One of the memories I had for one year stayed in Thailand was travelling down south of Bangkok, Pattaya. It is also one of the hottest places in Thailand for western tourists since its pretty close to Bangkok and not so expensive comparing to Phuket.
The pride of Pattaya is the beaches which is not an impressive so to speak,however, westerners doesn't care about it at all. There's so much to see outside of Pattaya city if you'll not enjoying the beaches, there's Noong Nooch tropical garden and other tourist spots. My trip to Pattaya was unplanned, and it took me courage to decide since I was just fresh from my trip in Hongkong and that trip really cost me much. Going to Pattaya wasn't a long trip from Bangkok, there's no traffic and there's a lot of cheaper places to stay if you are in a budgeted trip.