Welcome to Pattaya
Pattaya lies 150 kilometres to the southeast of Bangkok, less than two hours by road, and stretches for some 15 kilometres along the Eastern Seaboard. Thailand's largest resort, it shares the coast with traditional fishing villages, other resorts such as Bang Saen and Rayong, new industrial centres, the towns of Chonburi and Si Racha, and the port and naval base of Sattahip. Pattaya beach is a palm-fringed, sandy bay with a view of coral islands on the horizon. Nearby are other cliffs and other bays, while inland, the region is rich in agricultural products including sugar cane, tapioca, rubber, and fruit trees. Pattaya in the 1960s was just a little fishing village, until a few Bangkok residents began to take their weekends here and generated a modest local tourist industry. Even so, the only hotel of any size was the Nipa Lodge: other accommodation tended towards holiday bungalows and beach huts. The Vietnam War saw the start of Pattaya's international reputation, for the fledgling resort was used as an official R&R centre for the US forces. They were flown into U-Tapao Airport, which was built for American use at the time, and shops, services, bars and hotel accommodation grew to meet the demand.
Pattaya is now a city in its own right, with its own mayor and its own administration. This is not all due to tourism. The government development programme for the Eastern Seaboard has transformed the region, and this rapid industrial and commercial expansion has led to many expatriates coming to live in the area. There is a new deep-sea port at Laem Chabang, 20 kilometres north of Pattaya with a vast industrial estate, and another development zone at Map Ta Phut near Rayong to the south. Pattaya City is well located to be a major business centre serving these two giant industrial communities. There are five international schools, and four international hospitals in the area.
Fun for all
As a beach resort with city status, Pattaya has something for everyone. Whereas most other beach resorts rely simply on natural surroundings for their charm, Pattaya makes an all-out attempt to provide the best of everything. There is just about everything you can think of for recreation, entertainment, sightseeing and fun. Pattaya can be whatever you want it to be. Such is its variety that it is ideal for all kinds of visitors. While there is plenty to keep the children happily occupied, there is also everything for the sports enthusiastic, for couples of all ages seeking rest and relaxation and for those who are simply looking for warm sunshine.
After-dark, options include open-air bars, nightclubs, cabaret shows and discos. The nightlife centre is South Pattaya, popularly known as "The Strip", but if this is a trifle brash and noisy for some tastes, there are alternative, quieter spots for evening fun in more relaxed style. Shopping too, can be an evening attraction, Most establishments close late, and the dedicated bargain hunter can find all of Thailand's best buys - silk, gems and jewellery, tailor-made clothing, handicrafts and more.
Pattaya is an increasingly popular venue for international conventions, conferences and seminars. Several of the larger hotels are fully equipped to host meetings or receptions for a thousand or more people, and even smaller properties offer a range of well appointed function rooms. Complementing the luxury of sheer space is a comprehensive selection of state-of-the-art equipment for audio-visual presentations and other conference-related activities.
Pattaya boasts an incredible choice of accommodation to suit every pocket. Facilities range from luxury hotels with private beaches to bayside hotels and bungalows, and inland, economy class hotels and guesthouses.
Pattaya has accommodation to suit all budgets and preferences, and for whatever the duration. There is long-term accommodation in the form of lease or rent, house rental, apartment rent or condominium rental. A relatively new concept has reached Pattaya, that of the serviced apartment, in which a longer term rental is taken but included is daily cleaning and general servicing, much as in a hotel, taking away the daily chores, yet paying less than a daily rate in an equivalent hotel room. Timeshare is also on the increase, whereby one can purchase ownership time of a unit, usually a condominium apartment, for a certain period of the year, every year. House rentals are ideal for providing accommodation for the family or larger group; however, these rentals and leases tend to be for at least 6 months and, more usually, one-year period. There are short-term house lease available, but the choice is more limited.
