Pattaya beach in Thailand
Pattaya is a seaside resort in Thailand known internationally, in the province of Chonburi, on the Bay of Bangkok in the Gulf of Thailand, 147 km southeast of the capital Bangkok. It has over 100,000 inhabitants and annually hosts millions of tourists, mostly Asian, with a major sex tourism component.
Pattaya is just a small fishing village until the mid 1960. It is the US military stationed at the airbase U-Tapao, some 70 km further east, who know this bay provided with a nice beach in an arc of 4 km long. They are the first to motivate the construction of bungalows and small restaurants. The Vietnam War ended and military parties, a cosmopolitan tourist embryo grows, who knows in 1980 a rapid development. The Russian, Indian and Chinese tourists arrive en masse from the year 2000. Today, Pattaya is the most visited city in Thailand after Bangkok.
Since the 1990s, municipal authorities seek to mitigate the bad reputation of the city and direct the activity towards family tourism. The new middle class in Bangkok is particularly targeted because Pattaya is the closest resort to the capital if we except Bang Saeng, halfway but busy on weekends and do not have enough hotel facilities. However, Thais now favor more and more for their Rayong resort
Pattaya is now the first resort in Thailand by the number of tourists and the 16th most visited city in the world in 2007 according americas-fr.com. The number of tourists increased from about 500,000 in 1980 to about 3 million in 1997 and nearly 7 million in 2007, if one includes over 2 million Thais who visit annually according to statistics from the TAT, which also indicates that 14.5 million tourists came to Thailand in 2007 and therefore about 1/3 in Pattaya. Of these about 7 million tourists in 2007, about 3/4 are Asian and attend few bars. Although the beaches of Pattaya are polluted, mass tourism has settled, mainly tourism-oriented entertainment and sex industry.
Pattaya city mainly consists of two parallel avenues (Beach Road and Second Road) linked by perpendicular streets (called self) to the frenetic activity. Those wishing more peace will head to Jomtien, south of Pattaya area quieter and cleaner sea. The islands around Pattaya also worth a visit including Koh Larn, famous for its reef and water activities.
After a period of stagnation real estate due to the Asian crisis of 1997, the expansion of the city went back up again. At Jomtien, however, the construction of the tower Tower2 Ocean One, which was peaking at 367 m to be the tallest building in Thailand and one of the tallest residential buildings in the world in 2010, seems to be delayed.