Welcome to festival city Pattaya!
Pattaya is a city in Thailand, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. It is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of Bangkok within but not part of Amphoe Bang Lamung (Banglamung) in the province of Chonburi.
The name 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 the Burmese invaders in 1767.
When his army arrived at 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 impressed by 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 southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season.
Pattaya remained a small fishing village until the 1960s. Then American servicemen during the Vietnam War began arriving in Pattaya for rest and relaxation. Pattaya developed into a popular beach resort; now greatly expanded, it attracts over 4 million visitors a year. Fishermens' huts along the beach were replaced by resort hotels and retail stores. From one of the world's most renowned party & nightlife destinations Pattaya City is trying hard to clean up its image to a hard selling family-oriented seaside destination.
Buddha Hill is one of the highest points in Pattaya. At the summit is the biggest Buddha statue in Pattaya, and nearby is a beautiful Chinese-style sacred area dedicated to Confucius and Lao-zi. The next hill, just across the Phra Tam Nak Road, has the best Pattaya Bay coastline viewpoint and is also worth a visit, especially for sunset. The locals come here to pay homage to Wat Khao Phra Bat atop the hill and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the founding father of the modern Thai navy.
This huge ancient-style wooden temple is situated by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, North Pattaya. The Sanctuary of Truth was first begun in 1981 by Mr. Lek Wiriyaphan, the founder of the Ancient City in Samut Prakan Province. With exquisite an unique architectural features, the building was conceived out of the vision that human civilisation has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth. It is an unfinished project, but worth a visit even now.
Mini Siam features miniature replicas of iconic structures from Thailand and all over the world. It is one of the most famous model villages in the world. It celebrates the heritages of Thailand with miniature replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, Prasat Hin Phimai etc. Minature replicas of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called "miniworld".
Beautiful gardens with waterfalls, elephant shows, "Cultural Extravaganza" performances 4 times a day, restaurants and so forth - enough to fill an entire day.
Should have been named "Walking, Shopping, Eating, Drinking and Dancing Street" as there's plenty of almost everything here—including around 100 beer bars and at least 30 go-go bars, plus many more in the side-sois that lead east towards Pratamnak Road. Worth a look in the daytime, but best visited in the evening, and has loads of restaurants if you're bridging the gap between the two.
One of the largest malls in Asia. Opened in mid-January of 2009, this sprawling complex has really put Pattaya on the map for grand scale shopping and dining. It is the best shopping mall in the region and now attracts customers from all over, adding to the traffic chaos of Beach Rd. Fashion, electronics, health & beauty, kids activities and food are all here. With the obligatory cinema complex and bowling alley on the top floor, this mega-mall is styled on the big Bangkok destination shopping areas like Siam Paragon. The Food Loft has the best view of the bay and great variety at reasonable prices. The anchor store is Central Department Store itself, offering high-end designer labels from abroad and Thailand. A supermarket and budget food hall is in the basement.