Up until the 1960s, Pattaya was only a fishing village, but as the United States joined the Vietnam war it became an ideal retreat for many of the U.S troops that were stationed at the nearby U-Tapao airbase. Since then, Pattaya has rapidly grown into a very popular tourist destination and now attracts millions of visitors from all over the world.
initially, there were a few guesthouses on the beachfront, and then the bigger hotels began to appear. Today, Pattaya has hundreds of hotels including larger chains such as The Hilton and Intercontinental Group which have established themselves here. Several shopping malls have also opened up including Asia’s largest beachfront mall, The Central Festival, and The Terminal 21 shopping mall which opened in 2018.