Chon Buri The Nearest Seaside Retreat
Chonburi, Bangkoks nearest seaside town, is located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand, only 80 kilometers from Bangkok. The area boasts abundant natural resources, which are highlighted by delightful beaches, local colors, traditions, delicacies and fresh seafood. This is a popular resort among Bangkokians who seek the nearest escape from hectic weekly schedules as Chon Buri has something for everyone. In addition, Chon Buri is the center of the Eastern Seaboard Development Project, with its industrial parks and fishing villages.
Pattaya A Travelers Paradise
Pattaya is nestled along a picturesque bay on the East Coast of the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 170 kilometers southeast of Bangkok. From a fishing village in the 1960's, Pattaya has emerged as the favorite Southeast Asian vacation center. A fascinating escape where tourists, holiday makers and vacationers from around the world unfold an incomparable array of possibilities to unwind during an exotic holiday beach vacation.
Unlike other beach resorts, where natural surroundings are used as magnets to attract tourists, Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to provide the best of everything. Here, everything means everything a tourist can imagine while on holiday: recreation, entertainment, sports, sightseeing and fun. To put it simply, Pattaya is a paradise for everyone, as it has a variety of attractions suitable for all types of visitors. This is the place where you can fill your day, from dusk to dawn, with endless activities, or you may choose to do nothing at all and relax.
Pattaya's name was originated from the march of Phraya Tak (later known as King Taksin the Great) and his followers from Ayutthaya to Chanthaburi just before the fall of the Ayutthaya Kingdom to the Burmese invaders in 1767.
When Phraya Tak's army arrived in the vicinity of what is Pattaya today, he encountered the troops of Nai Klom who tried to intercept him. When the two leaders met face to face, Nai Klom was awed by Phraya Tak's dignified manner and his army's strict discipline, thereby surrendering without a fight. The place where the two armies confronted each other was later called Thap Phraya, which means the Army of the Phraya. This was later changed to Phatthaya, which happens to mean the wind blowing from the southwest to the northeast at the beginning of the rainy season. Today the spelling of the name has been simplified to Pattaya.
For centuries, Pattaya was a small fishing village almost cut off from the outside world. But a big change occurred on 29 April 1961 when the first group of about 100 American servicemen who would join the Vietnam War arrived in Pattaya for relaxation. Soon, sleepy Pattaya became Thailand's premier and most successful beach resort, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of pleasure-seeking visitors. A full range of accommodations from super deluxe hotels to bungalows and mini-pocket guesthouses replaced fishermens huts along the beach. Fishing vessels were adapted to become tourist boats and swimmers and sunbathers from various parts of the world frequented the quiet powdery golden beaches. Places of nighttime entertainment have also sprung up and are popular among international tourists.
Pattaya currently integrates the delights of a 1st class beach resort, city-like dining, shopping and night entertainment facilities with more than 300 assorted hotels, thousands of shops, restaurants and bars. In addition, there are an array of sports and recreational activities including beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, go-kart, gyms for working out, weight lifting and Thai-boxing gear. Pattaya offers a broad range of things to do. During the day, one may enjoy riding elephants or driving humble automatic mini-bikes, monstrous motorcycles, or even monster multicolored convertible Jeeps. Others go for shooting firearms, scuba diving and surfing, deep-sea fishing, speed boats, scooters, water-skiing, parasailing, or aerial sports such as gliding ultra-lights and flying motor-propelled gliders. On the other hand, at night, there are restaurants, bars, theaters, cabaret shows, night clubs, bowling halls, billiard & snooker clubs, exotic erotic shows, discos, sauna & massage parlors, not to cite its absolutely incredible shopping which is available non-stop both day-and-night.
This exotic beach resort welcomes approximately 5 million visitors a year. The friendly and hospitable Thai nature boosts its promotion, frequently bringing back the repeat visitors and constantly increasing the number of newcomers.
Pattaya city is located on the eastern coast of the country at latitude 13 N and longitude 101 E in the area of Chon Buri province. It is 147 kilometers from Bangkok and lies parallel to Sukhumvit Road on its east and the coastline on its west. Pattaya occupies an area of 208.1 sq. km. that is divided into 53.44 sq. kilometers of land and 154.66 sq. kilometers of islands and sea. Its coastline is 15 kilometers long.
Pattaya has a plain on the coast with some high mountains to the south. The area on the east slopes down towards the sea on the west.
Pattaya City has been administered under a special autonomous system since 1978. It has a status comparable to that of a municipality and is administered separately by the mayor of Pattaya City, who is responsible for making policies, organizing public services, and supervising all employees of Pattaya City Administration.
