A small insight in a fascinating city for our guests at the Guesthouse Pattaya-City
Pattaya is located 160 km away southwards from Bangkok on the East coast of Thailand (Golf of Thailand).
The first time Pattaya was mentioned in the Thai history was 1768 when king Taksin retreated to the capital Ayutthaya following the burmese assault in order to gather new strength and troops in the province Chonburi. Until the fifties, Pattaya was a small fishermen's village among many others between Si Racha and Sattahip. Pattaya was appreciated by the fishermen because of its quiet bay. In the North of Pattaya, salt had been made out of sea salt. This explains the name: Pattaya-Naklua (= salt field).
It's only in the sixties that Pattaya developed from a mere fishermen's village to a town. During the Vietnam war, Americans built an air force base nearby (Utapao). This airport is even used today by the Thai air force. The nearby Sattahip (actually a military prohibited area) was used by the Americans as marine base. During their stationing in Sattahip, the American soldiers went to Pattaya nearby to rest and relax. These were the so called R&R tours (rest & recreation). In those days there was only one hotel corresponding to international standards in Pattaya.
After the withdrawal of the Americans from Vietnam in the year 1975, Pattaya didn't go back to its old life as a fishermen's village, though. It had already established itself as a tourist magnet and became a metropolis. Not only foreigners came, but also visitors from Bangkok. This is still like that today. Especially on weekends, Pattaya and Jomtien are getting very busy because that is when loads of people are fleeing from Bangkok to visit the beaches of the resort.
The city of Pattaya today
Pattaya, the resort on the East coast has undergone a dynamic development. It is said that nearly a million people are living here, but nobody knows for sure, because in Thailand it is not necessary to register at the authorities when moving. But one can observe that the city is growing by the year. The hotels have a bed capacity of 600'000, and every year, over 1 million visitors are coming to Pattaya. By way of comparison: in 1986 there were 8'000 hotel rooms in Pattaya, ten years later there were already 30'000.
Tourists coming to Pattaya should not think they actually are in Thailand. The city of Pattaya has not much in common with Thailand. If you want to get to know the real Thailand then you should be visiting the surroundings of Pattaya. At sightseeing (Link!) a lot of places of interest are described, that are worth a visit. Yet: As soon as the darkness falls over Pattaya and the lights go on everywhere, the city is coming to life like nowhere else!
A big plus of this town is that everything can be made available 24 hours a day and is only a few minutes away on foot. If you want to buy cigarettes or a beer in the night from Sunday to Monday at 3 AM, you will easily find it in one of the many stores (7-Eleven, Family Mart). Also, the opening hours of the large shopping centers speak for themselves. They are open at eight in the morning and close only at 11 PM or midnight. Here, Sunday is a working day because the client is the king. There are no discussions about closing hours or shops being closed on Sundays.
Pattaya might be the town with the proportional highest percentage of foreigners. Pattaya is also very popular because a lot of foreigners are permanently living here. Here, there is no suffering of loneliness
Already in 1991, Pattaya has been declared controlled environmental zone. Huge sums have been invested in the environment protection. The new clarification plants are now in operation. Since the tidiness of the water has been improved dramatically, all beaches of Pattaya can be visited without hesitation. New parks have been arranged and help improving the cityscape with their green colors. The southern part of the Sand street has been declared pedestrian zone.
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