Pattaya is one of the premier tourist destinations in the world. Foreign tourism to Thailand as a whole in 2007 amounted to 14.5 million visitors. Pattaya was once a fishing town, and first boomed as an R&R destination during the Vietnam War and very soon developed into a family-orientated seaside destination.
There are a number of tourist attractions in Pattaya. The wild life lovers can visit the private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo which features tigers, alligators, and other animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine offers underwater trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few kilometers offshore. There is the Elephant Village also
where demonstrations of training methods and ancient ceremonial re-enactments are performed daily. The Tropical Botanical Garden lies about 15 kilometers south of Pattaya and is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) site of botanical gardens and an orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained chimpanzees and elephants are presented. The lovers of sports and adventure games can visit any of the 21 golf courses which are within one hour of Pattaya or enjoy go-kart racing.
There are many other attractions in Pattaya, for example, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, The Million Years Stone Park, Funny Land Amusement Park, Pattaya Park Beach Resort Water Park, Siriporn Orchid Farm, Underwater World Pattaya (world-class aquarium), the Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya (cultural show), Bottle Art Museum, and Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. Then there is the fascinating Underwater World, an aquarium with a collection of marine species in the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays. A panoramic view of the city of Pattaya and its crescent bay can be enjoyed from Khao Phra Tamnak or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill located between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach.
The hill is topped by Wat Khao Phra Bat, a temple, and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the “founding father of the modern Thai navy.” The Sanctuary of Truth is by the sea at Laem Ratchawet. It is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981, that was conceived from the vision that human civilization has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth.
Mini Siam is a miniature model village which showcases Thai heritages. It consists of replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, and Prasat Hin Phimai. Models of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called “mini world." Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan is a famous temple worth visiting. It was constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present Supreme Patriarch and later supported by His Majesty the King. One can find,within the compound of the temple, a replica of the Buddha’s footprint, and a large Chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha.