father of the Royal Thai Navy’ and while it may seem a little strange that his statue is in Pattaya rather than, say, either Bangkok or Sattahip, it should be remembered that the Eastern Seaboard in general is considered very naval.
For those who have been here a few years, it’s almost certain they will have pictures taken from their first or second visit. If they were to return and take a few happy snaps yet again and compare the two, the differences might well be more startling than even they could imagine.
Just a short walk away from the viewpoint itself is a Buddhist temple where the views are similar, if not as spectacular. Set back from the point of the headland the views from the temple are more to provide a background to any photos you might take of the various gold-coloured statues.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be a tourist attraction without a few places where food and drink are available. Although there is nothing especial about the food offerings from a variety of vendors, once again it is the opportunity to eat something while looking out over Pattaya Bay and watch while speedboats in some numbers traverse the briny in the direction of Koh Larn.