As to where to stay in Bangkok as mentioned above Riverside Silom Siam or Sukhumvit, the most important thing is to be close to a sky train (BTS) station or an underground (MRT) station for ease of getting around. Personally for a first time visitor I would stay on Sukhumvit (Plenty of restaurants bars etc and good transport links)
thank you for all your replys
Like the above, Pattaya isn't the nicest beach in Thailand. It's crowded and dirty. More famous for it's nightlife. There are many options for paradise beaches. Try southern Thailand, such as Krabi or Phuket province. You can book cheap safe flights from Bangkok. Try www.airasia.com or www.nokair.com
If you don't want to go far for the beach, there are Koh Chang, Koh Kood, Kod Mak,, Koh Samet, or other places http://bit.ly/115S6U2 , but I think Hua Hin beach is fine , many nice places to visit like Santorini hua hin and Swiss Sheep Farm.
With regards to Bangkok, a lot of people seem to hang around Khaosan road. To honest with you though I get a bit fed up with it because you get tied down to using either the bus or taxis. I am not a big fan of buses in any country. Khaosan road seems to have the really low price rooms, I think that is one of the reasons people (especially backpackers) end up there. I prefer to live around the lumphini/ Silom area because you have the sky train and MRT which are really good.
If you look on Google maps you will see why I (and many other people) favour that particular area. If you are not in the slightest bit bothered about taxis then Khaosan road is ok.
My traveling style is to travel a certain distance and then explore. That is the reason I favoured using the sky train and MRT as opposed to flagging down taxis all the time. Most inner city taxi trips cost just under about 1.50 GBP (60-70B). The prices may have gone up a bit though in the last 5 years.
Pattaya is quite small and I only stayed there a few weeks. I just got a taxi from the station to the center of town and then hunted around a bit till I found somewhere. I cannot really help much with Pattaya. I cannot even remember the name of the place I stayed.
thanks for your rely