Pattaya was once a sleepy fishing village until the early 1960s until the first American servicemen arrived to take a rest from the Vietnam War. This was the beginning of the change for Pattaya which has quickly grown into a popular beach resort and now attracts over 7 million visitors a year. Fishermen’s huts along the beach were soon replaced by hotels and retail stores. Pattaya now boasts Asia’s largest beachfront shopping mall, the Central Festival.
Pattaya offers endless possibilities when it comes to shopping, sightseeing, dining, accommodation and entertainment, couples, families, business travellers, or even musicians. Only 147km from Bangkok, it is the closest of Thailand’s major beach resorts to the capital city.
After dark, the action shifts to the streets, as revellers explore its electrified nightlife.
There is a fast-growing community of foreign expats living in Pattaya.
Pattaya is attractive to many retirees from Europe and other Western countries not only because of its climate and exotic, easy lifestyle, but also because living costs are a fraction of those in Europe, a major consideration for people on fixed pensions or incomes.
The Pattaya islands include the Pattaya near Islands of Koh Larn (coral island), Koh Sak and Koh Krok located 7 kilometers off shore.
Koh Larn, is the largest and very busy with hundreds of tourists visiting daily by ferry and the speed boats that leave straight off Pattaya beach every morning. The beaches around koh Larn are for the public whereas The Pattaya far islands are monitored by the Thai Navy, so it is not always possible to actually step foot on the Islands themselves.
The far islands has a little more choice with Koh Phai, Koh Rin and Koh Manwichai, The water clarity is usually a little better on the far islands and because of the location a more peaceful day out. Great for groups or families looking for a relaxing boat trip or a snorkeling/scuba diving excursion.