How To Get There By Car
Chon Buri is a one-hour drive from Bangkok along Highway No. 34 (Bang Na-Trat). Alternatively, taking the Motor Way (new Bangkok-Chon Buri Route) will reduce travel time.
The 1.5-hour journey from Bangkok can be made on regular buses originating from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai). Air-conditioned buses leave Ekkamai every 40 minutes from 5.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tel: 0 2391 9829. Non air-conditioned buses leave Ekkamai every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tel: 0 2391 2504.
There are also air-conditioned buses leaving the Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) on Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Call: 0 2936 2852-66 for more information. In addition, Si Racha Tour, Tel: 0 2936 4029 operates air-conditioned bus services to Chon Buri and Bang Saen.
Travelling to Pattaya
Pattaya can be reached in a 2.5-hour drive along Bangna-Trat Highway via Bang Pakong, Chon Buri and Si Racha. However, visitors can avoid Chon Buri by opting for Highway 36, the new Chon Buri - Pattaya - Rayong route or taking the motorway from Rama 9 Road.
Air-conditioned and regular buses depart from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) and Bangkoks Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit 2 Bus Terminal) on Kamphaengphet Road daily. Buses (air-con) depart the Eastern Bus Terminal every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from Mochit II (Northern Bus Terminal) from 5.00 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Departure times and fares may be obtained from the Eastern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2391 2504, 0 2391 8097 or the Northern Bus Terminal, tel. 0 2936 2852-66.
There are also minibuses that travel directly from Bangkok Airport to Pattaya at 9.00 a.m., 12.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. daily. For more information, contact the Bangkok International Airport, tel. 0 2535 1111.
In addition, most hotels in Bangkok provide bus services to Pattaya. Contact the tour desk at your hotel for details.
The State Railway of Thailand offers a daily train service departing Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station at 06.55 a.m., tel. 0 2621 8701. It takes about 5 hours to reach a station located near the Siam Country Club.
Bangkok Airways provides daily flights connecting Ko Samui and U-Taphao Airport. (Approximately 30 kilometers south of Pattaya).
Travelling in Pattaya
Pattaya City is divided into four major zones: North Pattaya, Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and Chomthian. It should be noted that there is a small mountain known as the Hill, located between South Pattaya and Chomthian. For a visual illustration take a look at the Map of Pattaya and Chomthian with the Hill.
Motorbikes are the most popular mode of transport in Pattaya. However, transportation in the city is facilitated through the use of special cars (song taew), customized pickup trucks with passenger seats in a covered overhead back cabin. These pickups, known as Bahts-Bus, can easily carry 8-10 passengers in the back, plus 1 or 2 passengers in front. They circle around the city and are allowed to stop anywhere. In addition to motorbike-taxis, the Bahts-Buses are the only form of public transport permitted in Pattaya. If not occupied, they also can be hired as private taxis. In fact, they are private vehicles in most cases belonging to the drivers. There are so many of them that they end up looking for passengers.
This compact city consists of 3 major roads that parallel each other. Right along the beach is Beach Rd., which is a one-way road from the north to south that is a few kilometers long. Second Rd. is a hundred or so meters away and carries city transport mainly from the south to north, although it is partly a two-way road. The last road is Sukhumvit Rd, a continuation of the highway leading to Bangkok. Many small streets called Soi(s) cross the roads. And it's advisable to walk some of the small streets, which are enumerated from north to south, although some have names. Second Rd. continues on to South Pattaya and turns to Chomthian reaching Chomthian beach within 5 minutes, and continues alongside Chomthian beach, which is approximately 20 kilometers long with some secluded escapes.
Chomthian Beach Rd., which is a two-way road, also parallels Sukhumvit Rd and is the only road in the Chomthian area, except for some connecting streets. On the other side of Sukhumvit road are several country clubs, golf courses and typical Thai rural villages, providing charming escapes on the banks of sweet-water lakes and small streams in the leisurely and relaxing countryside.
Many kinds of motorbikes, convertible monster Jeeps, sport and passenger cars are offered for rent. A driver's license is not required for driving around Pattaya and vicinity, so many tourists are tempted get behind the wheel. It should be noted that in Thailand drivers drive on the left lane, as in England and Japan.
Chon Buri Buffalo Race
Chon Buri Buffalo Race is a long-established celebration of this most useful animal of Thai farmers. A fun-filled event, it is held not only in Chon Buri itself but also in Ban Bung and Nong Yai districts. The beasts of burden are dressed outragerously or with admirable creativity by owners depending on their imagination. Assembled in the courtyard in front of the town hall, the buffaloes partake in racing, or take part in physical fitness and fashion contests.