Accommodation can be found in as wide a variety of hotels as one can imagine. This accommodation ranges from hotel rooms at very low rates, offering basic but clean rooms. The cheapest accommodation is with fan and these rooms can be found, however, most come with air conditioning. Bathroom and toilet facilities are usually also in room. Accommodation in hotel goes from these basic rooms at one end of the scale, through various levels of accommodation and services to the grandest of rooms and suites that can be found anywhere.
The next type of accommodation is the more specialized accommodation. Pattaya is a beach resort and has long stretches of lovely coastline stretching out from Pattaya town. Beach bungalows can be found, again varying in price and amenities. Then there is the hostel type accommodation for the budget or 'back-packer' type of traveller. This is also covered by guesthouse accommodation, at a slightly lower price than the basic hotel, yet offering good accommodation in a clean and friendly environment.
Whatever your requirement, Pattaya and the surrounds has it, and you may find all types of accommodation, from hotel rooms to beach bungalow, from hostel accommodation to luxury suites, all are listed in the search categories contained in these pages.
The easiest and most popular way to reach Pattaya is by bus. From Bangkok at the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) on Sukhumvit Road there are departures every 30 minutes by air conditioned bus from 5 am until 10 pm. The one-way fare is 90 Baht. From Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Morchit II) there are departures again every 30 minutes from 5 am until 7 pm with a one-way fare of 97 Baht. Few visitors to Pattaya are aware that the city does have a railway station. It is north of Sukhumvit Highway close to the Siam Country Club. One train a day leaves Bangkok's Hualamphong station at 7 am, and it takes up to five hours to reach Pattaya, stopping at many stations along the way. U-Tapao airport, which is located near Sattahip, has very few scheduled flights. Most visitors travelling this way are on chartered flights. Alternatively for those who prefer to arrive with more comfort and style, Image 5 Star Taxi Company can transfer you to Pattaya, 24 hours a day.
For getting around the main bay area, the minibuses and baht buses charge a flat fare of 10 Baht. The run to Naklua is also 10 Baht, and to Jomtien 30 Baht. Drivers usually ask for 40 Baht to travel up the hill to the Royal Cliff Beach Resort. Motorcycle hire will cost you between 150 Baht and 700 Baht a day, depending on size. Be very confident of your ability to handle the bigger bikes, including your skills in taking swift evasive action. Wear a crash helmet. A jeep from a beachside vendor is about 1,000 Baht a day. Check that you have enough gasoline in the tank to get yourself to the nearest filling station, and satisfy yourself that the brakes are sharp. You will not be asked to show your driving licence, but most of these beachside hire places will ask that you deposit your passport with them. Ask where they are going to keep it, because it may simply be placed in the attendant's pocket or shoulder bag and travel around with him. Bicycles can be hired from beachside vendors at 100 Baht a day, or 20 Baht an hour. If you prefer to drive reputable vehicles with full insurance cover, and it is strongly advised, Pattaya has a choice of car rental companies. Avis is based at the Dusit Resort, in North Pattaya. Budget Car and Truck Rental, and VIA Rent-a-Car are two other leading names. In addition to international standards of service, these companies will also offer you special deals, tour ideas, maps and other attractions to make your stay easier. If you prefer not to self-drive then Image 5 Star Taxi Company offers one-way/ return trips throughout Pattaya or hour-by-hour hire. They will pickup at your hotel or condominium with their door-to-door service.
Pattaya has three seasons. November to February, when it's hot; March to May, when it's hot and humid; and June to October, when it's hot and wet.
Dress as lightly as possible. Because of the heat and humidity, man-made fibres are not recommended. Pack some cool cottons, and if you find you are changing your clothes at an alarming rate you will be able to buy locally made clothing very cheaply. Shorts and sandals are the usual daytime wear. In hotels and the more up-market restaurants, wear smart casual. If visiting a temple the usual dress rules apply: gentlemen, no shorts please, and long sleeves are preferred; ladies, no shorts, short skirts or halter-tops.
