Pattaya City is 147 kms south of Bangkok and with the opening of the motorway from Bangkok is less than a two hour drive. It has gained the title of "The Rivera of Thailand" annually attracting hundreds of thousands of fun loving tourists from all over the world making it one Thailand's major beach resorts.
Pattaya started life as a sleepy fishing village almost cut of from the outside world. The impact of the Vietnam war was to change all of that . On the 29th April 1961 five trucks of war weary American servicemen rolled into Pattaya to rent some houses at the southern end of the beach. This bunch were to stay for just a week. As soon as they returned to base, at Nakorn Ratchasima, word spread about the sights and delights of Pattaya. The beach resort of Pattaya , a bi-product of that crazy Indochina war was born.
As the fighting continued in neighbouring Vietnam troops would return from the frontline for R&R. They drank at Nipa Lodge as it was the only bar in town but by the late '70 things were beginning to buzz. fishermen's hut along the beach were replaced with accommodation ranging from deluxe hotels to small guest houses. Fishing vessels were transformed in tourist boats It attracted visitors from all over the world that just wanted to party, which in turn lead to wilder and wilder things. Bangkokians who had come down looking for peaceful weekend shied away the party animals turned up the noise. The words Party and Pattaya danced together. Then nobody seemed to care about the image of sleaze and pollution of beaches as long as they had a good time.
That was then but in the immortal words of Bob Dylan "The times they are a changin'." Pattaya is about to experience a re-birth, rising like a phoenix out the fire. Pattaya City now has a water treatment plant located at the old Naklua Market that will be able to handle all of effluent waste and nothing will be pumped into the sea. As the water becomes cleaner the quality of marine life will improve and it is Pattaya's hope for the millenium that once again Dolphin will be swimming of the coast. That will be the clear sign that once again it is truly safe to swim in the Bay and the current trend for families to come back to Pattaya will grow.
How To Reach Pattaya
The easiest and most popular way to reach Pattaya is by bus. From the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) there are departure every 30 mins by air-conditioned bus from 5am until 10pm. The one way fare is Baht 77. From the Northern Bus Terminal (Morchit II) there are departure again every 30 mins from 5am until 7pm with a one way fare of Baht 78.
Few visitors to Pattaya are aware that the city does have a railway station. It is north of Sukhumvit Rd close to the Siam Country Club. One train a day leaves Bangkok Railway Station (Hualamphong) at 7am and takes 5 hours to works its way down to Pattaya. For more details call (66-2) 223-7010, 223-7020.
The vast majority of tourists going to Patttaya are unaware that the resort does have U-Tapo Airport at Sattahip. Currently the only scheduled flights are operated by Bangkok Airways to and from Koh Samui.
Not only is Pattaya cleaning its act up in terms of the physical environment it is now tackling the issues that had given it a bad reputation, sleaze and under-age sex. The message is now loud and clear that such behavior is no longer acceptable and anyone foolish enough to think come and get away with is mistaken. A person below the age of 18 years old is a minor and the engage in any sexual act is a crime for which the punishment is imprisonment. Pattaya is still a party city for people looking for legal fun. It is like an a la carte menu, each visitor can choose those items that suit their taste. And there is a lot to do in Pattaya both in the daytime and at night.
Apart from the obvious choice of going to the beach to relax and swim why not try some of the entertainment park in and around the City.
Sri Racha Tiger Zoo
Home to 80 magnificent Bengal tigers of which 58 were born at the zoo. The Bengal tiger is an endangered species, in 1936 their world population was 60,000 by 1994 the number had plummeted to just 4,000. The Sri Racha Zoo is providing a safe home for the tigers protected from their human enemies with over 100 staff to care for them including a full time vet. The Bengal Tiger is pretty sensible and don't like hot weather. They love to lie in the shade, swim in the pool beside their pen or munch away of a delicious piece of fresh beef.
The zoo is a triumph to harmony with tiger cubs and piglets sharing the same milk bar from a sow. An Interesting day out and somewhere for the Children.
