Old Pattaya was a small fishing village but it became famous during the Vietnamese war. Pattaya became the main destination for the American soldiers R&R (1959-1973) during Vietnam war.
The U.S. air war in Vietnam operated out of Thailand and a lot of soldiers were stationed in Thailand. U-Tapao airbase, 140 km – southeast of Bangkok, hosted the U.S.’s B-52 bombers and their pilots. American servicemen found a local “rest and relaxation” center in Pattaya, a nearby fishing village with a great beach. Businesses soon sprang up to cater to their desires from Bars to Brothels.
When the war ended by 1973 and the Americans left and Pattaya took an economic hit but not for long. Civilian tourists began to flock to Thailand in the 1980s, many seeking commercial sex. Capitalizing on its go-go bars and brothels. Pattaya became a major tourist destination for sex and wild nightlife with millions visiting the city every year.
Most of the girls that work in Pattaya come from Isaan where the good jobs are rare and also the money. Rather than working long hours in the rice fields during the extreme weather of heat and rain for 150 baht a day. They decided to come to Pattaya for the easy money and the chance to meet a Farang that will buy a house, a car and provide for the whole family.
Pattaya continued to grow in popularity at such a rate with both Thai and foreign tourists, that the local government could not cope with the administration. Administrative and infrastructure combination with Na Klua, took place in 1976 and the government promulgated the Pattaya City Act in 1978, there by joining Na Klua and Pattaya to form the fifth local government municipality. Thus was Pattaya City born.
The growth from fishing village to international resort was so rapid. Now home to more than 110,000 people, residents who have formally registered in the city but that number will double easily with all the girls moving from Isan to work in Pattaya.
Pattaya attracts more than 9 million tourists every year mainly for sex. It’s considered the Sex capital of the world.
Old Pattaya – A look back in Time