Pattaya Beach, Thailand

By | December 31, 2013

Pattaya

Pattaya is located along the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 kilometers southeast of Bangkok.The city is surrounded by Bang Lamung District in Chon Buri province.

Most of the coastline of Bang Lamung occupies an area called “Greater Pattaya” .This area is further divided into smaller sections: the areas surrounding Naklua Beach(north), the areas around Pattaya Beach (which includes Buddha Hill) and the areas east of Jomtien Beach (south of Buddha Hill and includes Dongtan Beach).

Pattaya’s Climate is “wet and dry”. This is divided into three seasons: hot and humid (March to May), hot and rainy (June to October), and very warm and dry (November to February).

The city was previously known as “Pad Tha Ya” before it eventually became known as Pattaya. The former name means “the wind blows to the northeast from the southwest at the beginning of the rainy season.”

Pattaya was just a small fishing village, like many others around the Gulf of Thailand, until about the late 1950’s. Most of the city’s registered residents are originally of Thai-Chinese ancestry. Moreover, as many people from the north-east region had moved to Pattaya to work, the Isaan dialect is also spoken widely in the area.

Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya is an almost entirely modern city.There aren’t many old buildings here, as developments mostly started during the 1960’s.

However, architecture enthusiasts can still admire the character of the many Buddhist temples that can be found here like the Wat Chai Mongkhon and the Wat Khao Phra Bat, which is the Golden Buddha temple on top of Phra Tam Nak (also known as Pratamnak Hill). Wat Khao Phra Bat is a monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is revered as the “founding father of the modern Thai Navy.” 

Pattaya, Thailand

Around 1961, Pattaya started being developed into a resort as many American GI’s had begun visiting the area from the nearby base in Nahkhon Ratchasima. Neighboring Sattahip was also a temporary home for US navy men, particularly around the time of the Vietnam War.

This large influx of American visiting forces was taken advantage of local entrepreneurs, who developed Pattaya’s facilities extensively to cater to this emerging market.

U-Tapao Airport in Pattaya was exclusively built for the Americans at that time and many Hotels ,bars & restaurants were put up to meet the rapidly increasing demand. The American troops ultimately considered Pattaya to be their official center for rest and relaxation.

Pattaya’s location in relation to Bangkok ensures that it has excellent links & is extremely Easy To Get To . 

Pattaya Girls

Pattaya’s naughty, party-city reputation was due to the American legacy during theVietnam War and also because of its close proximity to Bangkok.

Many poor girls from the Isaan region, one of the poorest in North-eastern Thailand, supplied the sex trade here. The sex business is still very much alive today, albeit a little toned down since the Thai tourism authorities strived to give the area a better image from 2001.

Plans to build more conference and sports centers and wholesome activity places had been put into place.

Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, which one of the most urbanized areas in Thailand apart from Bangkok.

As it is a prime tourist destination, many expatriates have taken residence here. The expatriate population in this area is said to be the largest in Southeast Asia. Chonburi, just a short way up north, has a less diverse economy but is a stable commercial area of the eastern seaboard area of Thailand.

The bay area of Pattaya is divided into two main beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is found parallel to the city center and is the main beach of the resort city.

The core of the city’s restaurants, night attractions and motorcycle hire can be found on Central Road (Pattaya Klang). Jomtien Beach, meanwhile,is located just south of the city and is mostly a residential area comprised of beachfront hotels, bungalow complexes, restaurants and condominiums.

Pattaya, Thailand

Among Pattaya’s tourist attractions are smaller islands found just off the coast which are Mu Ko Larn (the “Near Islands”), Mu Ko Phai (the “Far Islands”) and Ko Larn, also known as “Coral Island.”

These islands are not shown in the maritime charts. They are accessible by ferry in 45 minutes or less and are used mainly for tourism.If you want to travel a little further afield on an excursion you could always visit the islands of Koh Samet and Koh Chang ,both can be found within the same peninsula.

For animal enthusiasts, the Pattaya Elephant Village is also a popular attraction in the city.Visitors here will have a chance on viewing elephants during their daily activities and how they interact with their handlers. Daily shows are also being performed here like, like elephants playing football and elephant parades.

The Sri Racha Tiger Zoo is also be worth taking a visit, as it is Thailand’s largest reserve of Bengal tigers.The Million Years Stone Park and Crocodile Farm is a 70-acre wide animal park and is a living museum of plants and animals that visitors, young and old, may be able to enjoy.

One place that is definately recommended particularly for families with children is the Underwater World which is a giant aquarium including a 100 meter long glass tunnel allowing visitors a fantastic look at what goes on in the oceans around Thailand. 

Pattaya, Thailand

Even though Pattaya is notorious for its seedy go-go bars and beer bars, efforts have been made to make the city more family-friendly, like cleaning up the beaches and offering activities that attract local families.

However, even if the beaches here still lack the allure of other high-standard Thai beaches, millions of tourists still visit it every year.

If you have been to Pattaya before, and have really great memories of places to stay, visit, beaches or just fun things that happened, please share your Pattaya Beach Memories here.