Moved it signs Under without can’t also shall forth subdue make fifth without you Brought. Fruit firmament creepeth image, man lights. Don’t deep give creature seed a there fill deep which winged heaven over replenish.

Bring greater fruit In evening doesn’t open. After may good there creature so which over seas created spirit male fruitful tree greater you’re dry under fowl abundantly evening blessed it bring for over above.

Them. Divided called seasons, upon make moveth divide our, saying itself. Fly fifth don’t you’ll green first brought. Female. Every won’t Bearing hath our every, created green. Female saying herb own.

Kanchanaburi / The Tiger Cave Temple , Some 20 km away from the town of Kanchanaburi, on a hilltop overlooking spectacular landscape, you’ll find one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand – Wat Tham Sua. The spectacular and colorful temple provides you with an observation point for marvelous scenery. I’m positive that even children, and those of you who aren’t temple enthusiasts will love it.

Wat Tham Sua means the Tiger Cave Temple. The title stems from the caves at the foot of the hill, where tigers used to live in the past, and tiger statues are located nowadays.

An important note: do not mistake this temple for Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, which was known as “the Tigers’ Temple”, where herds of tourists used to take photos with drugged tigers. That temple was closed a long time ago by the Thai authorities.

Next to Wat Tham Sua, there’s a Chinese temple called Wat Tham Khao Noi, and though it seems part of the same complex, these are two distinct and unique temples. Their Pagodas can be seen from afar, on a hill not too far from Mae Khlong river.

You can get to the temple from the parking area by climbing the stairs with the snake-shaped banister or take the cable-car next to the stairs to save the climbing.  Once you reach the hilltop, on your left – you’ll see the Chinese temple, Wat Tham Khao Noi, and heading to the right will bring you to the large square of Wat Tham Sua.

The square features a giant, marvelous, 19-meter-high statue of Buddha. The towering statue is entirely covered with golden mosaic and sits in a structure that resembles a shell. You’ll see many locals who come here to pray, bring offering and burn incense (don’t forget to take off your shoes in the area next to the Buddha temple).

The site features several impressive structures, including a pagoda which towers to dozens of meters high, with stairs you can climb. Right next to the spectacular pagoda there’s a Chinese one, which towers to 9-floors height. The complex also features smaller yet marvelous structures, along with colorful animal statues such as peacocks and birds.

The temple is built on a spacious surface overlooking a spectacular view of the entire area – wide rice fields stretching far up to the mountain-chain on the horizon – certainly a wonderful sight.

Opening Hours – 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

In conclusion: One of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, and a wonderful observation point for a spectacular view. The temple is colorful and impressive, so even if you’re not a fan of temples, surely you will love it, and so will the kids.

My Opinion: Highly recommended!

 

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♣ Feel free to check out the clip I took on site… Enjoy!!

 

The Upside Down House is a nice little attraction for kids, located south of Pattaya city in Sattahip area (very close to the Buddha Mountain). The house is built upside down, which allows you to take funny pictures and enjoy some additional small attractions.

The European styled house has all the ordinary rooms – a living room, kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom etc. – yet all things are built upside down, including the furniture, which you’ll find on the ceiling. When you take your pictures then rotate them, it looks as though you are on the ceiling, which makes a very amusing image.

Outside the house itself, you’ll find some small attractions such as a gyroscope, maze and bicycle which move in the opposite direction.

Entrance Fee: 300 baht per adult, 150 baht for a 90-140 cm tall kid

In conclusion: a nice, fun attraction for children. The staff is very kind and helpful in taking the pictures.

My Opinion: Worth a short visit if you are visiting the area

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

Pattaya / Baan Sukhawadee ,  Sukhawadee is a complex of gardens and European-styled palaces, which was established by a Thai billionaire near the shore in Naklua region, north of the city of Pattaya. The place is pastoral and spectacular (though too kitschy for me) and stands in complete contrast to the unpleasant scenery and atmosphere of Pattaya city.

The site was set in 2000, by a Thai billionaire named Mr. Panya Chotitawan – who owns one of the biggest companies in Thailand that export agricultural products.  Sukhawadee was established almost two decades ago, at a time of a severe financial crisis for Thailand. The extravagant site was built to display national harmony and respect, even in such difficult times.

