Amazing Underwater World

p5Touted as Asia’s largest and most modern ocean aquarium, Underwater World Pattaya is sure to delight anyone who visits this 100-meter long, 6.4-centimeter thick acrylic pedestrian tunnel filled with hundreds of fascinating and wonderful sea creatures. Get a glimpse of your favorite sea animal in motion and more, including the rare shovelnose ray, a hybrid between a shark and a stingray.

Located just 200 meters south of Tesco Lotus in South Pattaya, this 12-Rai theme park is neatly packed in a structure similar to a large circus tent. “This enables the place to have natural light that nurtures the algae The aquarium houses more than 4,000 marine animals, comprising more than 200 different species from the region as well as some rare creatures from overseas,” explained David Hong, general manager and project investor.

p4Your Underwater World journey begins at the shallow “Touch Pool” area where visitors can see and interact with live marine animals like sharks, stingrays, turtles, starfishes, seahorses, different fish, seaweeds, corals in multitude colors, small creatures, among other species. Visitors will then proceed down to the state-of-the-art acrylic underwater tunnel which is divided into three zones. The first part is themed “Reef Zone” featuring coral reef. Next is “Sharks and Rays Zone” showcasing sharks, stingrays p3and other creatures from the deepest part of the sea. The last is the “Shipwrecks Zone” showcasing various kinds of edible fish. Get lost and enthralled with these amazing sea creatures which can only be seen at Underwater World Pattaya but don’t forget to flash that smile when you get your souvenir photos.

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Thai sweetmeats fit for royalty

 

p1They look like miniature fruits and vegetables such as chilies, cherries, mangosteens, oranges, mangoes, bananas, etc. They taste sweet, smell fragrant, and appear attractive and colorful. They are called luk chub. In the old days, luk chub were the sweetmeats made for the king of Siam, after meals in the palace.

The skill of making these little sweetmeats could be learned only from people working in the palace. Nowadays, eating luk chub is not limited to palace people. However, they remain as the sweetmeats for high-society people since they are rather expensive and Thais usually present them to their superiors on special occasions like New Year’s Day, birthdays, or as a gift.

p2To make luk chub, the basic ingredients are ground mung beans, sugar coconut cream, clear gelatin, and food coloring. Ground bean paste is mixed with sugar before coconut cream is added. The mixture then is heated over a gentle fire until it becomes sticky. After leaving it cool, the mixture is taken to be molded into the desired shapes of fruits and vegetables. This important step needs good dexterity.

Every curve and line requires a very gentle touch to shape the mixture into the miniature fruits or vegetables. But the size of each piece is limited by the amount of mixture that can be made to hold together. Then the little models are painted in various colors. When dry, they are dipped in clear gelatin. The sweetmeats can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three weeks. Nowadays luk chub are not as commonly found as other Thai sweats. They are sold only in some shops selling Thai desserts

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Luxuriating in Pattaya’s spas

p1Thai massage may have been around for centuries but the first spas had nothing to do with massage or even with herbs, mud, wraps, peel-off masks and other skin-cleansing treatments. The word “Spa” is said to be the acronym for sanom per aqua, which is Greek for “health through water.” In ancient times, people in Bali used healing water and therapeutic massage regularly a practice that eventually evolved into a business and become known as mandara spa.

p2This is probably where the concept behind the establishment of spas originated. With the arrival of tourists in the 1980’s, a stay at a spa became part of a holiday package. But today’s spa is more than just health and beauty treatments. It is about luxurious facilities, complete privacy and constant pampering. In short, it is the ultimate in gateways. As a seaside resort city,

Pattaya is a preferred location for spas because of its relaxing and idyllic atmosphere. Many spas are part of health resorts. In Pattaya ther

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e are spas that cater to every whim, be it losing weight, getting in top shape or simply relaxing. They offer the elements needed for a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition, physical-fitness activities, body treatments, medical evaluation, behavioral-management counseling, stress management, holistic methods, spiritual growth, movement therapy, exercise physiology and more.

While not all of them are spa centers in the strictest sense of the word (some facilities have nothing more than massage rooms, saunas and Jacuzzi), one thing can be said about them: they offer comfort and convenience. They try to give their guests not just body treatments but a totally unforgettable experience. And this is obvious in the way spa interiors and designed-extravagantly lavish and a luxuriously exclusive. Even better, there’s always that unique Thai touch that makes a stay more pleasurable.

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Nong Nooch Tropical Garden : Sub-head : All-in-one entertainment in a magnificent garden

p1Nong Nooch stands for beauty. The sprawling garden of 600 acres 20 minutes away from Pattaya City is indeed a spectacular tourist destination not only worthy of your visit but also something to tell about. Dubbed “an island of serenity,” Suan Nong Nooch, or Nong Nooch Tropical Garden is one of the biggest and most beautiful gardens in Southeast Asia. Aside from its 27 huge gardens, Nong Nooch also offers elephant shows, cultural shows and many other events. Nong Nooch also breeds several species of orchids and unusual plants and trees.

