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|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||ICT (UTC+7)|
Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา, pronunciation (help·info), rtgs: Phatthaya, Thai pronunciation: [pʰát.tʰā.jāː]) is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-east of Bangkok, within, but not part of, Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chonburi. The Pattaya City (Thai: เมืองพัทยา rtgs: Mueang Phatthaya) is a self-governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Klua and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The city is in the industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi. Pattaya's census population figure is 107,406, yet this only accounts for residents who have formally registered in the city. Pattaya is the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area—the conurbation in Chonburi Province—with a total population exceeding 1,000,000.
- 1 History
- 2 Climate
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Physical geography
- 5 Administration
- 6 Sister cities
- 7 Beaches and islands
- 8 Transportation
- 9 Main sights
- 10 Festivals and events
- 11 Nightlife
- 12 Health care
- 13 Crime
- 14 Media and communications
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 External links
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 Burmese invaders in 1767.
When his army arrived in 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 south-west to the north-east at the beginning of the rainy season.
Pattaya was a fishing village until the 1960s. Then, during the Vietnam War, American servicemen stationed at nearby U-Tapao or other US bases in Thailand began visiting Pattaya. One story, unverified by a reliable source, notes that it all started when a group of 500 American soldiers stationed at the military base in Korat were driven to Pattaya on 29 June 1959 for a week of rest and relaxation. They rented several houses at the south end of the beach from a prominent Thai, Lord Sunthorn. Despite their short stay, the soldiers had a great time and raved about the place. The word spread among other American soldiers stationed in the region and Pattaya quickly became a hot alternative to Bangkok.
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)|
|Record high °C (°F)||36.0
|Average high °C (°F)||30.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.3
|Average low °C (°F)||23.0
|Record low °C (°F)||16.4
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||15.6
|Average rainy days||1.6||2.5||4.5||6.4||11.8||12.0||12.4||13.1||16.6||17.3||6.0||1.4||105.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||73||77||77||77||78||77||77||77||81||83||76||70||77|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||229.4||211.9||238.7||204.0||155.0||114.0||117.8||114.7||108.0||145.7||189.0||226.3||2,054.5|
|Mean daily sunshine hours||7.4||7.5||7.7||6.8||5.0||3.8||3.8||3.7||3.6||4.7||6.3||7.3||5.6|
|Source #1: Thai Meteorological Department|
|Source #2: Office of Water Management and Hydrology, Royal Irrigation Department (sun and humidity)|
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, for comparison the city limits of Bangkok 2010 census some 49 percent that were present during the count as residing in Bangkok did not have registration in Bangkok. Including non-registered residents, the population numbers for Pattaya were estimated by Thai sources at around 300,000 at any given time. Other estimates put the figure as high as 500,000.
Pattaya additionally has massive population inflow from tourism, with its 2000 hotels and 136,000 rooms available as of 2015.
Due to the tourist industry, many people from the north-east (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, on the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) south of the city of Bangkok in 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 make up 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 (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 city's workforce.
Beaches and islands
The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is parallel to the city centre, and runs from Pattaya Nuea south to Walking Street. Along Beach Road are restaurants, shopping areas, and bars.
Pratumnak is on the south side of Pattaya and is popular for its viewpoints and the temple (Wat Phra Yai) on top of the hill. Pattaya Park and Pattaya tower are at the south end of Pratumnak and the Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (P.E.A.C.H), is positioned at the north end of Pratumnak. In recent years, Pratumnak has gained in popularity because of its more natural environment, nicer beaches, and its convenient location between Jomtien and Pattaya city.
Jomtien is divided from Pattaya by Thepprasit Road, the southern route into Pattaya city. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beach side hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants.
Offshore islands include three "near islands": Ko Lan (main island), Ko Sak, and Ko Krok, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the shore of Pattaya. The "far islands" are Ko Phai (main island), Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, located offshore further west of the "near islands". Ko Rin lies offshore to the south-west, south of Ko Phai group. 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.
In June 2016 the Regional Environmental Office reported that, "The sea water along the busy central Pattaya beaches is of poor quality and could endanger human and marine life."
- 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.
- Pattaya 1 Road (Beach Road): runs along the beach.
- Pattaya 2 Road: (Second Road) runs approximately 400 metres inland, 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 bus services from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) and the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai), connecting to Pattaya's main bus terminal on Pattaya Nuea (North Pattaya Road) near Sukhumvit Road.
There are two Airport Bus Services The 389 Bus airportpattayabus service connects Pattaya with Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), it is located on Thappraya Road near the intersection of Thepprasit Road. It uses modern air-conditioned buses, and takes around 1 1⁄2 hours to reach the airport. The trip from the airport (level 1 gate 8 at arrival hall) to the bus terminal in Pattaya, makes 3 stops at North, Central, and South Pattaya intersections before going straight to their last drop off point, the office on Thappraya road (near Jomtiem). It can take longer if many hotel stops are negotiated along Sukhumvit Road in Pattaya. The other bus service is the Bell Travel Service (Coach 36) which goes from the airport (Level 1 Between Gate 7 & 8) to the Pattaya Bell office at the North Pattaya Intersection, and then provides transfers to local hotels.
