Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา, pronunciation (help·info),
RTGS: Phatthaya, Thai pronunciation: [pʰát.tʰā.jāː])
is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of
Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) south-east of Bangkok,
within, but not part of,
Amphoe Bang Lamung
Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of
Pattaya City (Thai: เมืองพัทยา
RTGS: Mueang Phatthaya) is a self-governing municipal area which
covers the whole tambon
Nong Prue and Na Klua and parts of Huai Yai
and Nong Pla Lai. The city is in the industrial Eastern Seaboard zone,
along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi.
Pattaya is the center
of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area—the conurbation in
Chonburi Province—with a total population roughly 1,000,000.
4 Physical geography
6 Sister cities
7 Beaches and islands
8.1.1 Notable roads
9 Main sights
10 Festivals and events
12 Health care
14 Media and communications
16 See also
18 External links
View of Pattaya
Pattaya viewed from the sea
Pattaya in daytime
Pattaya evolved from the march of
Phraya Tak (later King
Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, which took place
before the fall of the former capital to Burmese invaders in 1767.
When his army arrived in the vicinity of what is now Pattaya, Phraya
Tak encountered the troops of a local leader named Nai Klom, who tried
to intercept him. When the two met face to face, Nai Klom was
Phraya Tak's dignified manner and his army's strict
discipline. He surrendered without a fight and joined his forces. The
place the armies confronted each other was thereafter known as "Thap
Phraya", which means the "army of the Phraya". This later became
Pattaya, the name of the wind blowing from the south-west to the
north-east at the beginning of the rainy season.
Pattaya was a fishing village until the 1960s. Then, during the
Vietnam War, American servicemen stationed at nearby U-Tapao or other
US bases in
Thailand began visiting Pattaya. One story, unverified by
a reliable source, notes that it all started when a group of 500
American soldiers stationed at the military base in Korat were driven
Pattaya on 29 June 1959 for a week of rest and relaxation. They
rented several houses at the south end of the beach from a prominent
Thai, Lord Sunthorn. Despite their short stay, the soldiers had a
great time and raved about the place. The word spread among other
American soldiers stationed in the region and
Pattaya quickly became a
hot alternative to Bangkok.
Pattaya has a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the
following seasons: hot and dry (December to February), hot and humid
(March and April), and hot and rainy (May to November).
Climate data for
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average rainfall mm (inches)
Average rainy days
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: Thai Meteorological Department
Source #2: Office of Water Management and Hydrology, Royal Irrigation
Department (sun and humidity)
The city (mueang) had 320,262 people resident and counted on census
2010 (National Statistics Office). Most of these people counted are
Thai, with most migrant populations not recognized, although the
details are quite complex as there are even indigenous Thais without
nationality, and migrant workers have since been largely regularized
(albeit with due foreign pressure). Therefore, the census population
even does not represent the total figure. As for Thai nationals and
legal permanent residents (very few) registering the city as their
hometown, the provincial authority logged population was 107,944 in
2010, modestly rising to 118,511 by 2017. As with the Bangkok
Metropolitan Region, registered population figure issued by a
different agency than the National Statistics Office hardly captures
the scope of the urban transformation that has occurred over the time
span — the economy is dependent on the large numbers of casual Thai
workers who work in the city yet remain registered in their hometowns,
there is much employment turnover and to and fro from the capital, as
well as seasonal farm migration. Migrant workers from neighboring
nations, and many long-term expatriates who reside in the city as
retirees or self-employed or contracted are traditionally not counted.
There has never been a reliably published figure for total population,
but its thought to be quite large (on the order of half a million
people) given the ubiquity and sheer number of migrant workers taking
place of Thai labor.
Pattaya city excludes some nearby areas like Nong
Prue (73,901 people in 2010 census) and Huay Yai.
Pattaya additionally has massive population inflow from short stay
tourism, with its 2000 hotels and 136,000 rooms available as of
Due to the tourist industry, many people from the north-east (known as
Isan, the poorest region of Thailand) have come to work in Pattaya,
and are counted for census purposes in their hometowns.
