The province of Chonburi is located just a mere 45 minute drive from Bangkok City and the most famous place in Chonburi is Pattaya seconded by the beach of Jomtein and Coral Island. This does not mean that Chonburi is any less exciting compared to the other places such as Bangkok, the islands of Phuket, Koh Samui or even Chiang Mai! Adventure and sightseeing are still the highlights of this province, plus the added allure of Pattaya City, also dubbed the “City of Sin” in many ways!
Getting to the province of Chonburi and all the attractions are not that difficult, there are many taxi, bus and minivan services available from Bangkok as well as flights and car rentals. If you are the type that likes to have everything planned before you even hop on to a plane, then check out some of the tour packages for Pattaya to get you started! Yes, they do include transfers from Pattaya Airport or transfers from Bangkok to Pattaya which is always a starting point for a tour of Chonburi Province.
So, what is so exciting about Chonburi? Well for one, the topography of Chonburi includes coastal, national park and highland advantages. This provides the diversity of activities and attractions unique to the province of Chonburi. That, and off course the proximity to Bangkok city makes it an ideal getaway over the weekends or for short trips. Visitors to Chonburi will be spoilt for choice on the many tourist agendas available, provided off course if you are not just glued and stuck to Walking Street and the many bars in Pattaya City! There is everything from swinging off tree tops, to visiting the tigers and elephants, to getting a taste of hell on earth or even being a giant in the miniature cities right up to a million year old fossil garden and Oh! Don’t forget about playing with those wonderfully gorgeous dolphins!
You can make your holiday plans in advance here, and being short of hotels as well as going-ons and exciting activities is an understatement in Chonburi. Being in Chonburi is another place where it is a case of a province that does not sleep. If it is not the tourist sites that keep the activities going, it is also the Tourism Authority of Chonburi that keeps the hype continuous all year round and joining in the fray of making it a party province in Thailand! So hop on a plane, hire a car, get the tour agents’ transfers from Bangkok or even take a train from Bangkok to Chonburi and get your holidays to fun and adventure, starting off course with Pattaya!
TOP 10 DESTINATIONS OF CHONBURI
Playing with “Flipper”
Some of us older ones will remember Flipper well, that lovable dolphin and the boy. Modern day kids may or may not remember SeaQuest and the dolphin Darwin but no matter what, we can all agree that dolphins are a fascinating species of not fish but an actual aquatic mammal. The dolphins at Pattaya Dolphin World and Resort are slightly different from those you normally see. They are made up of pink dolphins and Irrawady dolphins. The Irrawady dolphins do not have a long snout like their cousins and look somewhat alien-like but they are no less adorable! If you want a remarkable experience of swimming with these beautiful creatures and frolicking with them in the pool, here is your chance! You might not even want to leave after the experience, and unless you are a scuba diver with the golden dive tank, you might not get a chance to do so in the open sea. These cute dolphins put up a remarkable show and relish the antics and attention, we think partly because they get treats and snacks in between meals! If swimming in a public pool is not exactly the dish of the day, go watch them play in the pools or at the very least pet them, you just might change your mind. To book a tour to swim with the dolphins in Chonburi, you will need advance booking for Pattaya Dolphin World and Resort. So, make sure that you have booked the Pattaya Dolphin World and Resort Tour way ahead!
The LadyBoys of Chonburi
We have heard much about the LadyBoys all over Thailand. Did you know that they are some of the most talented, most beautiful and most versatile performers in the whole of Thailand? There are quite a number of LadyBoy shows in Chonburi, primarily in Pattaya City, and each venue offers a different repertoire of songs and performances. One thing is for sure; their slap stick comedy will get you laughing till your belly aches. They make good renditions of popular songs and dances with brightly colored costumes and their performances are known as Cabaret style, with all the glitz and feathers of a Las Vegas stage performance as well as elaborate stage settings. You might even catch a glimpse of Marilyn Monroe or Rihanna but they are all male performers, though some of them are transgendered! Many of them are ravishingly beautiful, tall, well-proportioned and even bosomy! At Alcazar Cabaret in Pattaya, you will spend a delightful evening in their company of songs and performances. After the show, you might even get to take a picture with them and it may seem like you have a hot-date for the night! Make sure you book your tickets for the Alcazar Cabaret Show early as they are always sold out!
