A warship in the suburbs of Pattaya open to the public: a monument and a museum
April 12, 2023
I came across this place quite by accident. I originally went to Rayong Botanic Garden. But it so happened that I missed the right turn. To remedy the situation, I decided to use a GPS navigator. I found a destination on the map and built a route. But, as it turned out later, I just mixed up two different places and set a mangrove forest called Thung Prong Thong (Golden Meadow) as the end point.
Yes, I came to the mangrove forest (I will also talk about it in one of the following articles). I thought it would be a short walk, but there was a walking route (trail) through the mangrove forest 2 km long!
Coming out from the other side of the mangrove forest, I saw this ship.
You don't have to suffer so much – you can immediately come to the ship. But the mangrove forest is actually quite interesting too.
See also: Rayong Botanic Garden: kayaking and bike trail
Monument-museum of a warship in the suburbs of Pattaya
The correct name for this ship is “HTMS Prasae Memorial”.
HTMS (uncountable) (military, nautical) is initialism of His Thai Majesty's Ship., a ship prefix for the Royal Thai Navy.
If you like military themes, then see also: Coffee War: great military-themed café and shop
How to get to HTMS Prasae Memorial
HTMS Prasae Memorial is located about 120-130 km (depending on the chosen road) from Pattaya in Rayong province, in Klaeng district, Noen Kho subdistrict.
To get to HTMS Prasae Memorial from Pattaya, you need to take the Sukhumvit road to the south, that is, towards Sattahip, and then turn towards Rayong province.
The following map shows the best motorcycle route from Pattaya to HTMS Prasae Memorial. Yes, we went to HTMS Prasae Memorial on a motorcycle.
Route map from Pattaya to HTMS Prasae Memorial:
For a car, the most optimal route will be that Google.Maps will offer you – provided that you are comfortable driving through an industrial area next to huge trucks. This is not very pleasant for a motorbike, so I suggest a route through Sattahip. It turns out a little longer, but much calmer.
HTMS Prasae Memorial
One of the tourist attractions in the Klaeng district of Rayong is the HTMS Prasae Memorial. This American frigate was built in 1943 and was originally named “USS Gallup”. After World War II, the ship was sold to the Royal Thai Navy on the condition that she be used to aid in the Korean War.
It was finally decommissioned in 2000 and permanently moored at Paknam Prasae. You are free to explore the ship, go up to the deck and into the wheelhouse. Although the entrance to other rooms is closed.
Many of the guns are still in place.
View from the bow of the ship on the first level.
Gun and lifeboat.
One level up.
Many details have been preserved. You can feel the atmosphere of service on such a ship.
The guns can be turned, but some of the mechanisms are jammed.
Video in which I rotate the gun a little.
I think the children are delighted with the opportunity to both look at the warship itself and touch the real guns.
Entrance to the ship is free.
One more level up.
View of the wheelhouse and antennas.
Staircase to deck with wheelhouse.
View from the upper deck.
View of the wheelhouse.
View from the wheelhouse window – from this angle the captain looks forward.
You could pay attention to the light bulbs, in the evening and at night the ship is illuminated, though not all of it. Only the lower deck is illuminated.
History of HTMS Prasae Memorial
The USS Gallup (PF-47), a Tacoma-class frigate in commission from 1944 to 1945 and from 1950 to 1951, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Gallup, New Mexico. She also served in the Soviet Navy as EK-22 and in the Royal Thai Navy as HTMS Prasae (PF 2). Originally classified as a patrol gunboat, PG-155, Gallup was reclassified as a patrol frigate, PF-47, on 15 April 1943. She was launched on 17 September 1943 at the Consolidated Steel Corporation shipyard in Los Angeles, California, sponsored by Ensign Helen McMahon, NNRC, and commissioned on 29 February 1944, at San Pedro, California, with Lieutenant Commander Clayton M. Opp, USCG, in command.
Gallup was decommissioned and transferred under the Military Defense Assistance Program along with her sister ship Glendale to Thailand at Yokosuka on 29 October 1951, and served thereafter in the Royal Thai Navy as HTMS Prasae (PF 2). Prasae remained in service until struck from the Thai Navy Register and decommissioned on 22 June 2000.
Prasae initially was preserved as a memorial at the Sattahip Naval Base, then was towed to the mouth of the Prasae River in Rayong Province and put on display there by the Prasae River Communities Committee on 27 December 2003 as the “HTMS Prasae Memorial”.
The area next to HTMS Prasae Memorial
Nearby there are mangroves along the coastline, but this is rather a separate attraction. Around the ship there is also where to walk and relax.
Map of the area around the HTMS Prasae.
A small park has been created on the beach.
Near the ship you can buy cold drinks (very important if you have passed the trail through the mangrove forest). And in front of the beach there are several small restaurants where you can relax and eat.
There is where to walk along the beach.
The beach is rocky in places.
There is also a sandy beach along the mangrove forest.
On the other side you will find benches where you can sit overlooking the sea or overlooking the ship.
Stone roads in the sea, apparently, serve as moorings in shallow bays. And a number of buildings going into the sea are apparently lighthouses.
Sculpture in front of the ship.
Some people love the sea, some don't…
So, children (boys) should definitely like HTMS Prasae Memorial it.
Nearby is the entrance to the Thung Prong Thong (Golden Meadow) mango forest, where you can also take a boat ride among the mangrove trees, or go on a hiking trail about 2 km long.
Also not very far from HTMS Prasae Memorial is Laem Son Viewpoint, but to get there you will need to take a detour over the bridge. In this place there is where to walk and look at the sea and the promenade. Despite its name, the views are ordinary, not very impressive, about the same as on the embankment, next to the ship.
In the Laem Son Viewpoint area, there is a fairly large sandy beach and many restaurants. But this place really disappointed me. Perhaps this is the dirtiest beach in all of Thailand!
It is clear that the garbage from the beach will be removed sooner or later. When this happens, the beach in the Laem Son Viewpoint area will become a pleasant place for walking, taking pictures and a romantic dinner by the sea.
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