May 16, 2022
PATTAYA & CHONBURI
Khao Pattaya or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill to the south of Pattaya Beach. An asphalt road leads up to the hilltop. Khao Pattaya is now the site of the Naval radio station where the monument of Krom Luang Chumphon Khet Udomsak, the Father of Royal Thai Navy, is situated. A sacred Buddha image is also enshrined on the hilltop. The view point on the hilltop offers a panoramic view of Pattaya City and Pattaya Bay.
The half-moon-shaped Pattaya Beach is about 4 kilometers long with a road running parallel to the beach. From mid-section to the southern end of the area are a vast array of restaurants, bars, department stores, souvenir stores, as well as other places of entertainment. To the north of the beach are various mini-resorts and hotels in a more quiet atmosphere. For local transportation, the “Song Thaeo” mini-buses ply the routes along the Beach Road and Pattaya 2nd Road.
Suan Chaloemphrakiat (Fitness Park) is at foot of Pattaya hill on Phratamnak Road. This small park, covering a large area, was dedicated to commemorate His Majesty the King’s sixtieth birthday on December 5, 1988. The gardens of the park boast a wide variety of flowering plants. There are also multipurpose grounds and winding trails for walking or jogging and standard exercise facilities. On any given day, a large number of people will relax, jog, exercise or simple enjoy the scenery of Pattaya in this park.
Hat Chomthian (Jomtien) is a km.-long beach and only 4 kilometers from Pattaya. A beach road runs parallel to the shore along which are hotels and other accommodation facilities. Less noisy than Pattaya, it is popular as a site for relaxation, swimming and water-sports.
Wong Phrachan Beach is on the northern side of Pattaya Bay. The 1 kilometer beach shares the same entrance as the Central Wong Amat Hotel. A quiet spot, the beach is ideal for swimming and relaxation.
The million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm, located some 9 kilometers from Pattaya City. Its grounds are beautifully landscaped with flowering and rock gardens. Hundreds of crocodiles as well as some rare animals, including albino bears and horses, are kept. There are crocodile shows, magic performances and animal shows 6 times a day from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The compound is open daily from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Admission fee is 300 baht. Call 0-3824-9347-9 or 0-2579-4008, 0-2579-5033 for more information.
Getting there: Drive along Highway No. 3 (Sukhumvit) until you come to Km. 140 near Sawangfa Temple, then turn into Chaiyaphonwithi (Route No.3024) and continue for 5 kilometers.
Mini Siam, located at Km. 143 on Highway No. 3, is a wonderland of miniature replicas of such outstanding architectural works as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, Bridge over the River Kwai, Prasat Hin Phimai, etc. Replicas of places of world significance are also displayed in the “miniworld” area. These include the Tower Bridge, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain. It is open daily from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Admission fee is 200 baht. Call 0-3842-1628, 0-3842-4232 or 0-2271-1896, 0-2616-1533 for more information.
Located on Phonpraphanimit Road which is off Highway No.3 at Km.145, the Pattaya Elephant Village focuses on daily life of elephants and their masters and also offers stage shows demonstrating how to catch wild elephants, elephants-at-work in the jungle, elephants playing football and a grand war elephants parade. Elephant rides around the village. The one-hour-long elephant shows are held at 14.30 hrs. Contact counter in Tropicana Hotel, Tel: 0-3824-9145-7, 0-3824-9818.
Elephant shows are also operated in other places. Most of them are located on Sukhumvit Road. These include Ban Chang Thai Tel: 0-3870-6289, Utthayan Chang Tel: 0-3871-6379, Thin Chang Thai Tel: 0-3875-6516, 0-3875-6577, Suan Chang Tel: 0-3875-6517 and Farm Chang Thai Tel: 0-3823-7825.
The Bottle Museum is located at Km.145 of Highway No. 3. As its name implies, it specializes in glass bottle containing elaborately crafted creations, including the usual vessels. The exhibits are the works of the Dutch master Peter Bedelais. Open daily from 10.a.m. until 10 p.m. Admission fee is 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children. Call 0-3842-2957.
Sanctuary of Truth, a gigantic temple-like structure entirely made of wood, is situated by the sea at Laem Ratchawet on Na Klua Road, North Pattaya. With exquisite architectural features, the sanctuary was conceived out of the vision that human civilization has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth. It is open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission fee is 500 baht. Tel: 0-3822-5407
The Ripley’s believe It or Not Odditorium, situated in the Royal Garden Plaza on Beach Road, has a large collection of stories of oddities from every corner of the globe. Admission fee is 280 baht for adults and 230 baht for children.