Chon Buri Red Cross Fair
Chon Buri Red Cross Fair is held about mid-April. There is a Phra Phutthasihing Procession. Also organized are cultural shows, exhibitions and stalls offering various type of products.
Local Products Chaeng Lon
This is Chon Buri's special delicacy which uses the same ingredients as Ho Mok, with coconut shreds to replace coconut milk. The mixture is hand molded into small buns on a stick, and charcoal-grilled until cooked.
This Chinese delicacy is Chon Buri's famous dish because a special kind of sea crabs is used as the main ingredient.
This specialty is made with sticky rice, sugar and coconut cream cooked in specially-prepared bamboo rods.
Ang Phak Nam waterfall
Ang Phak Nam waterfall is a big 5-level waterfall situated on the Khao Yai range. Visitors can walk along the 1.5 km. path through the forest to reach the waterfall. On the way, visitors can stroll and relax in the fresh forest atmosphere and look out for evidence of wild animals, and many kinds of birds. Tourists can contact local guides, or ask for more information about facilities at Phluang Thong Branch Office at tel. 0 3871 2467
Khao Cha-Ang is a stone mountain situated in the middle of a plain in Bo Thong District. It has gold, minerals and semi-precious stones and is approximately 30 km. away from the district center, Khao Cha-Ang also features a cave; home of over one hundred thousand fruit bats and 5 levels of Khao Cha-Ang features the natural wonders of stalactites and stalagmites.
Khao Cha-Ang is also a religious place where monks can a religious place where monks can observe Buddhist principles, known as Dharma. The mountain caves are classified as the Water Cave, Bat Cave, Laplae Cave, and te Dragon Cave. After visiting all these caves tourists can continue to the Ang Phak Nam waterfall
Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine
Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine is situated on a northern hill on the island. The shrine is a natural architectural masterpiece, highly respected by both Thai and Chinese. The place offers a scenic, breathtaking front view of the island, coupled with a panoramic view of Si Chang community.
Hat Tham Phang Hat Tham Phang and Khao Tham Phang are located towards the back of the island. The sloping beach is located on the leeward side of the island. It is a perfect spot for swimming as the sea is clear and somewhat calm or relaxing on the beach to admire the sunset.
Khao Khat Pass and Hat Hin Klom
The name "Hat Hin Klom" originated from the rounded rocks on the beach which have been naturally "rounded" by the westerly wind that flows from March to September. The white sand gives the beach a clean and clear look. Khao Khat Pass on the other side of the island is a fascinating and romantic point from which to watch the sunset.
Ko Si Chang
Si Chang island is a perfect getaway for travelers addicted to history and having fun. This tiny island has a population of only 500 people, mostly fishermen who practice the old way of life.
Travelling to Ko Si Chang
There are boats departing to Ko Si Chang daily, on an hourly basis from the Pier in Si Racha. The first boat leaves at 6.00 a.m. and the last departs at 7 p.m. The fare is 30 bahts/person. (one-way). If you dont plan to stay overnight on the island, try catching the last boat which leaves at 6.00 p.m. from the island back to Si Racha.
Travelling around Ko Si Chang
Motorcycle taxis will take you anywhere on the island. The fare ranges from 20 30 bahts, depending on the destination. You can negotiate the fare down to the local price after shopping around.
Phra Chuthathut Ratchathan
Phra Chuthathut Ratchathan, which was named after Prince Chuthathut who was born here, is the only palace located in the sea. King Rama V had it built in 1892 as a holiday retreat and a convalescence home for his wives and children. The funds for the construction of this palace came from his private treasury.
The king loved to visit Ko Si Chang to admire its magnificent scenery and tranquil atmosphere. However, in the later years, the island served as a big cargo station where numerous transactions with foreign ships took place.
Si Chang Palace
Si Chang Palace was built during the reign of King Rama V as a summer palace. The landscaping of the palace compound was carefully planned with residential quarters, lawns, pools, and swamps designed and located in ascending tiers from the beach up to the top of the hill, alternated with frangipani trees (Plumeria acuminata) of different colors.
Each building was named after the Kings consorts who supervised its decoration, for example, Watthana Mansion, Phongsi Mansion, and Aphirom Mansion. On the beach there is a green house made of wood decorated with gingerbread patterns.
The palace was abandoned when the French occupied the island in 1894. Thus, the construction of the main throne hall called "Man-That Phairot" was unfortunately stopped. In 1910 the king ordered the removal of the incomplete hall to Dusit Palace in Bangkok, where construction was finally completed and was later granted with the name "Vimanmek". The place is now a museum and is open to the public.
