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mark45y

Did America Create Pattaya?

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The first time I came to Thailand was in 1969. I had military business in Bangkok and U-Tapao. I drove through Pattaya and was not impressed enough to stop. There were only a couple of hotels and not much going on.

I continued on to Sattahip and U-Tapao. I went to Kilo Sip and Newland which is close to Ban Chang. They were fun but nothing big.

I was stationed in Vietnam for two tours of duty and as a result of that went on two R&R’s (1968 and 1969). One to Taipei and the other to Hawaii. A lot of guys went to King’s Cross and other places like Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

As I remember GI’s going to Thailand went to Bangkok with Pattaya being very secondary with no Go Go action. I never went to a Go Go in Bangkok during that period (68 and 69). I don’t think Bangkok had any. I remember beer being expensive in Thailand and Saigon cheaper and more fun with Go Go’s and such.

What I remember about Thailand was that GI’s signed a contract with ladies for a week. It was much more like having a wife for a week than any kind of short time thing.

I am sure there are a lot of men reading this forum who have much more experience in Thailand during that period than I.

Let me know if I am right or wrong. I think Pattaya was created post Vietnam by cheap air travel between England and Australia more than anything that happened with the American army during the Vietnam war. But I guess I could be wrong. Let me know.

I posted this in the general forum because Pattaya was a non entity during the late 60’s and early 70’s and most of the people having experience with it would not be reading the Pattaya forum. I guess the thread would be just as relevant to the Bangkok, Pattaya or General forum.

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Who built U-Tapao Airport? America. Why did they build it? Because of the Vietnam War. Where is it? Chonburi (Pattaya). Did any farang know of this place prior to the war? No.

So, simply put, The Vietnam War "advertised" Thailand, therefore Pattaya, as a holiday destination. Post Vietnam War many G.I's went back for their "wives" to take them home, or just drink beer and boom boom again.

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It was the closest nice beach area to Bangkok and it kept the greatest number of GIs out of the city. I suspect it was a little bit of both. The military airport at Chonburi was certainly a start.

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My R&R was spent in Bangkok. That was 1968. I didn't even know Pattaya existed. I always get a kick out of people who set themselves up as experts who where never there.

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Who built U-Tapao Airport? America. Why did they build it? Because of the Vietnam War. Where is it? Chonburi (Pattaya). Did any farang know of this place prior to the war? No.

So, simply put, The Vietnam War "advertised" Thailand, therefore Pattaya, as a holiday destination. Post Vietnam War many G.I's went back for their "wives" to take them home, or just drink beer and boom boom again.

I don’t think you understand what life on a military base during Vietnam was like. U-Tapao had two theaters, bars, PX’s. Not much reason to go off base. Since there were beaches at Sattahip no reason to go to Pattaya. Since there were girls at Newland and Kilo Sip no reason to go to Pattaya.

Now you see a few old guys retired with women they met while serving at U-Tapao but not many.

I think I am typical. I didn’t go back to Thailand to find a wife. I was in my 20’s educated and experienced I had no trouble finding women and a job when I got back to the states.

Why would I go back to Thailand? I was in Vietnam and Thailand for two years during the 60’s and never knew anything about Pattaya. Why on earth would I have gone there?

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My R&R was spent in Bangkok. That was 1968. I didn't even know Pattaya existed. I always get a kick out of people who set themselves up as experts who where never there.

I completely agree. I never heard about Pattaya in Vietnam. I think it is figment of someone’s imagination. If you look at bar ownership in Pattaya there are not many Americans involved. A few to be sure but far more Brits and others.

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Many years ago I met an American vet who told me Pattaya reallytook off in the early seventies.

Something about a lot of navy transport ships stopped off at Rayond on the way home, aparantly it all started then.

Is this right?

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british and australian troops had an R&R camp on pattaya beach in 1963!! no bars no hotels only a dirt road the first bar and brothel opened in april 1964, it wasnt until 1966 that us troops passing through plucked up the courage to stop, this was yonks before the vietnam debacle kicked off :) have attached a couple of piccies of pattaya beach 63 and 64

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british and australian troops had an R&R camp on pattaya beach in 1963!! no bars no hotels only a dirt road the first bar and brothel opened in april 1964, it wasnt until 1966 that us troops passing through plucked up the courage to stop, this was yonks before the vietnam debacle kicked off :) have attached a couple of piccies of pattaya beach 63 and 64

There were no US troop movements through Pattaya. So I don’t know why GI’s would have stopped in Pattaya. 500,000 US troops stationed in Vietnam and 50,000 in Thailand. R&R was in Bangkok troops arrived by air from Vietnam and left by air for Vietnam. I buy the notion that Aussies started Pattaya. That would make sense seeing the amount of Aussies there now.

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Many years ago I met an American vet who told me Pattaya reallytook off in the early seventies.

Something about a lot of navy transport ships stopped off at Rayond on the way home, aparantly it all started then.

Is this right?

By Navy transport ships I assume you mean transport of things like oil and supplies as opposed to people. The American army moved people by commercial air most of the time.

