Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and Cultural Village
Nong Nooch Garden is set in a 2.4sq.km. beautifully landscaped park and can easily make an all-day trip. The entire area is more like a theme park, with daily cultural shows, restaurants and accommodation as well as a vast area showcasing individually themed gardens. A leisurely stroll through the botanical park is like taking a journey around the world, through its many famous gardens, whether 17th-century French garden, Stonehenge, or European Renaissance garden. Equally fascinating are species-specific gardens, such as cactus and succulent plants, orchid nurseries, tropical palm gardens, bonsai and topiary garden.
Due to its vast landscape, it’s unlikely that you will hit all the attractions within Nong Nooch Garden by walking alone. It’s a good idea to rent a bicycle and explore the garden at a leisurely pace. Don’t miss the orchid nurseries which house more than 670 native species and hybrids all in one place – the largest collection in the country. Showcasing exotic-shaped leaves and blossoms, the cactus and succulent plants garden is both educational and eye-opening.
Meanwhile, the French garden, with its symmetrical design and perfectly manicured shrubs modeled after the gardens of Versailles, is another big highlight. An interesting feature is the skywalk, a shaded, 1.1km elevated walkway that takes you through the topiary garden, European garden, tropical palm garden, butterfly hill and Stonehenge garden. Apart from the botanical park, Nong Nooch Garden features daily shows at the Thai Cultural Hall. Enjoy the spectacle of sights and sounds in a classical Thai dance, Muay Thai or ancient drum performance, as well as the elephant talent shows. Other activities include paddle boats, elephant rides and cycling.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 17:00
- Location: Km. 163, Sukhumvit Road (Highway 3)
- Tel: +66 (0)38 429 321, +66 (0)38 425 748
The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is a gigantic wooden construction rising 105 metres into the sky and exquisitely carved entirely out of teak wood, one of a kind in the world. Conceived by the ambitious business tycoon who commissioned the construction of Erawan Museum and The Ancient City (Muang Boran) in Bangkok, this one is a strange fusion of religion, philosophy, art and culture, it's neither a temple, nor palace 'even though it looks a bit like a hybrid of both. Best described as a monument to Thai craftsmanship, and a place to reflect, its awe-inspiring wooden sculptures and cravings pays homage to and is a reflection of the “Ancient Vision of Earth', “Ancient Knowledge'and “Eastern Philosophy'.
It's also the only place in Thailand where you can get up close and personal with two delightful and very playful dolphins… It's easy to get lost in thought wandering through the Sanctuary of Truth's impressive structure and admiring the equally impressive and ornate carvings that adorn every square inch of the building inside and out. The brochure speaks of “understanding ancient life', “life relationship with the universe'and “common goals of life towards utopia', all of which goes over the heads of visitors (and mine!). But the eerie silence inside is evidence of the admiration visitors cannot help to have for the ten years and hundreds of thousands man hours that have gone into the project. And the guide informed me that it's ongoing, that it will never be fully completed…
- From North Pattaya Road, turn right into Naklua Road at the circle before you get to Pattaya Beach Road. Turn left into Naklua Soi 12, and travel right towards the end. Admission is 500 baht for adults and 250 baht for children. Tour guides are free, friendly and very knowledgeable.
- Location: 206/2 Moo5 Naklua 12 Naklua Rd.,Banglamung
Wat Phra Yai Temple
On the very top of Pratumnak Hill, between Pattaya and Jomtien Beach, you can’t fail to notice an enormous 18 metre tall Buddha popping up through the trees. This Big Buddha – the largest in the region – is the highlight of Wat Phra Yai, a temple built in the 1940s when Pattaya was nothing more than a fishing village. The Big Buddha is extremely popular with tour groups who love to see the intricate design of the statue and the temple complex, but it is also revered by local people who come to pray at the temple. Despite the crowds, the wreaths of flowers and burning incense create a reflective mood in which to explore the many smaller Buddha statues, partial views of Jomtien Beach, and the pavilion hall which has a beautifully painted mosaic on the walls.
