Before I begin about Pattaya, let me introduce EgyptAir. It was our first flight with EgyptAir which recently resumed their services in Aug 2011. I was sceptical when I booked but it turned out to be fantastic. Egyptair has all the frills like any other 5 Star Alliances airlines. Delicious food was served on time. The deserts were nice. Even Aarsyan had his own tiny meal which he enjoyed. The rest of the journey was accompanied by their In Flight Entertainment.
In Pattaya, we collected the car that we booked. We did not know what car we will be given and expected something small but we were given an Avanza. At first I dreaded it as I thought it would be difficult to park, but it turned to be good as we dont have to fold and unfold the stroller everytime. We just chuck it as it is into the van and pull it out whenever needed, without any hassle.
We stayed at a hotel in Soi 5, which is very near to Pattaya Beach Road. Just 3 minutes walk to the beach. Nothing much to say about Pattaya Beach as we all know its just a normal beach but it has all the beach activities like jetski, paragliding, banana boat ride etc.
OK, Besides NIGHTLIFE, lets look at what else can be done in Pattaya...
Sanctuary of Truth
Our first visit was to the Sanctuary of Truth, it was nearby and we had GPS to guide us there. The tickets were priced at 500 BHT/adult, free for Aarsyan. The building is really beautiful, and it is quite huge.
The best part is there are still works going on in this building. I think they will keep working on it until there is no more wood to be carved here.
If you are the type who enjoys looking at sculptures and taking pictures of intrinsic work, then you must visit this place. Everyone was given a helmet for protection just in case anything falls on your head.
Outside of the building, visitors were treated to some traditional dances.
Koh Lan (Coral Island)
A lot of private boat owners actually sell packages to Koh Lan, where they charge about 450 BHT/head and include buffet in their package. The best is to get your tickets at Bali Hai Pier near Jomtien Beach. Here the tickets only cost about 150 - 300 BHT. No food included but there are many restaurants where you can have your meals at in Koh Lan.
I would say Koh Lan is just another beach like Pattaya Beach, because in my mind when I hear "Island", I expect to see blue sea and white sand (like Phuket / Krabi), but this is not the case. The water is clear and the waves were good but no blue sea and white sand :(. Anyway, we still enjoyed ourselves in this island. There's nothing else beyond this beach other than roads connecting to other beaches around the island. There are small restaurants / shops in the island.
Wat Phra Yai
It is a Buddhist temple which has a big Buddha statue. It looks like it has many steps , but actually very few and going up and and coming down doesnt even take 10 minutes. They have a breathtaking view up here.
Underwater World Pattaya
I would NEVER recommend this place as the ticket is overpriced for a such a small place. It took us only 20 minutes to walk in and out of that place! The tickets were 500 BHT/adult. Luckily it was free for Aarsyan. After I saw the whole center, thought to myself, for that price, we can see better things in Malaysia. Seriously, they need to expand their aquarium if they want to charge that price.
Ripley's Believe It Or Not Activities
This place is inside the Royal Golden Plaza - Shopping Complex.
I always find this place interesting. There are many rooms to choose from : Ripley's Museum,Infinity Maze, Wax Museum, 4D Adventure & Haunted House. As Aarsyan was with us, we chose Ripleys' Museum, Infinity Maze & Wax Museum.
Some Pictures at Ripley's Museum:
No Pictures at Infinity Maze cause it's TOTAL Darkness and you have to find your way out. It was nice but the journey was short.
Some pictures at Wax Museum:
Pattaya Floating Market
Just the same with any other floating market in Thai. They have many traders selling food in their boats at a minimum cost. Nice place to taste the variety of dishes in Thailand.
Million Years Stone Park & Croco Farm
For those who love botany, should visit this place. The landscaping is beautiful at the Stone Park. The Croco Farm had many animals other than crocs.
I wouldn't say its a good place to shop, because for Thai standard, things in Pattaya are expensive. We can get the same things for the same price in Malaysia. The prices have shot up because of western tourists; same with Phuket. Hat Yai is probably the best place to shop in Thailand. Even food in Pattaya is high for Thai standards. Of course for westerners its still dirt cheap. For Malaysians, its just the same price we pay here. Massages were superb at very reasonable prices and they even come to the room. same goes with foot reflexology.
In a nutshell, it was a very relaxing holiday and we enjoyed it with Aarsyan. :)