The white Chedi that overlooks Hat Tha Wang, is definitely part of a temple called Wat Atsadang Nimit". Built near the palace, the temple was the place where King Rama V meditated. The temple, which was a mix of western and eastern architectural styles, houses an outstanding Buddha image.
Adventure lovers should not miss the opportunity to explore Tham Saowapha, located not far from Wat Atsadang Nimit. This relatively large limestone cave plunges deep into the island.
A seaside-fishing village situated approximately 5 kilometers from town, Ang Sila is well known for its granite products. The fishermen are not only skilful in catching fish, but also in making implements from granite and have passed on their craftsmanship from generation to generation. Their most renown products are the mortar and pestle which are widely used in Thai households, and decorative items such as figurines of animals i.e. lions, elephants and horses.
This ever popular seaside town is situated approximately 14 kilometers from the city. To get to Bang Saen from Sukhumvit Road, take a right turn at Km. 104 and proceed for another 3 kilometers. Bang Saen is especially popular amongst Thai visitors who enjoy strolling along the long white sandy beach and tasting the delicious seafood available from vendors along the pavement. Unlike weekdays, weekends are always particularly crowded. A wide range of hotels and bungalows are located by the sea and recreational gear and bicycles for rent are available in shops nearby. For budget travelers, several buses depart daily from Ekkamai Bus Terminal throughout the day. In addition, there are local ''Song taew'' or local transport services connecting Chon Buri town-Nong Mon Market-Bang Saen.
Located on Wachiraprakan Road, approximately 500 meters from the town hall, the shrine houses a replica of the Phra Phutthasihing the one that was cast in pure silver. The image receives utmost respect by the locals.
Khao Sam Muk
A low hillock situated between Ang Sila and Bang Saen on the road that runs along the seashore is Khao Sam Muk a place known by most Thais for its tragic love story. According to the legend, two lovers jumped off of the cliff to declare their eternal love after facing parental objection to their marriage. A panoramic view of Bang Saen beach can be seen from the hilltop. Good quality Thai and Chinese seafood restaurants are located at the foot of the hills providing reasonably priced sumptuous dishes.
Nong Mon Market
This market is located on Sukhumvit Road along the way to Bang Saen and has gained popularity over the years. Nong Mon Market offers a vast variety of locally produced seafood products such as fish, squid, and shrimp, both fresh and preserved. In addition, sweets and other local sweetmeats are also popular with the most popular item being Khao Larm a traditional thai-style dessert cooked and served in a bamboo tube.
The Institute of Marine Science of the Burapha University
The University operates a modern aquarium with real underwater environment and a marine science museum which opens daily, except Monday, from 8.30a.m.to 4.30 p.m. For more information, call (038) 391671-4.
Wat Yai Inthraram
Located on Chetchamnong Road, the temple, which is believed to have been built in the Ayutthaya period, clearly shows the influence of Ayutthaya-style architecture. The Ubosot and Vihan were built in their distinctive Gunwale Curve base and the Mondop were built over the Holy Footprints.
The Ubosot itself was renovated during the reign of King Rama lll using glassware to decorate the gables and windows. Within the Ubosot are murals covering the entire four walls, which have been continuously restored over the years. In front of the temple stands a statue of King Taksin the Great who according to legends once stopped his troops here while on the way to set up his base in Chanthaburi during the Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.
The Promotion Centre for Bamboo Basketry Skills
Long known for its fine basketry products, Phanat Nikhom originally made them for daily use. The products were gradually developed into more elaborate and marketable handcrafted items. Major shops are on Ko Kaeo Road behind Municipal Market I. To see the production process and higher quality items, visit the Promotion Centre for Bamboo Basketry Skills on Intha-asa Road near the District Office. The centre is a project initiated by Her Majesty the Queen.
Ao Dong Tan
Next to Sattahip Market is the curved bay lined with fan palms called "tan" trees from which the name of the bay is derived. The peaceful and quiet atmosphere of the bay attracts local regulars who enjoy tranquility in the sun.
Bang Sa-re or Bang Saray
A fishing village located approximately 16 kilometers south of Pattaya, Bang Saray can be reached by taking a right turn at the Km. 164 marker (along Sukhumvit Road). South of Bang Saray is a deep bay suitable for angling. Accommodations and dining facilities are located to the north along the beach.
Chong Samae San
This village offers good fishing opportunities and is located approximately 17 kilometers further from the Sattahip deep-water port. Bungalows are available for serious fishing visitors and boats can be chartered to go fishing in the nearby islands. All these small islands are under the jurisdiction of the Royal Thai navy.
