Pattaya is a city that has changed remarkably over the last 50 years. The former fishing village became a haven for US Troops looking to enjoy some R&R during the Vietnam War which in turn, led to bars opening and, of course, an influx of girls. Since that time we have seen new condo developments, quality restaurants and an increase in the number of bars. Pattaya became a destination for single men looking to enjoy the nightlife and everything that was associated with it. Unfortunately, with the increase in these types of visitor, the city gained something of an unsavoury name.
Fortunately, in 2019 the city has changed into something of a family resort although the nightlife still definitely exists. City Hall and the authorities have made significant efforts to try to keep it to certain areas with the openness about certain activities also kept to a minimum. This has resulted in Pattaya becoming a city that appeals to everyone as everybody is catered for. Along with this, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the two completely contrasting worlds seem to work together in almost perfect harmony.
Pattaya has long been a city that has been recognised a place that evolves. It changes to meet the demands of visitors by generally offering more rather than less. Is this something that any other resorts in Thailand can really claim to offer? It seemed almost unimaginable that Pattaya would become a city for families. This was something offered by other resorts such as Phuket or Hua Hin. Even the cities of Bangkok and Chiang Mai appealed more to families and couples. That no longer is the case and Pattaya is pushing itself to the front of the queue.
In the center of Pattaya, well appointed 2 bedroom for sale at a great price
When you consider what Pattaya has to offer it is unrivalled by other resorts. Pattaya has the bars and nightlife, restaurants offering food from around the globe and plenty of attractions. If you enjoy golf, Pattaya has around 30 championship standard golf courses within an hours travelling time from the city centre. The city has an abundance of water sports, places to walk and enjoyable cycling routes around Mabprachan Lake and other areas in East Pattaya. All this without even mentioning the shows and shopping!
Pattaya has a huge advantage over many other cities in that it is semi-autonomous as a district and can make many decisions without central government approval. In practice, this means that improvements and changes can happen quickly which again puts it streets ahead of its competitors. The city is expanding at an alarming rate and the infrastructure is, without doubt, feeling the strain. However, thanks to City Hall’s ability to respond quickly, this is something that is constantly being addressed. What might take years to action in Phuket, for example, takes months in Pattaya.
Another advantage that Pattaya holds over its rivals is it location. It is within a 2 hour drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport that is linked to the city via a modern highway. In addition, there is the newly improved U-Tapao airport that makes the city more accessible for the swathes of Russian and Chinese visitors that the city welcomes each year. In addition, the airport is expected to attract even more international and domestic flights over the next 12 months. This means that Pattaya is a convenient destination which will naturally add to its appeal.
Huge Estate on 4 Rai of Land for a reasonable price next to Mapbrachan Lake
Of course, another factor that should be taken into consideration is that it is relatively cheap compared to places such as Phuket. As we mentioned last month, Pattaya can no longer be viewed as ‘cheap’ but this is a reflection on how far the city has moved forward and it is still cheaper than many other places. For lots of visitors, this is an important point. Whilst it may not be the ultimate factor it will hold some sway in people’s decisions so once again, makes Pattaya more appealing than many other resorts in Pattaya.
When you look at the construction of some truly world-class condos and hotels in the city you start to appreciate the market that Pattaya is aiming for. The city has moved forward and obviously feels that this is a trend that will continue. If this weren’t the case would this construction being taking place on the scale that we witness today? It is simply another example of Pattaya giving the consumer what they want.
When we look closely at other popular resorts such as Krabi, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Phuket they certainly have much to offer and we are certainly not trying to criticise them. They will always hold an appeal to a certain audience but that is something that is more of a niche market. None of the places mentioned have the widespread appeal that Pattaya has fought so hard to get over recent years. Even Bangkok and Chiang Mai, interesting and beautiful as they may be, don’t have the same appeal and in fairness, you would have to be using the term ‘resort’ in its broadest terms to even consider them in the debate.
Na Jomtien is booming and there are still great value and spacious 1 bedroom on the market
So, as always we need to look at what’s in store in the future. Pattaya has big things coming in the next few years. There will be the highspeed rail link that will make the city even more accessible than it is now. The infrastructure including roads is always improving and there is still the mention of some form of mass transit system being introduced to combat both congestion and pollution. If we mention it quietly, we can always mention the prospect of casinos being introduced in the city – something that has been whispered for years. Pattaya is certainly being proactive and deserves credit for this. Can any of the other resorts stake similar claims?
To conclude Pattaya is doing what it has always done and that is evolve. It gives people what they want with a minimum amount of fuss and people appreciate that. When you can achieve this, as Pattaya has done, then you are on to a winner. The other resorts simply can’t compete and perhaps this is down to the relative freedom that Pattaya has. For whatever reason, Pattaya has pushed itself to become more appealing and as a result is probably the most popular resort in Thailand.