Whenever people think of Pattaya they immediately think of ladyboys, risqué shows and drunk tourists. This does not even begin to touch upon the many things that this city in Thailand has to offer. Pattaya is a place that has beautiful temples and beaches but it also has so many activities to get involved in that it is impossible to get bored.
The sights and sounds of Walking Street are quite unlike anything else in Thailand. Other towns and cities try to claim to have their own version, but nothing comes close to matching the 500 metres of fun which is found at the end of Pattaya’s Beach Road. Taking its name from the fact that it is closed to vehicle traffic after 18:00, almost every building on both sides of the road – as well as many in the side streets around it – is a nightclub, beer bar, restaurant or go-go bar.
Stretching for six kilometers, Jomtien Beach is a welcome escape from the bustle of the main city four kilometers away. You can sunbathe along its golden shores or take refuge in shade provided by trees at the beach’s edge. Water lovers can enjoy all kinds of activities, including jet-skiing, kitesurfing, parasailing, and windsurfing. When you need refreshment, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes along the beach serving local fare and fresh seafood.
Sanctuary of Truth
Billed as “the magnificence of heaven recreated on Earth,” this massive monument, built entirely of wood, is a study in Thai architectural styles. Every available space is intricately decorated with wooden carvings, and the entire structure was built to pay homage to ancient religions and philosophies. The cycle of life, Utopia, and humanity’s relationship to the universe are some of the themes reflected in the artwork here. While visiting the sanctuary, you can enjoy Thai cultural shows and Thai boxing, go elephant trekking or horseback riding, or take a ride on a speedboat.
As with all of Thailand’s impressive wats (temples), Wat Yansangwararam (known as Wat Yan) offers insight not only into Thai design and architectural traditions, but also into the society’s values. Surrounded by sprawling palm-studded gardens, the temple was dedicated to King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1988 to commemorate the 42nd year of his reign. Precious Buddhist relics are housed in the main complex, and on the right-hand side of the path leading to the temple is a lake with impressive Chinese pavilions, filled with antiques and artifacts.