Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden Pattaya

We attended a conference at the conference center in Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Pattaya. The place is located around 30 minutes away from Utapao-Rayong-Pataya International Airport by taxi. It would be another 30 minutes drive from the conference venue to Pattaya City. Well, we were right at the middle point between the airport and Pattaya City. It was a 4-day conference, thus we decided to stay in NongNooch Resort, which was just 5-minute walk to the conference venue.

We followed the trip organized by the conference organizer to visit a few places of interest around Pattaya. We went out with our fellow friends from different countries as well. The trip however, was a busy one, as we spent most of our time attending the conference. The resort was built in the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, thus we could walk around during the free time.

In fact, Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden (or NongNooch Pattaya Garden) is one of the attractions nearby Pattaya. Started as a fruit orchard, the garden was turned into tourist spot since 1980. Today, it is more like a man-made park than an orchard. We didn't see any public transport nearby. But, tourist buses were everywhere. The entrance area and the theater were crowded, while the crowd getting lesser as we walked deeper into the garden. 

The garden was more than 600 acres (some sources stated 500 acres). We took two evenings to explore around (including the cultural and elephant show), and yet to see everything in the garden. Well, we would advise to allocate at least half a day at the resort to enjoy the shows and the scenery around the garden.

The garden opened from 8 am till 7 pm. The entrance fee for garden only for adult and child (1 - 6 years old) were THB 100 and THB 50 respectively. For the garden plus cultural and elephant show, the ticket fees were THB 366 and THB 244. We didn't have to pay for the entrance fee for the garden, as we stayed inside it, but had to pay for the shows.

We reached Utapao International Airport at around 4 pm. We queued for 30 minutes at the immigration counter. The airport was small. The space outside of the arrival hall was limited (upper left), with a few counters selling tickets for taxi and mini bus (upper right). The waiting area was actually outside of the airport building (lower right). We bought a ticket for taxi from Utapao to NongNooch Resort with THB 750.

NongNooch Resort for us, was located far away from city and airport (upper left). There was a really big nice swimming pool there (upper right), with very big and comfy room (lower right). The balcony was a good place for a rest and coffee.


The resort was very nicely decorated. Exquisite wood and stone carvings could be seen everywhere, accompanied by beautiful flowers and plants.

Conference center (building on the right) was located beside a big lake. Click the picture for bigger panorama view.

There was a beautiful Butterfly Hill at the entrance. But strange, we couldn't see any butterfly there. Click the picture for bigger panorama view.

A garden with a fusion of Thailand and French Garden. Far behind was Dino Garden, which we decided to leave it behind. Click the picture for bigger panorama view.

Further from the entrance were the Cars Garden (upper left), Bromeliad Display Garden (upper right), Italian Garden (lower right), and Pottery Garden.

 There were animal models everywhere, mammoths were available in Mammoth Garden nearby the antique house (upper left), elephants in the Pottery Garden (upper right), koala (lower right), and fennec fox.

Cultural show was another big attraction of the garden. The show with combination of history, ethnics, musics, religions, sports, and even ancient war was great! We were amazed by how fast the backdrops and the decoration were changed between the transition of performance. Arranged by the conference organizer, we watched the show at the VIP area.

 The elephants were staged!

After the cultural show, the elephant show followed at the elephant theater. Elephant show was arranged at the end of the cultural show so that the visitors could see both shows continuously. Both theaters for cultural and elephant shows were located next to each other.

 The conference banquet was held on the lawn with open air stage.
The Broadway-style show with the performers from three different genders (hope you got the idea). 
Moving around the garden was easy. We could use the shuttle bus (upper left) which we could simply hop on and off. To our best estimation, the shuttle operates with 10 - 15 minutes interval. A better way to explore the garden- follow the elevated pedestrian walkway (upper right). The walkway would lead us to most of the places in the garden. Of course, we could opt to take a small round on the back of an elephant (lower right), or simply took a walk along the street.

The garden was very big. To walk around, comfortable footwear, enough drinking water, umbrella, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent, are needed. There were vendors and stalls selling souvenirs, food and drinks along the pedestrian walkway. The price was reasonable. More information about the garden is available at the official website of NongNooch Pattaya Garden.

Is this a must visit place in Pattaya? In our opinion, it depends on the purpose of your tour. If you wish to sweep all the tourist spots into your travel diary, then the garden is highly recommended. But if you visit Pattaya just for the beautiful beach and endless beers and bars along the streets, then you can forget about the garden. For us, it is a must visit place in Pattaya. We had visited it, after all.

You can read more about our experience in Thailand at:

 

3 comments:

  1. Eye-catching imagery you have shared in your post. The garden looks beautiful and impressive displays. I will also plan my visit in this vacations.

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  3. Thank you my friends. Wishing you a great trip ahead.

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