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Latest Articles - Luxury

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Pattaya: the Ultimate Thailand Destination

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pattaya ThailandOvertime, Thailand has become a world-known travel destination, a «second home» to many adventurous tourists who have already beaten the length and breadth of exotic islands. Recently, one of the most popular Thai resorts, Pattaya, has been steadily gaining popularity among those who don't waste their time waiting for warmer seasons and prefer to enjoy the benefits of tropical location, including exotic entertainment.

Pattaya is a city in Thailand, located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 145 km southeast of Bangkok located in the province of Chonburi, with the population of 80,000 people. For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village. But a change occurred in 1961, when the first group of about 100 American servicemen who were fighting in the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. From this beginning, Pattaya became a popular beach resort which now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. Actually, the Pattaya Bay Area is the most visited city in Thailand after Bangkok.  Fishermen's huts along the beach were replaced by resort hotel and shopping malls. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats.

Pattaya and nearby area can boast many tourist attractions, which will appeal to most demanding customers. The highly developed water recreation infrastructure makes Pattaya a true divers' paradise, with various diving programs designed for different levels of diving experience, from beginner to pro. For those who prefer family entertainment or like a bit of education with their fun Pattaya has two water theme parks, Dream World and Underwater World. The former is built with Disneyland in mind, but with respect to local traditions and with an emphasis on water recreation, while the latter, an aquarium where there is a collection of marine species in the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays, offers a unique opportunity to watch marine life in its natural environment.

The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is parallel to city centre, and is the main destination for bathers and loungers with the section from Central Road south to the harbor forming part of the core of the town's restaurants, motorcycle hire, and night attractions. Jomtien Beach in the southern part of the bay area is separated from Pattaya beach by the promontory of Pratumnak Hill, just south of the city. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants.

However, not all attractions in Pattaya are water-related. Popular activities include playing golf (21 golf courses within 1 hour of Pattaya,) go-kart racing, and visiting different theme parks and zoos such as the Elephant Village, where demonstrations of training methods and ancient ceremonial re-enactments are performed daily. The private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo features tigers, alligators, and other exotic animals in daily shows. For gemstones connoisseurs, Gem Factory Shop, with its extensive collection of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and other gemstones, including a 52-kilogram ruby, offers shopping and educational tours. Those interested in history will be thrilled to visit Mini Siam, a miniature model village which celebrates the heritages of Thailand with replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, and Prasat Hin Phimai. Models of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called «mini world».

Pattaya is also famous for its vehement night life. The city and its suburbs have a very large number of bars and night clubs, and some discotheques. Many major hotels also run restaurants, cocktail lounges, nightclubs and supper clubs which offer food, drinks, music and international entertainment. The Walking Street is a pedestrian area south of the beach and a center for nightlife.  This street is known not only for the prostitutes catering to all tastes, but also for the so-called go-go bars. These bars are something between a cabaret, a striptease bar and a brothel. You can go in for free, but once inside you have to pay a double price for everything, from a bottle of water to services of the «girls». Walking Street is also a internationally known venue for gays and transvestites, so beware, straight men!

In terms of tourist security, a burning issue with all Asian resorts, Pattaya can be considered a safe place, as everybody here understands that the city and its neighborhood are dependent on tourists, so the guests to the resort can rest assured that their lives are not threatened. Their wallets and personal effects, on the other hand, are much more endangered. Pickpockets' thrive in Pattaya, and the city can rival many criminal world capitals in the domain of petty crime. So tourists should always beware of pickpockets and if possible refrain from carrying large sums of money or at least not tempt the thieves by flaunting the money. Apart from pickpockets, there is also a risk of falling a victim to con artists, the most innocuous of which are petty merchants of all sorts of things who would put up a show trying to prove that they had given you your change up to the last baht (Thai currency). So be advised to stock up on small bills and pay the exact amount specified on the price tags, not a baht more. And your stay in Pattaya will be a very enjoyable experience.

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