The Motion Master Moving Theatre, also in the Royal Garden Plaza, offers hi-tech screening of motions and movements as experienced in real life. Open daily from 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Tel: 0-3871-0294-8.
Alcazar on Pattaya II Road with three shows daily at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Extra show on Saturday at 11 p.m. Admission fee is 500/600 baht Call 0-3841-0225 for more information.
Tiffany on Pattaya II Road with three shows daily at 7 p.m., 8.30 p.m. and 10.00p.m. Admission fee is 500/600 baht. Call 0-3842-9642, 0-3842-1700-5 for more information.
The Monkey Training Center, located in Soi Chaiyaphruk off Highway No. 3 at Km. 151, displays the intelligence of monkeys trained to climbs and pick coconuts and to undertake other activities. There is also cock-fighting, with is a traditional pastime of rural Thailand. A snake show is also staged. There are five shows daily at 9 am., 11 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Admission fee is 250 baht. Call 0-3875-6367, 0-3875-6570 for more information.
The Pattaya Park at Chomthian features a large water park with giant sliders and a tower with a revolving restaurant which offers a panoramic view of Pattaya. Visitors can enjoy many toys which offer excitement and a great fun. Tel: 0-3825-1201-8 or 0-2579- 9612-4, 0-2941-2056.
Off-shore are several popular small isles where visitors can enjoy scuba-diving to view underwater corals. Tour counters within hotels can make the necessary arrangement. Alternatively, boats can be rented around the Beach Road or at the South Pattaya landing. Several types of vessels are available.
Ko Lan is some 7.5 kilometers or 45 minutes by ferry from Pattaya. The 2 km. x 5 km. land area offers several white, sandy beaches such as Hat Ta Waen, Hat Laem Thian and Hat Thong Lang. Most of the tour boats make anchor to take advantage of the food shops and stalls along these beaches. Facing Hat Thong Lang are coral ranges. Visitors can choose glass-bottom boats and surface-diving. Hat Samae is located to the southwest while Hat Ta Phan is to the west of the island.
Getting There: A ferry leaves South Pattaya pier daily from 10 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. One-way fare is 20 baht. On return, the ferry leaves Ko Lan’s Na Ban Beach at 12 noon and 2 p.m. Speed boats are also available along Pattaya beach.
Some 8 kilometers off Pattaya Beach is Ko Khrok, an isle almost totally surrounded by rock formations. A gap of 100 meters to the east is a stretch of sandy beach from which visitors can go and enjoy viewing underwater coral reefs. This island can be reached by chartered boat from South Pattaya. (this private island is not allowed to enter)
Some six hundred meters further from Ko Lan, or about 10 kilometers from Pattaya is Ko Sak, a small island shaped like an upturn horse-shoe. There are two connecting beaches to the north and south. Along the south shore are ranges of corals. Ko Sak can be reached by chartered boat from South Pattaya.
Two hours, 23 kilometers from Pattaya are the Ko Phai Islands, the largest of which is Ko Phai. Others include Ko Manwichai, Ko Luam and Ko Klungbadan. The area is under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy. However, visitors are allowed for swimming, relaxation or diving but only during daytime. Overnight stays are not permitted.
The first miniaturized town in Southeast Asia, the Mini Siam, has been a popular tourist attraction since its operation started many years ago in Pattaya. Features models of more than 80 places in Thailand, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Crocodile Farm and daily crocodile and magic shows.
The Khao Khiew Zoo is an ‘open zoo’ where visitors can see over 50 species of indigenous Southeast Asia birds and animals co-existing in their natural habitat. The animals live in spacious, enclosures with minimal fencing and birds in large aviaries. The zoo is set in a hilly, serene woodland area.
The town of Si Racha is famous for its spicy chili dip and open-aired, seafront seafood restaurants. Situated on a little rocky islet a few kilometers from the mainland is Koh Loy (Floating Island), a Thai-Chinese Buddhist temple that was originally accessible only at low tide. Nowadays, a concrete paved bridge connects Koy Loy with the mainland and serves as a ferry pier.
Off the coast of Si Racha is the small island of Koh Sichang that formerly contained King Rama V’s favorite summer palace and used to be a customs checkpoint. Now it is a relatively quiet place with some architectural ruins and guesthouses.
