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Pattaya is famous for its sunshine, beaches, and seafood. With a population of 100,000, the city receives more than 1 million tourists each year and more than 90% of the city’s population is involved in tourism-related work. The 15 km coastline is full of clear water and gentle waves and visitors from all over the world come here to tan and lay out by the beaches. Water sports such as water skiing and diving are also popular. In the evening, colorful fireworks illuminate the city’s night sky and the bright neon lights of the dance halls and nightclubs can be seen throughout the streets. Within the city, smaller bars can be found everywhere and are a great place to dance and listen to music.
Pattaya is located on the eastern coast of Thailand. Originally an obscure small fishing village on the edge of the Gulf of Siam, it was transformed into a seaside resort town about 30 years ago. As early as the 13th century, Pattaya was a place for holiday for Thai soldiers who used to fight Burmese invaders. Much later in the 1950s, Pattaya was built up as a naval base and resort for the United States during the Vietnam War. After the withdrawal of the US troops, it gradually developed into a holiday resort. After the 1970s, the amount of hotels, shops, entertainment centers and other facilities in Pattaya began to increase. After years of development, tourism has now become the most important part of industry, and it is now one of the world’s most well-known vacation cities. Tourists who purchase goods in Thailand can refund 7% VAT upon departure. Tax refund slips in major department stores are available – remember to bring your passport to the store with you. To refund the tax, you must purchase more than 2,000 baht in the same department store on the same day and the total amount of the purchase must be more than 5,000 baht. The best time to visit Pattaya is from November to February when the weather is relatively dry. During this time, the average temperature ranges from 15 to 18 °C, and beautiful flowers bloom. Tourists visit Pattaya year round, but the rainy season (June-October) is considered to be off season. In April, there is a large amount of tourists due to the Songkran Water Festival and hotels in Pattaya are known to fill up quickly.