Coordinates:  12°55′39″N 100°52′31″ECoordinates:  12°55′39″N 100°52′31″E
Country: Thailand
Province: Chonburi
Mueang: Mueang Pattaya

Type :   Self-administrating municipality
Mayor:    Ittipol Khunplome

Total:   22.2 km2 (8.6 sq mi)

Population: (2007)
Total:   104,318
Density:  4,699/km2 (12,170.4/sq mi)
Registered residents only

Time zone
Thailand: (UTC+7)


The City of Pattaya is a self-governing municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue and Na Kluea and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The City is situated in the heavily industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi. It has a population exceeding 100,000 (2007). Pattaya is also the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area, the conurbation in Chonburi Province, with a total population exceeding 1,000,000 (2010).

The name Pattaya evolved from the march of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi, which took place before the fall of the former capital to the Burmese invaders in 1767.

When his army arrived at the vicinity of what is now Pattaya, Phraya Tak encountered the troops of Nai Klom, who tried to intercept him. When the two leaders met face to face, Nai Klom was awed by Phraya Tak's dignified manner and his army's strict discipline. He then surrendered without a fight. The place the two armies confronted each other was called Thap Phraya, which means the Army of the Phraya. This was later changed to Phatthaya, which means the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the city is internationally known as "Pattaya" while the still correct and official transliteration "Phatthaya" is seen on many roadsigns.

For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village. But a change occurred on 26 April 1961, when the first group of about 100 American servicemen who were fighting in the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. From this beginning, Pattaya became a popular beach resort which now attracts over 10 million visitors a year.[2][3] Fishermen's huts along the beach were replaced by resort hotels and retail stores, including Asia's largest beachfront shopping mall,[4] the CentralFestival Pattaya Beach Mall and hotel (Hilton) situated on Beach Rd in central Pattaya.

The city (Mueang) had 104,318 registered inhabitants in 2007. As with the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, that figure excludes the large number of people who work in the city but remain registered in their hometowns, and many long-term expatriate visitors. Including non-registered residents, the population numbers around 300,000 at any given time. Other estimates put the figure as high as 500,000.[1]
Most of the officially-registered Pattaya residents are of Thai-Chinese ancestry. Due to the tourist industry, many people from the Northeast (known as Isan, the poorest region of Thailand) have come to work in Pattaya, and are counted for census purposes in their hometown.

There is a fast-growing community of foreign retirees living in Pattaya. Thai immigration has a special visa category for foreigners over age 50 who wish to retire in Thailand. Pattaya is attractive to many retirees from Europe and other Western countries not only because of its climate and exotic, easy lifestyle, but also because living costs are a fraction of those in Europe, a major consideration for people on fixed pensions or incomes.

Physical geography
Mueang Pattaya surrounded by Amphoe Bang Lamung in Chonburi Province.

Pattaya, located off the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 145 km south of the city of Bangkok, surrounded by Bang Lamung District.
The city of Pattaya is a special municipal area which covers the whole tambon Nong Prue (Nongprue) and Na Kluea (Naklua) and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. Bang Lamung township which forms the northern border of Pattaya covers parts of the tambon Bang Lamung (Banglamung), Nong Pla Lai and Takhian Tia. Bang Sali is on the southern border of Pattaya.

"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 Pratamnak Hill (often called "Buddha Hill" because of the temples on top of the 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 Pratamnak Hill).

Pattaya city has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to a municipality and is separately administered by the mayor of Pattaya city who is responsible for making policies, organizing public services and supervising all employees of Pattaya city administration.

Pattaya has a tropical wet and dry climate, which is divided into the following seasons: warm and dry (November to February), hot and humid (March to May), and hot and rainy (June to October).
Climate data for Pattaya

Month     Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug   Sep   Oct   Nov   Dec    
Average high °C     30.7   31.0   31.8   32.9   32.4   31.6   31.3   31.1   31.0   30.6   30.4   29.9   Year 31.23
Average low  °C     23.0   24.3   25.4   26.4   26.5   26.5   26.0   26.0    25.1    24.2    23.4    22.2    Year 24.92
Precipitation mm      13.7    12.0    52.5    61.6    154.6    149.9    87.0    98.6    217.1   242.6    82.8    6.4    Year 1,178.8 
Average high °F     87.3   87.8    89.2    91.2    90.3    88.9     88.3    88.0    87.8     87.1     86.7   85.8    Year 88.21
Average low °F       73.4    75.7    77.7    79.5    79.7     79.7   78.8    78.8    77.2    75.6    74.1   72.0    Year 76.85 
Precipitation inch     0.539    0.472    2.067    2.425    6.087   5.902    3.425    3.882    8.547    9.551    3.26    0.252    Year 46.40

Source: World Weather Information Service

Beaches and islands
The Pattaya Bay Area is one of Asia's largest beach resorts and the second most visited city in Thailand, after Bangkok. This panorama overlooks Bali Hai pier and the core of the city.
The main sweep of the bay area is divided into two principal beachfronts. Pattaya Beach is parallel to city centre, and runs from Pattaya Nuea south to Walking Street. Along Beach Road are restaurants, shopping areas, and night attractions.

Jomtien Beach in the southern part of the bay area is divided from Pattaya beach by the promontory of Pratumnak Hill. It consists of high-rise condominiums, beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants. On weekends, it becomes increasingly crowded, with many Thai visitors coming from Bangkok. It offers of watersport activities such as jet skis, parasailing and small sail boat hire.

Offshore islands include the "Near Islands", Ko Larn (main island), Ko Sak and Ko Krok located 7 km from the western shores of Pattaya Ko Larn, or "Coral Island", Mu Ko Phai, the "Far Islands", Ko Phai (main island), Ko Man Wichai, Ko Hu Chang and Ko Klung Badan, located offshore further west of the "Near Islands", and Ko Rin, located offshore to the southwest, south of Mu Ko Phai.

Some of the islands in the group are accessible by speedboat in less than 15 minutes and by ferry taking about 45 minutes. The names "Near Islands", "Far Islands" and "Coral Island" are used for touristic purposes only and do not correspond to any naming conventions of the island groups and are not shown on maritime charts published by the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Thai Navy. Many of the islands have public beaches and offer scuba diving activities.