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The city of Pattaya and its offshore islands – located off the Gulf of Thailand, is approximately 145km south of the city of Bangkok, surrounded by Bang Lamung District. Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as a ‘Rest and Recuperation’ destination during the Vietnam War, later developing into a family-orientated seaside destination. The main sweep of the bay has two impressive beachfronts: Pattaya Beach is the main destination, with many of the town's restaurants and nightspots to be found on the section from Pattaya Klang south to the harbour. Jomtien Beach in the southern part of the bay area consists of high-rise condominiums, beachside hotels, bungalow complexes, shops, bars, and restaurants. Offering watersport activities and small sail boat hire, this area becomes increasingly crowded at weekends, with many Thai visitors coming from Bangkok. Walking Street is a pedestrian area south of the beach and a centre for nightlife. Boyztown and Sunee Plaza provide locations for the gay community, while Muay Thai (Thai boxing) matches aimed at tourists can be seen at several open-air beer bar complexes. There are some good shopping centres in Pattaya, while other activities include a wide choice of zoos and theme parks, such as the Elephant Village, Crocodile Farm, Orchid Farm and Underwater World. Sports include golf – there are 21 golf courses within one hour of Pattaya, many driving ranges and even a beginner-level golf course.
 
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