Chon Buri The Nearest
Bangkoks nearest seaside town, is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of
Thailand, only 80 kilometers from Bangkok. The area boasts abundant natural
resources, which are highlighted by delightful beaches, local colors,
traditions, delicacies and fresh seafood. This is a popular resort among
Bangkokians who seek the nearest escape from hectic weekly schedules as Chon
Buri has something for everyone. In addition, Chon Buri is the center of the
Eastern Seaboard Development Project, with its industrial parks and fishing
Pattaya A Travelers Paradise
is nestled along a picturesque bay on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand,
roughly 170 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. From a fishing village in the
1960's, Pattaya has emerged as the favorite Southeast Asian vacation center. A
fascinating escape where tourists, holiday makers and vacationers from around
the world unfold an incomparable array of possibilities to unwind during an
exotic holiday beach vacation.
Unlike other beach resorts, where natural surroundings
are used as magnets to attract tourists, Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to
provide the best of everything. Here, everything means everything a tourist can
imagine while on holiday: recreation, entertainment, sports, sightseeing and
fun. To put it simply, Pattaya is a paradise for everyone, as it has a variety
of attractions suitable for all types of visitors. This is the place where you
can fill your day, from dusk to dawn, with endless activities, or you may choose
to do nothing at all and relax.
Pattaya's name was originated from the march of Phraya
Tak (later known as King Taksin the
Great) and his followers from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi just before the fall of
the Ayutthaya Kingdom to the Burmese invaders in 1767.
When Phraya Tak's army arrived in the vicinity of what is
Pattaya today, 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, thereby surrendering without
a fight. The place where the two armies confronted each other was later 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 spelling of the name
has been simplified to Pattaya.
For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village almost
cut off from the outside world. But a big change occurred on 29 April 1961 when
the first group of about 100 American servicemen who would join the Vietnam War
arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. Soon, sleepy Pattaya became Thailand's
premier and most successful beach resort, which annually attracts hundreds of
thousands of pleasure-seeking visitors. A full range of accommodations from
super deluxe hotels to bungalows and mini-pocket guesthouses replaced fishermens
huts along the beach. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats and
swimmers and sunbathers from various parts of the world frequented the quiet
powdery golden beaches. Places of nighttime entertainment have also sprung up
and are popular among international tourists.
currently integrates the delights of a 1st class beach resort, city-like dining,
shopping and night entertainment facilities with more than 300 assorted hotels,
thousands of shops, restaurants and bars. In addition, there are an array of
sports and recreational activities including beaches, golf courses, tennis
courts, go-kart, gyms for working out, weight lifting and Thai-boxing gear.
Pattaya offers a broad range of things to do. During the day, one may enjoy
riding elephants or driving humble automatic mini-bikes, monstrous motorcycles,
or even monster multicolored convertible Jeeps. Others go for shooting firearms,
scuba diving and surfing, deep-sea fishing, speed boats, scooters, water-skiing,
parasailing, or aerial sports such as gliding ultra-lights and flying
motor-propelled gliders. On the other hand, at night, there are restaurants,
bars, theaters, cabaret shows, night clubs, bowling halls, billiard & snooker
clubs, discos, sauna & massage parlors, not to cite its absolutely incredible
shopping which is available non-stop both day-and-night.
This exotic beach resort welcomes approximately 5 million
visitors a year. The friendly and
hospitable Thai nature boosts its promotion, frequently bringing back the repeat
visitors and constantly increasing the number of newcomers.
Pattaya city is located on the eastern coast of the
country at latitude 13 N and longitude 101 E in the area of Chon Buri province.
It is 147 kilometers from Bangkok and lies parallel to Sukhumvit Road on its
east and the coastline on its west. Pattaya occupies an area of 208.1 sq. km.
that is divided into 53.44 sq. kilometers of land and 154.66 sq. kilometers of
islands and sea. Its coastline is 15 kilometers long.
Pattaya has a plain on the coast with some high mountains
to the south. The area on the east slopes down towards the sea on the west.