Post and telecommunications
The Post Office and International telephone offices are together in South Pattaya on Soi 13/2 known to all as Soi Post Office. There are also several privately run long-distance phone centres, most notably along Beach Road. These will be slightly more expensive than the government service.
As in Bangkok, the number of Internet cafes seems to increase every week. Most will post their rates in the window, and as competition is intense the prices are invariably low.
Health & Safety
Never drink tap water, and don't even gargle with it. Always use bottled water, which is readily available and inexpensive, particularly if you choose a local brand. The sun is strong, even during the rainy season and when there is cloud cover, so use a good sunscreen and limit your exposure time. Malaria is no threat, but mosquito bites can be a major irritant. Seafood is mostly caught locally and is of high quality, but given the spicy ingredients to almost any meal, the occasional upset stomach is a possibility. The most likely way of slowing down your vacation is by having accident, so watch your step when crossing the road, even (or especially) at traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. Medicines for minor ailments are readily available at the many drug stores in the city, and a high standard of medical treatment for more serious problems can be expected from most of the clinics and hospitals. General Practitioners, dentists, opticians and pharmacies are readily available.
Each of the private hospitals has its own ambulance service and 24-hour emergency facilities. Most medical specialities are represented: neurology, orthopedics, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, urology and dentistry. Cardiac patients will usually be referred to Bangkok. Note that an ambulance is not routinely called to the event of an automobile accident, and if you require assistance from the government service a Thai speaking person should dial 191 in Pattaya or 193 on the highway to arrange an ambulance service.
For information and advice, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Central Office: Region 3 (Pattaya) is open seven days a week throughout the year including public and national holidays, from 8.30 am until 4.30 pm. Tel 0 3842 8750 or 0 3842 9113.
Residents and lifestyles
Pattaya has many expatriate residents, and is essentially an international resort and expanding city, so the Thai population is itself very internationalized. Most notices are in English as well as Thai, and you find plenty of signboards in German and even Russian. Most vendors are used to non-Thai speakers and are ready with at least a smattering of English or German, vigorous miming, a smile and an every ready calculator. Few of the Thai residents can claim to be natives of the locality. Even so, they haven't abandoned their traditional culture and beneath the glossy city veneer you will still find evidence of underlying ethnic beliefs and customs.
Pattaya is one of the oldest diving centres in this part of Asia. It has a year-round diving season with good visibility, the waters have a mean temperature of 28 degrees C, and there is a rich variety of marine life and coral. There are also two wrecks which experienced divers can explore: The Bremen, a 300-foot boat, lies upright in 25 metres of water off the Thai navy town of Sattahip, while the freighter Hardeep rests in 30 metres of water in a channel between two islands off Samae San, not far from Sattahip. Pattaya offers a wide choice of well-stocked and safe PADI and NAUI operators, with competitive prices and deals. Most of them have offices along the waterfront. Costs average at around 1,500 Baht per day, including transportation, food and equipment.
Visitors can windsurf, water ski, sea-walk, sunbathe, swim, snorkel, sail or take trips to offshore coral islands. They can rent water scooters to explore Pattaya Bay, and motorcycles, cars and jeeps to explore neighbouring beaches such as the popular Hat Jomtien just south of Pattaya. Tennis enthusiasts can enjoy themselves at the courts of leading hotels. Further entertainment includes bowling alleys; snooker halls, shooting galleries and archery.
Badminton: Courts are on Soi 17, one kilometre from Pattaya 2nd Road. Opening hours are 14:00-24:00 daily. There are four courts and rates are: Court - Baht 60/hour, Racquet - Baht 20, Shuttlecock - Baht 25. There's a members fee of Baht 500.