On weekends and public holidays, the long stretch of Bang Saen Beach is a popular destination for Thais looking to unwind, play in the sun and surf, and picnicking on BBQ chicken, sticky rice and fresh coconut juice. Lots of water sports equipment for rent, i.e.jet skies, banana boats, lounge chairs, inflatable tubes.
The Marine Scientific Institute is located on the campus of Burapha University in Bang Saen, walking distance from the beach. Inside are living marine creatures, big and small, displayed in glass cases with descriptive signs educating the public about the diverse marine ecosystem. Highlight is feeding time at 14.00 hr daily when divers enter the large water tank to feed the large fishes, sharks, and stingrays.
People flock to Pattaya for the good, cheap accommodation, extensive beaches, excellent restaurants and excellent sports facilities in town. Jomtien Beach is more preferred for the daytime activities while Pattaya Beach comes to life after sunset. Or choose any of the nearby islands to relax or try a new water sport.
Pattaya is a great scuba diving training site for novice and refresher for expert divers. Most sites are within an hour boat ride. Year-round diving season with good visibility. Not too far out in Pattaya Bay is the popular Bremen Wreck, teeming with colorful coral fishes and nudibranchs. The 300-foot boat lies upright in 25 meters of water off the naval town of Satthahip.
The Pattaya Elephant Village is the first and largest elephant training school in Pattaya. Watch the elephants demonstrate their forestry skills and perform tricks, such as play football. Arrange to go jungle trekking or choose to go on a raft journey across a lake.
Catch the elaborate productions and magnificent costumes of the transvestite cabaret shows in Pattaya. These 'girls' really love to perform and entertain. Be amazed with their beauty and regal finery. Shows are changed regularly and are packed nightly.
Located on Chetchamnong Road in town, Wat Yai Inthraram is an old temple built since the times of Ayutthaya with Ayutthaya-style architectural influence. This is evident from the Ubosot (ordination hall)and Vihan (image hall) with their distinctive Gunwale Curve base, are from the carved wooden door panels at the Mondop (square building with a pyramidal roof) over the Holy Footprints.
The Ubosot itself has been renovated during the reign of King Rama III using glass-ware to adorn the gables and windows. Within the Ubosot are murals covering the entire four walls which have been continuous restored over the years. In front of the temple stands a statue of King Taksin the Great. It is said that the king used to stop here on the way to set up his base in Chanthaburi during the Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.
Ho Phra Phutthasihing on Wachiraprakan Road about 500 meters from the town hall houses a replica of the Phra Phutthasihing cast in pure silver. An extremely beautiful icon, it is highly revered by townspeople.
A seaside fishing village, Ang Sila is about 5 kilometers from town. Most villagers are skilled in making implements from granite. Items made are mainly mortar and pestle widely used in Thai households in the olden times and figurines of animals such as lion, elephant and horse as decorative items.
Khao Sam Muk is a low hillock situated between Ang Sila and Bang Saen along the road facing the seashore. A habitat of scores of wild monkeys, the hill-top affords a panoramic view of the Bang Saen beach. At the foot of the hill are Thai and Chinese shrines highly respected by visitors. Legend has it that the cliff-top was where two lovers jumped to their death because of parental objection.
A well-known holiday beach, Bang Saen is only 14 kilometers from the provincial town. From Sukhumvit Road, take a right turn at Km. 104 and proceed on for another 3 kilometers to get there. Bang Saen is widely popular with Thai holiday-makers who happily romp along the long beach and partake in the tasty food available. Weekends are particularly crowded while it is relatively quiet during weekdays. Fronting the beach are hotels, bungalows, food shops as well as recreational gears and bicycles for rent.
Getting There: Bus services are available from Bangkok’s Ekkamai Bus Terminal throughout the day. There are also local “Song Thaeo” transports serving Chon Buri town-Nong Mon Market-Bang Saen.
The Marine Scientific Institute of the Burapha University operates a modern aquarium with realistic underwater environment. There is also a marine science museum which is open daily, except Mondays, from 8.30 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. Admission fee is 20 baht for adults and 10 baht for children. For more information, call 0-3839-1671-3.
On Sukhumvit Road near the entrance road to Bang Saen is the widely popular Nong Mon Market .It offers a vast range of local products but mostly foodstuffs, both fresh and preserved. Among its well-known buys are different types of dried seafood, Khao Lam or gluttonous rice baked in bamboo, Ho Mok or spicy steamed fish cakes, Hoi Cho or deep fried shrimp cakes, sweetened banana and taro chips, sweetened fruit preserves as well as rattan and bamboo basketware from Phanat Nikhom.