Pattaya is known for many things, not all of them flattering -actually, most of what it’s known for is downright unflattering. Go to any Thailand blog or online forum and you’ll hear it has the dirtiest beaches in Thailand, worst “kook” foreigners manning those beaches; most aggressive locals, most crime, most raucous nightlife, pedophiles, etc.
It’s actually not too surprising, given what an international meeting ground Pattaya has become in recent decades -in fact, and international “boom town.” And like any boom town, all types of people are attracted to it’s free-wheeling lifestyle. In it’s narrow soi’s (streets) you’ll find the good, the bad, the ugly. Pattaya’s problems are actually nothing more than what you would expect of any “wild west” town that has experienced decades of unbridaled growth. Only this being the twenty-first century, the “wild west” of bygone years has been replaced by the new “wild east.” And nowhere, east, or west -is wilder than Pattaya.
So it’s a little surprising to see Pattaya now receiving more favorable attention in the online blogosphere -that’s right, I said “favorable.” Do a keyword search of “retire in Pattaya” and you’ll find dozens of sites extolling the virtues of this place -some going as far as calling it a “paradise” (obviously catering to a crowd that’s never been there). It’s a land of great food, cheap condos, eternal sun and warm weather -and of course, friendly locals. I’ve even seen it referred to as being “the best place in the world to retire.”
Recently, Simon at SovereignMan.com has pointed out what many of us already knew -that per-capita, Pattaya is easily the most international city in the world. It seems this boom town has attracted people from every corner of the planet -definitely a twenty-first century phenomena; made possible by modern air travel. I’ve seen people in the tourist areas from every continent except Antarctica; heard languages I couldn’t even identify, seen foods, clothing, and customs that are most definitely not Thai -in fact, even the local Thai are mostly not local, but are from other parts of Thailand.
So yes, I agree with Simon -on a per capita basis, Pattaya is probably the most international city anywhere on this planet -though I suspect it’s sister city, Phuket, is not too far behind.