Sri Racha Zoo, 341 Moo 3, Nongham, Sri Racha, Chonburi. Tel (66-38) 296556-8, Fax (66-38) 296559.
Just 15 ins east of Patty on the Sukhumvit Highway is Nong Noch Tropical Gardens with its well known "Cultural Show" presented three times daily. Followed by an elephant show.
What is not so widely known is that the primary business of Nong Noch is Architectural Landscaping and a Tropical Nursery. It is the long term goal of Mr. Kampon, the owner and long time collector of tropical plants to make it the best Botanical Garden in southeast Asia, The garden covers a 600 acre site with cactus garden, fern garden, orchid garden and a collection of over 1,000 species of palm tree. In September 1998 it was host to an International Palm Conference attracting over 1,500 delegates worldwide.
Nong Noch Tropical Garden, 163 Sukhumvit Rd, Sattahip, Chonburi. Tel (66-38) 709358-8, Fax (66-38) 238160
When Pattaya Park first opened in 1985 it had just thirty bungalows and town houses scattered around the water park with whirlpools and slides. In 1987 some of the bungalows were demolished to make way for a 14-floor hotel with 240 guestrooms. At the same time some of the townhouses were converted into a shopping arcade. But this was not enough to satisfy the demand and in 1995 the 24-floor tower wing was added giving 460 additional guestrooms. In February 1996 the 240 metre high Pattaya Park Tower opened and was the highest seaside tower on the East Coast of Thailand. On the 53rd floor the revolving restaurant takes a full hour to complete one rotation. The observation deck on 54th & 55th floors gives a unique view of Pattaya City and the coastline of Jomtien Bay.
For those seeking an adrenaline buzz there is the Pattaya Park Tower Jump included in the entrance fee. Strapped to a harness similar those used for parasailing, the brave can make the run down the cable to the ground floor. Don't worry its safe and the equipment was imported from a German Alpine resort and is replaced every four months. If the speed of the decent exceeds 200 metres a minute the emergency brake is automatically applied, likewise 40 metres from the ground to ensure a safe landing.
Pattaya Park Beach Hotel, 345 Jomtien Beach, Pattaya. Tel (66-38) 251201-8, 364110-20, Fax (66-38) 251209, 364129.
In 1995 Thailand had an elephant population of between 6-8,000 elephant of which some 2,000 were wild and scattered through the forests of Khao Yai, Buri Ram and Chanataburi provinces. Thailand's temporary suspension of its timber industry effectively made the elephant population redundant. Some found work in neighbouring Burma, Laos and Cambodia were the trade continues but there were not jobs for all. 20 elephant have found a home at the Elephant Village where the owners primary concern is for the elephant' welfare in a jungle-like environment. Elephant trekking is not only good exercise for them but also is the major income source for their feed. The majority of the money raised from the shows and trekking is directly spent on the elephants up keep.
Caring for an elephant is an expensive task, they need an anti-parasite vaccine at Baht 5,000 each every three months and eat about 200 kgs of Sugar Cane, Palm Leaves and Tamarind daily. The elephant' average working day is six hours. The work from 6-10am then rests until 2pm and work until 4pm. After every three working days they are given two rest days. Two masters or 'kwan' care for each elephant. An elephant can live until the age of 80 years but generally only work until the age of 60.
Elephant Village, 54/1 Moo 2, Nongprue, Banglamung, Pattaya, Chonburi Tel (66-38) 428645-8, 428158, Fax (66-38) 423031.
Ripley's "Believe It or Not" is part of the world's largest chain of amusement-type attractions in 26 locations worldwide, highlighting the life and oddities collection of Robert L Riley. Actual, original and unbelievable exhibits are displayed in themed galleries. One of the rarest must be the shrunken head from Equador in South America, a one of kind in Thailand. For Titanic fans there is the ship's original distress telegram that was never sent.
