Pattaya never crossed my mind as a travel destination to bring my family to until I got on a tour with a tailored itinerary fit for the kin to Thailand’s famous resort city. Pattaya’s pretty well-known for its cabaret shows and 24-hour clubs, but it’s seldom recognized for being “wholesome.” I remember reading a Pattaya forum which suggested “No Money, No Honey” for the city slogan which made me burst in a boisterous LOL. I even got cryptic questions from Facebook friends like “Ui, magunsa ka sa Pattaya? hehe” (Hey, what’re you going to do in Pattaya?), when I posted a status on Facebook enroute Pattaya from Bangkok. Despite that notion, I looked forward to seeing Pattaya for the first time, expecting the experience to be as pleasant and entertaining as my visits to its capital, Bangkok.
Pattaya Floating Market was our first stop, and I hopped off the bus capering like a thrilled li’l preschooler as I approached the main gate of the complex, walking ahead of the group to take photos. With only an hour to explore, the group had time to scout around the Thai street food, souvenir and the live painting demonstration sections. Looking around, I noticed that PFM is a manicured floating market- much cleaner and organized compared to the traditional ones, but with the right elements that would make you feel like you are in an old, authentic floating market.
If you wish to explore more of the complex, you should allot atleast two (2) hours to do the rowboat, see performances like thai sea boxing, contemporary music or long tail drum floating parade, and sling adventure. Plus, an hour or two for shopping. 😉
The durian-flavored ice cream popsicle was the perfect treat concluding our shopping and sight seeing experience at Pattaya Floating Market. And for those adventurous enough to try some exotic snacks, you might want to check out the fried insects stalls along the Thai food market section.
Then, we headed to the famous The Glass House for lunch. Situated 12km south of Pattaya City, the beach side restaurant offers delectable Thai food, Asian fusion and seafood dishes. Exuding an upscale vibe similar to a place in the Hamptons, yet casual and homey with a relaxing beachfront view to boot. The place gets packed with both locals and tourists specially on peak hours, so reservation might help you save time.
My instant favorites were the Sour and Spicy Seabass Soup, Prawn Pad Thai Noodles and Stir-fried Chayote leaves. We also requested the spicyness to be adjusted to mild. For those with sensitive tummies and with low tolerance to spicy food, I highly suggest you do too as well.
Before we continued on with our first day itinerary, we headed to our home in Pattaya – The Holiday Inn, to freshen up. Also had time to snap some photos at the Club Lounge, that gave me a stunning vantage point of the beautiful Pattaya and its busy sea.
If you can still squeeze in a pre-sunset chill at Havana Holiday Inn, try their Signature Mojito. Delish! And after the PM cocktails, you can check out the sunset just across the hotel’s main lobby. It’s breathtaking!
After a sunset chill session, the group continued with the itinerary. We had three more stops to go to before we called it a night – Frost, Art in Paradise Pattaya Trick-eye Museum and a legit Thai Massage.
Frost, The Magical Ice of Siam is an ice playground the whole family would surely love. Everyone can revel in two of the ice slide attraction, take photos at the bar while drinking soda from an ice glass, and hop on a tuktuk made of ice. Set in a room with a temperature of -10 degrees celcius, this is an exciting experience in tropical Pattaya!
Tried the ice slides myself and it was super fun, and it’s cool (literally and figuratively) that the sodas are being served in ice glasses!
Getting creative on how to take convincing photos at the Art in Paradise Trick Eye Museum wasn’t difficult at all. I remember taking so much photos, but too bad I kinda misplaced all of ’em, except the two photos I uploaded below, and a crappy one with the zebras which I decided not to post. hahaha. Nonetheless, trick eye museums are always entertaining and amusing. And it looked like the kids, and the kids at heart, will appreciate this attraction.
And to wrap up our first day in Pattaya, a relaxing LEGIT Thai massage! Oh yeah!
Second Day in Pattaya
We had an early start on our second day, with Silverlake as our first stop.
Silverlake is a grape vineyard that produces wines from the very fruits they grow and harvest. The property also has packets of beautiful gardens with floral plants adding charm to its already picturesque scenery. Our Silverlake your ended with a tasting bottle of red wine. And for those traveling with kids, don’t worry because there’s grape juice for them! 😉
Also, don’t miss a photo opportunity with the Buddha Mountain on the backdrop. 😉
Next stop was a quick restroom stopover at Ramayana Waterpark. Too bad we were short of time and not able to stay and enjoy the park. But that slide, I’ll conquer on my next visit to Pattaya. 😉
Next, Nongnooch Pattaya. The 672 acre resort offers accommodations, restaurants, tropical gardens, convention and exhibition centers. We booked a day tour which included a lunch buffet, but spent only a good two hours in different sections and gardens of the resort, and went on a fruit shopping spree for pasalubong. I particularly enjoyed the area where the lories, parrots and tiger are, and the dinosaur hill was nostalgic.
Our final stop before heading to dinner, and going back to Bangkok to catch our flight back to Cebu was at D’Luck Cinematic Theater to watch Kaan. The show is a 90-minute live action and cinema stage performance inspired by famous Thai literatures including Ramayana, Pra Apai Mani, Krai Thong and many more. The production is real impressive, which included a Tesla Coil battle, and an 8-meter-tall animatronic robot.
Before wrapping up this blog entry, here’s a rundown of the two-day, overnight stay in Pattaya.
07:00AM – Travel from Bangkok to Pattaya
10:00AM – Pattaya Floating Market
01:00PM – Lunch at The Glass House
03:00PM – Check in at Holiday Inn Pattaya
04:30PM- Cocktails at Havana Holiday Inn
06:00PM – Frost
07:00PM – Dinner
08:00PM -Art in Paradise
10:00PM – Thai Massage
11:30PM – Back to the Hotel
06:30AM – Breakfast
07:00AM – Leave hotel
10:00AM – Silverlake
12:30NN – Lunch Buffet at Nongnooch
01:30PM – Go around Nongnooch Resort
05:00PM – Kaan Show
07:00PM – Dinner
08:00PM – Leave Pattaya to Bangkok International Airport
10:30PM – Arrive at Bangkok International Airport
My quick trip to Pattaya served as a teaser, and also a confirmation of how apt it is as a vacation destination for the entire family. Would I bring my family to Pattaya? That’s a big YES! The short jaunt made me realize that Pattaya is suitable location for families to spend quality time and have pleasant overseas break.