There is a fast-growing community of foreign retirees living in
Thailand immigration has a special visa category for
foreigners over age 50 who wish to retire in Thailand.
attractive to many retirees from other countries not only because of
its climate and exotic, easy lifestyle, but also because living costs
are lower than in many countries.
Pattaya from Pratumnak Hill
Amphoe Bang Lamung
Amphoe Bang Lamung in Chonburi Province.
Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 160 kilometres
(99 mi) south of the city of
Bangkok in the Bang Lamung District.
The city of
Pattaya is a special municipal area which covers the whole
Nong Prue (Nongprue) and Na Kluea (Naklua) and parts of Huai
Yai and Nong Pla Lai.
Bang Lamung township
Bang Lamung township which forms the northern
Pattaya covers parts of the tambon Bang Lamung (Banglamung),
Nong Pla Lai and Takhian Tia. Bang Sali is on the southern border of
"Greater Pattaya" occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung (one of
the eleven districts that make up 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 Pratamnak Hill (often called "Buddha Hill" because of the
temples on top of the hill) headland immediately south of Pattaya
Beach, and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of
Jomtien Beach (directly south of Pratamnak Hill).
Pattaya city has been administered under a special autonomous system
since 1978. It has a status comparable to a municipality and is
separately administered by the mayor of
Pattaya city who is
responsible for making policies, organising public services, and
supervising the city's workforce.
Beaches and islands
Pattaya Bay area is one of Asia's largest beach resorts and the
second most visited city in Thailand, after Bangkok. This panorama
overlooks Bali Hai pier and the core of the city.
The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal
Pattaya Beach is parallel to the city centre, and runs
Pattaya Nuea south to Walking Street. Along Beach Road are
restaurants, shopping areas, and bars.
Pratumnak from Wat Phra Yai
Pratumnak is on the south side of
Pattaya and is popular for its
viewpoints and the temple (Wat Phra Yai) on top of the hill. Pattaya
Pattaya tower are at the south end of Pratumnak and the
Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (P.E.A.C.H), is positioned at
the north end of Pratumnak. In recent years, Pratumnak has gained in
popularity because of its more natural environment, nicer beaches, and
its convenient location between
Jomtien is divided from
Pattaya by Thepprasit Road, the southern route
Pattaya city. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beach side
hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants.
Offshore islands include three "near islands":
Ko Lan (main island),
Ko Sak, and Ko Krok, 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the shore of
Pattaya. The "far islands" are
Ko Phai (main island), Ko Man Wichai,
Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, located offshore further west of the
"near islands". Ko Rin lies offshore to the south-west, south of Ko
Phai group. The names "near islands", "far islands", and "Coral
Island" are used for marketing 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
In June 2016 the Regional Environmental Office reported that, "The sea
water along the busy central
Pattaya beaches is of poor quality and
could endanger human and marine life."
Pattaya Beach at sunset.
The beach in
Pattaya on a sunny day
Pattaya at night time.
Pattaya 2 Road on left hand side
Via the Bangkok-Chonburi-
Pattaya Motorway (Hwy 7) The motorway is
linked with Bangkok's Outer Ring Road., (Hwy 9) and there is also
another entrance at Si Nakharin and Rama IX Junction.
Via Bang Na-Trat Highway (Hwy 34) From Bang Na, Bang Phli, across the
Bang Pakong River to Chonburi there is a Chonburi bypass that meets
Sukhumvit Road, (Hwy 3, passing Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.
Pattaya 1 Road (Beach Road): runs along the beach.
Pattaya 2 Road: (Second Road) runs approximately 400 metres inland,
Pattaya 1 Road.
Pattaya 3 Road: (Third Road) this is Pattaya's outer-ring road which
connects north, south, and central Pattaya.
Pattaya Tai: (South
Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit
Pattaya Klang: (Central
Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to
Pattaya Nuea: (North
Pattaya Road) runs from Beach Road to Sukhumvit
Tappraya Road: connects
Pattaya 2 to
Jomtien Beach Road.
