Pattaya is a popular resort on the coast of Eastern Thailand, 150 km south-east of Bangkok.
With over 5 million tourists yearly, Pattaya is able to offer an excellent range of eating choices & a wide variety of things to do and see, and its population is a colourful potpourri of mixed nationalities
Pattaya was a small fishing village until it was discovered 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 "R&R" (rest and recreation), causing a huge boom in prostitution. When the Americans left following the end of the Vietnam War, the city fell into a crisis.
The rapid growth of tourism brought about many negative consequences, such as pollution and petty crime. In 1976, the Pattaya City Act was passed by the Thai legislature, making Pattaya a self-administrating municipality governed by a Council-manager government.
In recent years the city has pushed hard to clean up its image, however the core sex-industry has ensured that Pattaya retains its position as one of the world's most visited party destinations. Despite these efforts, Pattaya's sex industry is the city's raison d'etre.