Pattaya Bay is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 165 km southeast of Bangkok, a beach resort popular with tourists and expatriates. Pattaya an ordinary small fishing village, it all changed during the 60’s when American servicemen arrived during the Vietnamese War for rest and relaxation, changing life forever as in sin-city. While wiki pages states it developed into a family-orientated seaside destination it wasn’t until some legal action was undertaken to enforce changes in the sex industry and child prostitution. The Government is now re-branding Pattaya with a master plan as mentioned in the NewYork Times post in 2010 A Thai City of Sleaze Tries to Clean Up by Thomas Fuller. The sex industry is still at large but with the growing wider exposure of foreigners and locals exposed in illicit affairs, the government is undertaking action to make changes for the better.
As a visitor I do share a critical view of sex tourism in Thailand, will write post in a separate entry. For now I’d like to share my positive observations visiting friends and places we have patronized over the years and still experiencing unwavering Thai hospitality. This and following posts will be about vacation in Pattaya as we have come to known and like it.
Pattaya Boulevard is located central with a very popular small stretch of Beach with at one end the infamous Walking Street. On the very opposite side south of the Bay you will find Jomtien Beach both well known spots, with Dongtan Beach centred in the middle being closed off for cars. Ideal for joggers along the beach or on the pavement visited by beach guests, strollers and bicyclists. Away from the noisy centre it’s not as crazy over crowded like popular tourist spots can be.
While still being popular it is quiet, last few years coastal area business has seen quite a dip due to environmental problems, political and economical unrest. Pattaya’s view changed too by rapidly build constructions, condo’s and many high-rise towers all along coastal line. Without increase of sales potential, lack of tenants or buyers most housing remain unoccupied instead becoming concrete walls of what once was lush greens.
But some things and spots remain the same, such as Nongmaii Beach Cafe. Introduced by friends more than a decade ago we keep coming back for outstanding service, the warm hospitality by the proprietor Mrs. Latana’s family and her helpfull staff. This is a great place to relax, chat, occasionally keep beach office as I like to do while observing local wildlife big and small. These chipmunks have been entertaing us during our Autumn stay just before high season starts here.