Pattaya City has been administered under a special
autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to that of a
municipality and is administered separately by the mayor of Pattaya City, who is
responsible for making policies, organizing public services, and supervising all
employees of Pattaya City Administration.
about 7.5 kilometers off of Pattaya by a 45-minute ferry or 15 minutes
by speed boat ride, the island measures 2 kilometers by 5 kilometers and
offers several white sandy beaches, notably Hat Ta Waen, Hat Laem Thian
and Hat Thong Long, the latter facing coral reefs. Visitors can choose
either snorkeling or viewing the coral from glass bottom boats. Ferries
to the island leave South Pattaya pier daily from 10.00 a.m. to 6.30
p.m. Cruises by sailing junks, with lunch provided are also available.
How to get there
Travelling to Chon Buri
Chon Buri is a one-hour drive from Bangkok along Highway
No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat). Alternatively, taking the Motor Way (new Bangkok-Chon
Buri Route) will reduce travel time.
The 1.5-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on regular
buses originating from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai). Air-conditioned buses
leave Ekkamai every 40 minutes from 5.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tel: 0 2391 9829. Non
air-conditioned buses leave Ekkamai every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tel:
0 2391 2504.
There are also air-conditioned buses leaving the
Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road
from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Call: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information. In
addition, Si Racha Tour, Tel: 0 2936 4029 operates air-conditioned bus services
to Chon Buri and Bang Saen.
Travelling to Pattaya
Pattaya can be reached in a 2.5-hour drive along
Bangna-Trat Highway via Bang Pakong, Chon Buri and Si Racha. However, visitors
can avoid Chon Buri by opting for Highway 36, the new Chon Buri - Pattaya -
Rayong route or taking the motorway from Rama 9 Road.
Air-conditioned and regular buses depart from the Eastern
Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) and Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus
Terminal) on Kamphaengphet Road daily. Buses (air-con) depart the Eastern Bus
Terminal every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from Mochit II (Northern
Bus Terminal) from 5.00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Departure times and fares may be obtained from the
Eastern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2391 2504, 0 2391 8097 or the Northern Bus
Terminal, tel. 0 2936 2852-66.
There are also minibuses that travel directly from
Bangkok Airport to Pattaya at 9.00 a.m., 12.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. daily. For
more information, contact the Bangkok International Airport, tel. 0 2535 1111.
In addition, most hotels in Bangkok provide bus services
to Pattaya. Contact the tour desk at your hotel for details.
The State Railway of Thailand offers a daily train
service departing Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station at 06.55 a.m., tel. 0 2621
8701. It takes about 5 hours to reach a station located near the Siam Country
Bangkok Airways provides daily flights connecting Ko
Samui and U-Taphao Airport. (Approximately 30 kilometers south of Pattaya).
Travelling in Pattaya
Pattaya City is divided into four major zones: North
Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Chomthian. It should be noted that
there is a small mountain known as the Hill, located between South Pattaya and
Chomthian. For a visual illustration take a look at the Map of Pattaya and
Chomthian with the Hill.
Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in
Pattaya. However, transportation in the city is facilitated through the use of
special cars (song taew), customized pickup trucks with passenger seats in a
covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as Bahts-Bus, can easily carry
8-10 passengers in the back, plus 1 or 2 passengers in front. They circle around
the city and are allowed to stop anywhere. In addition to motorbike-taxis, the
Bahts-Buses are the only form of public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not
occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private
vehicles in most cases belonging to the drivers. There are so many of them that
they end up looking for passengers.
This compact city consists of 3 major roads that parallel
each other. Right along the beach is Beach Rd., which is a one-way road from the
north to south that is a few kilometers long. Second Rd. is a hundred or so
meters away and carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although
it is partly a two-way road. The last road is Sukhumvit Rd, a continuation of
the highway leading to Bangkok. Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the
roads. And it's advisable to walk some of the small streets, which are
enumerated from north to south, although some have names. Second Rd. continues
on to South Pattaya and turns to Chomthian reaching Chomthian beach within 5
minutes, and continues alongside Chomthian beach, which is approximately 20
kilometers long with some secluded escapes.
Chomthian Beach Rd., which is a two-way road, also
parallels Sukhumvit Rd and is the only road in the Chomthian area, except for
some connecting streets. On the other side of Sukhumvit road are several country
clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes
on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and
Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps,
sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not
required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity, so many tourists are tempted
get behind the wheel. It should be noted that in Thailand drivers drive on the
left lane, as in England and Japan.