Thepprasit Road: connects Tappraya Road to Sukhumvit Highway.
Soi Buakaow: connects
Pattaya Tai and
Pattaya Klang, between
Pattaya 3 Road.
A daily service operates on the Eastern Line of the State Railway of
Pattaya and Hualumphong Station in Bangkok.
Pattaya is served by bus services from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal
(Mo Chit) and the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai), connecting to
Pattaya's main bus terminal on
Pattaya Nuea (North
Pattaya Road) near
There are two Airport Bus Services The 389 Bus airportpattayabus
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), it is
located on Thappraya Road near the intersection of Thepprasit Road. It
uses modern air-conditioned buses, and takes around 1 1⁄2
hours to reach the airport. The trip from the airport (level 1 gate 8
at arrival hall) to the bus terminal in Pattaya, makes 3 stops at
North, Central, and South
Pattaya intersections before going straight
to their last drop off point, the office on Thappraya road (near
Jomtiem). It can take longer if many hotel stops are negotiated along
Sukhumvit Road in Pattaya. The other bus service is the Bell
Travel Service (Coach 36) which goes from the airport (Level 1 Between
Gate 7 & 8) to the
Pattaya Bell office at the North Pattaya
Intersection, and then provides transfers to local hotels.
Buses from a terminal on
Sukhumvit Road near
Pattaya Klang (near the
Pattaya intersection) connect
Pattaya with many destinations
in the north-east (i.e. Isan).
City and suburban services are mainly provided by songthaew, popularly
nicknamed "baht buses" or "blue taxis".
Some metered taxis and air-conditioned vans operate for private hire
from hotel car-parks. Nicknamed "baht-buses" in Pattaya, songthaews
are the most common mode of public transportation. The cost is 10 baht
for any distance on a regular route, but much higher if asked to go to
a specific destination. Motorbike taxis generally operate in the town
and suburbs. Although taxis must carry meters by law they are, in
reality, rarely used.
Pattaya is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) by road from Suvarnabhumi
Airport (BKK), the country's largest International airport. By road,
it is accessed from
Sukhumvit Road and Motorway 7 from Bangkok.
Pattaya is also served by scheduled flights via U-Tapao International
Airport (UTP) which is 45 minute drive south of the city.
A passenger-only ferry service from
Pattaya to Hua Hin began operation
on 12 January 2017 and is operated by Royal Passenger Liner. By
road, the journey takes five to six hours. The ferry shortens travel
time to about two hours, subject to sea conditions. The ferry cruises
at 27 knots on the 113 km journey across the Gulf of Thailand
with a maximum passenger capacity of 150 persons. Larger ferries
carrying up to 260 people may be added to the service later. Ferries
capable of carrying vehicles are projected for 2020.
Pattaya Bay Area
Pattaya Park Tower
Wat Khao Phra Bat temple overlooking
Pattaya Bay features a Buddha
statue more than 18 m tall; this photograph was taken in 1983 prior to
it being painted gold
Buddha statue at Wat Khao Phra Bat after it was painted gold
The Sanctuary of Truth.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden
Mime on Walking Street.
Once a fishing town,
Pattaya first boomed as an R&R destination
during the Vietnam War. It is striving to become a family-oriented
seaside destination. In 2007, foreign tourists
Thailand totalled 14.5 million.
Popular activities include golf (19 golf courses within 40 minutes 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, crocodiles, and other
animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine offers
30-minute trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few
kilometres offshore. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, about 15
kilometres south of Pattaya, is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) botanical
garden and orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained
chimpanzees and elephants are presented. The park also keeps several
tigers and an assortment of birds.
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, Silverlake Winery,
Underwater World Pattaya, the Thai Alangkarn Theater
show), Bottle Art Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and
Underwater World, an aquarium with a collection of marine species from
the Gulf of
Thailand including sharks and stingrays. Khao Pratamnak or
Khao Phra Bat is a small hill between south
that provides a panoramic view of the city 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.
Cartoon Network Amazone
Cartoon Network Amazone is a water park near the navy base golf
course that was opened in late 2014. It has a
Cartoon Network theme.
