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About Pattaya

About Pattaya, Thailand (Chonburi)


The history of Pattaya. Known as “The Rivera of Thailand” Pattaya, Chonburi, Thailand started life as a small, insignificant fishing village. Pattaya’s name originated from the march ofPhraya Tak (later King Taksin) and his followers from Ayutthaya to Chantaburi (near the coast by scuba diving paradise Koh Chang).

Pattaya often called Phattaya Bay

Pattaya Bay View from Buddha Hill Jomtien, Thailand

For the past centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village almost cut off from the outside world. But a big change occurred on 29 April1961when the first group of about 100 American servicemen who would join the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. Soon, the sleepy Pattaya became Thailand’s premier and most successful Thai beach resort which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of pleasure-seeking visitors. Fishermen’s huts along the beach were replaced by a full range of accommodations from super deluxe hotels to bungalows and mini-pocket guesthouses. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats. And the quiet powdery golden beaches are frequented by swimmers, scuba divers and sunbathers from various parts of the world. Places of night time entertainment have also sprung up and are popular among international tourists.

Two out of three tourists who come to Pattaya extend their stay. People come to Pattaya and Jomtien and they don’t want to go back home. There is a large expat community here because of this. It’s a great place to live because of the lack of meddling laws and the relative cheap prices of goods and food. Phattaya is a highly desirable place to live, work (scuba dive work maybe), relax or dwell. The sun always manages to shine in Pattaya.

Getting To Pattaya

By car
Pattaya can be reached in a 2 hour drive along 
Bangna Trat Highway via Bang Pakong, Chonburi and SiRacha. However, visitors can avoid Chonburi by opting for Highway 36, the new route of Chonburi – Pattaya – Rayong. Taxis or minibuses can be arranged for your convenience – click here for our bangkok minibus and taxi transfers

By bus
Air-conditioned buses and non-aircon coaches regularly depart from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) and Northern Bus Terminal (Morchit) on Kamphaengphet Road throughout the day.

Attractions and places of interest in Pattaya

With many interesting attractions in and around Pattaya, visitors can have a variety of do-it-yourself day trips to keep their holidays fun-filled and enjoyable.

Mini Siam & Mini Europe located near Pattaya Klang. Thai and European heritage on a miniature scale is on display all in one area. This is the third miniature town in the world after the Netherlands and Taiwan that brings together models of important objects and historical sites of different culture, and civilizations of various periods from the ancient time till the present. More than 100 models, each on a scale of 1:25, are displays in an area of 29 Rai, surrounded by natural sceneries blended with different types of well selected trees.

Million Years Stone Park & Crocodile Farm located some 9 kilometers from Pattaya City, comprises breeding pens with more than 1,000 crocodiles, a zoo, and a bonsai garden decorated with rock formations. During a flood after much rain in 2002 a quantity of these crocodiles escaped. I’ll never forget watching TV and hearing one of the funniest quotes. On being asked how many crocodiles had escaped in the flood waters the interviewee said, “We’re really not sure of the exact amount just yet but there do seem to be a lot less stray dogs in the area”. How funny is that?

Panarak Park is 5 kms from Pattaya City on the road to Siam Country Club Golf Course. The park offers a tropical garden setting. The park hosts a well stocked fishing pond and fish equipment can be rented for a days pleasure. With bungalow accommodations, restaurant, jogging and cycling paths, boating and water-cycling; it’s a great 1 or 2 day treat.

Siam Country Club Golf Course Located at Km.145 on Sukhumvit Highway, with the left turn about 11 kilometers. With 6,448 yards, par 72, it is one of country’s most challenging golf courses with lots of wooded hills. This particular golfers delight offers accommodation in a beautiful hilly landscape. There are a plethora of Golf Courses in Pattaya for the novice golfer all of the way up to the ultimate golf professional. Many of Pattaya’s local golf courses were designed by such golf pros as Jack Nicklas, Peter Thomson and Dennis Wolverine. Golf tours and complete golf holidays are a mainstay of the Pattaya economy and it seems increasingly so (at time of writing mid 2103).

Pattaya Elephant Village Is on the road to Siam Country Club Golf Course. The village shows elephant displaying forestry skills, playing football and re-enactment of the war elephant parade. The village also demonstrates how wild elephants were captured in the northeastern part of Thailand.

