Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา, พัทยา, RTGS: Phatthaya, Thai pronunciation: [pʰát.tʰā.jāː]) is a city in Thailand, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. It is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok within but not part of Amphoe Bang Lamung (Banglamung) in the province of Chonburi.
Pattaya City (Thai: เมืองพัทยา; RTGS: Mueang Phatthaya) is a self governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Kluea and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The City is situated in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi. It has a population exceeding 100,000 (2007). Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province, with a total population exceeding 1,000,000 (2010).
The name Pattaya evolved from the march of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, which took place before the fall of the former capital to the Burmese invaders in 1767.
When his army arrived at the vicinity of what is now Pattaya, Phraya Tak encountered the troops of a local leader named Nai Klom, who tried to intercept him. When the two met face to face, Nai Klom was impressed by Phraya Tak's dignified manner and his army's strict discipline. He surrendered without a fight and joined his forces. The place the armies confronted each other was thereafter known as 'Thap Phraya', which means the Army of the Phraya. This later became Phatthaya, the name of the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the city is known internationally as "Pattaya," though the official transliteration is still "Phatthaya."
Pattaya remained a small fishing village until the 1960s. Then American servicemen during the Vietnam War began arriving in Pattaya for rest and relaxation. Pattaya developed into a popular beach resort; now greatly expanded, it attracts over 4 million visitors a year. Fishermen's huts along the beach were replaced by resort hotels and retail stores, including Asia's largest beachfront shopping mall, the CentralFestival Pattaya Beach Mall and hotel (Hilton) situated on Beach Rd in central Pattaya.
The city (Mueang) had 104,318 registered inhabitants in 2007. As with the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, that figure excludes the large number of people who work in the city but remain registered in their hometowns, and many long-term expatriate visitors. Including non-registered residents, the population numbers around 300,000 at any given time. Other estimates put the figure as high as 500,000.
Most of the officially-registered Pattaya residents are of Thai-Chinese ancestry. Due to the tourist industry, many people from the Northeast (known as Isan, the poorest region of Thailand) have come to work in Pattaya, and are counted for census purposes in their hometown.
There is a fast-growing community of foreign retirees living in Pattaya. Thailand immigration has a special visa category for foreigners over age 50 who wish to retire in Thailand. Pattaya is attractive to many retirees from other countries not only because of its climate and exotic, easy lifestyle, but also because living costs are lower than many countries, a major consideration for people on fixed pensions or incomes.
Mueang Pattaya surrounded byAmphoe Bang Lamung
Pattaya, located off the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 145 km south of the city of Bangkok, surrounded by Bang Lamung District.
The city of Pattaya is a special municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue (Nongprue) and Na Kluea (Naklua) and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. Bang Lamung township which forms the northern border of Pattaya covers parts of the tambon Bang Lamung (Banglamung), Nong Pla Lai and Takhian Tia. Bang Sali is on the southern border of Pattaya.
"Greater Pattaya" occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung (one of the eleven districts that comprise Chonburi Province). It is divided into a larger northern section which spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach (the most northern beach) and Pattaya Beach (the main beach) plus the Pratamnak Hill (often called "Buddha Hill" because of the temples on top of the hill) headland (immediately south of Pattaya Beach), and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of Jomtien Beach (which lies directly south of Pratamnak Hill).
Pattaya city has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to a municipality and is separately administered by the mayor of Pattaya city who is responsible for making policies, organizing public services and supervising all employees of Pattaya city administration.
Pattaya has a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: warm and dry (November to February), hot and humid (March to May), and hot and rainy (June to October).
[hide]Climate data for PattayaMonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearAverage high °C30.731.031.832.932.431.631.331.131.030.630.429.931.23Average low °C23.024.325.426.426.526.526.026.025.124.223.422.224.92Precipitation mm13.712.052.561.6154.6149.987.098.6217.1242.682.86.41,178.8Average high °F87.387.889.291.290.388.988.388.087.887.186.785.888.21Average low °F73.475.777.779.579.779.778.878.877.275.674.172.076.85Precipitation inches0.5390.4722.0672.4256.0875.9023.4253.8828.5479.5513.260.25246.409Source: World Weather Information Service
The Pattaya Bay Area is one of Asia's largest beach resorts and the second most visited city in Thailand, after Bangkok. This panorama overlooks Bali Hai pier and the core of the city.
The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is parallel to city centre, and runs from Pattaya Nuea south to Walking Street. Along Beach Road are restaurants, shopping areas, and night attractions.
Jomtien Beach in the southern part of the bay area is divided from Pattaya beach by the promontory of Pratamnak Hill. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants. On weekends, it becomes increasingly crowded, with many Thai visitors coming from Bangkok. It offers of watersport activities such as jet skis, parasailing and small sail boat hire.
Offshore islands include the "Near Islands", Ko Larn (main island), Ko Sak and Ko Krok located 7 km from the western shores of Pattaya Ko Larn, or "Coral Island", Mu Ko Phai, the "Far Islands", Ko Phai (main island), Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, located offshore further west of the "Near Islands", and Ko Rin, located offshore to the southwest, south of Mu Ko Phai. Some of the islands in the group are accessible by speedboat in less than 15 minutes and by ferry taking about 45 minutes. The names "Near Islands", "Far Islands" and "Coral Island" are used for touristic purposes only and do not correspond to any naming conventions of the island groups and are not shown on maritime charts published by the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Thai Navy. Many of the islands have public beaches and offerscuba diving activities.
Pattaya Beach at sunset.
Wong Amat beach and city skyline
A daily service operates between Pattaya and Hualumphong Station in Bangkok.
