||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (April 2012)|
|Special Governed City|
|Pattaya City เมืองพัทยา|
|• Type||Self-administrating municipality|
|• Mayor||Ittipol Khunplome|
|• Total||22.2 km2 (8.6 sq mi)|
|• Density||4,800/km2 (13,000/sq mi)|
|Registered residents only|
|Time zone||Thailand (UTC+7)|
Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา, pronunciation (help·info), RTGS: Phatthaya, Thai pronunciation: [pʰát.tʰā.jāː]) is a city in Thailand, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) 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 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 the centre of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province, with a total population exceeding 1,000,000.
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 Pattaya, the name of the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season.
Pattaya was a small fishing village until the 1960s. Then, during the Vietnam War, American servicemen began arriving in Pattaya on R&R (rest and relaxation). Pattaya developed into a popular beach resort. Now greatly expanded, it attracts over 4 million visitors a year. Fishers' 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) on Beach Rd in central Pattaya. Today Pattaya is making efforts to clean up its image to become a family-oriented seaside destination.
Pattaya has a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: hot and dry (December to February), hot and humid (March and April), and hot and rainy (May to November).
|Climate data for Pattaya (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||30.6
|Average low °C (°F)||23.0
|Rainfall mm (inches)||15.6
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||3||4||6||12||11||11||12||17||18||10||1||106|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (normal 1981–2010), (avg. rainy days 1961–1990)|
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 hometowns.
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 in many countries.
Pattaya, located on the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of the city of Bangkok, surrounded by the 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 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, organising public services, and supervising the employees of Pattaya city's workforce.
Beaches and islands
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 Pratamnak Hill promontory. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beach side hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants. On weekends, it becomes increasingly crowded, with many Thai visitors coming from Bangkok. It offers water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and small sailboat hire. The Pratumnak Hill area is gaining in popularity for its beach as it is a quieter area and it has a lot of new hotel and condominium resorts in development around the area reflecting a growing demand.
Offshore islands include the three "near islands", Ko Larn (main island), Ko Sak, and Ko Krok located 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) 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, 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 marketing 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 offer scuba diving activities.
- Via the Bangkok-Chonburi-Pattaya Motorway (Hwy 7) The motorway is linked with Bangkok's Outer Ring Road., (Hwy 9) and there is also another entrance at Si Nakharin and Rama IX Junction.
- Via Bang Na-Trat Highway (Hwy 34) From Bang Na, Bang Phli, across the Bang Pakong River to Chonburi there is a Chonburi bypass that meets Sukhumvit Road., (Hwy 3, passing Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.
- Central city roads
- Pattaya 1 Road (Beach Road): runs along the beach.
- Pattaya 2 Road: (Second Road) runs approximately 400 metres parallel to Pattaya 1 Road.
- Pattaya 3 Road: (Third Road) this is Pattaya's outer-ring road which connects north, south, and central Pattaya.
- Pattaya Tai: (South Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
- Pattaya Klang: (Central Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
- Pattaya Nuea: (North Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
- Tappraya Road: connects Pattaya 2 to Jomtien Beach Road.
- Thepprasit Road: connects Tappraya Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
- Soi Buakaow: connects Pattaya Tai and Pattaya Klang, between Pattaya 2 Road and Pattaya 3 Road.
Pattaya is served by frequent bus service from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) 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 1 1⁄2 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 1 1⁄2 hours, or 120 kilometres (75 mi) by road from Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok's international hub. By road, it is accessed from Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7 from Bangkok. Pattaya is also served by charter flights via U-Tapao International Airport which is 45 minute drive from the city.
Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R destination during the Vietnam War and developed into a family-oriented seaside destination. In 2007, foreign tourists visiting Thailand totalled 14.5 million.
Activities include playing golf (21 golf courses within one 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, crocodiles, and other animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine offers 30-minute trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few kilometres offshore. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden about 15 kilometres south of Pattaya is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) botanical garden and orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained chimpanzees and elephants are presented. The park also keeps several tigers and an assortment of birds.