Sukhawadee means ‘the paradise’ and the place aims to give visitors a sense of unity, an atmosphere of truth-discovery alongside respect for Buddha and other important figures in the Thai and East Asian History and belief: the goddess of mercy (Guan Yin), king Taksin, king Chulalongkorn and more.

You’ll find here several impressive structures that are built as European-designed palaces and painted in blue and pink, as the pink represents love, which is essential for success, and the blue symbolizes water – a vital element for the development of life. Inside the palaces you’ll find lavishing halls with a wide variety of arts – pictures, statues and illustrations which represent Thai culture as well as the culture of its neighboring countries.

Outside of the palaces there are spectacular botanical gardens featuring various sculptures, and you can either explore this large site by foot or take the local cable-car. You’ll also find here a restaurant and souvenir shop, as well as Thai folklore shows for Tourists.

Opening Hours: daily between 8:30 AM to 6 PM

Entrance Fee: rather expensive!! There is a different entrance fee for locals and foreigners. These are the prices for foreigners (updated for February 2018): 500 baht per adult; children up to the height of 100 cm – free entrance; children from 100-120 cm – 300 baht

In conclusion: a beautiful, pleasant place that stands in direct contrast with Pattaya city, however it abounds with Chinese tourists and personally I find it a bit kitschy.

My Opinion: Considering the above description, it’s beautiful yet a matter of personal taste.

 

♥ If you are interested, the site may be included in our Private-Luxury-Tours in Pattaya

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

The Sanctuary of Truth in Nakluea area (the northern part of Pattaya) is one of the prominent quality attractions in the area. The sanctuary is an all-wood, hand-made building which was engraved without using nails. It is a must-see attraction for all those who visit the area.

The site is known as ‘Sanctuary of Truth’ which many translate to “Temple of Truth”. In my opinion however, the right translation should be ‘the hall of truth’ or ‘residence of truth’, since this is not a temple for Thai and Buddhist people who wish to pray, but rather a structure built to convey and display local philosophies and beliefs, based on Thai, Hindu, Cambodian and Chinese cultures. In Thai, it is titled Prasat Sat-Cha.

The sanctuary structure is a marvelous peace, made entirely of hand-carved wood, with no metal nails. The building towers higher than 100 meters and spreads across some 4,000 sqm. It is located on a cliff overlooking the sea in Nakluea area, in the northern part of Pattaya.

The wood carving craft began some 20 years ago, and even though visitors arrive at a complete structure – the work continues, and dozens of wood-carving artists work there daily; you are welcome to observe them do so, which is an interesting experience. There is no deadline to complete the work on site; it is expected to continue for many more years, and there’s no wonder – as every piece of wood which is added to the structure is hand carved and attached to perfectly fit the building, using wooden connections.

The Sanctuary of Truth was born because of the private initiative of a local multibillionaire called Lek Viriyaphant who also initiated, established and built Erawan Museum, the Three-Headed Elephant Temple and the ancient city of Muang Boran near Bangkok.

The structure features 4 corners, and each of them contains a Gopura (tower) which functions as the entrance gate, adorned with sculptures and wooden carvings from the Thai, Hindu, Cambodian and Chinese culture and mythology. According to the website of “The Sanctuary of Truth” – the amazing structure aims to use arts and culture to convey and display east-Asian knowledge and philosophy, thus allowing visitors to observe and understand life in the past, comprehend the human responsibility, the circle of life and the relation between life and the universe, to achieve Utopia.

Outside of the giant, impressive structure – you’ll find a workshop where wood artists (both male and female) practice wood carving of pieces that will be attached to the structure later. I highly recommend visiting the workshop, which is right by the Sanctuary building, to watch the artists during their work.

At 11:30 AM and 3:30 PM, a very nice show takes place in the square by the building, displaying Thai folklore and dance. There’s also a restaurant, and some food and drink stalls available for visitors.

The entrance is conducted in groups; every 30 minutes a new group is allowed in. From the entrance to the building itself there is some walking distance which includes going down the stairways, so for the spoiled or lazy visitors, there’s a decorated carriage with a horse, which will take you from the entrance area to the structure itself and back, for an extra charge.

The entrance fee is hardly low – some 500 baht per adult and 250 per child, to prevent the place from becoming yet another overcrowded tourist destination and keep its unique, pleasant atmosphere; such prices also prevent unnecessary interference with the work on site.