Buses from a terminal on Sukhumvit Road near Pattaya Klang (near the Central Pattaya intersection) connect Pattaya with many destinations in the north-east (i.e. Isan).
City and suburban services are mainly provided by songthaew, popularly nicknamed "baht buses" or "blue taxis".
Some metered taxis and air-conditioned vans operate for private hire from hotel car-parks. 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 specific 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 120 kilometres (75 mi) by road from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), the country's largest International airport. By road, it is accessed from Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7 from Bangkok. Pattaya is also served by scheduled flights via U-Tapao International Airport (UTP) which is 45 minute drive south of the city.
A passenger-only ferry service from Pattaya to Hua Hin began operation on 12 January 2017 and is operated by Royal Passenger Liner. By road, the journey takes five to six hours. The ferry shortens travel time to about two hours, subject to sea conditions. The ferry cruises at 27 knots on the 113 km journey across the Gulf of Thailand with a maximum passenger capacity of 150 persons. Larger ferries carrying up to 260 people may be added to the service later. Ferries capable of carrying vehicles are projected for 2020.
Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R destination during the Vietnam War. It is striving to become a family-oriented seaside destination. In 2007, foreign tourists visiting Thailand totalled 14.5 million.
Popular activities include golf (19 golf courses within 40 minutes 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 Pratamnak 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 near the navy base golf course that was opened in late 2014. It has a Cartoon Network theme. 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.
RamaYana, with a total size of more than 18 ha (45 acres / 102 Rai), is one of Asia’s biggest waterparks, was opened in May 2016. The park, which is designed as a modern waterpark built on an antique Asian city, offers 21 water slides, and some of them unique1, 2 dedicated children’s zones, a 600m long lazy river and a double wave pool with a 150m wide beach as well as relaxation and activity pools. The park, which is located 20 km south of Pattaya City, close to the big Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan) and next to Silverlake vineyard, has natural lakes and islands in and around the park, and also includes attractions like a floating market, real elephants or a maze. A restaurant offers more than 100 dishes and food delivery to sun lounges, which are provided free of charge. The park also offers massage services and fish spa.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981 by the sea at Laem Ratchawet. It was conceived from the concept that human civilization owes its existence to 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, the 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. Within the temple compound 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 known 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 south-east Asia's, biggest motorcycle event held in Pattaya each February, drawing motorcycle enthusiasts from all over south-east Asia and 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 water fights, 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 four-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 this notoriety has influenced the city's evolution in many ways. Prostitution in Thailand is technically illegal but tolerated in most cities, including Pattaya. The city's vast numbers of host bars, gogo bars, massage parlours, saunas, and hourly hotels, serve foreign tourists as well as locals. This is especially prominent on Walking Street as well as other areas around the city. Efforts have been made to clean up the city's image.
Articles in the British tabloids The Sun and the Daily Mirror have described Pattaya as "the world's sex capital", a "modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah". This provoked anger from government officials as high up as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Pol Col Apichai Krobpetch, the Pattaya police superintendent, denied that Pattaya is a sex trade paradise. Upset about the British media's stories, he insisted they were fabricated. "There is no such thing as prostitution in Pattaya," said Col Apichai. "Where did they get the figure of 27,000 sex workers in Pattaya? Anyone can make up this information....Thai ladies having sex with foreigners is their personal issue. If they like each other, I don't see anything wrong with what they do behind closed doors." In response, Pattaya social worker Surang Janyam, the director of Service Workers IN Group Foundation, said that estimated number of Pattaya prostitutes published in the Daily Mirror is inaccurate: "27,000 sex workers in Pattaya is way too low. We have a lot more sex workers than that."
As evidence of the government's commitment to clean up Pattaya, on 26 February 2017 at 20:00, 60 police officers and soldiers raided Pattaya's notorious Soi 6 to check for violations of the law. When the checks were completed, police announced that all licenses were in order and there was no law breaking of any kind, including prostitution, taking place there.
Pattaya also has Asia's largest gay scene based around Boyztown, the Jomtien Complex, and Sunee Plaza. The city is also famous for its flamboyant kathoey cabaret shows where transsexual and transgender entertainers perform to packed houses.
Large hospitals in the area include Bangkok Pattaya Hospital (private, the most expensive), Pattaya International Hospital (private), Banglamung Hospital (public), Pattaya City Hospital (public) and Pattaya Memorial Hospital (private). Many foreign tourists have dental and medical procedures done in Pattaya, although Bangkok is 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 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 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 protesters breaking into the conference center of the Royal Cliff Beach Resort hotel complex, the site of an ASEAN meeting. The meeting was immediately cancelled 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. The German language magazine and news portal is DER FARANG.
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- Overview of Bus Services
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- Baynes, Chris (17 February 2017). "Inside the world's sex capital: City dubbed 'modern day Sodom and Gomorrah' with highest number of prostitutes anywhere". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
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