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Pattaya Part 3 :: Article 1

    

Pattaya

From Wikitravel

Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : East : Chonburi : Pattaya View of Pattaya Bay (Ao Pattaya) from Soi 12
View of Pattaya Bay (Ao Pattaya) from Soi 12

Pattaya (พัทยา) is a popular resort on the North Gulf Coast of Eastern Thailand, 150 km south-east of Bangkok. Pattaya is most famous for its go-go and beer bars, but besides the men and women on offer the place has made efforts to provide more family-friendly attractions and activities. Although the sex industry is still going strong in Pattaya, it also attracts local families and holidaymakers from far and wide. Efforts by the local authorities over the past few years have improved the quality of the beaches, but they are still lackluster by Thailand's high standards, and over-development has long since destroyed some of the natural charms it once had. However, the plethora of hotels and guest houses and easy access from the capital and airport make it a popular weekend getaway. Catering for over 5 million tourists yearly, Pattaya is also able to offer an excellent range of eating choices and a wide variety of things to do and see, and its population is a colorful potpourri of mixed nationalities from near and far.

Districts

"Greater Pattaya" occupies most of the coastline of Banglamung (one of the eleven districts that comprise Chonburi Province). It is divided into a larger northern section which spans the areas to the east of Naklua Beach (the most northern beach) and Pattaya Beach (the main beach) plus the Buddha Hill headland (immediately south of Pattaya Beach), and a smaller southern section covering the area to the east of Jomtien Beach (which lies directly south of Buddha Hill) including Dongtan Beach. Jomtien's beaches are much broader and generally in better shape, and the atmosphere locally is more sedate and family-oriented, than at Pattaya Beach.

For information about Jomtien, see the Jomtien guide.

Sub-districts

South is central, Central is north

Pattaya's sub-district names sometimes cause confusion, usually when the official Pattaya Bay area titles (North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya) are misunderstood. These names don't relate to Pattaya as a whole, instead they refer to the sections of Pattaya Beach to which each sub-district is aligned.

Pattaya's coastal side is divided longitudinally into five contiguous sub-districts (or six, if also including Jomtien). Each one is named after the section of beach or headland at its seaboard.

In the middle are the three Pattaya Bay sub-districts, which share the main Baht Bus route (so most places are within 5 minutes / 10 baht of most other places, at any hour) and have much else in common, and hence in combination make up the main quasi-downtown zone:

  • North Pattaya (Pattaya Nua) - not the northern-most part of Pattaya (as Naklua lies further north), but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the northern end of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of North Pattaya Road. Does not include Naklua.
  • South Pattaya (Pattaya Tai) - not the southern-most part of Pattaya (as the Buddha Hill headland, and then Jomtien, lie further south), but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the southern end of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of South Pattaya Road. Includes Pattayaland and Walking Street. Does not include Buddha Hill or Jomtien.
  • Central Pattaya (Pattaya Klang) - not the dead center of Pattaya, but the section of Pattaya adjacent to the middle of Pattaya Beach and extending inland to both the north and south of Central Pattaya Road. Some maps/guides disregard the Central Pattaya convention, and instead extend North Pattaya and South Pattaya to meet each other along Central Pattaya Road; sometimes, Beach Road is described with a similar division, and the respective halves given "North Beach Road" and "South Beach Road" monikers.

Flanking the Pattaya Beach sub-districts are:

  • Naklua - immediately north of North Pattaya, and with quick, frequent, and inexpensive transport to and from the rest of Pattaya; Naklua is popular with visitors whose native language is German. In terms of tourism-related locations, it's the smallest and least significant sub-district, the main attractions being the beaches (which are quieter than Pattaya Beach) and the Sanctuary of Truth.
  • Buddha Hill - named after the Buddha Hill landmark and sandwiched between South Pattaya (to the north) and Jomtien (to the south); to the east, South Pattaya and Jomtien meet directly.

In practice, exactly where each sub-district ends and the next begins is a very grey area as none of the boundaries lie along major roads (and none of the many readily available tourist maps attempts to define boundaries at this level); nevertheless they do provide a handy rough guide to approximate latitude. Further inland, the sub-district names are used less, and locality/road names take precedence - for example, an address might state "Sukhumvit, Naklua" which is useful in that it makes it clear the location is to the north of the Sukhumvit / North Pattaya Road intersection, however the exact same place would not normally be described simply as being "in Naklua" as that would give the misleading impression of it being in the main beachside/tourism area further west.

Media/Contact

Pattaya has several foreign language newspapers; most come out weekly. The English newspapers include Pattaya Times, Pattaya Today, and Pattaya Mail. Additionally, there are French, Norwegian, German, Russian and Japanese publications. There are several English-language cable television programs with news and video reports from Pattaya. There are also several tourist magazines and nightlife, most of them coming out monthly. Landline telephones, satellite phones, all mobile phone systems, high-speed internet (ADSL), post offices and parcel services are available in province.


    


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