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If you’ve been following along then you will know that I took a little vacation from blogging.
So what does a blogger do when on vacation from blogging? Well go on an actual vacation of course!
Dave has been wanting to go to Thailand for FOREVER so we made a kind of spur of the moment decision to actually make it happen. We had the airline miles, the time off, and a babysitter. No excuses!
A Rough Start in Thailand
The trip ended up being overall amazing but we did get off to a bit of a rough start. It was blizzarding when we left Denver delaying our flight. Because of the delay it also messed up our connecting flight from Bangkok to Phuket. We looked into rescheduling but would have lost so much time and only would have had a day in Phuket.
We opted instead to go to the much closer Pattaya. Pattaya still has beaches and we were able to spend 3 days there.
Songkran Thai New Year
The other biggest hurdle was that we went during Songkran, the Thai New Year.
What started out as the quaint tradition to sprinkle friends and family with water to wash away the previous years negativity has turned into a country wide water fight.
If you love water this is probably the most amazing thing ever.
Spoiler Alert: I don’t!
You cannot walk half a block without being super-soakered and having buckets of water dumped on you. A little too much culture for me!
Fortunately we were able to take taxis straight to our day excursions and avoid the fights. Doubly fortunate, the festival ended after three days there.
Snorkeling in Pattaya
Now that I’ve been brutally honest about the hard stuff its time to get onto the fun!
I’m not a water bug but when so close to the beach one must go. And I actually really do enjoy snorkeling.
First stop after we dropped off our luggage was to check out the beach. It wasn’t the best beach for swimming but they have tons of water sports. We ended up taking an excursion to do some snorkeling and sea walking at the island of Koh Larn. (This was also a better beach for swimming.)
Sea Walking is basically where they stick this old fashioned looking scuba helmet on you and you walk on the ocean floor. It was a really cool experience to feel like an old fashioned explorer. There was a little pressure so for me I think snorkeling is still king!
After the sea-walking we went snorkeling. I love snorkeling so was super excited. There was a good selection of coral that I hadn’t seen before in other locations. The variety of fish was ok. The water was pretty grainy even for a calm day. It was still a really fun time and I very much enjoyed it.
There is also parasailing and jet skiing. We didn’t do these but want to put that out there as an option of fun things to do on the water at Pattaya.
Khao Kheow Zoo
One of my favorite things to do anywhere is to go to the zoo!
The fun thing about the Khao Kheow Zoo in Pattaya is that you can get up close to just about all the animals. There are monkeys walking freely about everywhere. There are deer that you can go up to and pet.
I’ve seen other zoos where you can feed a giraffe or maybe an elephant. Here you can feed just about everything. Rhinos, tigers, penguins, lions. All the animals are so close! Its a little scary but also very cool.
The zoo also has a free tram that you can ride around in all over the zoo and get a little respite from the intense heat.
Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens
My absolute favorite thing to do in Pattaya was to go to the Nong Nooch Botanical Gardens.
It would seem that this is everyone else’s favorite thing to do because this place was hoppin’!
They had a dinosaur exhibit. If you know me then you know I love dinosaurs so this was just about the best thing ever! My first PG-13 movie was Jurassic Park and so I have a special place in my heart for parks with dinosaurs.
They also had an insect themed exhibit. If you know me you also know that I love bugs. My dad is an entomologist so bugs are right up my alley. I know, a bit quirky, but maybe some of you will find this just as charming as I do.
Other favorite things at the gardens were of course the gorgeous golden temple…
And elephant rides!
They also had a traditional Thai performance and an elephant performance. This is a place you could easily spend all day at and we absolutely loved it! (Hence the picture overload for this section!)
Other Favorite Things to Do in Pattaya
The snorkeling, zoo, and botanical gardens were my favorite things to do but I here are my honorable mentions:
- Walking the night markets
I probably would have ranked these higher but as I was soaked from the Songkran festival it kind of knocked the enjoyment level down a notch. Imagine trying to walk half a block to the massage parlor and when you arrive you are dripping wet all over the floor. Not for me…
But you really should be getting a $10/hr full body massage every night! Trust me, Thai Massage feels amazing and where else can you get an hour massage so affordable? So yes, massages everyday are a must.
My favorite food that I tried was pork with peppers and holy basil. Delicious! There was tons of fresh seafood if you like it and tons of non-seafood options if you don’t.
I know I’m being a little hard on the involuntary wet thing but I want to emphasize that 90% of the time was awesome!
Have you ever been to Pattaya? What do you think you would enjoy most? Let me know and subscribe to hear my Top 3 Things to Do in Bangkok! Coming Soon….