Known as "The Rivera of Thailand" Pattaya started life as a small, insignificant fishing village. In the 13th century it was the R&R (rest and relaxation) spot for soldiers of the great King Nari during his campaign against Burmese invaders, but other than that it continued to doze, until the 20th century.
In 1950, Pattaya was still little other than a small fishing village. It regained popularity with the armed forces in 1959 when a group of American GI’s visited for R&R. After renting a house on the beach, spending an enjoyable time with the locals, they returned and the word was out…Pattaya was “The” place to holiday.
New groups of Marines arrived and it is from this simple beginning that the city grew. In just 40 odd years it has developed into one of the most renowned of all Thailand’s holiday spots, locally, and world wide.
By the late 70’s, hotels, shopping centres, entertainment houses and the like had shot up. Industry developed as did tourism and with the opening of the motorway from Bangkok to Pattaya, it became a two-hour drive from the country’s capital.
Pattaya’s popularity grew so rapidly that the local government couldn’t cope with its administration. So in 1976 Pattaya and nearby Naklur became one administrative district. Then in 1978 Pattaya was declared a city in its own right.