Pattaya is served by frequent bus service from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Morchit) and the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai), connecting to Pattaya's main bus terminal on Pattaya Nuea near Sukhumvit Road, where there is also service to Suvarnabhumi Airport. Buses from a terminal on Sukhumvit Road near Pattaya Klang connect Pattaya with many destination in the Northeast (Isan).
City and suburban services are mainly provided by Songthaew (public passenger pick-up vehicles), popularly nicknamed "baht buses" or "blue taxis". A bus service which connects Pattaya with Suvarnabhumi Airport is located on Tappraya Road near the intersection of Thepprasit Road. It uses modern air-conditioned buses, and takes around 1½ hours to reach the airport.
Some metered taxis and air-conditioned vans operate for private hire from hotel car-parks. Popularly nicknamed ‘baht-buses’ in Pattaya, songthaews are the most common mode of public transportation. The cost is 10 baht for any distance on a regular route, but much higher if asked to go to a designated destination. Motorbike taxis generally operate in the town and suburbs. Although taxis must carry meters by law they are, in reality, rarely used.
Pattaya is about 1½ hours, or 120 km by road from Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Bangkok international hub. By road, it is accessed from Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7 from Bangkok. Pattaya is also served (very limited) through U-Tapao International Airport which is 45 minutes drive from the city.
Pattaya Park Tower.
The Wat Khao Phra Battemple
overlooking Pattaya Bay features a Buddha statue more than 18 meters tall.The Sanctuary of Truth
.Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Mime entertaining on Walking Street.
Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R (military) destination during the Vietnam War and developed into a family-orientated seaside destination. Foreign tourism to Thailand as a whole in 2007 amounted to 14.5 million visitors.
Activities include playing golf (21 golf courses within 1 hour of Pattaya,) go-kart racing, and visiting different theme parks and zoos such as the Elephant Village, where demonstrations of training methods and ancient ceremonial re-enactments are performed daily. The private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo features tigers, alligators, and other animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay touristsubmarine offers 30 minute trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few kilometers offshore. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden about 15 kilometers south of Pattaya is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) site of botanical gardens and an orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained chimpanzees and elephants are presented.
Other attractions in Pattaya include The Million Years Stone Park, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Pattaya Park Beach Resort Water Park, Funny Land Amusement Park, Siriporn Orchid Farm, Silverlake Winery, Underwater World Pattaya (world-class aquarium), the Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya (cultural show), Bottle Art Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Underwater World, an aquarium where there is a collection of marine species in the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays. Khao Phra Tamnak or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill located between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach that provides a panoramic view of the city of Pattaya and its crescent bay. The hill is topped by Wat Khao Phra Bat, a temple, and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the “founding father of the modern Thai navy.”
The Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981 by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, that was conceived from the vision that human civilization has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth.
Mini Siam is a miniature model village which celebrates the heritages of Thailand with replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, and Prasat Hin Phimai. Models of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called “mini world".
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan is a temple constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present Supreme Patriarch and later supported by His Majesty the King. Within the compound of the temple are a replica of the Buddha’s footprint, and a large Chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha.
International creative arts include several art galleries.
Pattaya Players, a troupe of amateur thespians, produces a variety of theatrical productions.
two transsexual cabaret performers in Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya has derived part of its reputation as a tourist destination due to the sex industry and the resulting nightlife, and in many ways the city has become what it is now because of this. Prostitution in Thailand is technically illegal but reality shows that it is tolerated as is the case for Pattaya with its vast numbers of host bars, gogo bars, massage parlours, saunas, and hourly hotels, serving foreign tourists as well as locals. This is prevalent in the Walking Street as well as other areas around the city. Efforts have of late been made to clean up the city's image.
Pattaya also has Asia's largest gay scene based around Boyztown and Sunee Plaza. The city is also famous for its flamboyant kathoey cabaret shows where transsexuals and transgenders perform to packed houses.
Driven by its popularity as both a holiday destination and a location for foreign expatriates, Pattaya is an area of extensive property development, including hotels, condominiums, and housing estates. Steadily rising prices of land and buildings have also led to investment and speculation contributing to the growth in the town's economy. While foreigners are not permitted to own land, they are permitted to hold title to condominium units. Many new condominiums sell out the allotted 49% for foreigners while the buildings are being constructed.
Large hospitals in the area include Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Pattaya International Hospital, Banglamung Hospital, and Pattaya Memorial Hospital. Many foreign tourists have dental and medical care done in Pattaya, although Bangkok is far more popular as a medical tourist destination.
According to Pattaya police, it is common that foreign tourists get drugged and robbed by prostitutes in their hotel rooms. Visitors may encounter petty crime, usually limited to pickpocketing and confidence tricks, particularly in and around major tourist areas such as Jomtien and Pattaya Beaches and on the "baht buses". A special Tourist Police division has been established to aid foreign tourists who are victims of crime. The 2009 British eight-episode TV documentary Big Trouble in Tourist Thailand described crimes involving tourists in Pattaya.
On April 11, 2009, Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in the areas of Pattaya and Chonburi, in response to red shirt anti-government protestors breaking into the conference center of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort hotel complex, the then-venue of an ASEAN meeting. The meeting was immediately canceled and Asian leaders were evacuated, some by helicopter.
Several local foreign-language newspapers and magazines are published either weekly or monthly, especially in English, Russian, and German. The English newspapers include the Pattaya People Weekly, Pattaya Mail, Pattaya Today, and Pattaya Times. Landline telephones, satellite phones, mobile phone systems, internet access (via ADSL), post offices and parcel services are all available in the city.
Local cable TV services provided by Sophon Cable, Banglamung TV, and Baan Suan.