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Pattaya is a resort city in Thailand's Chonburi Province (Bang Lamung District) located in the Gulf of Thailand, approx 160 km (100 mi) south of Bangkok (Thailand's capital and largest city). Pattaya has population around 330,000 and is part of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolis (combined population around 1 million).
Pattaya City is part of Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor. Its economy benefits from major infrastructure development projects including airports, cargo ports, highways, high-speed railways, modern tourist attractions, as well as maritime transport projects aiming to enhance the access from the city to the popular island destinations Koh Phuket and Koh Samui. Annually, Pattaya is visited by 14+ million tourists, with the tourism industry contributing USD 7,6+ billion to its economy (~70% of the city's annual income).
Since 2017, regularly scheduled daily passenger ferries link Pattaya with Hua Hin (seaside resort in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province), with crossing distance approx 113 km (70 mi) and travel time ~2,5 hours. Since 2020, Ro-Pax ferry ships also transport vehicles (cars, trucks, buses). As cruise port, Pattaya is visited mainly by smaller-sized luxury ships and megayachts.
The metro city is served by two international airports - Suvarnabhumi Airport (at approx 120 km / 75 mi) which is Thailand's largest, and U-Tapao Airport (at approx 40 km / 25 mi). A daily train service interlinks Pattaya with Bangkok. The city is also interlinked via two highways - Bangkok-Chonburi-Pattaya and Bang Na-Bang Phli-Chonburi-Bang Saen-Bang Phra-Pattaya.
Among the best-known tourist attractions are Million Years Stone Park, Park Beach Resort Water Park, Funny Land Amusement Park, Silverlake Winery, Underwater World, Siriporn Orchid Farm, Crocodile Farm, Bottle Art Museum, Khao Pratamnak hill (topped by Wat Khao Phra Bat temple), Cartoon Network Amazone (2014-opened theme waterpark, currently the largest in Southeast Asia, also operates with yearly passes), RamaYana (2014-opened waterpark with 21 slides and a 600-m long lazy river), Thepprasit Market (city's biggest, open on Fridays-Saturdays-Sundays), Mini Siam (miniature model village with replicas of the Thailand's best-known monuments and historical sites). The city is also internationally famous for its numerous festivals, great shopping and dining options, cheap hotels and spa resorts, nightlife (including sex tourism).