Hat Nang Ram
This 200-meter long beach is situated close to the Sattahip deep-water port and attracts tourists who admire pristine beaches in serene settings. Located towards the end of the beach is the shrine of Kromluang Chumphonkhetudomsak, the Father of the Royal Thai Navy. The atmosphere is very peaceful with shadowy pine trees and rows of frangipani trees.
Hat Sai Kaeo
is a long white beach approximately 1,700 meters in length and situated in the Chumpol Sattahip Naval School. The sand is very beautiful and the surrounding scenery is perfectly natural. The beach is a protected tourist location and does not allow any private access to the beach. Visitors must travel around with beach car service. The beach provides tents, rooms and bungalows, including water sports accessories and kayak availability. For more information please contact the Chumpol Naval Scool at Tel. 0 3843 6187ext. 2201-2
Hat Thian Thale
is a new tourist location inside the Navy's Surface to Air and Coast Department General Headquarters. Thian Thale Beach is a sand beach dotted with small knolls, and is approximately 900 meters long. It has a fantastic scenery from the beach, cliffs in different shapes and offers an opportunity to view beautiful sunsets. It also has a marine research center, kayaks for rent, and restaurant for tourists. For more information please contact Tel. 0 3824 5753-60 ext 066-6176.
Hat Toei Ngam
Rows of toei trees (Pandanus kaida Kurz) on the 200-meter crescent beach adds to the tranquil atmosphere. Attractions on the northern side of the beach include a naval museum and monument. Toei Ngam Beach is under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy, however, it is open to the general public from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
Khao Chi Chan
features a sculptural image erected to honor His Majesty King erected to honor is Majesty King Bhumibol on te occasion of te 50th anniversary of his enthronenment. The image is a sitting figure called Pang Man Wichai and copied from Phra Phuttawarachabopit which combines both Sukhothai and Lanna arts. The images is 109 meters in eight and 70 meters and the figure is named Phra Phuttamaha Wachirauttamapat Satsada that means the Buddha who has brightness and sublimity like Mahawachira. There are many kinds of plant surrounding and huts for the visitors
Ko Kham Undersea
is a small island situated in the south of Sattahip District approximately 9 kilometers from land, and 45 minutes by boat. It has an approximate area of 61 rai under the responsibility of the Naval Coast Guard. The northern part of the island if full of caral and aquatic animals. Tourists can take the boat to Kham Island from Sattahip harbor market, or the Samaesan Fishing Port, or Tel. 0 3843 2170.
Suan Nong Nooch (Nong Nooch Garden)
Located approximately 18 kilometers south of Pattaya, the Garden can be reached by taking a left turn from Sukhumvit Road at the Km. 163 marker. The Garden is a sprawling recreation park in a typical Thai setting. A group of traditional Thai pavilions and gardens of different flowering plants are positioned around the beautifully landscaped site. Daily cultural and elephant shows are available for tourists with show times at 10.15 a.m. and 3.45 p.m. Admission fee is 300 baht. Tel: 0 3842 9321, 0 3842 9958, 0 3870 9358-62 or Bangkok Office Tel: 0 2252 1786
Situated approximately 15 kilometers south of Pattaya City, the temple, which covers a total area of 146 acres, can be reached by turning left from Sukhumvit Road at Km.160 marker. The temple was built in 1976 to pay respect Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present Supreme Patriarch and was later graciously admitted to be under the patronage of His Majesty the King. The temple grounds is comprised of: a mondop (pavilion with four gables) enshrining a replica of the Buddha's footprints, a large stupa where the relics of the Lord Buddha and his disciples are enshrined, Phra Yanaret Vihan and an international pavilion representing the architecture of several countries.
A Chinese-style structure called Wihan Sian which was built by Thais of Chinese descendants. Within the beautiful structure Chinese antiquities and an exhibition of Chinese religious beliefs are housed. The place is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fee is 50 baht.
CMT Flying Club
This is a world-class sports flying complex located at Km.10 marker, off of Highway No.36, on the way to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo. The CMT Flying Club provides a manicured turf runway for use by both light and ultra-light aircraft and has designated flying areas for radio-controlled (RC) model aircraft flying. The club also provides comprehensive facilities for its members and visitors, including a government certified flying school, aircraft maintenance centre and RC model shop. Taking an enjoyable, 15-minite flight on a light aircraft with a skilled instructor will cost 1,300 baht per person. The club is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 0 3827 3250-7 for more information.
A small island near the northern shore of Si Racha, Ko Loi is connected to the mainland by a bridge. This is a popular recreational location for the local people. A flight of stairs leads up to the breezy hilltop, which offers a delightful view of the sea.
