Monday, June 16, 2008

Pattaya A great getaway

Just two hours from Bangkok is the beach resort of Pattaya-at once busy and quiet. Spend some time here and you'll discover that pattaya is really a great getaway. From a small fishing village to a major tourist resort, Pattaya has certainly changed colors. It got of a US base at nearby Sattahip. Now the resort can lay claim to the same range of seaside attractions, the same diversity of recreations as this one. Food is great here, especially seafood which you have to try at a beachside restaurant for the sheer atmosphere. This seaside town also offers great international dining experience with restaurants catering to every taste, in every lane and by-lane. The beach is, of course, one of its main attractions. But those looking for peace and quiet could head for nearby Hat Jomtien and Wong Amat witch more than make up for the hustle and bustle of Pattaya.Tours to nearby islands, beaches and sightseeing points abound. In addition there is a full-range of activities for sports enthusiasts-snorkeling, scuba diving, shooting, bowling and great golfing. At night the city comes alive and is ablaze with lights. There is plenty to choose from-restaurants, beer bars, cabarets, pubs, discotheques and tranquil beaches (at night they are tranquil).


Pattaya is easily accessible from Bangkok by car taking only two hours along Bangna-Trad Highway via Bangna, Bang Pakong, Chonburi and Si Racha. Eastern Bus Station at Sukhumvit Soi 63 (390-1230) has air-conditioned coaches leaving Bangkok every half hour from 5 am to 11 pm and retaining from Pattaya every half hour from 5am to 9 pm Bht 77 one way.Hualamphong Train Station on Rama IV Rd (223-0341-8) has a daily train service departing Bangkok at 7am. The train departs Pattaya for Bangkok at 2:50 pm daily. Bht31 one way.


Beaches. As beaches go there are several-from Na Klua to Jomtien. The most famous is the one bordering Pattaya Beach Road and is packed with hotels, restaurants, shopping plazas, and bars. Jomtien Beach is relatively quieter and offers windsurfing, jet skiing etc.Coral islands. Close by are three small islands popular for the clear blue water, the largest of which is Hoh LAN. Motor boat trips to the island take 45 minutes, and often include viewing corals from glass bottomed boats, The other two islands are Ko Sak and Ko Khrok> also nearby are Ko Lin and Ko Phai Elephant Kraal. At the Pattaya Elephant Village, entertaining demonstrations of elephant training, racing, and round-ups can be seen. Mini Siam" The first miniature town in Southeast Asia, Mini Siam is at Km 143 on Sukhumvit Highway, ten minutes from Pattaya. 80 models of places in Thailand are featured, including Crocodile Farm, Phra Pathom Chedi, Victory Moment, and Wat Phra Kaeo. The Million Years stone Park&Pattaya Crocodile Farm, A magnificent natural garden. Forty acres of gigantic, grotesque stones Thai Bonsai over 200 years old and a zoo. Just 15 minutes from North Pattaya. 249347-9 Nong Mooch Tropical Garden. 20 minutes from Pattaya on Km 163 is this 500 acre park with Thai-style houses, orchid and cactus gardens, and a large artificial lake. If time permits, catch the daily cultural and elephant shows.Phra Tamnak Hill. Phra Tamnak Hill is at the southern tip of the bay, and offers the most panoramic view of the curved Bay of Pattaya.Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. A fantastic place for the family. It boasts over 300 fascinating exhibits including the SOS messages from the ill-fated Titanic. It also includes Motion Master, Moving Theatre, two motion picture cinemas plus a Lazer Tag game and a hitch bumper car ride, 3rd floor, Royal Garden Plaza. The entrance fee is Bht 150 for adults and Bht 100 for chidden. Open daily from 10 am till midnight.Sriracha Tiger Zoo. The zoo has over 80 tigers besides other animals, Open daily 9.30 am - 6.30 pm. 341 Moo 3 Nongkham, Sriracha, Chonburi. 296556-8.Snake Show. For a really thrilling and interesting experience, visit Pattaya's Snake Show. Pythons, cobras and kraits are on show. Open daily 8.00 am -9 pm. 10/20 Moo5, Soi Noenphapwan, Nongprue. 945-297-8Tiffany's Show. Asia's most spectacular stand-in cabaret comes to life every night at Tiffany's Sixty transvestite dancers in stunning costumes and in memorable song and dance sequences perform with a touch of flair and comedy. Dailyashow time: 7 pm, 8:30 pm and 10 pm. North Pattaya, 2nd Road. Tel 429-642, 421-700-3Shopping. Pattaya Beach road is jammed with several shops for beachwear, souvenirs, liquor, jewelry, silks, Thai handicrafts and just about everything else. Or you can shop at department stores and shopping plazas like Royal Garden Plaza, Central Shopping Center, Mike Shopping Mall, Lotus Supermarket and Big C.

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