Pattaya is the closest place to Bangkok offering diving, just 145km away. It is a thriving tourist mecca that is more akin to the hustle & bustle of Bangkok than the image of deserted, palm fringed tropical beaches.
Dive facilities are good, with numerous dive shops in the area. It is a popular place to learn to dive and, with a few good wrecks in the area, a popular place to try wreck-diving. There are also many options for professionals looking to become instructors. All of the dive sites around Pattaya can be reached by way of day trips.
Pattaya receives a huge volume of tourists and has a huge number of accommodation options, but not necessarily a huge variety. Most accommodation is budget to mid-range hotels and apartments, often in built up areas. Hat Jomtien, to the south, has more luxury options.
Pattaya has an airport with connecting flights to Bangkok, Phuket & Ko Samui. It is also only a short bus ride from Bangkok, 145km away and is linked by rail to the capital. There is also a regional airport in Pattaya.
One major plus of Pattaya is its range of activities. Watersports are hugely popular, there are also golf courses & go karting tracks, plus no shortage of places to eat and drink.