A Fish-eye view in Chonburi
You do not need to put on a diving mask and a scuba tank to get a chance at feeding the fishes or to watch them glide by in all their beauty and glory. You can do it all right here in Chonburi at the Underwater World Pattaya, so you also do not have to go up to Chiang Mai or be in Bangkok to see this! Can’t think of how to keep the kids busy for a few hours if they are traveling with you? Try this place out! There is everything to keep them amused and amazed, you might even think so yourself as you walk the large aquarium and one of the highlights is the cute otter feeding times! Off course you can also watch the divers feed the large eagle rays and the menacing sharks (you wonder if the divers just might be shark bait too) or even feeding time for the many colorful coral fish. If you are the type that can’t keep your hands to yourself, just like the kids, head on over to the touch pool and satisfy your curiosity. Off course you will get some dagger stares from the kids! An unusual activity is Arapana feeding, this is the largest fresh water fish in the world mostly found in the Amazons. It is a member of the catfish family, grows to a size of nine to twelve feet and known to eat whole monkeys in the wild. Off course they do not feed it monkeys in this aquarium! Make sure you do not miss out on this most unusual activity and book a tour to Underwater World Pattaya while you are in the province of Chonburi!
Getting a taste of Hell on Earth in Chonburi
Don’t believe in a “Hell”? Well, take a tour of the Wang Saen Suk Hell Gardens in Baan Saen, just a few minutes’ drive out of Bangkok in the province of Chonburi. You might be fascinated or think twice about committing that next “sin” once you have finished your tour! Thailand, being predominantly Buddhist has a deep affiliation with the concept of karma, heaven, hell and off course ghouls and ghosts. To the Thai, if you sin, you will get bad karma or go to hell, so this place is a depiction of their understanding of what “hell” means. Visiting the Wang Saen Suk Hell Gardens will be quite an eye-opener, and the welcome sign aptly warns “Welcome to Hell”! Walking these garden grounds will show you where sinners of all kinds will undergo the various tortures while in hell for their crimes! You wouldn’t even believe the number of sins they can come up with and the torture methods. This is a place for those who love the macabre and the gory! Imagine being put into a large copper pot and boiled over and over again or having your tongue yanked out for telling lies. Now that is one you might want to consider avoiding! It is believed that a sinner will have to undergo all these tortures until it is time for rebirth, so that would mean a very long wait. One can say, take your time to wander these gardens in hell, either you will go home with a nightmare, be totally enlightened or think more seriously about your next actions! Check with your travel agents about a tour to Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden in Chonburi or hire a car, minivan or taxi for that ultimate hell on earth experience!
A million years in Chonburi
Step back a million years in time in the province of Chonburi! The place is actually called the Million Years Stone Park but you won’t just find boring stones here. Now, what can you see in a million year old park, as the name suggests it is actually more than just a park for you to walk around in. Yes, there are fossilized stones and prehistoric trees but did you know that this was actually a private collection of items and memorabilia that spans through different ages in the history of earth? Boring? We think not, for where else besides a museum can you see such a collection including old stone and bronze statues of dwarves reputed to be as old as 300 years old or even of old bonsai trees and stones shaped in weird configurations over the years some of which are as old as the dinosaurs. This park is also a part of the Crocodile farm with many other activities. Nature is a great builder and all man does is to display her artworks, so if you want to see the best of Mother Nature’s works, then spend some time on a tour of the Million Years Stone Park in Pattaya, Chonburi!
Hitting the dirt treks of Chonburi
Time to chill out and set the boys apart from the men…so to speak! Want to show your sense of adventure and gung-ho sides to impress the ladies or the ladies want to show the guys you are just as adventurous? Well, here is your chance! Signup for a dirt trekking adventure in Chonburi where there is everything from an ATV Quad bike adventure, a Pattaya Buggy Rider or even a Dirt Bike riding tour, just take your pick. These adventures will bring you to the sand dunes of Chonburi by the shores of the Gulf of Thailand, into the jungle wilderness and any other rough terrain in the province of which there are many. Helmets in hand, bikes and buggies all fueled up, you are well on your way to a great ride and adventure. Some of these rides include an elephant trekking experience in Pattaya as well, so you not only get to ride a bike, you also get to sit atop an elephant. Nothing is more exciting and adrenaline flowing as these two activities and let’s see how good you are at handling a quad bike, dune buggy or even an elephant. For the Pattaya ATV Quad bike tour, the Pattaya Buggy Rider tour and the Pattaya Buggy Passenger tour, you will need to book these in advance at least three days to a week. Those who just want to tag along and are satisfied with someone else doing the driving while you are bouncing along, then opt for the Pattaya Buggy Passenger tour! These tours are not only adventurous and fun but they are also a way to see the province away from the usual tourist activities especially those that do dirt trekking in the National Parks of Chonburi.
