Pattaya is the cornerstone of the Eastern Seaboard. The city’s history dates back to 1767, when General Phraya Tak gathered his armies in a small village called Thap Praya or Army of the Phraya, before chasing the Burmese from Siam’s capital Ayuttaya. He chose this place for its cooling ocean breezes Phattaya and named this place Phattaya Village. Thailand remembers him as King Taksin the Great.
From a peaceful fishing village, with tigers roaming the adjoining wilderness, Pattaya has developed into the international resort city it is today. It all began in 1959, during the war in Vietnam, when the village became the official R&R centre, and over 500 American troops from their base in Khorat descended on the village. Hotels and bars literally mushroomed overnight to accommodate more troops. When the war was over, Pattaya was given Special City Status, and plans were made for the future. Drainage and roads became subject to construction codes. Foreign companies were encouraged to establish their factories in one of the emerging industrial parks, and private businesses and tourist attractions formed their own chapters to plan development.
Today, the wastewater treatment plant has become a reality. The highway network connecting Pattaya with Bangkok and Rayong has seen major improvements. The tourism and entertainment sectors have prospered, and over 60% of Thailand’s manufacturing industries have chosen to operate from the Eastern Seaboard. Auto Alliance, BMW, Caltex, Esso, Foster Wheeler, General Motors, Michelin, Mitsubishi, Shell and Siemens-Westinghouse are just a few of the many companies located in one of the industrial complexes, i.e. Amata City, Eastern Seaboard, Laem Chabang, Maptaphut, Saha Group. The deep-sea port in Laem Chabang, 20km north of Pattaya, does not only service these manufacturing areas, it has also become a busy cruise ship terminal.
International chambers of commerce have established their chapters for members who live and work in the Eastern Seaboard. Equally, in response to a growing demand, the area offers several international schools and well-equipped hospitals.
Pattaya has much to offer for residents and visitors, but it is also world famous for its sex industry. Go-go bars and beer bars line Beach Road and Walking Street, and other parts of town are being taken over progressively. Prostitution is part of Pattaya’s reality. If you come to live here with your family, you will either learn to tolerate this fact or simply chose to avoid the service areas. Bar girls, however, are friendly towards couples and singles and do not push their sexual wares where they are obviously not required. Efforts are being made to eliminate underage sex and to clamp down on the more outrageous sex shows.
Pattaya, including Jomtien to the south and Naklua to the north, has palm-fringed sandy beaches with bright umbrellas and a view of tropical coral islands on the horizon. It has a cosmopolitan atmosphere with English spoken nearly everywhere. It is full of contrasts, where five-star hotels and restaurants co-exist with temples and noodle-carts. You may enjoy the lively bargaining of the markets or prefer to do your shopping in one of the many Western-style supermarkets. You may enjoy the bright clamour of the bars and discos or prefer the more restful atmosphere in one of the hotels/restaurants. Or you may wish to visit one of the quiet places out of town. You can choose between delicious Thai food and many other cuisines. Everywhere in the city amidst the razzle-dazzle and international veneer, you will see evidence of ethnic beliefs and customs. This is part of the charm of Pattaya.
Pattaya is the closest international resort city to Thailand’s capital Bangkok covering an area of 208 sq km. The registered population is around 100,000 people. This does not include foreign residents/expats and the many migrant workers connected with tourism. 357 hoteller, 34 bungalows and 756 guesthouses offer a total of over 40,000 registered rooms. Your money is held safe in 32 banks, while you can dine in over 550 restaurants. Kick up your heels at one of the 600 night clubs, dance halls and karaoke bars, go ten pin bowling at one of the four alleys, play tennis at over 20 courts, or you can book a guided tour with one of the 78 registered tour companies. Golfers can play their game at one of the 20 prime golf courses and many driving ranges on the Eastern Seaboard.
Cool, dry season – November to February.
Short sharp showers known as Mango rains. Relative humidity around 50%. Temperatures from 20-30oC. The best time to enjoy the nice weather. Recommend your prospective visitors to come in this season. If you travel north, take a sweater!
Hot season – March to May.
Occasional rain with relative humidity around 73%. Temperatures from 30-40oC. The sun is very hot. During this time of year the thunderstorms are spectacular.
Rainy season – June to October.
Heavy prolonged rain. Humidity around 90% with temperatures between 25-35oC. Showers are sporadic and don’t usually last all day.