- Location: Pratumnak Hill (well signposted at the top of the hill)
Pattaya Walking Street
Generally speaking, most of the nightlife action geared towards tourists is found in South Pattaya, with the densest concentration of bars, Go-Go bars, massage parlours and discos along the famous neon-drenched strip known as Walking Street (stretching from Soi 13 to 16). Unique and unruly, it's shut off to traffic during the evening, with raunchy shows, bar games, competing stereos and lots of booze 'all combining forces to make one huge party zone. Vying to satisfy crowds comprised mainly of men are armies of girls so friendly that even shy guys can confidently get cozy. If only for the 'I've-seen-it' experience rather than 'I've done it' enjoyment, it has to be experienced at least once.
Royal Garden Plaza
Royal Garden Plaza was the originator of the ‘entertainment mall’ concept in Pattaya, bringing together family attractions and activities, a selection of restaurants, and international brand shopping, and it is still a blast of fresh, air-conditioned air to the beach city’s shopping scene. Occupying the full block between Beach Road and 2nd Road in Central Pattaya, the mall can be accessed from either side, but for the most impressive facade, go to the 2nd Road entrance and walk underneath the eye catching mock airplane that is half hanging out of the upper floors of the shopping centre. The plane belongs to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a museum of oddball finds, unique curios and a central attraction at the mall.
- Opening Hours: 10:30 – 23:00
- Location: 218 Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0) 38 416 972
Central Festival Shopping Mall
Central Festival Shopping Mall is the flagship shopping destination in Pattaya and is constantly popular with a varied mix of tourists and locals who flock there for the international brand clothing, varied eating options and all-weather entertainment, such as a cinema, bowling and children’s arcade. With a beachfront location and glass-paneled façade, Central Festival feels miles away from the cheap trinkets and polyester ‘Bad Boys Go To Pattaya’ T-shirts found in the stalls surrounding the mall on either side. Opened in 2009, the modern, ocean-facing design gives visitors a panoramic view of Pattaya Bay, which is an eye-catching backdrop to an afternoon’s shopping.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
- Location: 333/99 Moo 9, Pattaya Beach Road, South Pattaya
- Tel: +66 (0)3 300 3999
Pattaya Floating Market
Covering an area of 100,000sqm, the Four Regions Floating Market is separated into four sections – each representing and selling items from the four major parts of Thailand (north, northeast, central and south). Expect to find many eateries, fruit stalls, souvenir shops and some art galleries. There is also a cultural show every afternoon. The 350 million baht market has over 114 shops and water vendors selling authentic Thai food, desserts and specialties from all over the kingdom. For a floating market experience, hire a man-powered boat to get around and discover the richness of the surrounding Thai architecture and riverside life. Typically, the boat is big enough for four people and can be hired for a small fee for around 30 minutes.
A walk through the hundreds of wooden houses built in the different styles of the four regions is pleasant and fun. Food happens to be the main draw here. There are plenty of authentic Thai dishes and classic desserts to sample. Highlights include noodle soups, pad thai (stir-fried rice noodles), kanom jean (rice vermicelli) with different kinds of curries, ka nom krok (coconut pancake), foi thong (golden threads), thong yip (sweet egg yolk) and more. Postcards, Thai handicrafts and some ancient toys made from wood or die-cast metal are widely available within the market, too.
Besides food stalls and shops, the market also features other educational and entertaining attractions. The wood-carving museum displays beautiful carved images. If photography is one of your hobbies, don’t miss the sunflower and agricultural demonstration fields. There is also a daily free show featuring four cultural performances. The Four Regions Floating Market Pattaya is a good place to get away from the chaos that is Pattaya and is a must-do for those who have yet to visit a Thai floating market. The market is located on Sukhumvit Road, about two kilometres past Pattaya Underwater World, on the way to Sattahip.