Bikes: Motor bikes are the most popular means of exploring the immediate region. With a mixture of road, off-road, and race bikes there is something for everyone. You should have a valid driving licence, wear a crash helmet and be properly insured. Check the bike before renting for malfunctions, poor brakes, scratches and damage as you'll be responsible for it. You can rent by the day, week or month. Rates start at Baht 150/day for the smaller 100cc bikes and go up to Baht 700/day for the 1100cc monster versions.
Bowling: There are two bowling alleys in Pattaya with international standards where regular championships are held. Pattaya Bowl is located in North Pattaya on Pattaya 2nd Road opposite Palladium Disco. PS Bowl is further south on the third floor of Tops supermarket at the junction of Central Pattaya Road and Pattaya 2nd Road. Both alleys have car parking, air conditioning, snack bars and coffee shops. Opening hours are 10:00-02:00 with rates per game averaging Baht 50-70 weekdays, Baht 60-80 weekends.
Bungee Jumping: One of the most exciting activities available today - and at 56 metres, Pattaya Bungee Jump, is the highest in Thailand. Now nine years old it has had thousands of jumpers experiencing the adrenaline rush only a bungee jump can provide. In addition to the bungee jump there's a catapult that will rocket you 56 metres into the air. To ensure your safety, all staff are fully trained and under the direction of an experienced jump master. All equipment is regularly maintained and equals that of bungee jumps in New Zealand. Open every day from 09:00-18:00 it's located on Thepprasit Road Soi 9 near Pattaya Kart Speedway and Paintball Park. Visit their website at http://www.karting-thailand.com/.
Bungy Jumping was pioneered as a tourist attraction in New Zealand more than 15 years ago following a series of stunts by the Dangerous Sports Club in the UK. All rubber, more-elastic cords that provide higher bounce and less strain on the body were developed. To mark the difference the cords are called bungy not bungee cords and all NZ jumps are bungy not bungee jumps. Jungle Bungy Jump is not only run to NZ standards, all its Jump Masters have been trained and are checked by a NZ registered Jump Master, Ian Rauner (No. 017 July 1991). We have a 100% safety record since start of operations in 1992 and carry full public insurance.
Jungle Bungy Jump Pattaya is located next to a small lake just a short distance from Jomtien Beach. Overlooked by palm trees, it's the perfect tropical setting for a moment that you will remember for the rest of your life. Visit our website at www.thaibungy.com and see why we are number 1 in Thailand.
Jungle Bungy Jump Pattaya overlooks a small lake just a short distance from Jomtien Beach. Our custom-built bungy tower has an electronic lift platform that takes you to your jump height of 165 feet effortlessly and securely. Or if you would rather start from the ground, perhaps you'd like to try our catapult bungy where you get the same rush but don't have to build up the courage to take "the leap of faith". Our staff are friendly and fun but also fully trained and checked by a New Zealand registered Jump Master*. They are there to ensure you have the experience of your life and that you do it in complete safety. It will be a day you remember forever.
We know that not all are adventurous enough to take "The Leap". Those that don't can just relax and enjoy the attractive garden bar while they watch their friends. Trust us !!! ... it can be almost as entertaining. They can even enjoy fishing from the Jungle Bungy gardens in the lake (by arrangement with Jomtien Fishing Lake Co.)
Jungle Bungy Jump the original and still the best! Go to www.thaibungy.com to see photos, prices and get easily printed directions.
*Ian rauner - Jump Master No 017 July 1991according to "The Code of Practice for Bungee Jumping" NZS 5848.
Dolphin shows at the Pattaya Sanctuary of Truth. Come and see the intelligent dolphins under instruction of their trainer. They can catch a ball, jump up in the air, kiss, dance and shake hands. In addition, you can touch them by feeding them food, either sitting in a boat or swimming with the dolphins. The water in this pond is real sea water which is continually changing all the time. See dolphins as you have never seen them before.
