Pattaya is a city in Thailand, a beach resort which is popular with tourists and expatriates. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 miles) southeast of Bangkok. Pattaya City is an independent municipal area which covers the whole Nong Prue District, Nakluea and parts of Huay Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The city is in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi.
Pattaya was a small fishing village until the Vietnam War when American servicemen, who were stationed at nearby U-Tapao or other US bases in Thailand, began visiting Pattaya. They began to turn it into a well-known recreational centre. Starting in 1959 with a group of American G.I’s arriving for a week of rest and relaxation, this sleepy little village by the ocean has developed and changed significantly into one of Thailand’s popular tourist destinations. The opening of the U-Tapao Airport has made it so much easier to get to and from Pattaya City.
The name Pattaya evolved from the march of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi. He came face to face with another leader, but they joined forces. The place where the two armies confronted each other was subsequently known as Thap Phraya, which means ‘army of the Phraya’. This later became Pattaya.
GETTING TO PATTAYA
The nearest airport is U-Tapao about 25 minutes east of Pattaya. Bangkok Airways fly from the airport to Phuket and Koh Samui with daily departures. The price is about 3500 THB for a single ticket. Reservations can be made on www.bangkokair.com. Bangkok Airways also has an office in Pattaya at the Fairtex Arcade Building in North Pattaya. Most travelers choose to go via Bangkok Airport which is about 1.5 hours drive from Pattaya. The price is approximately 1500 THB for a private taxi from the airport to the selected hotel in Pattaya.
A relatively slow way to get to Pattaya is by train from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok. The train ride takes about 4 hours and costs approximately 35 THB. The railway station Pattaya is located on Sukhumvit Road and from here you can take local songtaews to Pattaya for about 40 THB.
A very common and convenient way to get to Pattya is by bus. Buses to Pattaya depart from Bangkok’s Eastern Bus Terminal on Sukhumvit Road at Ekkamai BTS. There are departures every hour starting from 5 AM until 11 PM. A ticket costs about 185 THB. It is also possible to take a bus from Bangkok Northern Bus Terminal on Kampaengphet 2 Road near Mo Chit. In Pattaya, the bus terminal is located on North Pattaya Road. From here you can get to Pattaya with songtaews for about 40 THB.
GETTING AROUND PATTAYA
Songtaews are blue pickup cars with a booth where it is possible to sit. They usually follow some regular routes on major roads in Pattaya and Jomtien. The rate starts from 20 THB, and from Pattaya to Jometien the price is 90 THB. You can also hire a songtaew on a private basis. Agree on the price first.