Wat Yansangwararam temple under the king’s patronage is unique for it’s modern Thai architecture. Here meditation courses are available. The temple is 12 kilometers south of Pattaya and only 3 kilometers from Nong Nooch Village. Nearby is a Chinese-style building called “Wihan Sian” housing antiques and art objects from China.

Pattaya Park is located between south Pattaya and Jomtien Beach. It’s hardly classic Thailand but a great day out especially if you are entertaining kids. It hosts a water amusement park with water slide, whirlpools and large pool for children. Admission is very cheap and with a restaurant there it can make for a good entire day.

Nong Nooch  covers an area of some 500 acres about 15 kilometers from South Pattaya. It is a Thai-village-style park. The entire area is beautifully landscaped, with orchid nursery and other botanical gardens. There are also cultural and traditional performances and an elephant show.

HMS Kram sunk off of Koh Larn Pattaya ThailandKoh Larn  45 minutes offshore by tourist boat or 15 minutes by speed boat, is the largest of Pattaya’s islands. Major attractions include viewing coral reefs from glass bottomed boats, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, water skiing and parasailing. There are many seafood restaurants on the island’s main beaches. Deep sea fishing can be arranged to Koh Larn’s neighboring islands such as Koh Khrok and Koh Sak.

Koh Phai  40 minutes behind Koh Larn is currently under the care of the Royal Navy. It has beautiful deserted beaches. Visitors are not allowed to stay overnight however. It’s great for a day visit and now with the new ship wreck, the HMS Kram (Krarm) it’s a major scuba dive attraction. The shipwreck was laid in Feb/March 2003 and scuba divers enjoy the abundance of marine life that it is collecting. (Shipwrecks in the Gulf of Thailand). The Krarm wreck allows for superb ship wreck dive training courses.


NOW Working at Mermaids!

When we decided to travel to Thailand to do an Internship, everyone said to us you must be crazy!!! Sure with an 8 month old baby, we almost thought the same thing. Choosing the right Dive School was crucial for us to make our new life work and after many ups and downs searching for the right place and at the point of almost giving up our dream we contacted PJ and within hours joined up with Mermaids. Wow, they helped us with everything including finding us a fabulous nanny and a great apartment (all this before we even arrived) We have been here 7 months and are working on our MSDT and IDC Staff.

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Hey everyone, I just want to thank you all for a great 8 months in Pattaya. When I saw the website offering a scuba diving internship in Thailand I was a bit skeptical, but I have to admit it was one of the smartest moves I have made up to this point in my life. When you consider that I had NEVER been diving before coming to Thailand, and now I am a PADI professional, it is unbelievable. The hands on training provided by mermaids staff is second to none. They went out of their way to take the time to make sure I mastered the skills necessary to become not just a competent diver, but to excel and that’s what made it so special. So thanks to all you instructors, Russell, Claus, Manx, Dave...

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This is the second time I have been to Mermaids first was to do the Divemaster course which was very good and now the second which I have just done was OWSI!! All courses a taught to a very hi in the sky standard, the Course Directors, well they are the best around that’s for sure so Hats off to you Russell and Desi!! It’s been a pleasure to be part of Mermaids and I am sure I will be back!!

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After much internet research we contacted Mermaids to inquire about a divemaster internship, we received prompt and informative replies to all our questions, we also stopped by the centre on a quick visit and after seeing the operation and diving with the mermaids staff we were sold! We came to Mermaids initially for 3 months (that was 6 months ago) and after completing our DM course, we decided to stay for open water instructor training. The training at mermaids really is fantastic and having now successfully completed our OWSI training we decided to stay just a little bit longer to become specialty instructors. Not bad considering we only ever intended to be DMs!

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It's been 2 years since I finally completed my OWSI/MSDT training with Mermaids (I was one of those repeat offenders that just kept coming back!!)

Having now worked in the "real world" diving industry I cannot thank the amazing crew at Mermaids enough. I believe that you offer the best diver internship going around.

Several instructors I have worked with since have completed what is billed as "zero to hero" internships yet none of them have come out of their program with the kind of hands on experience and skills that I gained working under the likes of Russell, Desi, Ian B and Slinky and the awesome support staff at Mermaids.

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