Game Fishing: Pattaya's Game Fishing Club holds bi-weekly trips for groups of four to six. Club membership is Baht 250/year with Baht 250 one-time registration fee. Contact Martin Henniker at Cafe Kronborg on Soi Diana Inn. Dieter Floeth at Deutsches Haus on Beach Road offers full-day deep-sea fishing expeditions for groups of 10-25 persons. Costs start at Baht 9,000 and depend on size of group.
Golf: With 18 golf courses all within easy reach, Pattaya is a paradise for golfing enthusiasts. Built to international standards with either 18 or 27 holes and designed by such famous names as Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Pete Dye, Trent Jones Jr, Thomson and Wolveridge. These courses are relatively cheap in comparison with other courses making Pattaya one of the best places in the world to golf. A package tour with the 'Golf-Bus' starts at Baht 900 for an afternoon round at the Phoenix Golf and Country Club. Morning tours to any golf course start at 08:00 and 11:00. Prices range from Baht 1,700-2,100 for weekdays and Baht 1,900-2,500 weekends. All tours include transfer from hotel to course in air conditioned mini-bus, green and caddie fee. Club hire can be arranged on request.
Go Karts: The Pattaya Go Kart racing track is open from daily from 09:30-18:30. If you want some serious practice go on a weekday as weekends tend to be very busy. The 400-metre track is suitable for both adults and children alike with a choice of 80cc karts for the kids and 120cc karts for adults. Rates are from Baht 100-200 for 10 minutes of racing. It's on Thepprasit Road Soi 9.
Horse Riding: Located at KM 11 on Highway 36, on the way to Rayong, three kilometres before and opposite the Bira racing circuit is Pattaya Riding Club. They offer horse back riding facilities through forests and highlands with 16 horses that mostly originated from Australia. Those wishing to ride should contact Willi Netzer on 01-302-0804 or 01-523-1005 to arrange an appointment.
Jetski: This fun sport is available all along Pattaya and Jomtien beaches. Please wear your life jacket and keep out of the swimming areas.
Jogging: For a cool run in the early morning take the one along Beach Road and back under the shade of the trees. The tall hotels that line this stretch help block the the morning sunlight too. From North to South it's a total of three kilometres. For a longer 12-kilometre run start at the Northern end of Beach Road, follow it south all the way to Walking Street, turn left onto South Pattaya Road and continue over two sets of lights until you hit the highway. Left again along the edge of the highway until you get to the lights at the junction with Central Road. Left here down Central to the second set of lights at Pattaya 2nd Road by Tops supermarket where you turn right along 2nd Road until you get to the junction near The Dusit Resort. Take a hard left and down the hill back to the beach to complete the circuit ending where you started.
Motor Racing: Bira International Circuit, located at KM 14 on Highway 36, is home to the motor car and bike racing community. Races are held at weekends. The 2.4-kilometre track, with spectator stands, features events for motorcycles, production cars, pickups and Formula 3 racing cars. Admission is Baht 80-150 for regular events with a surcharge on international events.
Paintball: This game of skill, strategy and daring played outdoors in a woodland setting is located inside Pattaya Kart Speedway on Thepprasit Road Soi 9.
Parasailing: Walk almost anywhere along Pattaya or Jomtien beaches and you'll find boys hawking this popular attraction. A five-minute flight will cost around Baht 250.
Running: Pattaya Hash House Harriers the local chapter of a world-wide fun running and beer swilling club sets off at 16:00 every Monday from The Hare House on Soi Post Office (Beach Road Soi 13/2) for its weekly run.
Sailing: Most popular is the Laser, a single-handed fibreglass dinghy. Rental is Baht 300/hour. Hobbie Cats and Prindles can also be rented for Baht 500-600/hour.
