Pattaya cityscape Thailand Asia
Pattaya is an internationally known seaside resort. It is located in the Bang Lamung district of Chon Buri province in the eastern part of central Thailand. Pattaya is the only Thai city to have special administrative status alongside the capital Bangkok.
Pattaya officially had 98,992 residents in 2006. In 2007, the population rose to 104,318 people registered with main residence in the city. The number of unregistered residents is four to five times higher, according to the Pattaya City Council.
The area around today's Pattaya is mentioned only in passing in Thai history. During the siege of the Siamese capital Ayutthaya by the Burmese, Phraya Taksin saw that he could not hold out on his own. So in January 1767 he made his way to Rayong and Chanthaburi via Nakhon Nayok to collect additional troops. He made camp between Na Kluea and Bang Lamung. On the way back from Chanthaburi by ship, south of Chon Buri, he met Tong Duan, the later King Phutthayotfa Chulalok (Rama I), and both of them together were able to drive the Burmese out of the country forever.
In the 1950s, the stretch of coast between Si Racha and Sattahip only consisted of a handful of villages. The bay of Pattaya itself was only inhabited by a few fishing families, who appreciated the calm water and the safe location here, as they were protected in the north and south by headlands and in the hinterland by chains of hills. On the northern headland, sea salt was produced in earlier times, the current name (Na Kluea - salt fields) still indicates it.
The real history of today's Pattaya does not begin until the early 1960s, when a US Navy base was located in Sattahip during the Vietnam War, and U-Tapao Airport was expanded by the US as a military airfield. In their free time, the GIs drove to nearby Pattaya to relax on the clean beaches. Soon the place became the "Rest and Recreation Area" (R&R) of the US military with a single hotel of international standards, the Nipa Lodge. Little by little, visitors from Bangkok also took advantage of the opportunity at the weekend, although the four-hour journey on bumpy provincial roads was quite tiring.
After the end of the Vietnam War, the GIs stayed away from 1975 onwards, but Pattaya developed into a major tourist center in Asia within a few years. In 1978 the place was declared a city with its own administrative statute.
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