Originally Pattaya is a small, unknown fishing village on the eastern side of Thailand facing the Gulf of Thailand. Its location appear for the first time in the Thai history when Phraya Tak who later became King Taksin marched to Chanthaburi and passed through this vicinity after the downfall of the former capital Ayuthaya to the Burmese in 1767.
After learning that an unknown troop entered the boundary, a Thai clan leader in the region, named Nai Klom intend to sack Phraya Tak's army. When Nai Klom encounter his enemy, he was awed by the dignity of Phraya Tak's army and surrendered without a fight. The have-to-be battlefield but no bloodshed is called Thap Phraya, literally means the Army of Phraya. Later it was changed and simplified to Pattaya meaning the wind flowing from Southwest to Northeast.
Pattaya had long been forgotten and not until the American servicemen discovered it during the Vietnam War in 1961. From then on, Pattaya blossomed into the Thailand' premier and most developed beach resort which attracts innumerable visitors and tourists annually. The tranquil fishermen's village disappeared and was replaced by shops, houses, mega-hotels to guesthouses, department stores, and so on. The white sandy beaches are visited by swimmers and sunbathers, not only from the local Thai but from the foreign tourists around the world.
For resort and leisure seekers, its sunny climate is an ideal place for swimming and sunbathing. There are three major beach areas, i.e. Pattaya Beach, Jomtien Beach and those on Ko Lan (Coral Island) where you can enjoy your holiday.
Pattaya is only 147 kilometers away from Bangkok with a comfortable 3-hours drive and the transportation services to this resort is greatly convenient!
Finding an accommodation to stay can be both easy and difficult depending upon the seasons. Cheap guesthouses and budget hotels are plenty and are mostly popular among the frequent visitors with longer stay where economy is a major concern. A number of medium and deluxe hotels in Pattaya can be found scattered on the beach roads from North to the South or on the more serene beaches surrounding the Phratamnak Hill.
Numerous sporting activities can be found at this resort of Thailand. Full range of water sports is available including fishing, sailing, water skiing, water-scooter rider, windsurfing, scuba diving, parasailing, and etc. In addition, there is a wide variety of land sports ranging from golfing, shooting, motorcar racing, horse riding, bowling, badminton, tennis, go-cart, paintball, bungee jumping, etc. Gyms and health clubs are also available at some major hotels.
Pattaya is more than a beach resort. There are many tourist attractions that are worth visiting for individuals, couples or family with kids. Interesting sites in the vicinity within easy reach are
Phra Tamnak Hill, a vantage point to view Pattaya bay; Wat Yannasangwararam, a Royal Buddhist Temple built in Chinese-style atmosphere,
Bottle Museum, over 300 miniatures of world-wide monuments in the bottles;
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, weird and unique things can be found in this museum.
Recommended Pattaya Tours and Sightseeing are a half-day scenic cruise to the offshore Coral Island (Ko Lan) with a chance to view the coral on a glass-menu2 boat; Nong Nooch Village, a tropical garden with various cultural and traditional shows, Million Year Stone Park having ancient flora and rare animal species as well as a crocodile farm, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo containing a largest number of Bengal tigers with numerous animals and interesting shows like pig racing; Elephant Village, where ones can see elephant shows with amusements; Minisiam, replica in miniature of renowned temples and palaces, and last but not least, the Alcazar Cabaret Show, fascinating shows and dances by beautiful actresses but actually they are all male in origin!
Pattaya is also a shopping paradise, where you can buy for various items and materials from various shops and fashionable boutiques such as garments, silk, handicrafts, gemstones, jewelry, paintings, sportswear, souvenirs, and etc.
For gourmets, various International cuisines and fresh seafood are offered in many restaurants and food shops such as Thai, French, Italian, German, Scandinavian, Russian, American, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and etc.
After dark, Pattaya becomes a lively nightlife with many entertainment places from coffee shops, bars, karaoke, to discotheques and etc. Most of these entertainment places are concentrated in Central and South Pattaya.
In short, Pattaya is one of the most fascinating beach resort in Thailand and in Asia as it offers several facets for holiday seekers