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
- Location: 451/304 Moo 12, Sukhumvit Road Pattaya
Alcazar Cabaret Show
It’s been said that if you want to see beautiful ladyboys, go to Tiffany; but if you want to see a great show, head over to Alcazar. Pattaya has made good of its long-time love affair with ladyboys. Extravagant costumes, convincingly stunning ladyboys, spectacular stage sets are all part of a grander show that delights you with non-stop fantasmic entertainment, from the Russian stage to K-Pop to Persian harlem and even outer space. Whether you are in for the beautiful ‘ladies’ or the show, you’ll get your money worth at Alcazar.
- 18:30, 20:00, 21:30
You'll love every minute you spend in Alcazar. On stage is a bevy of professional entertainers presenting artistic impersonations through songs and tales of love and adventure with a fantastic sound and light show.
Tiffany Cabaret Show
Everyone loves a great tale of adventure and romance. But this is nothing like watching “Moulin Rouge” on Blu-Ray or even at an IMAX 3D Theatre. Match dazzling stage sets with blindingly shiny costumes and stunning ladyboys, and you have a show so mind-blowing that it completely shatters the ‘fourth wall’.
In a breathless hour-long riot of sound, colour and light, experience a theatrical event that spans the entire hemisphere through song, dance or skit, from a Bollywood-style musical to Korean fan dance, slapstick burlesque to Broadway spectacular.
- Daily: showtimes 18:00/19:30/21:00
Flight of the Gibbon
Finding an activity that is fun and engaging for all the family is a tough ask, but without a doubt Flight of the Gibbon, a little way out of Bangkok, has done it by mixing the right elements of exciting zip-lining action, reassuring safety procedures and some beautiful views of pristine jungle.
Specifically, Flight of the Gibbon is a 3 km course of 22 zip lines and two abseiling stations built amongst the rainforest canopy in Chompoo National Park, half way between Bangkok and Pattaya. For anyone looking for a fast-paced and fun activity, a day spent swinging from tree to tree might be just what you need. Connected to the zip line park is Khao Kaew Safari, one of the best animal sanctuaries in Thailand with a range of animals living in open enclosures, including elephants, rhinos and, of course, gibbons!
- Opening Hours: first groups start at 06:00 every day. NOTE: Flight of the Gibbon is open every day but may be cancelled in cases of bad weather
- Address: Chonburi, Chompoo National Preserve, near Khao Kaew Safari (Halfway between BkK and Pattaya)
Cartoon Network Amazone
The world's favorite kids' channel brings guests the ultimate in family entertainment at Cartoon Network Amazone, the world's first Cartoon Network-themed waterpark.
The waterpark proved to be an instant hit when it splashed onto the scene at the end of 2014 with 10 exciting entertainment zones to discover. From powering up with Ben 10 on all-new high speed water rollercoasters, or going vertical with Jake from Adventure Time, there is an exhilarating splash landing for guests of all ages and adrenaline requirements. For the littler ones, the Powerpuff Girls, Gumball, Darwin, and other lovable Cartoon Network characters await at Cartoonival, the world's largest aqua playground packed with over 150 water attractions.
When it comes to dining, Cartoon Network Amazone turns an ordinary meal into a culinary adventure at Foodville and Toonalicious, the world's first Cartoon Network-themed rooftop restaurant. When the sun falls below the horizon, live shows dazzle up the evening with acrobats and digital light displays marking a perfect finale to an amazing family day out.
You've seen it on your screens. You can even hum their theme tunes. Now, thanks to Amazon Falls – the Thailand-based developer of Cartoon Network Amazone – and Turner Broadcasting Asia Pacific – the owner and operator of Cartoon Network – get ready to enter the splashtacular world of your favorite Cartoon Network characters!
- Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
- Address : 888 Moo 8 Najomtien, Chonburi, Thailand 20250 (a 20-minute drive from Pattaya)
70/14 Moo8, Soi Na-Chomtien 56/3, Sattahip, Chonburi 20250, Thailand.