Pattaya proves to be an extraordinary place to visit as the city welcomes people from around the world to visit its glorious shores and mingle with the locals. Pattaya City is in Chonburi Province, a very well-known province for avid vacationers looking for a destination to unwind by the Gulf of Thailand, without wandering too far from Bangkok. Although Pattaya is synonymously associated with nightlife and fabulous shows, the city offers many impressive sites and landmarks to visit. Pattaya is divided into three sections; North, South, and Central. Each ‘district’ in Pattaya has its very own ‘identity’ depending on what vacationers are looking for in a tourist hotspot. In this article, the written piece explores Pattaya’s noteworthy cultural (and non-cultural) attractions and landmarks which in turn, should never be missed on a spectacular vacation in Thailand.
Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya
Nothing is quite spectacular than viewing a Pattaya cultural show, performed by skilled actors and actresses and bringing Thai mythology to life. The Thai Alangkarn Theater takes audiences on a memorable journey through time with supporting music (with surround sound), light shows, and intricate choreography. The show is divided into three Acts; Act 1 represents Belief, Act 2 represents Thai arts and culture, and Act 3 focuses on the rise of the Kingdom of Thailand. The first Act, Belief introduces audiences to Thai civilization, how Thai civilization came to be and how the people adapted through the ages through song and story. The next scene, the Great Naga focuses on of Thailand’s legendary myths, the Great Naga. The Naga is a serpentine creature believed to live in the Chao Phraya River. Additionally, the Great Naga is believed to be the Kings’ protectorate during any sieges planned by the enemy.
No other show in Pattaya exudes Thai grace and intricate choreography other than the Thai Alangkarn Theater. The theater is a definite must-visit.
Another great cultural attraction in Pattaya is the famous Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai). The steps leading up to the big Buddha is flanked by multi-headed Nagas, protecting the temple, as well as its visitors. Once visitors reach the top, they will be greeted with many Buddha idols (with donation boxes) in the surrounding area. The temple serves as a place for worshippers throughout Thailand to pay homage to the sacred idols and gain merit while doing so. Merit is achieved through simple acts of kindness, per se. In Thailand, merit is believed to hold weight and it serves a deciding factor where one would end up in the afterlife. The more merit one achieves during their lifetime, the better their life would be in the afterlife.
Similar to any other temple in Thailand, it is imperative to dress properly, especially when visiting a sacred site. For visitors wearing revealing clothing, the temple staff will provide visitors with free sarongs upon reaching the temple grounds. Additionally, it is recommended to go to the temple either earlier in the morning or later afternoon to avoid tour crowds and exceptionally hot weather.
The Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth, located not too far from the Holiday Inn Pattaya hotel, is a must-visit location for crowds that love intricate architecture. The entirety of the temple is carved out by hand, without the assistance of heavy machinery. The temple is defined as ‘The Magnificence of Heaven Recreated on Earth’; the temple uses art reflecting ancient knowledge and Eastern philosophy. Additionally, visitors will gain a rare glimpse of understanding life as we know it, the human responsibility, the concept of basic thought, the cycle of living, the relationship with the universe and the common goal of life towards Utopia.
Pattaya Sheep Farm
While most people tend to go to notable cultural attractions, other ‘landmarks’ to see in Pattaya don’t necessarily mean it has to be cultural. Take the Pattaya Sheep Farm, for instance. This farm is a great place to take your children on a relaxing day out, surrounded by a friendly goat, sheep, horses, deer, and a couple of amphibian friends. Activities to do at the farm range from horseback (or donkey) riding, feeding baby animals or ride the available rides on the farm.
The farm has an onsite restaurant, the Barn Steak House. The restaurant serves a vast array of Western food from Lamb Chops, BBQ Pork Ribs, Chicken Satay Burgers, and more. The restaurant opens at 10:30 AM until 8:00 PM.
Another farm of interest found close to Bira Circuit is the Wonder Farm. There’s no difference between this farm and the Pattaya Sheep Farm; guests will be able to feed the animals (for a fee). There’s an on-site café with exceptional food and drinks. Additionally, there is no entry fee for this farm and everybody can enter the farm, free of charge.