What are the 10 best tourist attractions in Pattaya?
The 2.4sq.kms of Nong Nooch are full to bursting with some of the most remarkable flowers, displays and landscaped gardens in Thailand, if not the world. The team behind them have repeatedly won international awards for their designs, which include 17th-century-French-style gardens, a recreation of Stonehenge, creative topiary displays and gardens created exclusively with cacti, bonsai and tropical palms. It is also the home of over 670 native and hybrid species of orchid and regular displays of classic Thai dancing, boxing and drumming. 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. 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.
#2 Art In Paradise.
This is no ordinary art gallery, instead this gallery takes the normal art gallery concept and turns it on its head. At Art in Paradise you become part of the artwork by a series of optical illusions and other clever tricks. The gallery is set up perfectly so you can take pictures in such a way that it looks like you are crossing an old bridge or flying over the dessert on a magic carpet. The building is split into ten sections and houses over one hundred pieces of art. It is great fun for children as well as adults and should be on any to-do list.
For those not in the know Ripley’s Believe It or Not is a chain of museums that show the visitor strange facts about the world we live In, most of these facts you would have no idea existed. This museum in Pattaya is home to over 300 items split over ten different subject areas. You will find a 1937 Jaguar that doubles as a motorboat as well as a replica of the Titanic made from a million matches. There is so much to do that it will take you an entire day, especially if you get lost for hours in the infinity maze. When you are finished with the museum and maze you still have the Tussaud’s Wax Works and the 4D Moving Theater to explore.
Coral Island near Pattaya is a little piece of paradise beyond the hustle and bustle of Pattaya. Although Thailand’s famous beach resort town would not be your first thought when imagining a cerulean blue sea and a long stretch of pristine beach void of high-rise buildings and away from the claws of civilization, this little idyllic island offers exactly that and is just a short ferry ride away from Walking Street. Also known by its Thai name of Koh Larn (and sometimes as Larn Island), Coral Island is situated 7.5 kilometres west of Pattaya Beach. It has long been an alternative retreat for those who have become jaded with Pattaya’s overdeveloped and overcrowded beaches. Since the island is not so far away, visitors can easily go there in the morning, stay for several hours and then come back to Pattaya Beach in the late afternoon. The most convenient way of doing this is by taking a guided tour.
Endowed with several beautiful beaches and unspoiled natural wonders, Coral Island near Pattaya exudes a true tropical atmosphere and ample sunshine. If you didn’t buy any tours on the ferry earlier, you can still delight in a host of activities offered on the beach. In addition to parasailing and speedboat riding, jet skiing, banana boat riding and, of course, swimming can also be enjoyed. Although not much coral left to be seen, the island’s clear waters are excellent for snorkelling.
#5 Underwater World Pattaya.
One of the most beautiful attractions and tourist destinations of Pattaya is the Underwater World. It is Thailand’s first modern aquarium where the visitors can behold the brilliance of the undersea life. It is one of the best places to visit in Thailand.
The Underwater World is a 100-metre long underwater tunnel, showcasing around 500 species of fishes. Visitors can either dive with the sharks & rays with the experienced divers or they can indulge in feeding the Kois with a milk bottle in the Koi pond.
Highlights: The Underwater World also plays a prominent role in the marine conservation. Hence, to educate the common people about the same, frequent school visits and education programs are being developed by the Underwater World.
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. The staircase leading up to the temple is quite striking as there are golden dragons running along the entire handrails, and at the foot of the stairs, seven-headed mythical snakes called Nagas emerge from the dragon’s mouths. Once at the top, visitors like to take photographs with the many Buddha figures in different postures (some are sitting, others lying down or standing) which are representative of different days of the week. Many foreigners are unsure on which day they were born but in Thailand there is a special relevance placed on this information, with a unique Buddha posture which should be revered. Although a visit to Wat Phra Yai requires some walking, it is a popular activity with old and young visitors and the stairs aren’t difficult to handle.
#7 Khao Kheow Open Zoo.
Out of the places to see animals in Pattaya, Khao Kheow is arguably the most ethical because the zoo is the only one of it’s kind in Thailand where the over 8,000 animals are free to roam the grounds of the Wildlife Reserve. Khao Kheow has received international recognition for its set-up, and is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. You can choose to walk or drive through the observation areas to check out the animals up close, but if you don’t have a car or feel like a hike, take their tram service instead, which is also offered for a night safari.
#8 Water Parks & Fun Park.
Giant water slides, a whirlpool by a private beach, and tons of fun in the sun for kids and adults alike. Check out some of these ride names: Tower Shot, Slalom Roller Coaster, Family Swinger, Demolition Derby, Samba Tower. Morning until night, you’ll find adventure here. Who doesn’t like a water park? Cartoon Network Amazone, Ramayana Water Park, Pattaya Water Park
If the Sanctuary of Truth doesn’t amaze you, nothing will! Despite the fact that this awe inspiring temple is not due for completion until 2050 it’s still a spectacular place to visit and is usually always listed as the number one thing to do in Pattaya. This incredible temple was started in 1981 so this isn’t a place you would visit for its historical value though its architectural value is another thing entirely. Built entirely of wood, the detail and craftsmanship that has gone into the temple is simply breathtaking. Ornate carvings and sculptures are based on traditional Buddhist and Hindu symbols, and the whole place has an air of Khmer architecture with the many rooflines and the high peak of the building reaching an impressive 105 meters.
The entry fee is higher than some other places but if you spend 2 to 3 hours it’s well worth the price you pay. Once inside the sanctuary, which is set right by the sea, there are more opportunities to spend your money if you want to feed a goat or an elephant, ride on an elephant or even get a foot massage. Despite this, nothing detracts from the sheer beauty of the temple.
#10 Ban Amphur Beach.
Ban Amphur is a quiet fishing village that happens to have a beautiful beach with gorgeous sand and lots of palm trees. The beach is quiet and uncrowded with ample parking unlike many of the other beaches in Pattaya, because it is a fishing village the various seafood restaurants that are located in the fishing harbor sell the most delicious and fresh fish imaginable. Tourism has not yet caught up here as much as so many places so prices are still quite low and the area uncrowded.