Where in the world can you do all of the above: Ride Elephants, drink buckets, dance with fire and get a fab tan!! ?
Well, near Pattaya there is the elephants, zip lining through the jungle canapy (awesome), not far from Sri Tiger Zoo. The beach isn't really that nice, Jomtien (basically Pattaya) beaches are a little nicer. You can easily get the tan, but I wouldn't reccomend dipping into the gulf, even the locals wear their clothes while swimming there.
It's also not far from these islands I stayed at...I can't remember exactly the name of it but I believe it translated to "White Sand islands or beaches. Very nice, fire show at night, pretty good food, much MUCH better beaches and a few different dance spots and chill spots. One bedroom bungalows right on the beach as cheap as $30 a night. Bigger bungalows just off the beach were around $40 a night. Me personally when I go back will take the smaller bungalow on the beach.
There you will find your buckets too, reasonably priced.
Hope this helps about 8 years ago