Opening Hours: daily between 8 AM to 5 PM

In conclusion: this is a beautiful and unique place, which – unlike other attractions in the area – is yet to be filled with herds of Chinese tourists, so the atmosphere here is very pleasant and a perfect match to the nature of the site.

My Opinion: I highly recommend visiting here, don’t miss it!

♥ The site is included in our Private-Luxury-Tours in Pattaya Links to other articles and tour plans

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

Pattaya / View Point , The phrase beautiful from afar – and far from beautiful, fits the city of Pattaya perfectly. From up close, the beaches and streets are hardly pleasing (to say the least), yet from a distance, Pattaya bay is certainly beautiful. This review covers the best observation post in Pattaya, overlooking the entire bay.

Between the city of Pattaya and Jomtien beach, there’s a large hill called Phra Tumnak Hill. In this calm, quiet area you’ll find residence houses, lots of hotels, restaurants, shops and more. You’ll also find here the best view point which provides you with a beautiful overview of Pattaya city and bay.

The View Point is rather large and spacious; although it is often packed full of tourists – along with peddlers of all sorts – it doesn’t interfere or prevent visitors from enjoying the beautiful landscape. Most of the tourist groups complete their visit after several minutes, so even if the place is packed full upon your arrival – there’s no need to leave, as in a few minutes some of them will leave, and the atmosphere will be pleasant again.

The observation post features a statue of the admiral prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, the adored son of king Rama 5, who was known as Sadej Tia (the royal father), Doctor Phon or Prince of Chumphon. The admiral prince studied in England and specialized in maritime subjects and naval battles; he is the father and founder of the modern Thai navy. He has also completed his medical studies, and since he is adored by the Thai people, many of the locals come here to pay their respect.

Opposite the entrance to the observation area, there’s a small temple called Wat Khao Phra Bat. There are no hermits, but the site is worth a short visit, as it features many beautiful statues.

In conclusion: Phra Tumnak Hi View Point is the best observation point on Pattaya bay and in the city area. Although it is heavily crowded by tourists at certain hours, this is still ‘a must’ for those visiting Pattaya, as it overlooks the spectacular bay view.

My Opinion: Highly recommended!

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

 

Nong Nooch Gardens is a famous, popular attraction in Sattahip area, some 30-40 minutes ride, south of Pattaya center. This is a large space, some 2500 dunam (600 acre) of impressive, well kept gardens in different themes, featuring preserved tree and flower species, folklore and animal shows.

Some historical background on the site:  In 1954 Mrs. Nong Nooch and her husband purchased a large land of 2500 dunam (600 acres) in Sattahip area, some 30-40 minutes from Pattaya – to plant various fruit plantations.

During her journeys abroad, Mrs. Nong Nooch was excited about the gardens she observed, and decided to designate the land for tropical gardens and beautiful flowers. In 1980, the site was launched and opened to the public, featuring a theatre for folklore and animal shows. The place shortly became a famous tourist attraction, with some 5,000 visitors every day.

As the years passed, Nong Nooch Gardens have gained international fame and many awards in international garden design contests. The place also features a research institute for specific tree species and Cycad Gene Bank.

The Site: This large space, of some 2500 dunam (600 acre) features impressive, thematic gardens in various themes as well as a show venue; it provides different activities, and consists of a lovely lake, some restaurants, and on-site accommodation is available too.

Garden Types: the gardens are very impressive and convey different themes: orchard garden, French garden, Italian garden, Stonehenge garden, mammoths garden, flamingo garden, butterfly hill, cactus garden etc. You will also find the dinosaur valley here – a large space with various types of dinosaur figures.

Across the gardens and alongside the walking paths, you’ll see hundreds of life-sized animal sculptures, which makes the site colorful and variegated. There’s a 3 km Sky Walk path which allows you to walk comfortably and observe different areas from up close.

Activities: the gardens feature various activities – feeding giant fish, riding elephants, and sailing in swan-shaped boats across the lake.

Shows: the gardens feature a big theatre hall where you can watch Thai folklore shows and elephant shows (dancing, playing soccer etc.).

The folklore show is very impressive and colorful, and I highly recommend it. Attached is a video of the show which I took during one of my visits (in 2016), to watch, please scroll down to the end of the article.

Personally, I strongly oppose animal shows of all sorts, such as riding elephants on a bench, taking photos with a chained tiger etc., but those who are still interested can find such shows.