Scuba Diving: There are plenty of diving shops in Pattaya that offer PADI and NAUI certified courses. For beginners the centres offer complimentary pool sessions as an easy introduction to scuba diving at your hotel swimming pool. The instructor explains how to use the breathing apparatus and takes you for a short dive in the pool. The cost of a basic resort course starts at around Baht 2,000 per person offering one days tuition in the pool and at an offshore dive site with full instruction. Price includes boat transfers to and from Coral Island, all the seafood lunch you can eat, soft drinks, an hour and a half diving instruction at the pool by a qualified and insured instructor, two coral dives with instructor, all equipment, medical supplies, introductory diving course certificate and diving log book recognized worldwide.
Shooting: Tiffany's on Pattaya 2nd Road in North Pattaya has an air conditioned shooting range with 19 fully equipped galleries. It's open from 09:00-22:00 daily. They have a wide selection of hand guns and rifles available in calibres, .22, .38, .45 and 9mm. There's a demonstration room and instructors are available. Rates are: range fee - Baht 250, bullets - Baht 5-17/each, target - Baht 10.
Snooker: There's plenty of Snooker halls in Pattaya but one of the best has to be at Pattaya Bowl on Pattaya 2nd Road opposite Palladium Dosco. Its nine tables are located on the third floor. All equipment is to professional standard and the scoring is computerized. It's also air conditioned for your comfort. Open from 14:00-02:00 daily with rates at Baht 160/hour.
Tennis: Most of the major hotels in Pattaya have tennis courts. Although the facilities are open to everyone, guests are given booking priority. Some of the hotels have instructors whose fees range from Baht 100-150/hour. Court rates vary from hotel to hotel but in most cases it's free for guests. You can also play at night when it's cooler but expect a small surcharge for the lighting.
Tower and Water Park: For the best view of Pattaya and Jomtien visit the 240-metre high observation decks at Pattaya Park Tower. An observation ticket gives you the opportunity to experience three ways of travel - sky shuttle, speed shuttle and tower jump - depending on the level of adventure and challenge you want to experience.
Water Skiing: An expensive sport for most due to the high cost of operating speed boats. If you do wish to try it out expect to pay Baht 500-1,000 for a short run. For fresh-water skiing you could try Lake Land located on the Sukhumvit Highway at KM 150.5. Here you can Cable-Ski on a clear, clean lake covering an area of 27 rai (910 acres or 4.33 hectares). Only five kilometres from Pattaya it also offers fine dining at its Rim Bung Restaurant.
Weight Lifting: The Pattaya Fitness Centre near the Regent Marina Hotel is open from 08:00-22:00. The gym has weights of all sizes, stationary bikes, bars, leg presses, press and incline machines, chimney bars and a calf machine. There's also a sauna. The changing rooms are first-class and a variety of health drinks are sold. Rates are Baht 80/day, Baht 350/week, Baht 1,000/month. Instruction and fitness programming are also available.
Windsurfing: October through June are the best months. Beginners are best to start early in the morning when winds are light at about 5km/hour. Stiffer sea breezes appear in the late afternoon. There are about 20 surf schools located along Jomtien Beach where you'll be able to hire the equipment and receive instruction.
Attractions outside Pattaya City
Bang Saray, a fishing village located two kilometres off the main highway at KM 164, offers deep-sea fishing opportunities.
Bira International Circuit located at KM 14 on Route 36 to Rayong, offers international motor and motorcycle racing. The 2.4-kilometre circuit is ideal for Formula 3 races. If you want to experience speed, the circuit is open every day.
Hat Jomtien, located two kilometres from South Pattaya, is good for swimming. The beach has become popular for water sports and activities because it has a long straight coastline and there are fewer boats anchored in the area.
Khao Khiew with its open zoo laid out in 1,200 acres of forest is one of the largest zoos in Asia. There's an aviary, second in size only to Singapore's. There you can observe glimpses of rare Asian species. Chanta Then waterfall is seven kilometres further down the road from the zoo's entrance. Tours from Pattaya are available at Baht 400 person starting at 07:30, returning 13:00, and feature the forests, waterfalls and wildlife.
