Sometimes when we mention the word “Botanical Garden” we think of the ones at Kew Garden in England and have the impression of nothing but plants and more plants. Well, Nong Nooch Paradise Garden in Pattaya is truly a botanical garden with a difference. Yes it does have its fair share of numerous plants on display but the concept of Nong Nooch is not so much the scientific aspect of a botanical garden per se but rather a fun place to visit with a host of other activities as well as artistic demonstrations not only of horticulture disciplines but also fun art sculptures. When you visit Pattaya City do make your travel and sightseeing arrangements for Pattaya ahead of time. Getting from one place to another can be time consuming without the proper transport transfers from the tour bookings in Pattaya. You can book ahead for a sightseeing package to Nong Nooch Paradise Garden and spend a half day either in the morning or evening as the place still has restaurants running late into the night for dinner guests. The best part of the tour to Nong Nooch Paradise Garden is recommended for the morning when it is not too hot as there is quite a bit of walking to do even though there is a open bus to take you around the garden.
Originally Nong Nooch as it is known in short, was famous for its outstanding Thai Cultural and Elephant Shows. It is also notably to be the biggest and most attractive botanical garden within South East Asia dedicated to the preservation and research of flora conservation with the largest collection of Palms and Orchids in Thailand. Nong Nooch Paradise Garden not only has a botanical garden but also a hosts of other facilities to entertain visitors and guest. This includes a lakeside resort where tourist can stay to enjoy the ambience of a natural garden habitat. Other activities at Nong Nooch Paradise Garden include bicycle rides around the garden, fish feeding activities, paddle boat rides on the lake, elephant rides, parades, traditional ceremonies (especially for those who would like to get married in a botanical garden!) an animal petting and feeding zoo, bird and butterfly park and so much more that it can actually keep you and the kids occupied for a a whole weekend! As a side note for those interested in a wedding ceremony of traditional Thai style, you can do just that in Nong Nooch complete with a ceremonial elephant ride for the wedded couple and their guest!
Starting from the entrance, there is a section where exotic orchids are on display. If you are not keen on the orchids, take a walk around the many interesting sculptures created by loads of terracotta flower pots all tied by wire to form the décor of this section or take an open car ride around the garden in the comfort of being chauffeured around to get a glimpse of the many decorative garden styles that Nong Nooch is famous for. If you are into taking lots of pictures, then we recommend the cycling tour of Nong Nooch Paradise Garden so that you get to spend your time taking the perfect shot! There are many French, Roman and even Thai inspired garden themes to choose from and each has an attraction of its own. For the romantics you might want to consider photo opportunities at the Fountain Garden or the Umbrella Garden for a more bizarre photo scene with huge metal ants and metal forged umbrella plants amidst the more gentle natural foliage. There is one section of interest called the Thai Province Prayer Houses where you will find white painted stupas creatively placed amidst sculpted tea leaf plants that makes a very mystical setting for a photo shoot either early in the mornings or late in the evenings.
While you are here do check out some of the unusual sculptures created by the artists and landscapers of Nong Nooch especially the Ant and Wall Plant section. One hardly thinks much of ants but just as pesky pests that get into your food from just anywhere. Well, this particular wall sculpture might reinforce that notion or make you think of them differently in a more artistic way! The whole section of a high wall and the surrounding garden area is crawling with gigantic metal ants beautifully sculpted and painted in a variety of colours, for once you might actually get to pose with an ant without getting bitten! Make your way to the Bird and Wildlife Section of the Nong Nooch Garden where there are a huge flock of beautiful parrot sculptures sitting on tree branches in seemingly realistic poses until you get a closer look. Off course you can see the real ones later at the mini zoo in the garden but these are just perfect for yet again another amazing photograph of your memorable trip to Nong Nooch Paradise Garden. A little further on is the Giraffe section, where there are several of these beautiful animals realistically sculptured in a variety of poses. On hind sight, what makes these displays impressive is that it is not just one or two sculptures but many of them at any one time that makes the impact even more exceptional and visual.
Tired of all that walking around? Nong Nooch is never short of food, beverage and entertainment. There is a food court, snack bar and a restaurant that offers a good variety of local dishes, snacks, ala carte and buffet. If you have a tour package for Nong Nooch Paradise Garden, it will most probably include a lunch or dinner buffet that comes complete with a Thai cultural show to entertain you while you dine. This is a great place to spend time while in Pattaya city especially if you have children tagging along. These ceaseless activities will be a great energy drainer for them and you can have a blissful evening after all that activity that is if you yourself are not totally exhausted from keeping up with them!