Namtok Chan Ta Then
Situated about 15 kilometers from Sukhumvit Road on the same route to the Khao Kheow Open Zoo is Namtok Chan Ta Then. The section of the road close to the waterfall is quite steep. This 5-tiered waterfall can be reached on foot along the path running along side the stream. The best time to visit is between August-November when the water is clear and plentiful.
Saithip Butterfly Garden
The garden is located at Km. 10 marker off of Highway No.36. Covering an area of 15 acres, the garden is recognized as Asia's largest butterfly garden. A bee museum and an orchid farm, which is located next to the butterfly garden, are also worth visiting. The garden opens daily from 8.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Admission fee is 80 baht for adults and 40 baht for children. Call 0 3829 8330 for more information and reservations.
The Khao Khiao Open Zoo
Covering a vast tract of forest land, the zoo is located approximately 20 kilometers south of Chon Buri from Sukhumvit Road. To get there, take a left turn at Bang Phra, and follow the clearly posted signs. Operated by the Zoological Garden Organization, the zoo has more than 200 species of domestic and imported wildlife living in their natural habitat. Open daily from 8.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m., the zoo also puts on shows of well-trained animals and birds. A new feature is the Night Safari Tour by auto-trams. Advance booking at Tel: (038) 331485 and 330763 is recommended.
The Si Racha Tiger Farm
The farm, which is situated at Km. 20 marker on highway No. 36, raises a large number of Bengal tigers, as well as large crocodiles. Visitors will be amazed to witness tigers, pigs and dogs living together in the same quarters. The farm opens daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Call 530-7412-3 or (038) 296556-8 for more information and reservations or visit www.tigerzoo.com for more information.
Located at Km. 155 marker on Sukhumvit Road Chomthian, Pattaya. With an area of 80 rais, the entire project includes a prototype Hexa Stage Theatre, Cultural Rostrum and a Restaurant. ALANGKARN is aiming towards a new concept of presenting Thai Culture to tourists from all walks of life, instead of the standard Thai traditional dances that could easily be founded elsewhere. For more information, call 0 3825 6000 (Pattaya) or 0 2216 1949 (Bangkok Office), or visit www.alangkarnthailand.com
Bamrung Sport Club
Situated on the bank of the Huai Sak Nok reservoir off of Sukhumvit Highway at Km. 150, the Bamrung Sport Club offers instruction and facilities for water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, para-motor and para gliding. There are also facilities for horseback riding and canoeing, catamaraning and kayaking. Tel: 0 3824 9841.
Alcazar on Pattaya II Road offers three shows daily at 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. with an extra show on Saturdays at 11 p.m. Admission fee is 500/600 baht. Call (038) 410225 for more information.
Tiffany on Pattaya II Road provides three shows daily at 7 p.m., 8.30 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. Admission fee is 500/600 baht. Call (038) 429642, 421700-5 for more information.
The former paddy fields have turned into a thriving beach. Only 3 km. down Pattaya Beach, Chomthian is highly recommended to those who seek a quieter resort. The 6-kilometer long, largely straight beach is popular with windsurfers and watersports enthusiasts. It is also quieter and more relaxing than Pattaya Beach. Hotels and other accommodation facilities are available along the road that runs parallel to the shore.
The half-moon-shaped Pattaya Beach is 4 kilometers long with a road running parallel to the beach. From the mid-section to the southern end of the area, there is 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 quieter atmosphere.
It's actually free to stroll along the beaches, but operators will charge you for the services they provide, i.e. the beach chair. A price is roughly $0.5 per chair, though bargaining is rather customary in Thailand.
Horseshoe Point Club
Located approximately 10 kilometers off of Sukhumvit Road, Horseshoe Point Club offers horse riding at all levels of proficiency, as well as dressage, cross-country jumping and polo. Tel: 0 3873 5050.
Khao Pattaya or Khao Phra Bat
This is a small hill to the south of Pattaya Beach. It is accessible by an asphalt road, which 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 viewpoint on the hilltop offers a panoramic view of Pattaya City and Pattaya Bay.
Approximately 8 kilometers off of 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 where visitors can go and enjoy viewing underwater coral reefs. This island can be reached by chartered boat from South Pattaya. (As this is a private island, permission to enter must be obtained beforehand)
Lying about 7.5 kilometers off of Pattaya by a 45-minute ferry or 15 minutes by speed boat ride, the island measures 2 kilometers by 5 kilometers and offers several white sandy beaches, notably Hat Ta Waen, Hat Laem Thian and Hat Thong Long, the latter facing coral reefs. Visitors can choose either snorkeling or viewing the coral from glass bottom boats. Ferries to the island leave South Pattaya pier daily from 10.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Cruises by sailing junks, with lunch provided are also available.
