Pattaya is a Thai city that is situated off of the eastern coast of Thailand, about one hundred miles southeast of Bangkok. It is a self governing municipality that covers the entire area of Nong Prue, Na Kluea and Nong Pla Lai. It covers an area of approximately eight square miles and has a population of around one hundred and four thousand residents. The name of the city can be traced back to the march of King Phray Tek Taksin before the fall of the previous capital to the Burmese Army in the eighteenth century. When King Taskin arrived at the location of present day Pattaya, he ran into the troops of Nai Klome. Nai Klome tried to intercept him, but was unsuccessful. When King Taksin and Nai Klome finally met face to face, Nai Klome was so impressed with his demeanor that he surrendered to the king without a fight. The place were the two armies clashed was called Thap Phraya, which translates as “The army of Phraya”. It would later evolve to Phatthaya, which means “Wind blowing from the Southwest”. Today, the city is known simply as Pattaya. For hundreds of years, Pattaya was a simple fishing village. This changed during the 1960s, when American soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War started using the village as a resort town. The village would change forever and become a prominent tourist destination in Asia. Before long, the fisherman huts were replaced by hotels and strip malls.
Today, a popular tourist attraction in the city of Pattaya is the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. This five hundred acre botanical garden was founded in 1954 when Nongnooch Tansacha bought a six hundred acre plot of land with the thought of turning it into a fruit plantation. He decided against the idea, however and planted tropical flora instead. It was then transformed into a wildlife conservation area and opened up to the public in 1980. Management of the garden was then transformed to his son Kampon Tansacha in 2001. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is divided into several sections which include the Cactus & Suculent Garden, Flower Valley, French Garden, Variegated Plants, Butterfly Hill, European Garden, Orchid & Bromeliad Display Garden, Ant Tower and Stonehenge Garden. This garden is home to a variety of plants which include Asian Cycads, American Cycads, Mexican Golden Barrel Cacti, Blue Agave, Pachypodium, Heliconia, Ginger, Alpinia, Hoya, Bromeliads, Plumeria, Marantaceae, Caledonian Plants, Torch Ginger and Lobivia. But, plants aren’t the only thing that this garden offers. There is also a wide range of activities which include elephant shows, religious ceremonies, massages and martial art demonstrations.
Pattaya Bay is another popular stop for tourist. The area has two main beachfronts. Parallel to the center of the city is Pattaya Beach. Pattaya Beach attractions sunbathers from around the globe. The beach area also contains a popular road, Pattaya Klang. This road runs alongside the beach, all the way to just south of the harbor. Many of the city’s restaurants and nightclubs are located along this stretch of road. The other beach in the area is Jomtien Beach. This beach is seperated by Pattaya Beach by Pratumnak Hill. This area is home to beachside hotels, bungalows and condos. Another great attraction to check out during any visit to Pattaya is Mini Siam. This miniature model village contains replicas of many famous historical sites and monuments. Some of the more prominent ones include the Eiffel Tower, Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Statue of Liberty, Bridge over the River Kwai, Prasat Hin Phimai, Tower Bridge of London and the Democracy Monument.
In the second week of April, the Songkran Festival is held all throughout Thailand. This is the traditional New Year of the country and coincides with the New Years of many countries in Southeast Asia. One of the customs observed during this festival is the throwing of water. This was started as a way to show respect to people. The water that is thrown is collected after it has been poured over the Buddha statues. It is considered bless and the belief is that this water will bestow good luck to the person on the receiving end of the water throw. The Songkran Festival is also observed in Pattay by the holding of a beauty pageant. Young women from all over Thailand compete in this pageant and show off their beauty. The winner is chosen by audience who buy necklaces to place on the girl they are voting for. The Sanctuary of Truth is another prominent attraction to see during your stay in Pattaya. This three hundred and fifteen foot wooden structure resembles a temple. Inside it contains religious art. The project was started during the 1980s, but isn’t scheduled to be fully completed until 2025. The entrance fee to get into the structure is five hundred Thai baht. Other attractions in the city of Pattaya include Flight of the Gibbon Pattaya, Happy Home Thai Cooking School, Central Festival, Walking Street Pattaya, Alangkarn, Pattaya Harbor Mall, Horseshoe Point Country Club, Million Years Stone Park, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Pattaya Park Tower, Koh Laan, Sri Racha Tiger Zoo, Diving Thailand, Sanctuary of Truth, Jomtien Beach, Gem Factory Shop, Herb Garden, Pattaya Floating Market, Anek Kusala Sala, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Silverlake Winery, Big Buddha, Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Sousiree Sauna Institute, Jim Thompson Factory Sales Outlet, Three Kingdoms Park, Pattaya Water Park, Elephant Village, Mini-Golf Pattaya, Seafari Dive Center and Nini Fashions. Pataya is also home to many restaurants and hotels. Some are basic and some are very luxurious. Some of the more prominent ones in Pattaya include Mantra, Henry J. Bean Bar & Grill, Green Tree, Kiss Food and Drink, Trattoria Pizzeria Toscana, Samurai Sushi, Plathong Seafood, Siam Elephant Bar and Restaurant, La Notte Pub and Restaurant, Sea Zone Restaurant, Nang Nual Restaurant, King Seafood Restaurant, Lk Royal Suite Hotel, Royal Twins Hotel, Dusit Thani Pattaya Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel, Tim Boutique Hotel, Pattaya Discovery Beach Hotel and the Eastiny Seven Hotel.