Ko Lan, 45 minutes offshore by tourist boat or 15 minutes by speed-boat, is the largest of Pattaya's archipelago. Major attractions include viewing coral reefs from glass-bottomed boats, snorkelling, and scuba-diving, windsurfing, skiing and parasailing. There are a lot of seafood restaurants on the island's main beaches. Deep-sea fishing can be arranged to Ko Lan's neighbouring islands such as Ko Khrok and Ko Sak.
Ko Phai, an island currently under the care of the Royal Thai Navy. Visitors are not allowed to stay over night here, but it has fine deserted beaches that are accessible during the day. All the nearby islands are easy to get to and charters can be arranged through your hotel tour desk or by negotiating a price direct with the boat owners. Boat charters cost 1,000-5,000 Baht per day, depending on the season and size of the boat.
Mini Siam is home to miniature replicas of the world's man-made wonders and is a window to the world. Walk through the park and have your picture taken alongside Paris' Eiffel Tower, New York's Statue of Liberty or the temples of Thailand. Entrance is Baht 100 adult, Baht 50 child if you're Thai national. If you're not Thai this racist dual-pricing organization will charge you Baht 250 adult, Baht 120 child. Boycott it.
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden & Resort, open from 9.00 to 18.00 hours, is about 15 kilometres from South Pattaya, and is a Thai village-style recreation park. The entire area of some 500 acres is beautifully landscaped, with an orchid nursery, coconut plantation and other botanical gardens. There are three cultural performances and an elephant show. Show times are 10:15, 15:00 and 15:45. Nong Nooch has a private man-made lake for rowing. There is a miniature open zoo and aviary. You can see monkeys pick coconuts at the command of their trainers. Overnight accommodation is available for those who wish to stay awhile. A half-day package tour from Pattaya costs Baht 450 departing at 09:00 and 13:00.
Panarak Park is on the road to Siam Country Club Golf Course, and has a tropical garden setting. The park is equipped with fishing gear and a well-stocked lake. There is also bungalow accommodation, restaurants, jogging and cycling paths, boating and water-cycling.
Pattaya Elephant Village is a private elephant sanctuary located off the Siam Country Club road. Showtime begins at 14.30 hrs daily, where visitors may see elephants display their forestry skills, watch mahouts train them in new skills and witness the re-enactment of certain ancient ceremonies such as Glong Sabad Choi with a war elephant. Tickets are 450 Baht person. In addition there are treks which take place throughout the day. The first is a one-hour 'elephant trek' through nearby bush country followed by complimentary fruits in season which are served at the village. The cost is 800 Baht per person. Finally, there is the 'Combination Trek', which consists of a one-hour elephant trek as detailed above, followed by a 30 minute accompanied jungle walk, followed by 30 minute rafting over a lake and finishing with an ox-cart ride back to the village for a home cooked buffet lunch or dinner. The cost is 1,500 Baht per person. The cost of all activities includes pick up and return to the visitors' hotel in an air conditioned minivan.
Pattaya Park is between South Pattaya, and Hat Jomtien, and is a water amusement park with water slides, whirlpools and a large pool for children.
Rayong. Take to Rayong for a quite respite. White sands and seemingly endless beaches give Rayong that special allure. Thought the province is now bustling with industrial and economic activity, it has retained its natural charm. Ban Pae is the departure point for Koh Samet, about 45 minutes from Ban Pae pier by ferry, where beaches are generally cleaner.
Wang Kaew (Crystal Palace) is well worth visiting for its fine powder-like sands. The landscape is simply beautiful. A short distance from Wang Kaew is Laem Mae Phim, one of Rayong's most popular beaches. Small restaurants and vendor stalls offer a large variety of delicious local seafood, fruits and sweets.
Ban Khram, birthplace of poet Suthorn Phu, is just a little way farther from Wang Kaew. A monument to this famous poet, established here along with the characters of his literary masterpiece, such as Pra Apaimanee, is significant.