Ko Phai, Ko Manwichai, Ko Luam, Ko Klungbadan
Two hours or 23 kilometers from Pattaya are the Ko Phai Islands, the largest of which is Ko Phai. The other islands include Ko Manwichai, Ko Luam and Ko Klungbadan. The area is under the supervision of the Royal Thai Navy, however, visitors are allowed to stop by during the daytime for swimming, relaxation or diving. Overnight stays are not permitted.
Located approximately six hundred meters further from Ko Lan, or about 10 kilometers from Pattaya is Ko Sak a small island shaped like an upturned horse-shoe. There are two connecting beaches to the north and south. Moreover, along the south shore are coral ranges. Ko Sak can be reached by chartered boat from South Pattaya.
This place is part of Ripley's in the Royal Garden Plaza. Here players are dramatically engaged in a simulation of star wars. The excitement of the game lies in firing laser guns at rivals and set targets, with the objective being to make the highest scores as counted according to the number of targets hit.
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, the 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 bahts. Call (038) 421628, 424232 or (02) 271 1896, 616 1533 for more information.
Open Eyes Show
Is a great experience offering magic and Spy Zone. Situated on 2nd floor Pattaya Bazaar. Tel. 0 3836 2077-80
Paintball ground is located on Thep Prasit Road, about 20 minutes drive from Pattaya city. Paintball is a game played in a model battlefield in an enclosed spacious area to create the atmosphere of a real fight. All players are provided with safety dresses and masks for protection from any bodily harm. Air guns filled with plastic shots driven by the pressure of carbon dioxide inside are used as weapons. A shot will burst into color water when hitting a victim. The players are divided into two teams, each trying to seize the flag of the other team and bringing it back safely to their base first. The game never fails to offer excitement.
Panarak Park can be reached by proceeding 5 kilometers on Phonprapha Nimit Road off of Highway No. 3 at Km. 145. The park is a nature-based recreational facility with fishing gear for rent that is ideal for relaxation through fishing activities. Tel: 0 3824 9605-6.
Pattaya at Night
The variety of nighttime activities continuing until dawn is so diverse that every person would easily find diversions appealing to individual tastes and moods. Most likely any fantasy can be fulfilled, especially after sunset. After dark, the extension of Beach road in South Pattaya turns into a promenade (disallowed only for public transport), transformed into one of the hottest nightspot. A hunting ground beaming with neon lights and music, where fellow holiday-makers youths & aged alike, find an endless array of dining, shopping or entertainment establishments.
Worthy of notice is the disco in Pattaya. A disco is not just a dance palace, but more of a hi-tech extravaganza filled with flashing lights, trendy music, and fun loving crowds. Pattaya is famous for its incredible nightlife activities, and South Pattaya is the jewel in its crown outshining the rest with an incredible array of things to see and do. One can enjoy Thai-boxing or some glaring erotic shows, a wide variety of fascinating shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, discos and other pleasurable establishments, side-by-side with all kinds of shopping. The only required skill is that of time management, so one can experience all the wonders and be on time for what is next.
Pattaya Elephant Village
Located on Phonpraphanimit Road, which is off of Highway No.3 at Km. 145, the Pattaya Elephant Village showcases daily life of elephants and their masters. It also offers stage shows, which demonstrate how to catch wild elephants, elephants-at-work in the jungle, elephants playing football, a grand war, and elephants' parades. Elephant rides around the village are recommended. The one-hour-long elephant shows are held at 14.30 hrs. Contact the counter in the Tropicana Hotel, Tel: (038) 249145-7, 249818.
Elephant shows are also operated in other places. Most of them are located on Sukhumvit Road. These include Ban Chang Thai Tel: (038) 70628-91, Utthayan Chang Tel: (038) 716379, Thin Chang Thai Tel: (038) 756516, 756577, Suan Chang Tel: (038) 756517 and Farm Chang Thai Tel: (038) 237825.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms Park
Situated close to the Horseshoe Point, the park contains several beautiful Chinese-style buildings and art objects. Open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Tel: 0 3842 1428.
Sanctuary of Truth (Prasat Satchatham)
The compound, which covers an area of more than two rais, is situated by the sea at Laem Ratchawet on Na Klua Road, North Pattaya. Within the compound is a gigantic temple-like structure entirely made of wood that is 105 meters high at the highest point which was constructed to withstand wind and sunshine on the seashore. With exquisite architectural features, the sanctuary was conceived out of the vision that human civilization has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truths.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., admission fee is 500 baht with Dolphin Training Shows at 11.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. Tel: 0 3822 5407, or visit www.sanctuaryoftruth.com for more information.
