With its streets full of high-rise hotels and touts on every corner, PATTAYA is the epitome of exploitative tourism gone mad, but most of Pattaya's two million annual visitors don't mind that place look like the Costa del Sol because what they are here for is sex. The town swarms with male and female prostitutes, spiced up by a sizable population of transvestites (katoey), and plane-loads of Western men flock here to enjoy their services in the rash of go-go bars and massage parlors for which “Patpong-on-sea” is notorious. The ubiquitous signs trumpeting “Viagra for Sale” say it all. Pattaya also has the largest gay scene in Thailand, with several exclusively gay hotels and whole area given over gay sex bars.
Pattaya's evolution into sin city began with the Vietnam War, when it got fat on selling sex to American servicemen. When the soldiers and sailors left in the mid-1970s, Western tourists were enticed to fill there places, and as the seaside Sodom and Gomorrah boomed, ex-servicemen returned to run the sort of joints they had once blown their dollars in. These days, almost half the bars and restaurant in Pattaya are Western-run. More recently, there has been an influx of criminal gangs from Germany,Russia and Japan, who reportedly find Pattaya a convenient centre for running their rackets in passport and credit-card fraud, as well as child pornography and prostitution; expat murders are a regular news item in the Pattaya Mail.
Yet Pattaya dose have its good points, even if you don't fit the lecherous profile of the average punter, as attested by the number of families and older couples who should to spend their package fortnights here. Although very few people swim off Pattaya's shore, the beach itself is kept clean so lots of tourists make use the deckchairs that line its length. Pattaya's water sports facilities are among the best in the country and there are plenty of tourist oriented theme parks and golf courses within day-tripping distance. Holidaying here is not cheap (with no cheap huts for backpackers and few bargain foodstalls), but travellers on a modest budget can fine good accommodation at relatively low cost.
Pattaya is famous for it's lively nightlife with an abundance of clubs, restaurants and adult bars. However there are some beautiful resorts at the northern and southern ends of the beach where you can enjoy a relaxing, secluded atmosphere. Pattaya's beaches have been cleaned up recently but the best beaches are reached by a short boat ride to Coral Island. Pattaya is only 2hrs drive from Bangkok so it is a popular weekend retreat for local Thai people or visitors who are looking for a beach break away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Golf is another popular activity in Pattaya with numerous beautiful courses.
Pattaya comprises three separate bays. At the centre is the four-kilometer Pattaya Beach, the noisiest, most unsightly zone of the resort, crowded with yacht and tour boats and fringed by a silver of sand and paved beachfront walkway. Known by its English name and signed as such, Pattaya Beach Road (Thanon Hat Pattaya) runs the length of the beach and is connected to the parallel Pattaya 2 Road (Thanon Pattaya Sawng) by a string of sois numbered from 1 in the north to 17 in the south. The core of this block, between sois 6 and 13, is referred to as Central Pattaya (Pattaya Klang) and is packed with hotels, restaurant, bars, fast-food joints, souvenir shops and tour operators. During the day this is the busiest part of the resort, but after dark the neon zone south of soi 13/2-South Pattaya-takes over. Knows locally as “the strip”, this is what Pattaya's really about, with sex for sale in go-go bars, discos, massage parlors and open-sided “bar-beers”. The town's enclave of gay sex bars is here too, focused mainly on the interlinked network of small lanes known as Pattayaland soi 1,2, and 3 (or Boyz Town), but actually signed as soi 13/3, 13/4 and 13/5, between the Royal Garden Plaza and Soi 14. Pattaya Beach Road continues south from its junction with South Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Tai) all the way down to the Siam Bayshore Hotel; this stretch of road is also knows as Walking Street because it's pedestrianized every evening from 7pm. North Pattaya, between Central Pattaya Road (Thanon Pattaya Klang) and North Pattaya Road (Thanon Hat Pattaya Neua), also has its “bar-beers”, but is a slightly more upmarket district.
The southerly bay, Jomtien Beach, is also by enormous high-rises many of which are condominiums, though there are some low-rise, mid-priced hotels along the beachfront road, Jomtien Beach Road (Thanon Hat Jomtien), as well. Fourteen kilometers long, it is safer and little cleaner than Pattaya Beach and is considered Thailand's premier windsurfing sport. The far northern tip of Jomtien, beyond the end of the road, is mainly a gay cruising resort suffers from the same excess of bar-beers and shops peddling beachwear and tacky souvenirs.
Naklua Bay, around the northernly headland from Pattaya Beach, is the quietest of the three enclaves and has managed to retain its fishing harbor and indigenous population despite the onslaught of condominiums, holiday apartments and expat homes. Most of the accommodation here is in timeshared condo.
Getting to Pattaya City
Pattaya being located only 150 kilometres south of Bangkok, there are no commercially viable alternatives to the road, save for the rail, and a single flight service from/to Koh Samui. Travel from either the Bangkok Airport or hotel to your Pattaya Hotel. Transfer services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Choose between a shared vehicle transfer, and your own private vehicle transfer. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed immediately and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.
The Top Ten Restaurants in Koh Chang
As the island develops into a major tourist destination the number of quality restaurants and bars is increasing rapidly. This article features some of the best restaurants and bars on the island. I hope you will enjoy them with the BEST TOP TEN Restaurants in Koh Chang... Enjoy your food and your vacation...!