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About Pattaya

Nowadays Pattaya is one the most famous resorts in Thailand and is immensely popular among Russian tourists. Every year millions of tourists all over the world visit this place, while just 40 years ago today´s Pattaya as we know it did not exist at all. The seacoast between Sriracha and Sattahip was inhabited by only a few fisher families that pursued their craft in the Gulf of Thailand. Its calm and safe waters are protected by cusps to the north and to the south, and the mountains behind them.

The legend has it that the town was named after Marshall Phraya Tak who defeated the Burmese invaders in 1767. His army was deployed on the territory of modern Pattaya, and it encountered the enemy troops of Nai Klum just nearby. When two armies met, Nai Klum decided to surrender without a battle, thus expressing his admiration at Phraya Tak’s valor and his army’s discipline. The place where this historical event happened was called “Thap Phraya”, which means “Phraya’s army”. Eventually this name has presumably transformed into “Ph(r)atthaya” and then was reduced to “Pattaya”.

The natives of the city are telling that the historical core of Pattaya was located between Walking Street and Pratumnak Hill. This evidence is further supported by existence of Tapraya Road that connects the abovementioned places and which name is similar to the old city name.

The alternative story holds that Pattaya was named after the Phatthaya wind, which can be literally translated as a wind “that blows from south-west to the north-east in the beginning of a raining season”.

Over the next two centuries Pattaya remained a little-known fishing village. But its fate has changed after the Vietnam War. During that period, thousands of American soldiers stationed in Thailand. As a result, the settlement started to develop an infrastructure, and first shops, decent hotels and restaurants were built in Pattaya. Opportunistic Thai, mainly go-getters from Bangkok, realized the high earning potential of this young enterprise and actively invested money into the village’s economical growth. In 1960 the first hotel “Nautical Inn” with accompanying restaurants and cafes were erected. The first bar opened in Nova Lodge Hotel in 1964.

Very soon thousands of young Thai girls, mostly from the deprived North-Eastern areas of Thailand, flooded Pattaya bars offering themselves for starving American military men. Pattaya’s red-light district has started out with such one “Marine Bar” in the southern outskirts of the beach.

After the end of the Vietnam War, in 1975, the interest in the Pattaya resort has temporarily decreased. Nevertheless American veterans told their friends and relatives about the town when they had returned home. As more people heard about Pattaya on the grapevine, a former little fishing village turned into the most popular resort destination among Americans. Moreover, many Bangkok residents evolved a habit to spend family weekends in Pattaya. In order to meet the growing demand, the town’s infrastructure started to develop on the wings of the wind.

On 29 November, 1978, Pattaya has received an official city status. This day is celebrated annually as the resort’s foundation date.

Owing to favorable tropical climate, hospitable local residents and growing real-estate market, Pattaya has become the beloved retreat for thousands of emigrants of all ages, even foreign pensioners who are still young at heart. Nowadays this is not a hot spot attracting sex tourists, but a big city with well-established infrastructure, e.g. shopping malls, premium-class golf-fields, spa studios and many other decent attractions and entertainments.

Today Pattaya visitors are not looking for seedy amusements, but are aiming at family holidays; and fortunately, the city has a lot of entertainments to offer. Nearby Pattaya one finds many zoos, a dolphinarium and an aquarium. Two water parks are on their way.

And the best is yet to come! The city municipality has expanded the central beach area, there are new condos and hotels being erected, and very soon Pattaya will be connected to Bangkok by an ultra-modern high-speed railway line. More and more tourists, who once got acquainted with Pattaya, are coming back here over and over again. Some of them are even regularly staying here during winter in the Northern hemisphere. Such “outward migration” promotes people to rent or purchase property in Pattaya instead of living in hotels. Why are there so many devotees, who spend holidays here, despite the moderate cleanness of the seawater? Well, there are several reasons for that.

Excellent climate is the first one. Pattaya is officially the most sunny city in the country. Even the raining season is not so prominent here compared to other parts of Thailand. The atmospheric temperature rarely increases above 32ºC or drops below 22ºC; thus there is no abrupt temperature fluctuations that are common for Russian climate. Furthermore, the seawater temperature is also very stable and equals to 27ºC all the year long – an extra big plus for those who like it hot.

The second reason is that nobody is ever bored in Pattaya. You will always find something to pursue: entertainments in the clubs on Walking Street, exquisite menus of various restaurants with Thai, Italian, Scandinavian, Mexican and Russian kitchen. If you are a fan of lazy beach holidays, take a ferry and find yourself in just half an hour tanning on snow-white sand and swimming in crystal-clean water. In the evening after coming back to Pattaya, you can watch a movie in a film theater (even in Russian in the recently opened one), play bowling or take a shopping spree. There are lots of interesting attractions in the proximity of Pattaya, e.g. Nong Nooch Tropical Garden, astonishing zoos as well as crocodile, tiger and elephant farms.

There are two Orthodox Christian churches in different districts of Pattaya. Thrillseekers can go for parachute jumping or experience the Flight of the Gibbon. The nearby atolls are ideal for snorkeling and diving. In addition, there is a real Russian-style bath in Pattaya.

Worth mentioning are relatively low prices in general, especially for seafood, fruits and vegetables which are undoubtedly sold fresh.

Pattaya is a gate to many Asian countries thanks to the nearby airports: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and U-Tapao.

Pattaya residents are very kind and friendly. They are living by the motto: if you cannot help someone, at least do not make it worse. Maybe this is the reason why criminal activity is almost negligible in Pattaya. This city will make you forget about tiring vanity of big cities, and you will stop expecting aggression from every bypasser. Instead you will notice friendly smiles that encourage you to smile in return!


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