October 2012
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Pattaya – a seaside resort in Thailand… Part 1

Pattaya is a seaside resort on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand which is about 150 km southeast of Bangkok.

About the Name “Pattaya”?

• Pattaya’s name was originally “Thap Phraya”, meaning Army of the Phraya.
• This name commemorates the surrender of Nai Klom’s army to that of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin the Great), without a fight.
• Thap Phraya became Phatthaya and then Pattaya.
• The Vietnam War and its warriors made Pattaya a well-known recreational center.
• The opening of the new Suvarnabhumi Airport (located to the east of Bangkok, alongside the expressway to Pattaya) has made visiting easier than ever.

Overview of Pattaya

• Pattaya is mostly famous for its go-go and beer bars.
• Local authorities have made some efforts to provide more family-friendly attractions and activities.
• The sex industry is still going strong and sex tourism remains the key money earner for Pattaya
• The resort also attracts local families and holidaymakers from around the world.
• Efforts by local authorities over the past few years have improved the quality of the beaches.
• They are still lacklustre by Thailand’s standards, and over-development has long since destroyed some of the natural charms of the area.
• The plethora of hotels and guest houses, and easy access from the capital and airport, makes it a popular weekend getaway.
• Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating options and a wide variety of things to do.
• Its population is a colorful mix of nationalities and ethnicity from near and far.
• Pattaya occupies most of the coastline of Bang Lamung District.
• Pattaya proper spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach and Pattaya Beach, plus the Buddha Hill headland (which is immediately south of Pattaya Beach).
• Jomtien contains Jomtien Beach and the areas east of it, including Dongtan Beach.
• The beaches of Jomtien are much broader and in a better shape.
• The atmosphere locally is more sedate and family-oriented than at Pattaya Beach.
• Running north-south, a few hundred meters apart, are Beach Road which borders the main beach (Hat Pattaya), Pattaya Second Road and Pattaya Third Road (with the smaller but busy Soi Buakhao in between), and the main Sukhumvit Road coastal highway.
• Beach Road is one-way (southbound), likewise Second Road (northbound).

These are connected by the three major east-west aligned roads.
– North Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Nua)
– Central Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Klang)
– South Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Tai)

• North Pattaya Road is a dual carriageway.
• It carries the highest volume of traffic to and from Sukhumvit Road.
• Also, connecting Beach Road and Second Road are a large number of smaller streets or “sois”.
• The main sois are numbered from 1 to 16, from north to south
• Sois 1-6 are between North Pattaya Road and Central Pattaya Road.
• Sois 7-13 are between Central Pattaya Road and South Pattaya Road.
• Sois 14-16 are south of South Pattaya Road. Most of these east-west sois are (in theory at least) one-way.
• Beach Road, Second Road, and North Pattaya Road all meet at the Dolphin Roundabout landmark.
• Second Road south of South Pattaya Road becomes Pratamnak Road.
• This road shares a junction with both the southern end of Third Road and the northern end of the main road to Jomtien, Tappraya Road.
• Beach Road south of South Pattaya Road is closed to vehicles in the evenings (currently 18:00-02:00).
• It is called Walking Street.
• It’s the main tourist area, both for nightlife and shopping.
• Other major tourism areas include the section of Second Road between sois 1-4, and the sois immediately north of South Pattaya Road.
• At the southern end of Walking Street is the New Pier, usually called Bali Hai Pier.
• The Old Pier is close to the junction of Beach Road and South Pattaya Road, but was dismantled.
These subdistricts names don’t relate to Pattaya as a whole, instead they refer to the sections of Pattaya Beach to which each sub-district is aligned.

Pattaya’s sub-district names:
• North Pattaya
• Central Pattaya
• South Pattaya
– Pattaya’s coastal side is divided longitudinally into five contiguous sub-districts.
– Each one is named after the section of beach or headland at its seaboard.
• In the middle are three Pattaya Bay sub-districts, which share the main Baht Bus route.

North Pattaya (Pattaya Nua)
• This is not the northern-most part of Pattaya, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the northern end of Pattaya Beach.
• This extends inland to both the north and south of North Pattaya Road.
• It does not include Naklua.

South Pattaya (Pattaya Tai)
• This is not the southern-most part of Pattaya, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the southern end of Pattaya Beach.
• It extends inland to both the north and south of South Pattaya Road.
• It includes Pattayaland and Walking Street.
• It does not include Buddha Hill or Jomtien.

Central Pattaya (Pattaya Klang)
• It is not the dead center of Pattaya, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the middle of Pattaya Beach.
• It extends inland to both the north and south of Central Pattaya Road.
• Some maps/guides disregard the Central Pattaya convention, and instead extend North Pattaya and South Pattaya to meet each other along Central Pattaya Road.
• Beach Road is described with a similar division, and the respective halves given “North Beach Road” and “South Beach Road” monikers.