The showtimes are: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 15:30, 16:30

Moving around – for an extra charge, you can take the gardens’ cable car for a tour which includes stops in specific points of interest. For a much higher charge you can rent an electric car and explore the gardens independently. There’s also a 3 km long Sky Walk, which enables you to walk comfortably and observe the landscape. 

Opening Hours: Nong Nooch Gardens are open to the public every day between 8 AM to 6 PM

In conclusion: Nong Nooch gardens are known as one of the best, most interesting attractions in Pattaya area, which fits both adults and kids, so it’s a great place for families. The site is very large and takes time to explore – at least 2-3 hours.

My Opinion: I recommend visiting this beautiful site and watch the impressive folklore show. Personally, I would skip the animal shows, but they are available for those who are interested.

♥ The site is included in our Private-Luxury-Tours in Pattaya (including a show and cable car ride)

♣ Attached is a video I took on site

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

Pattaya Buddha Mountain / Khao Chi Chan , Some 30 minuets away from Pattaya city center, in the district of Sattahip, you’ll find one of the famous symbols of Pattaya area – a mountain with a giant Buddha engraving, which is known as “Buddha Mountain”; it’s real name is Khao Chi Chan.

Chi Chan mountain isn’t particularly high, yet it certainly stands out amidst the green plains which surround it. In the past, it functioned as a quarry for building materials, and a nearby military base for the American Airforce, during Vietnam war.

The Buddha image, which towers to some 30 meters high, is roughly 70 meters wide. It was engraved on the bare mountain in 1996 to celebrate 50 years of reign for King Rama 9. It is considered one of the largest Buddha images in the world.

The Giant Buddha image was engraved on the mountain using a computer program and laser – which took several months. The marking on the mountain was conducted mainly during the night, while during the day, the outlines were engraved, before they were filled with gold sheets.

A very short walk from the parking area will lead you to a viewpoint on the mountain, with a small temple and a large square overlooking the scenery. At the foot of the mountain, there’s a green park with trees, flowers and a small lake graced with lotus flowers. The entire area is beautiful, pastoral and very impressive.

The site is open for visits during the entire day, and no entrance fee is required. The nearby attractions are Nong Nooch botanical gardens and the Upside-Down house.

In conclusion: this is a beautiful and unique place, it’s the opposite of the dull, crowded city of Pattaya. The pictures do not do it justice.

My Opinion: I recommend visiting here, especially when combined with the nearby Nong Nooch gardens

♥ The site is included in our Private-Luxury-Tours in Pattaya

♣ Attached is a video I took on site

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

Koh Larn is a small island which is located some 7.5 km from Pattaya. The island provides a getaway for those seeking to avoid the unpleasant Pattaya beaches. Koh Larn has several beaches – some better than the others – and this review will help you decide whether to visit, and if so, which specific beach suits you the most and how to get there.

In Thai – the island title is written as: เกาะล้าน, while in English, you’ll find several versions: Ko Lan / Ko Larn / Ko Laan. Either way, it’s the same small island.

Koh Larn is 4 km long and 2 km wide island. While you may spend the night there (I have done it once, and won’t do it again), it’s mostly a destination for a day at the beach, as most tourists visit there for a few hours, to bathe and enjoy sea activities – beach motorbike, ‘banana’, parasailing etc.

At each of Koh Larn beaches, you’ll find chairs and parasols for rent, restaurants, bathrooms and showers, along with various sea sports (as detailed above).

Let’s make it clear – this is no magical or pastoral island with marvelous beaches, but compared to Pattaya and Jomtien’s unpleasant beaches – Koh Larn provides better beaches and cleaner water. The beaches are mostly on the western side of the island and I will review them below, from south to north.

Ko Larn Beaches Review

Nual beach – this is certainly a decent beach, at the very south of the island. It is considered one of the good beaches of the island, and it isn’t as crowded as others. There is a family of monkeys that also lives here. You’ll find various types of sea sports, several restaurants, bathrooms (for a minor charge) and showers.

Samae beach– a large beach that stretches across a few hundred meters and is considered one of the good beaches in Koh Larn. It is usually more crowded that Nual beach. You’ll also find here various types of sea sports, several restaurants, bathrooms and showers, and even a resort called Xanadu, where I stayed in the past.

