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About Pattaya

Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา,  พัทยา), RTGS: Phatthaya) is a city in Thailand, located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok located within but not part of Amphoe Bang Lamung (Banglamung) in the province of Chonburi.


The city of Pattaya is a self governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue (Nongprue) and Na Kluea (Naklua) and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. It is located in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha (Sri Racha), Laem Chabang, and Chon Buri (Chonburi).


Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province.


"Greater Pattaya" occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung (one of the eleven districts that comprise 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 the Buddha Hill headland (immediately south of Pattaya Beach), and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of Jomtien Beach (which lies directly south of Buddha Hill).


The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is parallel to city centre, and runs from Pattaya Nuea south to Walking Street. Along Beach Road are restaurants, shopping areas, and night attractions.

Jomtien Beach in the southern part of the bay area is divided from Pattaya beach by the promontory of Pratumnak Hill. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants. On weekends, it becomes increasingly crowded, with many Thai visitors coming from Bangkok. It offers of watersport activities such as jet skis, parasailing and small sail boat hire.


Offshore islands include the "Near Islands", Ko Larn (main island), Ko Sak and Ko Krok located 7 km from the western shores of Pattaya Ko Larn, or "Coral Island", Mu Ko Phai, the "Far Islands", Ko Phai (main island), Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, located offshore further west of the "Near Islands", and Ko Rin, located offshore to the southwest, south of Mu Ko Phai. Some of the islands in the group are accessible by speedboat in less than 15 minutes and by ferry taking about 45 minutes. The names "Near Islands", "Far Islands" and "Coral Island" are used for touristic 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. Many of the islands have public beaches and offer scuba diving activities.


Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R destination during the Vietnam War and developed into a family-orientated seaside destination. Foreign tourism to Thailand as a whole in 2007 amounted to 14.5 million visitors.


Activities include playing golf (21 golf courses within 1 hour 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, alligators, and other animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine offers trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few kilometers offshore. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden about 15 kilometers south of Pattaya is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) site of botanical gardens and an orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained chimpanzees and elephants are presented.


 

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden.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, Underwater World Pattaya (world-class aquarium), the Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya (cultural show), Bottle Art Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Underwater World, an aquarium where there is a collection of marine species in the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays. Khao Phra Tamnak or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill located between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach that provides a panoramic view of the city of Pattaya 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 Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981 by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, that was conceived from the vision that human civilization has been achieved and nurtured by 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, 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 and later supported by His Majesty the King. Within the compound of the temple are a replica of the Buddha’s footprint, and a large Chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha.


Driven by its popularity as both a holiday destination, and a location for foreign expatriates, Pattaya is an area of extensive property development, including hotels, condominiums, and housing estates. Steadily rising prices of land and buildings have also led to investment and speculation contributing to the growth in the town's economy.


Large hospitals in the area include Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, Pattaya International Hospital, Banglamung Hospital, and Pattaya Memorial Hospital. Many foreign tourists have dental and medical care in Pattaya, though Bangkok is far more popular as a medical tourist destination.


Most of the officially-registered Pattaya residents are of Thai-Chinese ancestry. Due to the tourist industry, many people from the Northeast (known as Isaan, the poorest region of Thailand) have come to work in Pattaya, and are counted for census purposes in their hometown.


There is a fast-growing community of foreign retirees living in Pattaya. Thai immigration has a special visa category for foreigners over age 50 who wish to retire in Thailand. Pattaya is attractive to many retirees from Europe and other Western countries not only because of its climate and exotic, easy lifestyle, but also because living costs are a fraction of those in Europe, a major consideration for people on fixed pensions or incomes. While foreigners are not permitted to own land, they are permitted to hold title to condominium units. Many new condominiums sell out the allotted 49% for foreigners while the buildings are being constructed.


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