Ripley's Motion Master is the wildest simulated ride in the world. It's 70mm projection and dynamic seating which is capable of moving in eight different directions and awesome digital sound system, thrusts the passenger on an incredible journey of the mind and they are convinced they a moving a break neck speeds. Ripple's Laser Trek is an unbelievable virtual reality game played with computerized guns and vest in an indoor area, where the targets shoot back. One game is never enough. Ripple's Laser Bump is the new state of the art bumper car, faster yet safer than the traditional fairground ride. Ripley's Laser Coaster is a challenging and exciting game with a three-speed train, similar to a roller coaster. With your body strapped to Ripley's Gyroscope the three-ring sports machine can move three dimensionally give the opportunity to experience weightlessness, something previously reserved for astronaughts or scuba divers. If it were to rain in Pattaya with Ripley's World of Entertainment there is no need for the fun to stop.
Ripley's World of Entertainment, 218 Moo 10 Beach Rd, Pattaya, Chonburi Tel ( 66-38) 710485-7, Fax (66-38) 412319.
Boat Trip to the Local Island
One of the most popular daytime excursions in Pattaya is a day trip to the islands off-shore. The closest and visable from South Pattaya Beach is Koh Larn. Tourist boats depart from the pier at the south end of South Pattaya Beach. The journey time to the island by a "Big Boat" a converted fishing vessel is 45 minutes or if you are in a hurry to get the island a speed boat will have you there in 15 minutes. Day trips including a BBQ Seafood Lunch is Baht 500.
Beyond Koh Larn is the uninhabited island of Kho Phai (Bamboo Island) The island is under the control of the Royal Thai Navy, overnights stays are not permitted and everything that you will need during the day will have to be taken with you, and brought back afterwards! It is a fine deserted beach that is hawker free. Royal Cliff Beach Resort organize day trips on their Catamaran and take the food and drink as well as the staff to serve and pamper you.
Golf in Pattaya
There is a dozen 18-hole golf courses within a 45-minute drive from Pattaya City. Players can virtually pick their tee times. Here is the list of the course, click on the name for more details about any one particular course.
Where to Eat in Pattaya
It is possible to in any language in Pattaya. With supply far in excess of demand reservations are rarely necessary. If you have found your favourite restaurant and you would like us to add this guide or you have any comment good or bad about anywhere that you have eaten in Pattaya please contact us at Send an enquiry
Pattaya Dinning Guide
Aungkam Northern Style Restaurant : Pattaya 3 Road, Next to Pattaya Driving Range North Pattaya Tel : 01-628-9634
Northern Style Thai Food is prepared similar to traditional Thai food; it is the selection of Vegetables, Spices, and Fish, Poultry, and Other Meats that makes it distinctive from the other Thai Foods. In the north of Thailand, the area is vastly mountainous, and at times very cold. The vegetables used in Northern Thai food and Predominately here at Aungkam, are grown Organically, without the use of chemical fertilizers or insecticides. Northern People call them, Wild Vegetables.
By comparison, Northern Food is Lower in Fat , Calories, and Cholesterol. Thai of course makes Northern Style Food Healthier, Easier to digest, and does not leave you feeling like you just ate a Cow. The authenticity of Northern Cooking here at Aungkam can be Guaranteed in that All of our Kitchen Staff were brought here from Changmai.
Our Staff will do there best to serve you all though they are not fluent in English. We have tried to explain the composition of each dish and have note those that are Hot, Not Hot and Medium Hot. You can however , have a dish prepared Not Hot even if the menu suggests that traditionally it is.
In Thai Language, The word for Hot is Pet; Not Hot would be Mi Pet.
We hope you enjoy your meal here at Aungkam, and welcome any written Suggestions or Comments
Marco Polo, The Montien Pattaya, Pattaya 2 Rd (66-38-423 155),
Henry J Bean's Amari Orchid Resort, (66-38-428 161, email@example.com).
Sher'E'Punjab Pattaya Park Rd, Thappraya Rd, Jomtien (66-38-364 218), SUNDAY ROAST
Seaside 2, Soi Chaiyapoon, end of Soi Diana Inn, up to Pattaya 3 Rd (66-38 809 118
The Green Bottle Pub, Pattaya 2nd Road (next to the Diana Inn, opposite Mike's main Shopping Centre) (66-38-429870 or 429 675).