Before we visited, I imagined Pattaya to be like a congested beach town filled with cabarets and strip clubs and overcrowded beaches filled with tourists and touts.
Okay, maybe it is. If we had actually been in town.
There are advantages and disadvantages of staying away from the main town, which I have shared more about on my post on Sea Sand Sun Resort Pattaya. For this particular trip, since most of the places we wanted to visit were out of town, staying at Sea Sand Sun Resort Pattaya instead of the city centre of Pattaya worked out great for us! And we got to experience a very different Pattaya from what I saw in most travel guides.
We arrived via a morning Jetstar flight to Bangkok. As I mentioned in my trip reflections, if you plan to start your trip in Pattaya, you may want to consider flying into Pattaya instead. Air Asia has direct flights from Singapore to Pattaya.
I didn’t plan to start my trip in Pattaya, it just turned out that way after I booked my return flights to Bangkok. So from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, we had a 2-hours car ride into Pattaya. For convenience sake, we had ordered both our Thailand SIM cards and transfer from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport to our resort in Pattaya from Klook before the trip.
I highly recommend getting SIM cards from Klook, because it was really convenient, compared to the long queues we saw at the SIM card counters at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. And the SIM cards turned out to be our lifesavers later on in the trip when we did a self-drive to Ayutthaya and Khao Yai. Even within Pattaya, we used the SIM card quite a bit. Because we visited some places that were off the usual tourist route that our driver was not familiar with. So we had to search the internet on the go and make calls to get directions for our driver.
We found the Klook representative waiting for us at the stipulated location (Arrival Gate 3) and while we were changing the SIM cards in our phones, he helped us call for our driver – which saved us the hassle of having to look for our driver after settling the SIM cards. When our driver arrived, the Klook representative also helped us push our luggage trolley to the car and loaded our luggage and kids onto the car and we were breezed off to Pattaya!
To get from Sea Sand Sun Resort Pattaya to Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens, we took a cab which cost 250 baht. Which I thought was expensive, considering the ride was only 3+km? We learned from the resort staff that individual taxi rides in Pattaya tend to be pricey, and it is much more economical to hire a driver for a day to visit a few places at a go. OKAY… Lesson learnt!
At Nong Nooch, we started with lunch at the food court and the boys had their first bowl of pork trotter rice – which eventually turned out to be their favourite food in Thailand throughout the trip.
After lunch, we walked around the Butterfly Hill which was right next to the food court.
There was an announcement saying that the Thai Cultural Show was starting soon. Our ticket to Nong Nooch, which we had pre-purchased from Klook, came with tickets for the show. But the kids were having too much fun taking photos around the gardens that we decided not to bother rushing for the show.
We just spent the afternoon strolling around the garden and taking photos with all the animal sculptures – which I thought were quite cool.
The taxi driver had dropped us all the way inside Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens, and after we walked through the various sections of the gardens, we found ourselves back at the main entrance. From there, we hopped onto a songtaew back to the resort – a ride which the boys learned to enjoy, although they were initially a bit scared that they would fly out from the back and clung on to the railings tightly for their dear lives.
Back at the resort, we hit the beach which had a nice view of the sunset.
And for dinner, we settled for room service.
The boys woke up bright and early, because well, Thailand was one hour behind Singapore and they were still operating in Singapore time zone. We started with breakfast at the resort, after which the boys went to play on the beach as we still had quite a bit of time to bum before Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark opened at 10am.
I had planned to spend the entire day at Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark (homepage), which was like a super short drive from Sea Sand Sun Resort Pattaya. The boys were so amused that we had arrived at the waterpark when they have barely sat down. They were like, “What? We reached already? How can it be??” But I don’t blame them. If you know my style of travelling, car rides during our travels usually mean 2-3 hours in the car. Not 2-3 minutes.
If you are visiting Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark, don’t forget to get your discounted tickets from Klook.
We arrived at opening, and eventually the boys played until about 5pm before they KO-ed.
I was actually hoping to stay till evening because I heard that there was an evening performance with the appearance of We Bare Bears (Aww… the boys love them!).
And Flowrider performance.
Plus happy-hours after 5pm where drinks were 1-for-1. But the kids couldn’t last till then.
So on hindsight, if your kids are still young and cannot last the entire day at the water park, my suggestion is to go to Cartoon Network Amazone a bit later and stay till closing, rather than going in the morning once they open.
In the morning, we again had breakfast and bummed on the beach after that. To say the boys loved the beach here was an understatement.
I found Pattaya Swiss Sheep Farm to be more of a pseudo-European sightseeing attraction rather than a FARM per say.
Yeah, sure, there were sheep around. The boys had fun feeding them, but that took like 15 minutes max.
We spent much more time roaming around the rest of the attraction taking photos.
We have been to trick art museums in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Considering the price of our admission ticket (SGD6! I just can’t get over it.) and the size of the attraction, I declare this the most value-for-money trick art museum we have been to.
Considering the number of indoor playgrounds my boys have been to, they are not easy to impress. But gosh, the indoor playground here, Harbor Land, was really in a class of its own. I believed their ‘Asia’s Largest Indoor Playground’ claim. It was HUGE!!
We played till our driver buzzed us to ask us when we were leaving and we were like, oh yah, we had a driver waiting for us and quickly dragged the kids out and bid farewell reluctantly to Harbor Pattaya.
When it was time to leave, the boys had the same teary-eyed reaction as when we had to leave Phuket. After our one week in Phuket and these 3 days in Pattaya, the boys are officially beach boys. Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya…
Visit official websites
> Sea Sand Sun Resort Pattaya
> Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens (Get discounted tickets from Klook)
> Cartoon Network Amazone (Get discounted tickets from Klook)
> Pattaya Swiss Sheep Farm
> Art in Paradise Pattaya (Get discounted tickets from Klook)
> The Chocolate Factory Pattaya
> Harbour Pattaya