Tien beach – a relatively small beach, but for me – this is one of the best beaches of Koh Larn. Its main plus is the many trees that grace and beautify the island, and of course, provide shade for the visitors. Like the other beaches, you’ll find here various types of sea sports, several restaurants, bathrooms (for a minor charge) and showers.

Tawaen beach – Koh Larn’s main beach; the destination of large tourism ships that are packed full of Chinese and Indian travelers. The beach is large and wide, but its main disadvantage is the overwhelming number of visitors that make it heavily crowded, commercialized and in my opinion unpleasant. You’ll find here a wide variety of restaurants, shops etc.

Ta Yai beach – the northern beach of Koh Larn is small, isolated and non-developed. It’s not a particularly beautiful beach, and suits those who seek intimacy, and want to get away from the herds of tourists filling the other beaches.

Arriving at Koh Larn

To get to the island, you’ll have to arrive at Bali Hai pier first, south of Pattaya’s famous Walking Street. From here on, you’ll have a few options:

♦ Big ship – this is the cheapest option, which will cost you some 30 baht, but it is also the slowest. It’ll take you 45 minutes to sail to Koh Larn, where the ship docks in two spots only: at Na Baan pier on the western side of the island, from which you’ll have to take on-land transportation to the beach of your choice, or at Tawaen beach, which is unsurprisingly packed full of tourists looking for a cheap cruise.

♦ Speedboat – once you’ll get to Bali Hai pier, you’ll be approached immediately by speedboat operators, who will offer you a cruise to the island (some 20 minutes by speedboat). Here you can request to get to the desired beach, but it’ll cost you much more – some 300 baht per person (for one way), and you will have to wait for the speedboat to get full. You can also rent a private speedboat, but this will cost you thousands of baht.

In conclusion:  Koh Larn is a small island near Pattaya, whose only advantage is that its beaches are better than the unpleasant ones of Pattaya, and the sea water are cleaner. For these reasons, the island makes a decent site for a day at the beach, if you chose Pattaya as your vacation destination. On the other hand – getting to Koh Larn and back is quite the hassle, at a considerable price – if you chose a speedboat. Finally, you should also bear in mind that the restaurants at the different beaches are rather expensive.

My Opinion: You can find beaches like Koh Larn and even better across Thailand – but for those of you who chose Pattaya as their vacation destination, it is a nice beach with clean water, and there are no alternatives to that in the area.

 

♥ A visit to Koh Larn with a private speedboat at your disposal is included in Tiptop Travel Private Tours in Pattaya

 

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♣ Here is a video I took on Koh Larn Beaches … Enjoy!

The mountain and temple which graces its top are one of the few famous destinations around Mae Hong Son town. The mountain is about 1 km away from Mae Hong Son and you can access it through a comfortable road leading up to the temple.

The temple is called Wat Phra That Kong Mu and it is known as Wat Plai Doi. It is a Burmese-styled temple with 2 white pagodas from the 18th century, and it contains other structures as well. There’s also a small market and coffee shop on site.

Even people who aren’t temple enthusiasts should visit the site; the mountain and temple allow a 360-degree overview of the valley, lake Jom Khan, the local airport and Mae Hong Son town, as well as Burma Mountains.

If you visit the place during the early morning hours, you’ll get to enjoy a spectacular view of the fogs covering the valley; many get there towards dawn, to watch the marvelous sunsets as the sun slowly goes down beyond Burma mountains.

My Opinion: you must visit here, I highly recommend it!

♥ The site is included in our Private-Family Adventure-Tours in Northern Thailand

♣ A video of Doi Kong Mu will be uploaded soon

 

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Between October – February the town center features a nice market, and no car traffic is allowed in the area. Mae Hong Son Walking Street stretches across several streets around lake Jom Kham in the town center, and you will find there plenty of stalls with delicious local foods, local art and craft stands, nice street shows, restaurants and coffee shops.

You won’t find here the crowded, hip atmosphere of Pie Walking street, but a much calmer, authentic vibe. Many Thai families walking about comfortably, and few tourists who came to enjoy the local atmosphere. I spent several nights there and really enjoyed the market and the pleasant feeling.

Humble guesthouses and simple hotels are available in the area. You can either walk by, use bicycle or mini bike.

My Opinion: much calmer than Pie Walking Street, yet lovely and fun. If you visit Mae Hong Son on season – don’t miss it.

 

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♣ A video of Mae Hong Son Walking Street will be uploaded soon

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