Huge tropical ferns are noticeable almost immediately upon arrival, and the fragrance of flowers enhances the relaxing ambiance. “We have about 2,500 species of palm trees including those that were locally bred here,” says Adul Chaiparb, Nong Nooch’s tour coordinator. It also has a man-made waterfall that perfectly complements the natural surroundings, while the Nong Nooch Lake serves as the feeding ground of birds and fish indigenous to this part of Thailand. Experience the tranquility of it all by paddling a canoe on the lake. Also in the garden is a village and a cultural center.

p4Watch a performance featuring regional dances daily. Get a glimpse also of other Thai traditions, including martial arts, religious ceremonies. See craftsmen making handicrafts. Highly entertaining is the elephant show. These beasts of burden are surpassingly nimble and can perform a number of tricks. They can even dance and give a massage! Three shows are held daily (10:15 a.m., 3 p.m. and 3.45 p.m.). Try the best of Thai and international cuisine as well as seafood specialties.

p5Visitors can stay in Thai-style cottage houses made of teak. Facilities also include a swimming pool. Transport services available. For more information and booking, call 038-429321 or 038-425748. USEFUL INFORMATION The garden is constantly developing and evolving, creating new interests for returning visitors. Nong Nooch garden is also dedicated to education, preservation and research as well as the conservation of the world’s largest palm collection, the largest variety of Orchids in Thailand and other tropical flora and fauna.

How the garden started In 1954, Khun Prasit and Khun Nongnooch Tansacha acquired 1,500 rais of rolling hills and valleys at Km. 163 on Sukhumvit Road to be used as fruit plantation. But as fate may have it, Khun Nongnooch, during her trip abroad, was inspired by the beauty of the world-renowned gardens and decided to make property a botanical conservation garden. The garden was later turned into a tourist attraction with Thai style houses, cottages, villas, seminar halls, banquet halls, swimming pool, restaurants, as well as other facilities. Opened to the public in 1980, the garden was named “Suan Nong Nooch” after Khun Nongnooch. Suan means garden. At present, more than 2,000 visitors from around the world visit the garden daily.

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Sugar Hut Resort… Keeping the Thai Tradition Alive

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Pattaya has fully embraced modernity just like the rest of other areas frequented by tourists in the Kingdom of Thailand but some traditions are still well kept alive creating a wonderful blend of modern conveniences and ancient Thai lifestyle. That’s exactly what you’ll find and feel at Sugar Hut Resort, a family-owned enterprise nurtured through the years, which offers a unique experience living in an old Thai-style house. Set away in secluded jungle-like surroundings where animals like peacocks and rabbits freely roam around, Sugar Hut boasts of elevated wooden villas each with a serene and beautiful garden-like bathroom with traditional earthen Thai jar and a deck area that separates the bedroom from the living room. “You can barely see Thai-style house in Pattaya. It’s mostly high-rise buildings,” says Yanin Viravaidya, general manager of Sugar Hut Resort and a second-generation scion of a medical doctor who established the resort. Yanin says their resort offers “an escape from the whole hectic city” and a chance to relive in a wooden traditional Thai-style house without sacrificing the conveniences of the modern-day era. Each villa has an elevated bed with a beautifully- laden mosquito net. Each bathroom has hot and cold water and a rain-shower for that that earthly jungle-feel. The living room is equipped with a mini refrigerator and a cozy sofa where you can hang out or unwind.

There are three swimming pools around the resort, each with wet and dry saunas. Non-guests can also avail of these amenities for just 1,000 Baht per person per day. Nearby is a restaurant where you can sample some of the best Thai dishes you can find. The resort also has a lounge area where you can read books or magazines, learn more about Thai culture or simply to chill out. And there’s more—Sugar Hut can arrange boat trips, scuba diving or even a brief tour to the city. Yanin assures their staff are always ready to help guests to make their stay in Thailand truly amazing. For more info: visit http://www.sugar-hut.com or call (66-038) 428-374 or 364-185.

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Let your hair down At Walking Street

A VISIT to the Walking Street is always a highlight of one’s tour of Pattaya. Its unique ambiance is an experience in itself that is amazing and captivating. Upon entering it, you get a sense of a free-spirited lifestyle. You can’t help but be overwhelmed by the cacophony of sounds all around, prompting you to let go and let your hair down as well. Part of the Walking Street’s charm is its spontaneity. You do as you please, as long, of course, as it is within the bounds of the law and decency.

The wide span of its street serves as the center stage where various activities take place. There is a continuous flow of people coming from all directions, many of them seeking new adventures. These adventures can include the gastronomic kind. You can either have fine dining or go for street food from street-smart entrepreneurs who post their menus, right on lampposts along the street. Many of the menus are written in Thai, which is baffling considering that most visitors are foreign tourists.

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Those with fetish for the macabre can go and watch a native snake charmer as he cheats death every time he dodges the deadly strike of a seething cobra that sends some in the audience to jump from their seats when the snake becomes too close for comfort. One may opt for extreme adventure of adult shows, available at a wave of the hand to peddlers disguised as, well, software or music CD vendors. For the lonely at heart, there is the adventure of a lifetime. And that is to pursue the girl of your dream by going for the stools where a bevy of lovely and heavily made up girls (beware: some are katoeys). Walking Street is not for the moralist or the plain bigot. It is for those who truly seek adventure wherever they may be found.

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