Pattaya is a city in Thailand, located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok located...
Pattaya is a city in Thailand, located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok located within but not part of Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chon Buri.
Meaning the 'south-west monsoon wind" and correctly pronounced "Putt-tuh-YAH" not "Patt-EYE-uh", it ranks as one of the most successful beach resorts in the world, with some 5.4 million visitors arriving in 2005. Increasing numbers of tourists come from the former Soviet Union and East Asia.
The city of Pattaya is a self governing special municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Kluea and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. It is located in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chon Buri. However, it remains mostly a tourist city, with very light industry.
Pattaya is second only to Bangkok in high rise buildings, as many condos for foreign residents are built, and has a modest skyline. The city's economy benefits from its relative proximity to Bangkok. Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province.
About 147km southeast of Bangkok, barely a 3 hours drive from the city, Pattaya lies on the northeastern coast of Thailand. This uninhabited and unspoiled fishing village soon turned into a city in its own right after the Vietnam War in 1961. Being a strategic place for US naval bases during the war, Pattaya is still visited by war ships today and has changed hands over to the Thai Royal Navy. Pattaya overview offers you a comprehensive sketch of Pattaya, its location, history and tourism.
An incredibly beautiful beach resort with pristine blue waters, Pattaya is surrounded by 30 offshore islands within a radius of 48 kilometers starting from Si Racha in the north to Sattahip in the south. Pattaya is rich in corals and underwater life with fascinating dive spots.
Pattaya was simply a small fishing village until it was discovered as a beach resort by Bangkok residents in the 1960s. Soon thereafter, servicemen from all over Southeast Asia, including the United States Air Force base at U-Tapao in neighbouring Rayong province began using the area for "rest and recreation" (R&R), causing a huge boom in prostitution. When the Americans left following the end of the Vietnam War, the city fell into a crisis. However, modern mass tourism, particularly single men looking for companionship, brought a new lease of life to Pattaya.
The rapid growth of tourism brought about many negative consequences, such as pollution and petty crime. In 1976, the Pattaya City Act was passed by the Thai legislature, making Pattaya a self-administrating municipality governed by a Council-manager government. However, many argue that this administration system has drawbacks (for example, the mayor may disagree with the city manager). Critics have recommended abolishing the system.
Most of the officially registered Pattaya folk are of Thai-Chinese ancestry. However, due to the tourist industry many people from the north-east have come to work in Pattaya (north-east is the poorest region of Thailand). So, there is as much chance of hearing spoken Isan dialect (similar to Laotian) as you have Thai, especially in the shops and bars, etc.
Events & Festivals
Pattaya's Songkran Festival is different to the rest of Thailand, it runs on 18-19 April. Pattaya Carnival/Festival is held annually at Pattaya Pier and it is a colourful event which includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks and water sports competition. Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of M arch. On different stages, there are a bandwagon of several styles of music performed by both Thai and international artists.
November to March
Underwater World Pattaya, Pattaya Park Beach Resort and Water Park, Pattaya Elephant Village, Pattaya Beaches, Koh Larn, Sriracha Tiger Zoo, Mini Siam, Sanctuary of Truth, Yannasangwararam Temple, Alangkarn
Underwater World Pattaya:Underwater World Pattaya is a leisure attraction showcasing the rich variety of marine life found around the region. Situated at Pattaya, it complements the many other educational and recreational activities available at this beautiful seaside resort.
At Underwater World Pattaya, visitors are taken on a ‘voyage to the bottom of the sea' , which begins at the sandy beaches and shallow rock pools at the water’s edge. From here, they start their descent, passing brightly colored corals and all kinds of exotic ocean-dwellers along the way. Finally they come to a spectacular 100 meter-long tunnel with acrylic windows, home to great shoals of fish, prowling predators and a host of other creatures that inhabit the ocean depths.
Pattaya Park Beach Resort and Water Park: While you are in Pattaya the visit to Pattaya Park Tower is a worthwhile thing to do because at the 55th floor of the tower you can see the breathtaking view of Pattaya City, Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach, Ko Lan, etc. The photos taken from the observation deck of the tower is a memorable beautiful scenery. Going up to the 55th floor is easy by elevator (about 1 minute ride). On the way down you have the choice of using the same elevator, or the cable car which is free if you pay 100 baht fee for visiting the observation deck. The tower jump is another breathtaking and very exciting thing to try if you have a strong heart.
Pattaya Elephant Village: The Elephant Village was opened in 1973 as a sanctuary for former working elephants. These elephants, through reasons of injury or ill health, can no longer be used as a part of the backbone of heavy work in the jungles of Thailand. Also because of their diminishing habitat, it is now longer possible to return them to the wild. The Elephant Village provides then magnificent creatures with a safe haven, where they may live out their lives with dignity and freedom from fear. A visit to the Elephant Village is not only unique experience, but it is also a lifesaver because the fees paid by our visitors contribute to, the very survival of the elephants, both now and in the future.