The park includes different zones where different water slides can be
seen. There is also a wave pool and surfing simulator that anyone can
use, and the largest water playground in south-east Asia, which also
includes two tipping buckets. A food court was opened later in 2014,
and includes a large variety of cuisines, from traditional Thai food
to Italian and Japanese food. Small huts are available for rent around
the park. Yearly passes are available for those who wish to come there
often and easily walk into the park. Several stores and gift shops are
still under construction and are projected to be finished by late
RamaYana, with a total size of more than 18 ha (45 acres / 102 Rai),
is one of Asia’s biggest waterparks, was opened in May 2016. The
park, which is designed as a modern waterpark built on an antique
Asian city, offers 21 water slides, and some of them unique1, 2
dedicated children’s zones, a 600m long lazy river and a double wave
pool with a 150m wide beach as well as relaxation and activity pools.
The park, which is located 20 km south of
Pattaya City, close to
the big Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan) and next to Silverlake
vineyard, has natural lakes and islands in and around the park, and
also includes attractions like a floating market, real elephants or a
maze. A restaurant offers more than 100 dishes and food delivery to
sun lounges, which are provided free of charge. The park also offers
massage services and fish spa.
The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981
by the sea at Laem Ratchawet. It was conceived from the concept that
human civilization owes its existence to religious and philosophical
Mini Siam is a miniature model village which celebrates the heritages
Thailand with replicas of the most famous monuments and historical
sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument,
the 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. Within the
temple compound are a replica of the Buddha's footprint, and a large
chedi containing Buddha relics.
Thepprasit Market is the biggest and busiest market in Pattaya. It is
open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening on Thepprasit Road. It
is known for selling pets, has many Thai food stalls including local
specialities like fried insects and scorpions as well as branded
clothing, shoes, and electronic goods.
Thepprasit Market, Pattaya
Festivals and events
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year (varies from late January to early February) is
celebrated by Pattaya's large Thai-Chinese community with dragon
parades, lion dances, and fireworks.
Pattaya Bike Week is Thailand's, and one of south-east Asia's,
biggest motorcycle event held in
Pattaya each February, drawing
motorcycle enthusiasts from all over south-east Asia and abroad. The
2010 event was held over two days with local and international live
Pattaya International Music Festival is held annually in the month of
March. It attracts huge crowds to the different stages along Beach
Road and Bali Hai Pier, and presents several styles of music performed
by Thai and international artists.
Pattaya Songkran festival, locally called Wan Lai, takes place
each year in mid-April. It differs from most other Songkran festivals
Thailand in several aspects. It lasts several days longer and,
besides water fights, the event includes beauty pageants, musical
performances, cultural shows, fireworks, and water sports
Top of the Gulf Regatta is a week-long sailing event held at the end
of April, beginning of May.
The Miss Tiffany Universe beauty pageant is held mid-May each year.
During the four-day pageant, Thailand's most beautiful transgender
persons and transsexuals vie for first place with the final evening
broadcast live on Thai TV for an audience of, on average, 15
Pattaya Marathon, featuring several race categories, is held each year
Pattaya Classical Guitar Festival, held annually on the last weekend
of October, organized by the
Thailand Guitar Society,
Media Group, and Siam Bayshore Pattaya.
Loi Krathong, a light festival held during the full moon of the
twelfth month in the traditional
Thai lunar calendar
Thai lunar calendar and which usually
falls in November, is celebrated in Pattaya, as in the rest of the
country, that evening with people floating krathongs (small,
candle-lit floats made from elaborately folded banana leaves) on the
waters, as well as releasing khom loi (candle-fired hot air balloons)
into the night sky.
Pattaya hosts Miss International Queen, a yearly
international pageant for transgender persons and transsexuals. In
2007 the event drew an estimated 25 million viewers on national
Walking Street, Pattaya
Two transsexual cabaret performers in Pattaya, Thailand
Pattaya has derived part of its reputation as a tourist destination
due to the sex industry and the resulting nightlife, and this
notoriety has influenced the city's evolution in many ways.