Sireporn Orchid Farm
Located at 235/14 Mu 5, Tambon Nong Prue, the farm has a wide array of different orchids and visitors may purchase plants or cut flowers. Open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Tel: 0 3842 9013.
Suan Chaloemphrakiat (Fitness Park)
Located at the foot of Pattaya hill on Phratamnak Road. Covering a large area, the place constructed to commemorate His Majesty the Kings 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 complete with 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.
The Bhira International Circuit
The compound is located approximately 15 kilometers from Pattaya on the Pattaya-Rayong Road (Highway No. 36). The Bhira International Circuit periodically holds international motor and motorcycle races, while there are daily opportunities for speed enthusiasts to drive their own two or four-wheeled vehicles around the challenging track. Motor and/or motorcycle races are also organized regularly over the weekends. For more information, call 02 280 3547 and 02 522 1731-8. (Bangkok).
The Bottle Museum
As the name implies, this is the place where you can find elaborate bottle creations, including the usual vessels. Located at Km. 145, off of Highway No. 3, the museum features the work 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 (038) 422957.
The Lakeland Water Cable Ski
This is at Km. 150.5 on Highway No. 3, about 5 kilometers from Pattaya. Cable ski equipment is available for use at its large fresh-water lake. Open daily 10 a.m.-9.00 p.m. Tel: 0 3823 2690-2
The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm
The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm, which is located approximately 9 kilometers from Pattaya City, has beautifully landscaped grounds with elaborate flower and rock gardens. In addition, the farm has hundreds of crocodiles as well as some rare animals, including albino bears and horses. Crocodile shows, magic performances and animal shows run 6 times a day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the admission fee is 300 baht. Call (038) 249347-9 or (02) 579 4008, 579 5033 for more information.
Getting there by car: Drive along Highway No. 3 (Sukhumvit) until you come to the Km. 140 marker near Sawangfah Temple, then turn into Chaiyaphonwithi (Route No.3024) and proceed for 5 kilometers.
The Monkey Training Centre
Located in Soi Chaiyaphruk, off of Highway No. 3 at Km. 151, the centre brings the best out of the monkeys. Visitors can admire the intelligence of monkeys, which are trained to harvest coconuts and to perform other various activities. Additional performances include cock fighting and a snake show. Five shows are available daily at 9 am., 11 a.m., 12.00 noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Admission fee is 250 baht. Call 0 3875 6367, 0 3875 6570 to reserve your seats.
The Motion Master Moving Theatre
Situated in the Royal Garden Plaza, the theatre 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.
The Pattaya Cart Speedway
This is a small racing track about 5 kilometers south of Pattaya on Thep Prasit Road. Open daily for both professional and amateur drivers from 9.30 a.m.-6.30 p.m. Tel: 0 3842 2044.
The Pattaya Park
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 instruments, which offer excitement and a great fun. Tel: 0 3825 1201-8 or 0 2579 9612-4, 0 2941 2056.
The Ripleys believe It or Not Odditorium
This is situated in the Royal Garden Plaza on Beach Road. The odditorium 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 World Dog Centre
A little under 3 kilometers on Phonpraphanimit Road off Sukhumvit is a canine training facility. The World Dog Centre has more than 250 different species of dogs and stages daily shows by well-trained police dogs four times daily. Admission fee is 300 baht for adults and 150 baht for children. Call 0 3873 1275-6 for information.
Underwater World Pattaya
A new tourist attraction in town is the largest and most modern ocean aquarium in Asia, boasting a 100-meter-long, 6.4-centimeter-thick acrylic pedestrian tunnel through an underwater environment filled with dozens of marine species.
Located just 200 meters south of Tesco Lotus in South Pattaya, the new theme park covers a total area of 12-rai and is housed in a structure similar to a large circus tent.
The aquarium itself houses more than 4,000 marine animals, comprising more than 200 different species from the region as well as some rare creatures from overseas. Top in the Visitors must-see list is the rare shovelnose ray, a hybrid between a shark and a stingray.
Admission fee for adults is 500 baht and children is 300 baht. Open from 9.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. For more information and booking, call (038) 756879, 09-9360272
Wong Phrachan beach
Situated on the northern side of Pattaya Bay, this 1-kilometer beach shares the same entrance as the Central Wong Amart Hotel. It is a quiet spot, good for swimming and relaxation.