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History of Pattaya

The Name and Past of Pattaya City

Pattaya was simply a small fishing village until it was discovered as a beach resort by Bangkok residents in the 1960s. Soon thereafter, servicemen from all over Southeast Asia, including the United States Air Force base at U-Tapao in neighbouring Rayong province began using the area for Rest and Recreation.

When the American GI left following the end of the Vietnam War, the city fell into a economic crisis.

In 1976, the Pattaya City Act was passed by the Thai legislature, making Pattaya a self-administrating municipality governed by a Council-manager government. However, many argue that this administration system has drawbacks (for example, the mayor may disagree with the city manager). Critics have recommended abolishing the system.

Modern tourism brought a new lease of life to Pattaya.   Pattaya City has pushed hard to clean up its image in the recent years. Family-focused tourism is increasingly available. Still, Pattaya retains a reputation as one of the world's most renowned party & nightlife destinations.

With 35,000 hotel rooms were available in Pattaya and it has seen a large increase in family tourism in recent years, thanks to efforts to present a more wholesome image. . Pattaya is an especially popular vacation destination for families from Russia, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. Pattaya also has a large international expatriate population, especially British and Russian residents.

Name Origination

There is different views and opinion where the name of Pattaya comes from. Actually when visiting the spot the first time in 1986, we did ask local fishermen in Thai language. They responded the name is originating in the strong winds which are at the start of rainy season and one of these winds they call "Pattaya"
( locally spoken Pat i Ya )

It sounds quite logic since if translated " The winds are storming is in Thai  "Lom Pat Raeng"

The more modern version or which is distributed around the Net is that it is somehow a derivative of  Tupphraya( Thappraya ) the general name for the area which dated back to the time when Pharaya Taksin (Duke Taksin) camped near there with the followers he had gathered to help free Thailand from the Burmese (Tupphraya - the 'Pharaya' - army). As a fact the road from Pattaya City to Jomtien Beach is called Thappraya Road

So here we are another obstacle in name origination which is quite usual for many provinces or names in Thailand. Spelling is an additional and questionable matter for almost all Thai names and if you ask Thai people how they would spell Pattaya in english - we wish you a good time. If you would like to get some introduction to Thai language
Just visit our brief Audio Speak Thai page


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