The national park of Khao Chamao should also be in the itinerary. It is a perfect retreat for nature lovers. Moreover, it has variety of comfortable accommodation -huts, cottages and bungalow. They are available along the beach from Ban Pae to Laem Mae Pim.
To get there from Pattaya, board the bus on Sukhumvit highway for the 60-minute ride to Rayong.
The Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya is a gigantic wooden construction which covers the area of more than two rais. The top point of the building is about 105 metres high. It was constructed to withstand the wind and sunshine on the seashore at Rachvate Cape, Tumbon Naklea, Amphur Banglamung, Chon Buri Province.
The building was constructed according to ancient Thai ingenuity and every square inch of the building is covered with wood carved sculptures. The purpose of decorating with wood carved sculptures are to use art and culture as the reflection of Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy. Within this complex, visitors will understand Ancient Life, Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of living, Life Relationship with Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia.
Three Kingdoms Theme Park features Thai-Chinese classical styles. The Three Kingdoms Theme Park in Pattaya is one tourist destination that stands out for its design and architecture, both of which are based on a Chinese epic that underlined the culture and traditions of the ancient kingdom.
For several centuries, the Chinese empire experienced relative peace and harmony. That is until King Lentea ascended to the throne under questionable circumstances. His act displeased many of his peers who decided to mount a rebellion. Soon after, the empire was divided into three; one group, the Wuy, was led by Jo-Cho, while the Ngo was headed by Sunkuan and the Jok organized by Laopi. They fought numerous battles against each other before finally deciding to unite against common enemies.
Part of the park features Thai-Chinese classical style, with several structures built as based on the principles of feng shui.
Three pagodas were constructed on formal grounds and the main pagodas are three-tiered. The stylized lotus blossom atop the 68-metre structure is significantly of Thai influence.
The roof has also been designed according to Chinese principles; the four-stacked canopies signify great wealth and status. The main pagodas have five floors and a basement as well. It has 54 blue and white ceramic panels showing some important scenes from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms epic.
Displayed on the ground floor is a statue of the parks' owner, Kiarti Srifeungfeung, and figures of main characters from the same epic, including Kuan-U, Jo-Cho and Libo, Kong Beng.
The second and third floors are adorned with 16 superb painted silk panels portraying the life of philosopher Kong Beng. On the fourth floor are various Buddha images. Flanking the main pagoda to the east and west are two towers. The one on the east is dedicated to the goddess of mercy, Kuan Yim, an avatar of Mahayana Buddhism. Her image measures 405 centimetres and was made from pure white marble.
The tower on the west is dedicated to the owners' family. Two extended covered corridors along the southern boundary of the site house multi-coloured ceramic murals showing 56 scenes from the epic.
Wanasin Farm offers you the chance to get married the Thai way. Their wedding ceremony package offers you a Thai wedding ceremony in the real atmosphere of the way of Thai life. All procedures will be arranged up on your request.
In Thai culture, if a man wants to ask a woman's parents for her hand in marriage, he needs a distinguished person to do it for him. Negotiations are held on the amount of money to be paid to the bride's family and gold or jewels to be given to the bride. It could also involve property to be acquired by couple in the future.
Of course, there are differences in the way such negotiations are conducted between those living in urban and rural areas. But the most important thing is for older relatives to give their blessings to the bride and grooms.
This is done differently in different regions. In the north and northeast, the blessings are given while the threads are tied around the wrists of the couple. In the south and central regions, the older relatives pour holy water on the hands of the couple. A religious ceremony almost always accompanies the event, which is primarily a family affair.
The parents of the bride constantly remind the groom to look after their daughter. 'May you live to be an old and happy couple; may you live until you get to carry gold-tipped and jewel-studded canes', they say after the wedding.
Wat Yansangwararam is a temple under the King's patronage. Here meditation courses are offered for foreigners and Thais.