Low Season Holiday? Better Visit Pattaya
By: Kaloyan Banev
Driving from Bangkok takes no more than 2 hours via Motorway ( Highway no.7 ) or Bangna-Trad Highway ( Highway no. 34 ). You can take a leisurely three and a half hour train ride from Hua Lamphong Station, or a two and a half hour bus ride from either Eastern Bus Terminal, or Mochit 2 Bus Terminal, with scheduled departures every half hour from either terminal.
Surely the main purpose of going to the beach resort town is the sea, but there are a few places around Pattaya worth exploring.
Sanctuary of Truth – This gigantic wooden structure is situated by the sea at Laem Ratchawet, North Pattaya. The sanctuary of Truth was first built in 1981 by Mr. Lek Wiriyaphan, the founder of the Ancient City in Samut Prakan Province. With exquisite architectural features, the building was conceived out of the vision that human civilisation has been achieved and nurtured by religious and philosophical truth. It opens daily from 9.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. Admission fee is 500 baht.
The Million-Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm This popular attraction is 9 kilometres from Pattaya on Chaiyaphonwithi Road., off Highway No.3 at Kms.140. Hundreds of crocodiles as well as some rare animals, including albino bears and horses, are kept. There are crocodile shows, magic performances and animal shows. The compound is open daily from 8.30 a.m.- 6.00 p.m. Admission: 300 baht for adults and 150 baht for children.
Mini is located at Km. 143 on Sukhumvit Road., Highway No. 3. It celebrates the heritages of Thailand with miniature replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites Miniature replicas of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called “miniworld”. The compound is open daily from 7.00 a.m.-10.00 p.m. Admission: 250 baht for adults and 120 baht for children.
Nong Mon Market is the central market one kilometer further on from the entrance to Bangsaen. Here can be found all types of fresh and dried sea food, local sweets and fruits (both fresh and preserved) as well as fruit rattan wares from nearby Amphoe Panat Nikhom.
Who says Pattaya is just all about sand, sea and sun ? If ever you want to take a break from your time on the beach, or taking some time off from your partying, the following sites are only a short drive away from the sea.
HTMS Chakri Naruebet is an offshore Patrol Helicopter
Carrier anchored at the Chuk Samet Deep Seaport. It was constructed in Spain in 1994. It is an 11-storey ship measuring 182 metres in length and 30.5 metres in width. The important missions during wartime are the Flagship of the fleet, controlling and commanding the fleet in the sea, as well as the aircraft carrier and air defence mission. It is open daily from 8.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. It is closed only on Wednesday from 8.00 a.m.-12.00 a.m. It is free of charge. International visitors will have to write a letter to the Commander of the Royal Thai Fleet, Sattahip, Chon Buri, 20180.
Turtle Conservation Center, the Royal Thai Navy is a source of knowledge on the biology of the sea turtle life cycle for the government agencies and other groups of visitors. The center also provides a lecture for the public and youth, video presentation and exhibitions. Visitors can admire the cuteness of the sea turtles in the nursery ponds. Its objective is to create love and the preservation awareness towards Thai sea turtles. The Center is open everyday from 8.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. Please contact in advance at the Air and Coastal Defence Command.
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan covers an area of 366 rai. Turn left from Sukhumvit Road, at Km. 160 for 5 kilometres. At the entrance are situated international pavilions presenting each country’s national architectural style around the pond. Within the compound of the temple are the Mondop where a replica of the Buddha’s footprint is enshrined, a large Chedi containing the relics of the Lord Buddha, as well as, his enlightened followers, and Wihan Phra Yanaret. It is open from 8.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. Tel. 0 3823 7506. Moreover, there is the Royal Project for Agricultural Training Centre and Wildlife Preservation Area.
Anek Kuson Sala (Wihan Sian), near to Wat Yanasangwararam, 800 metres from the intersection at the reservoir, is the place collecting high-class Chinese architecture and fine arts constructed in 1987 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty the King’s Birthday. Inside is an exhibition displaying precious antiques such as the large white jade Bodhisattva Kwan Yin’s image, terra-cotta soldiers and horses from the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, an emperor’s golden throne, ancient paintings and pottery. It is open daily from 8.30 a.m.-5.00 p.m. The entrance fee is 50 baht.
The Laser Beam Cast Buddha Image of Khao Chi Chan is located on the same route as Wat Yanasangwararam, 6 kilometres from Km. 160 of Sukhumvit Road., The image is in the subduing Mara posture, cast by laser beams on the Khao Chi Chan cliff. It is a combination of Sukhothai and Lanna arts with a height of 130 metres and width of 70 metres at the lap of the image. Inside the chest of the image resides the Lord Buddha’s relic. Moreover, the garden in the compound is decorated for relaxation and is under the supervision of the Royal Thai Marine Corps, Royal Thai Navy.
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