The Crocodile Man of Chonburi
Those ferocious, tail swiping crocodiles are one of the scariest prehistoric reptiles in the world, so the guy who puts his head in their jaws must be quite something to watch! He is either foolhardy or exceptionally brave not to have his head bitten off by the crocodiles. Take a tour to the Crocodile Farm in Pattaya, which is also in the Million Year Stone Park. This crocodile farm holds close to three thousand salt water crocodiles, making it one of the largest in South East Asia. The salt water crocodiles are not only the most ferocious but also the least in number. A visit to the Crocodile Farm will also show you the difference between a freshwater crocodile and a saltwater crocodile, but no worries; you do not have to get up close and personal with them! These crocodiles mostly do nothing all day except laze in the natural swampy surroundings made up for them so they feel really at home here. The Crocodile Farm in Pattaya is not just a farm for crocodiles. You will get to see that huge catfish from the Amazon called the Arapana, the largest one here is 500kg, enough to swallow a small goat whole! The unusual animals in this farm are the albino animals, such as a highly cute and intelligent albino bear, white tigers, white cows and even white crocodiles! Kids will love the elephants, camels and deer also living in the farm here and you can buy little treats to feed them, which is an experience unique to Thailand, especially feeding the elephants! Tired of walking around, then head on to the many shows and attractions and one of the best attractions is the crocodile show. After this show you can get the chance to come up close to the star of the show and take a picture with it, while sitting on its back …if you dare!
Say “hello” to the turtles
“Oh so cute!” … that is what we mostly hear when a tourist visits the Sea Turtle Conservation Center in Sattahip, Chonburi. This is actually a naval outpost but the main activity here is sea turtle conservation efforts. A tour of the Sattahip Sea Turtle Conservation is where you can see a variety of sea turtles bred and released when they are old enough. Ever tried feeding a sea turtle and wonder what they eat? Well, now is your chance to do so! They really are cute when taking pieces of tasty fish off your hands and this is the only opportunity for you to watch them up close. There are a lot of surprising things that you would not have known about the turtles, but you can find it all right here. If you are lucky, you can be a mother turtle for a while ..or should we say daddy turtle. You will learn how to clean your little “offspring” and feed as well as care for them. It is not just the elephants and tigers who will spirit your heart away but these little creatures are also a good tug at your heart strings. You can find out about tours to the Sea Turtle Conservation Center from the tour companies in Thailand prior to your trip.
The art of trickery …. even your eyes will fool you!
How would you like to be Indiana Jones for a day, a little angel when you are not and explore different time periods and continents all in one day? You can trick the eye into believing that what you see can be real, but then off course it means you have to be just as creative in your poses! Spend a whole half day getting into a world of fantasy at the only Trick Art Gallery right here in Pattaya, Chonburi called the Art in Paradise Trick Art Gallery. It is the only trick art gallery in Thailand with more than a hundred full-sized murals for you to play around with. If you want to have bragging rights to some of the most unusual photography sessions, then make sure you book your tickets to Art in Paradise early and try to avoid the crowds. You can be chased by dinosaurs, fight a prehistoric pterodactyl, be eaten by a ferocious shark or even step back in time to the 17th and 18th century Renaissance or be awed by the vastness of the Thai Kingdom. Why, you can even be an angel if you want, at least for a minute or how long it will take you to pose! This is a fun place to be especially if you want some of the most unusual holiday memento! So make sure you have booked a ticket to Art in Paradise in advance!
Fly high and slide low in Chonburi
Though Chonburi has fairly nice beaches and islands there is still a thrill to the idea of a water park right next to the beach. At the Pattaya Tower and Water theme park, you can do just that! Like any other theme park it has its fair share of thrills and spills that will get your adrenaline flowing and if that is not enough, you can get a bird’s eye view of the whole park by literally jumping of the Pattaya Tower, which also happens to be the highest building in Pattaya City, Chonburi, on a zip line! Excellent view guaranteed and even with the wind blowing in your face! If you still have the stomach for food after all that, you can enjoy the view from inside the tower rather than out, with a great buffet to indulge in while revolving in the tower to a 360 degree view of the city and coast. Make sure you do your booking for Pattaya Tower and Water Theme Park early to especially avoid disappointment at the buffet spreads. This place also happens to be a great place for you to tire the kids out if you are traveling with them!