I don’t see much reason Navy crews docking in Rayong would have gone past Newland and Kilo Sip and U-Tapao to go to Pattaya. There were beaches at U-Tapoa air base and almost free food and beer along with women close by. Hard to imagine a military man turning down free beer to drive south another 30 kilometers to pay for it.

If you didn’t know it American beer companies donated free beer to the troops in SEA and American troops were rationed free beer, whiskey and cigarettes on a monthly basis.

If memory serves me correctly on base even at private clubs beer was about 10 cents and in Bangkok (non military clubs) it was a dollar a bottle

At the Non Commissioned Officers club I could get a big steak, fries, bottle of wine and ice cream for under a dollar.

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Maybe not created, but more like financed the the construction and provided the consumer base :D

At the risk of offending all the Vietnam veterans, there is a school of thought that holds that the use of Thailand as an R&R center, while meant to help, served only to create problems and eroded order and discipline within the military. If one looks at past experience of R&R centers in WWII, and the Korean War, although the discipline problems were there, the situation was managed and there was no breakdown of general discipline. The proof is in how foreign militaries treat the process now. One will never see the chronic wild excesses of the Vietnam era today. Always, always maintain discipline in the ranks and places like Pattaya only serve to corrupt and undermine the authority of the command structure.

I'm going to get bashaed for being a canary now. :)

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Americans built the deep water port at Sattahip to bring in its larger ships, the airbase at Utapao sufficient to land B52s and the highways to airbases upcountry all to get bombs to the planes that bombed Vietnam. I worked in Bangkok from 68-70 and Pattaya was hardly on the map. I went there once and had to go past an ice making company where we got directions to go down a dirt road to get to a place that rented beach side bungalows. Nice, beautiful beach and tropical then but that's the last time I've been to there as I reside in the US now. If Americans built Pattaya as it is now, it was top secret. Everyone wanted to be in Bangkok then.

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Maybe not created, but more like financed the the construction and provided the consumer base :D

At the risk of offending all the Vietnam veterans, there is a school of thought that holds that the use of Thailand as an R&R center, while meant to help, served only to create problems and eroded order and discipline within the military. If one looks at past experience of R&R centers in WWII, and the Korean War, although the discipline problems were there, the situation was managed and there was no breakdown of general discipline. The proof is in how foreign militaries treat the process now. One will never see the chronic wild excesses of the Vietnam era today. Always, always maintain discipline in the ranks and places like Pattaya only serve to corrupt and undermine the authority of the command structure.

I'm going to get bashaed for being a canary now. :)

Geriatrickid I don’t want to bash you. But I must point out Pattaya was not an R&R center. I’ll repeat that for those of you who didn’t see it the first time. Pattaya was not an R&R center.

America did not finance or construct anything in Pattaya. America did not finance anything in Pattaya. It had R&R centers and hotels and clubs in Bangkok but not in Pattaya. America was completely out of Thailand and Vietnam by 1975 and there wasn’t anything built in Pattaya in 1975 except a couple of hotels. Google some photos of Pattaya in 1975. Nothing but a dirt road and a few motorbikes.

Do you want to discuss how Sidney being an R&R center completely denigrated the morals of Australia and created a sex Disney world at Kings Cross?

Do you want to talk about Hawaii, the most popular R&R destination for American troops destroying the morals of Waikiki beach? No, of course not because it doesn’t fit into your urban folk legend that America created sex tourism in Thailand. It ain’t so. It ain’t true. It is a folk tale contradicted in writing, photos and by talking to anyone who was here at the time.

Places like Pattaya may or may not undermine the command structure. Historically that might be an interesting discussion but we will never know because Pattaya was never part of the American experience in Vietnam.

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So, simply put, The Vietnam War "advertised" Thailand, therefore Pattaya, as a holiday destination. Post Vietnam War many G.I's went back for their "wives" to take them home, or just drink beer and boom boom again.

Now being considered an "old hand" let me note that there were relatively few American tourists in Thailand until the late 1980s. One encountered far more Europeans and Commonwealth citizens than Americans back then. In the very early 1980s I went three months before meeting another American on the Lonely Planet gringo trail of that era.

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the discussions about who to thank for Pattaya (or Patpong/Nana/Soi cowboy, etc.) are always funny.

let's give credit where credit is due:

thank you Thais and Thailand.

but let's be more realistic and apply some logic:

1- Thailand has had a long tradition of sex trade

2- life (and therefore sex) in Thailand is cheap for foreigners

3- Thailand attracts much tourists and much foreign businessmen

4- it is a natural thing that tourists and foreign businessmen would look for sex

5- the greatest concentration of businessmen is in Bangkok and foreign industries are concentrated on the eastern seaboard

6- Pattaya has a strategic location in midst of all this (near BKK, by the sea, easy access to airport, etc.), and a lot of leisure infrastructure that also attracts tourists

1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1=10.

QED

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BANGKOK 25 July 2017 19:50
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