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, the Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya (cultural show), Bottle Art Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Underwater World, an aquarium with a collection of marine species from the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays. Khao Phra Tamnak or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill between south Pattaya and Jomtien Beach that provides a panoramic view of the city 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 Cartoon Network Amazone is a water park located near the navy base golf course that was opened in late 2014 and is themed towards Cartoon Network and its shows. The park includes different zones where different water slides can be seen. There is also a wave pool and surfing simulator that anyone can use, and the largest water playground in south-east Asia, which also includes two tipping buckets. A food court was opened later in 2014, and includes a large variety of cuisines, from traditional Thai food to Italian and Japanese food. Small huts are available for rent around the park. Yearly passes are available for those who wish to come there often and easily walk into the park. Several stores and gift shops are still under construction and are projected to be finished by late 2015. 
The Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981 by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, that was conceived from the concept 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 the king. Within the compound of the temple are a replica of the Buddha's footprint, and a large chedi containing Buddha relics.
Thepprasit Market is the biggest and busiest market in Pattaya. It is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening on Thepprasit Road. It is famous for selling pets, has many Thai food stalls including local specialities like fried insects and scorpions as well as branded clothing, shoes, and electronic goods.
Festivals and events
- Chinese New Year (varies from late January to early February) is celebrated by Pattaya's large Thai-Chinese community with dragon parades, lion dances, and fireworks.
- Burapa Pattaya Bike Week is Thailand's, and one of Southeast Asia's, biggest motorcycle event held in Pattaya each February, drawing motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Southeast Asia and further abroad. The 2010 event was held over two days with local and international live music acts.
- Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of March. It attracts huge crowds to the different stages along Beach Road and Bali Hai Pier, and presents several styles of music performed by Thai and international artists.
- The Pattaya Songkran festival, locally called Wan Lai, takes place each year in mid-April. It differs from most other Songkran festivals of Thailand in several aspects. It lasts several days longer and, besides the water throwing, the event includes beauty pageants, musical performances, cultural shows, fireworks, and water sports competitions.
- Top of the Gulf Regatta is a week-long sailing event held at the end of April, beginning of May.
- The Miss Tiffany Universe beauty pageant is held mid-May each year. During the 4 day pageant, Thailand's most beautiful transgender persons and transsexuals vie for first place with the final evening broadcast live on Thai TV for an audience of, on average, 15 million.
- Pattaya Marathon, featuring several race categories, is held each year in July.
- Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival, held annually on the last weekend of October, organized by the Thailand Guitar Society, Pattaya People Media Group, and Siam Bayshore Pattaya.
- Loi Krathong, a light festival held during the full moon of the twelfth month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar and which usually falls in November, is celebrated in Pattaya, as in the rest of the country, that evening with people floating krathongs (small, candle-lit floats made from elaborately folded banana leaves) on the waters, as well as releasing khom loi (candle-fired hot air balloons) into the night sky.
- Every November Pattaya hosts Miss International Queen, a yearly international pageant for transgender persons and transsexuals. In 2007 the event drew an estimated 25 million viewers on national TV.
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 transsexual and transgender entertainers perform to packed houses.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2014)|
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, Property investment, 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.
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. There has also been an increase in accidents with tourists involved due to the large amount of drunk driving in the Pattaya area with the ease of renting motorcycles and scooters to get around. In 2009 the rate of drunk driving related accidents in Pattaya was 15.5% and in car driving accidents it was 10.1%.
On 11 April 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.
Media and communications
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. The German language magazine and news portal calls itself DER FARANG.
Local cable TV services such as Pattaya Channel TV are provided by Sophon Cable, Banglamung TV, Jomtien TV, and Baan Suan.
- TAT International – Tourism Authority of Thailand News Room. Tatnews.org (24 Oct 2009). Retrieved on 14 Dec 2011.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pattaya.|
- Pattaya travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Pattaya Official Website
- Thailand's Sin City Reaches for Respectability – slideshow by The New York Times