Sub-Districts of The Pattaya Beach

– Naklua
• It is immediately north of North Pattaya.
• It is equipped with quick, frequent, and inexpensive transport to and from the rest of Pattaya.
• Naklua is popular with visitors whose native language is German.
• In terms of tourism-related locations, it’s the smallest and least significant sub-district.
• The main attractions are the beaches and the Sanctuary of Truth.
– Buddha Hill
• It is named after the Buddha Hill landmark and sandwiched that is between South Pattaya (to the north) and Jomtien (to the south).
• To the east, South Pattaya and Jomtien meet directly.

Best time to visit/climate

• Thailand is largely tropical.
• It’s hot and humid all year around with temperatures in the 28-35°C range (82-95°F).
• From November to the end of February, it doesn’t rain much and temperatures are at their lowest.
• From March to June, Thailand swelters in temperatures as high as 40°C (104°F).
• From July to October, although it only really gets underway in September, tropical monsoons hit most of the country.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get to Pattaya?

1. By Car
Pattaya is located 147km from Bangkok and can be reached in a comfortable 2-hour drive. There are two convenient ways to get there.
– By the Bangkok-Chon Buri-Pattaya Motorway (Highway No.7)
• The motorway is linked with Bangkok’s Outer Ring Road., (Highway No. 9).
• There is also another entrance at Si Nakharin and Rama IX Junction.
– By Bang Na-Trat Highway (Highway No. 34)
• From Bang Na, Bang Phli, cross the Bang Pakong River to Chon Buri
• Take Chon Buri’s bypass to meet Sukhumvit Road., (Highway No. 3, passing Bang Saen Beach, Bang Phra to Pattaya.
• Most visitors arrive by road from or via Bangkok.
• Much smaller numbers arrive direct by road from the north and east, by rail from Bangkok.
• Some arrive by air via U-Tapao from Ko Samui or Phuket in Southern Thailand or Siem Reap in Cambodia.

2. By Boat
• Outside the low season (May to October), the ferry operates at regular schedules of three crossings per week, on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing from Pattaya at 08:30 and from Hua Hin at 12:30.
• During the low season the ferry is available for charter only.

3. By Plane
• U-Tapao Airport is often known somewhat inaccurately as “Pattaya Airport”, is at Sattahip, just off the main Sattahip – Chanthaburi (Sukhumvit) highway, 30km south of Pattaya.
• It’s the closest airport fielding commercial passenger flights, but only to a handful of destinations.
• There are no commercial passenger flights connecting U-Tapao directly with Bangkok.

4. Suvarnabhumi
• Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) is Bangkok’s shiny new successor to Don Muang.
• It is only 110km from Pattaya.
• Transfers are by road are inexpensive and quick.
• Taxis are a fairly inexpensive way to travel, especially at night.
• Fares from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya should be negotiated with the driver in advance.
• The “standard rate” is 1500 baht.

5. Don Muang
• Don Muang Airport (new code: DMK) was superseded by Suvarnabhumi on September 28th 2006, subsequently re-opened on March 24 2007.
• It currently handles Nok Air, One-Two-GO, PB Air and most Thai Airways domestic flights.
• The easiest way to transfer is by taxi.

6. By Bus
• First class buses from Bangkok to the North Pattaya Road bus station are air-conditioned, have an on-board toilet, are essentially direct (i.e. no stops), and provide a no fuss, no frills, hassle-free service.
• Departures from the Eastern (Ekamai) Terminal and Northern (Moh Chit) Terminal are frequent.
• Departure times & fares (as at June 2006):
– Ekamai (East) to Pattaya – first 04:30, last 23:00 – 113 baht
– Pattaya to Ekamai (East) – first 04:30, last 23:00 – 113 baht
– Moh Chit (North) to Pattaya – first 05:00, last 20:00 – 117 baht (tollway route: 121 baht)
– Pattaya to Moh Chit (North) – first 05:20, last 20:00 – 113 baht (tollway route: 121 baht)
– Sai Tai Mai (South) to Pattaya – 05:30, 08:30, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:30 – 117 baht
– Pattaya to Sai Tai Mai (South) – 06:00, 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00 – 113 baht

7. By Train
• The most economical way to travel between Pattaya and Bangkok by public transport is by rail.
• The one-way fare is just 31 baht.
• From Monday to Friday, a daily 3rd class (non-aircon) train departs Bangkok’s Hualamphong Train Station at 6:50AM and arrives at the main Pattaya station at 10:18AM, before continuing on to Sattahip.
• It then returns via Pattaya at 2:21PM and terminates back in Bangkok at 5:40PM.

Some Travel Books about Thailand

Lonely Planet Discover Thailand Thailand PhotoMazing Thailand

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at wikitravel.org
Hotels at agoda.com
Hotels at hotels2thailand.com

Blogs / Sites about Thailand – Pattaya

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at travbuddy.com
Blogs at travelblog.org
Blogs and reviews at lonelyplanet.com

Images and photos of Thailand – Pattaya

Images at google.com
Images at travelblog.org
Images at tripadvisor.in
Images at trekearth.com

Videos of Thailand – Pattaya

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