We started our Thailand Trip from Pattaya …
- On our way from Bangkok Airport to Pattaya, we stopped at Sriracha Tiger Zoo. They had a breakfast buffet area with a glass wall overlooking 3 large Tigers lazing in the sun! This place is not really a zoo and there isn’t much to do except see animal shows. Tiger show had 7 tame tigers walking on 2 legs, jumping through hoops and walking on tight rope. Elephant show was better with elephants playing basketball, walking over people, dancing and other tricks…
- Highlight was taking picture with a 5 month tiger cub while feeding it milk from a bottle! For nominal 200 THB they take your picture and give you a printed copy right away.
- We stopped for lunch at a banquet complex on highway. Lunch was followed by a dance show (traditional and modern mix) and then we headed to the resort.
- Lazed around the resort for some time and then headed for Alcazar Show in the evening. This is a dance performance with ‘ladyboys’ (can’t make out the difference !) in extravagant costumes in lavish sets. Its more than an hour long and is quite a spectacle. SS Tip: Book tickets in advance as show was completely packed
- We headed for dinner nearby – private banquet hall set up for the group. Added bonus was a dance floor and DJ playing some good music. Good end to our first day in Thailand!
- We started early and after breakfast headed to Coral Island at 8:30 am. The beach was right across the road from the resort. We took speed boats and first stop was Parasailing buoys. It’s quite an efficient set up with people lining up first for jackets and then for the main launch. Great views and for 500 THB it’s not bad at all! They give a free option for ‘dip in sea’ (boat slows down to let you get soaked till waist)…
- We took speedboats to a small cruise for our next activity, Underwater Walk. The concept is simple where they put large helmets on your head – these are connected to oxygen cylinders through long pipes. So effectively you can breathe normally while you are down under (doesn’t matter if you can’t swim or are uncomfortable breathing through scuba gear). For 1200 THB, this 20 minute walk on sea floor is a must-do. Not much of corals but the fishes are pretty and plenty. They take pictures and videos underwater for an extra fee…
- Finally we headed to the beach at around 1130. The sea was gorgeous green and water was super clear. There is a separate area for swimming so jump in the water and have fun with the waves. The beach has shacks with quite a few food and drinks’ options. For the adventurous kind, there are jet skis and other water sports available too. Enjoy the sun and sand!
- Afternoon was free to get some rest after the late lunch. We were then shepherded to Gem Museum – its really large with all kind of gems but don’t waste your time if you don’t intend to buy. They have a tram ride but last one is at 4:30 pm.Instead check out ‘Sanctuary of Truth’ which seemed much more interesting !
- We then headed to Outlet mall for some retail therapy before calling it a night. SS Tip: Not many brands but found a great store for Formals for females called Zein
- Next morning we headed to Floating market. Stalls were just opening and there wasn’t much of a crowd. The place is colorful with shops on both sides of canal. Some people were selling from the docked boats. Great place to buy some dried fruits and souvenirs at reasonable price.
- We then went to Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens. We started off with the Thai cultural show – quite a treat in the huge auditorium. We then went for the elephant show – much better show than Sriracha with elephants playing football and painting on T-shirts. For 100 THB you can take pictures with baby elephants!
- The key highlight, the gardens were huge and very uniquely landscaped. There are multiple areas and it’s worth spending some time exploring these gardens.
- We bid adieu to Pattaya and then headed to Bangkok…