Thailand is technically illegal but tolerated in most
cities, including Pattaya. The city's vast numbers of host bars,
gogo bars, massage parlours, saunas, and hourly hotels, serve foreign
tourists as well as locals. This is especially prominent on Walking
Street as well as other areas around the city. Efforts have been
made to clean up the city's image.
Articles in the British tabloids The Sun and the Daily Mirror
Pattaya as "the world's sex capital", a "modern-day
Sodom and Gomorrah". This provoked anger from government officials as
high up as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Pol Col Apichai
Pattaya police superintendent, denied that
Pattaya is a
sex trade paradise. Upset about the British media's stories, he
insisted they were fabricated. "There is no such thing as prostitution
in Pattaya," said Col Apichai. "Where did they get the figure of
27,000 sex workers in Pattaya? Anyone can make up this
information....Thai ladies having sex with foreigners is their
personal issue. If they like each other, I don't see anything wrong
with what they do behind closed doors." In response, Pattaya
social worker Surang Janyam, the director of Service Workers IN Group
Foundation, said that estimated number of
published in the Daily Mirror is inaccurate: "27,000 sex workers in
Pattaya is way too low. We have a lot more sex workers than that."
As evidence of the government's commitment to clean up Pattaya, on 26
February 2017 at 20:00, 60 police officers and soldiers raided
Pattaya's notorious Soi 6 to check for violations of the law. When the
checks were completed, police announced that all licenses were in
order and there was no law breaking of any kind, including
prostitution, taking place there.
Pattaya also has Asia's largest gay scene based around Boyztown,
Jomtien Complex, and Sunee Plaza. The city is also famous for its
flamboyant kathoey cabaret shows where transsexual and transgender
entertainers perform to packed houses.
Large hospitals in the area include
Pattaya Hospital (private,
the most expensive),
Pattaya International Hospital (private),
Banglamung Hospital (public),
Pattaya City Hospital (public) and
Pattaya Memorial Hospital (private). Many foreign tourists have dental
and medical procedures done in Pattaya, although
Bangkok is more
popular as a medical tourist destination.
In recent years,
Pattaya has served as a hideaway for foreigners with
connections to organized crime in their home countries, and dozens
have been murdered in gang-related disputes.
Visitors may encounter petty crime, usually limited to pickpocketing
and confidence tricks, particularly in and around major tourist areas
Pattaya Beaches and on the "baht buses". A special
Tourist Police division has been established to aid tourists who are
victims of crime. The 2009 British eight-episode TV documentary Big
Trouble in Tourist
Thailand described crimes involving tourists in
On 11 April 2009, Thailand's Prime Minister
Abhisit Vejjajiva declared
a state of emergency in the areas of
Pattaya and Chonburi, in response
to red shirt anti-government protesters breaking into the conference
center of the
Royal Cliff Beach Resort
Royal Cliff Beach Resort hotel complex, the site of an
ASEAN meeting. The meeting was immediately cancelled and Asian leaders
were evacuated, some by helicopter.
Media and communications
Several local foreign-language newspapers and magazines are published
either weekly or monthly, especially in English, Russian and German.
The English newspapers include the
Pattaya People Weekly, Pattaya
Pattaya Today. The German language magazine and news portal is
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January
International schools in Pattaya:
École francophone de Pattaya
International School of Chonburi
Tara Pattana International School
Regents International School Pattaya
Thai-Japanese Association School
Thai-Japanese Association School Sriracha, a Japanese
international school, is in nearby Si Racha. It is an affiliate of the
Thai-Japanese Association School
Thai-Japanese Association School in Bangkok.
Si Racha formerly
housed the Sriracha-
Pattaya Japanese Supplement School, a Japanese
Walking Street, Pattaya
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Pattaya travel guide from Wikivoyage
Thailand's Sin City Reaches for Respectability – slideshow by The
New York Times
Metropolitan cities of Thailand
Special Governed Cities
Bangkok (Krung Thep Maha Nakhon)
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya