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Pattaya
History

Pattaya's name evolved from the march of Phraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his army from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi. This 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, he 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 happens to mean the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the city is officially know as Pattaya. For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village. But a change occurred on April 26, 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 hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Fishermen's huts along the beach were replaced by resort hotel and shopping malls. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats.

 

Demographics

The city (Mueang) had 104,318 registered inhabitants in 2007. But like Bangkok Metropolis, that figure excludes the large number of people who work in Pattaya 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]
 
Geography
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 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.
 
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