Pattaya is nestled along a picturesque bay on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 170 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. From a fishing village in the 1960’s, Pattaya has emerged as a favorite Southeast Asian vacation center. A fascinating escape where tourists, holiday makers and vacationers from around the world unfold in an incomparable array of possibilities to unwind during an exotic holiday beach vacation.
Unlike other beach resorts, where natural surroundings are used as magnets to attract tourists, Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to provide the best of everything. Here, everything means anything a tourist can imagine while on holiday: recreation, entertainment, sports, sightseeing, dining and fun. To put it simply, Pattaya is a paradise for everyone, as it has a variety of attractions suitable for all types of visitors. This is a place where you can fill your day, from dusk to dawn, with endless activities, or you may choose to do nothing at all and just relax.
Pattaya’s name was originated from the march of Phraya Tak (later known as King Taksin the Great) and his followers from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, just before the fall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom to the Burmese invaders in 1767. When Phraya Tak’s army arrived in the vicinity of what is Pattaya today, he encountered the troops of Nai Klom who tried to intercept him. When the two leaders met face to face, Nai Klom was awed by Phraya Tak’s dignified manner and his army’s strict discipline, thereby surrendering without a fight. The place where the two armies confronted each other was later called Thap Phraya, which means the Army of the Phraya. This was later changed to Phatthaya, which happens to mean the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the spelling of the name has been simplified to Pattaya.
For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village almost cut off from the outside world. But big change occurred on the 29th April, 1961, when the first group of about 100 American servicemen who would join the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. Soon, sleepy Pattaya became Thailand’s premier and most successful beach resort, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of pleasure-seeking visitors. A full range of accommodations from super deluxe hotels to bungalows and mini-pocket guesthouses replaced fishermen huts along the beach. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats, and swimmers and sunbathers from various parts of the world frequented the quiet powdery golden beaches. Places of nighttime entertainment have also sprung up and are popular among international tourists.
Pattaya currently integrates the delights of a 1st class beach resort, city-like dining, shopping and night entertainment facilities with more than 300 assorted hotels, thousands of shops, restaurants and bars. In addition, there are an array of sports and recreational activities including beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, go-kart tracks, gyms for working out, weight lifting and Thai-boxing activities. Pattaya offers a broad range of things to do. During the day, one may enjoy riding elephants or driving humble, automatic mini-bikes, monstrous motorcycles or even monster multicolored convertible Jeeps. Others go for shooting firearms, scuba diving and surfing, deep-sea fishing, speed boats, scooters, water-skiing, parasailing or aerial sports such as gliding ultra-lights and flying motor-propelled gliders. On the other hand, at night, there are restaurants, bars, theaters, cabaret shows, night clubs, bowling halls, billiard & snooker clubs, discos, sauna & massage parlors, not to mention its absolutely incredible shopping, available both day and night.
This exotic beach resort welcomes approximately 5 million visitors a year. The friendly and hospitable Thai nature boosts its promotion, frequently bringing back the repeat visitors and constantly increasing the number of newcomers. Pattaya city is located on the eastern coast of the country at latitude 13°N and longitude 101°E, in the area of the Chon Buri province. It is 147 kilometers from Bangkok and lies parallel to Sukhumvit Road on its east and the coastline on its west. Pattaya occupies an area of 208.1 square kilometers that is divided into 53.44 square kilometers of land and 154.66 square kilometers of islands and sea. Its coastline is 15 kilometers long. Pattaya has a plain on the coast with some high mountains to the south. The area on the east slopes down towards the sea on the west.
Pattaya City has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to that of a municipality and is administered separately by the mayor of Pattaya City, who is responsible for making policies, organizing public services, and supervising all employees of Pattaya City Administration.