Pattaya Beaches: Beaches are scattered around Pattaya. The most popular one is Pattaya Beach, which features plenty of water activities and is nice and central. A promenade lines the crescent shaped beach for several miles, which is ideal for jogging or roller blading. Around a headland to the south, Jomtien Beach is quieter and more peaceful, with a sandy beach and better quality water. There are also several nice private, smaller beaches dotted around the Naklua headland to the north, usually the domain of guests of the exclusive hotels here but open to all. All beaches in Pattaya offer a wide range of water sports and good facilities.
Koh Larn:Koh Larn, was once known as a coral island, as popularized by foreign tourists. Bearing such name is by virtue of its abundance and variety of corals. It consists of minor islands such as Koh Khrok (mortar) and Koh Sak (pestle). It is truly a sought-after island for enthusiasts of coral snorkeling, sheer white sandy beaches and cerulean blue sea - an image of Andaman Sea. The Island, so close to Pattaya, sees more than 5,000 tourists daily
Koh Larn is conveniently located 7.5 km away from Pattaya City, occupying 3,500 rai with an irregular pentagon shape. Its length stretching from North to South is approximately 4.65 km. Whereas the maximal width is 2.15 km. 90% of the area is mountainous, nestled in the forest with a bountiful variety of trees. It offers spectacular variety of places to visit as well as hide-away beaches for tourists to enjoy.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo: Only a 30-minute drive from Pattaya, this fascinating tiger zoo is home to more than 200 Bengal tigers and over 100,000 crocodiles. There are a number of activities and shows for you and your family to enjoy. Expect to see something extraordinary like women wresting with crocodiles or elephants playing basketball. Other animals include ostriches, Peruvian guinea pigs, wallabies and camels.
Mini Siam: Mini Siam is located on Km 143 at Sukhumvit Highway to Rayong just opposite of Bangkok Pattaya Hospital. It is easily recognised by the huge statues right at the edge of the road. Coming from North Pattaya Road turn left onto Sukhunvit Highway towards Bangkok and drive past Bangkok Pattaya Hospital to the next U-turn then back to Mini Siam.
To see everything you need about 2 hours. Drinks and snaks as well as souvenirs are sold at some shops inside the compounds. There is also a restaurant. It must be quit impressive to visit Mini Siam after dark, when all the miniatures are illuminated. But this is also the time when most tourbuses unload plenty of sightseeing hungry tourists. If you like to enjoy all the beauties leisurely you may be better off in daytime.
Sanctuary of Truth:The Sanctuary of Truth is a gigantic wooden construction which covers the area of more than two rais. The top point of the building is about 105 meters high. It was constructed to withstand the wind and sunshine on the seashore at Rachvate Cape, Tumbon Naklea, Amphur Banglamung, Chon Buri Province.
The building was constructed according to ancient Thai ingenuity and every square inch of the building is covered with wooden carve sculpture. The purposes of decoration with wooden carve sculptures are to use art and culture as the reflection of Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy. With in this complex, visitors will understand Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of living, Life Relationship with Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia.
Yannasangwararam Temple: Under HM the King’s patronage, this exquisite temple boasts beautiful modern Thai architecture and a peaceful atmosphere. Located about 20kms to the south of Pattaya, this park-like large temple is home to a pagoda which contains Buddha relics. Many magnificent buildings and monuments dot the area including Anekkuson Sala (Wihan Sian), which combines the architectural styles of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian beliefs and houses priceless antiques from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Alangkarn: Simply the hottest cultural extravaganza in Pattaya, Alangkarn offers fun-for-all entertainment in its 80-rai area. Employing a state-of-the-art light and sound system, the show is guaranteed to captivate audiences of all ages with a lavish production performed by professionally trained artists. Treat yourself to a delicious selection of local and international cuisine offered. Expect to witness a series of impressive cultural and musical shows by over 150 skilled performers. The theatre seats up to 2,000 visitors.
From Bangkok International Airport
Now that Suvarnabhumi Airport has opened getting to Pattaya is easier than ever. When you exit the arrivals hall, you'll be confronted by numerous touts offering to transport you anywhere in Thailand, usually in a mini-van or a limousine.
Before succumbing to the tout - no matter how cute she is - remember that a metered taxi from the airport to Pattaya has an official price of 1,050 baht, plus 60 baht for expressway charges.
By Normal Taxi
Go to the Taxi counter outside the arrival hall, a small counter where the taxi wait in a row to pick up customers. Pay 50 baht for a voucher. And the staff will bring you to your taxi. Prices are standardized, for a trip to Pattaya (believe 1300 Baht).
By Limo service
Great cars bring you to Pattaya for around 1500-1800 baht. In the Arrival Hall on Don Muang are Booths prices and cars available.
Air-conditioned and non-aircon coaches regularly depart from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai), Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit) on Kamphaengphet Road and Southern Bus Terminal on Borommarat Chonnani Road throughout the day.
The State Railway of Thailand offers a train service departing Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station at 06.50 hours. (Mon-Fri). The journey takes about 3.30 hours.
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