Pattaya is a city on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast known for its beaches. A quiet fishing village as recently as the 1960s, it’s now lined with resort hotels, high-rise condos, shopping malls, cabaret bars and 24-hour clubs. Nearby, hillside Wat Phra Yai Temple features an 18m-tall golden Buddha. The area also features several designer golf courses, some with views of Pattaya Bay.
On the very top of Pratumnak Hill, between Pattaya and Jomtien Beach, you can’t fail to notice an enormous 18 meter tall Buddha popping up through the trees. This Big Buddha – the largest in the region – is the highlight of Wat Phra Yai, a temple built in the 1940s when Pattaya was nothing more than a fishing village. The Big Buddha is extremely popular with tour groups who love to see the intricate design of the statue and the temple complex, but it is also revered by local people who come to pray at the temple.
The Sanctuary of Truth is perhaps the most iconic structure in Pattaya. Intricately carved entirely from teak wood, the awe-inspiring 105-meter-tall hall on the headland to the north of Wongamat Beach is a one-of-a-kind structure in the whole world. Neither temple nor palace, despite looking like a hybrid of both, it was commissioned by a local business tycoon to act as a place of appreciation for philosophy, art, culture, and faith, without being tied to a single religion.
Pattaya (Thai: พัทยา, About this soundpronunciation (help·info), RTGS: phatthaya, Thai pronunciation: [pʰát.tʰā.jāː]) is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 kilometres (62 mi) southeast of Bangkok, within, but not part of, Bang Lamung District in the province of Chonburi. Pattaya City (Thai: เมืองพัทยา RTGS: mueang phatthaya) is a self-governing municipal area which covers tambons Nong Prue and Na Klua and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai.