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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Anytime Cafe and Grill

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Anytime Cafe and Grill adds a new and delightful gastronomic experience to Pattaya and they do it with a unique style!

 

The Café is a one-of-a-kind dual concept in Pattaya of a fully equipped bake shop and fully equipped grill kitchen with both being ‘open show’ kitchens, where customers can see the Chefs at work. The bakery prepares 40-50 different types of cakes, jumbo Croissants, pastries, muffins, cookies as well as crispy French bread. The grill kitchen prepares 40-50 fusion meals of Angus Beef Tenderloin, Pork & Chicken steaks, Fish fillet, Shrimps and other grills as well as trendy salads, soups, pastas as well as Thai and Asian delights. Another major favorite is the wide selection of gourmet pizzas from the stone oven; all of course home made! They serve beautifully presented and delicious fusion foods (where east meets west) since this is what most people desire.

“Our main concern is to maximize customer satisfaction so we serve only the best by ordering the finest ingredients, preparing it the best way and serving it in the best ambiance at very reasonable prices. The concept of Anytime Café and Grill is able to provide everything on offer at anytime we are open which is from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

We serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, cake & bakery or just coffee, tea, cocktails, wine, draft beer at anytime; says the Executive Pastry Chef Khun Nut. The Café is well situated at the pictures Bali Hai Pier area to serve tourists traveling to or from the islands of Koh-larn. It is also at the end of Walking Street and next to the Siam Bayshore Hotel, so people exploring Pattaya’s #1 entertainment area are also able to relax and take a break from the tense excitement.

The 2 story beach front Designer Café, with indoor and outdoor seating options plays easy listening chill-outmusic and combined with the very comfortable furniture and cozy ambiance every guest can truly relax; some seats have seaview! Pattaya City also celebrates the successful opening of a car park located just 30 meters from Anytime Cafe which promises to solve the perennial parking problem in the area should patrons arrive by car. In addition there is a large parking lot right across the Café. (Both parking have a minimal fee.)

A new addition to Anytime Café is the very popular “Korean Snow-Ice Dessert” called BINGSU! A very high-tech machine imported from Korea produced “real snow flakes” from a milk mixture and presented beautifully in a creative way. Most popular flavor are “Mango” “Red Bean” “Chocolate Chip” and “Marshmallow Rainbow”! A must to try for either eat-in or take-away! “We want to offer not only gastronomic satisfaction but delightful experience that will be remembered.

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We serve the best because our customers are looking for memorable experiences of their happiness when in Pattaya and we want to be able to give it to them,” says Khun Pheung, Service Manager, Anytime Cafe and Grill “Even our cups and glasses are specially imported and particularly made to hold hot beverages and yet remain cool to the touch, while retaining heat for the drink inside. We invest more and work hard to provide that goal of experience with unadulterated happiness” she added. Another special delicacy is the “Anytime Master Piece Kebab” (Baht 499.- ) which is inspired from Persian cuisine with a fusion touch and it is impressive in its presentation.

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In it are imported Australian Beef, German Nuremberger Sausage, specially marinated pork, chicken and other goodies. Furthermore there is a “Shrimp Kebab” ready for those guests who prefer grilled seafood! “Our Australian Angus Tenderloin Steak (B 699.-) is always a top favoured by our guests who prefer beef and this dish comes with a free Mushroom soup” says Khun Pheung! Other new delicacies offered include new pasta, “Agilio Olio” with shrimps, Parma ham or sausage (from B 199.-), and Anytime Scallops Avocado Orange Salad (B 289.-). The first is slightly spicy pasta with a delightful garlic flavor while the latter is a healthy mix of “rocket” greens and other vegetables.

“Other offers are our wide variety of gourmet cakes with the Mango and tropical fruit rolls are a big hit or the Banoffee cake plus our home made Ice cream (Gelato) served either by the scoop or in a variation of fancy coupes and the Belgium waffles are not to be missed; of which all of them are course made on the premises” added Chef Nat! The Café & Grill is well situated at the Bali Hai Pier area to serve tourists traveling to or from the islands of Koh-larn. It is also at the end of Walking Street, so people exploring Pattaya’s most famous entertainment area are able to relax and take a break from the tense excitement. “We prepare our cakes and pastries daily from scratch and fresh and we use only the best flour, butter and other ingredients” adds Khun Nat. You will taste the difference because we offer gourmet quality in everything we serve. ”The Café‘s bakery is also open to the public where one can buy bread and other bakery items that are uniquely different for just take-away.

The Café also offers whole cakes by the pound from 1-5 pounds or at any special weight, shape and design as desired by the guests for any occasion from birthdays, anniversaries or even weddings! The Café maintains a six page drink list where one can order all types of special gourmet coffee, tea, bottle and draft beers and wine. Wine of about 40 various vintages and great quality, is imported from many countries of the “new and old worlds of wine productions”.

Special wine is also available in the retail section for take-away! The Café can seat a maximum of 100 guests (inside and outdoors) at any one time. Designed by Malaysian based company, “East Indies” headed by Malaysian Mr. Soo, the restaurant is chic, trendy and contemporary yet cozy and homey. Its large glass windows allow for great sea views towards the west and a nice view of the street for people watching towards the east. All décor is modern yet warm and comfortable.

“It cost millions to achieve the effect of being welcoming and warm but we had to invest to create the ambiance that will engender experience that people want to remember”, says Khun Nat. Having worked as an Executive Chef for many years he is well versed on the art of indulging delicious delicacies with the right ambiance for full satisfaction.

As the Café is a 2 floor affair the second floor is able to hold private parties of up to 50 people. “We also provide free cake to 4 or more people celebrating birthdays or other occasions” say Khun Nat. The Café also has a retail and souvenir section in the ground floor that sells all the food and beverage items, specialty sandwiches, Bingsu, ice cream, fresh juices etc for take-away which is great for tourists going to the Island of Koh-Larn plus special items like organic blooming tea, Anytime Café (private label) organic wild honey & jams, unique restaurant items like Polo-shirts and hats, and unique souvenirs as part of their effort to provide memories worth to remember.

“We want to offer the best experience so we do provide the best service” says Khun Phueng. “We have a staff of 25 employees well trained in the restaurant business to serve customers. To make sure that customers do not feel unattended we have installed a wireless service call system which when a button is pressed an electronic board lights up the table number as well as shown in a wrist band of supervisors, guaranteeing fast service. It is high tech to provide better service and not to replace it”.

Anytime Café celebrates 3 years of tremendous success thus has become a must visit for locals and tourists alike due to it’s gastronomic innovation and superior service, fantastic ambiance and prime location! Anytime Cafe also offers a very unique Membership Card for guests who like to become regular patrons; not be missed! So, don’t wait nor hesitate and make your way to “anytime Cafe Pattaya”!

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Feeding the monkeys at Sammuk Hill

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Some tourists in Pattaya think of something else other than the beach thing. They go to Sammuk Hill in Bangsaen and feed some monkeys. That is not to say Pattaya’s attractions are not great, but a day with the cuddly primates is, indeed, another story.

Sammuk Hill is just a short distance from Bangsaen beach and features the shrine of Chao Mae Khao Sammuk, a Chinese girl who, according to one version of the story, committed suicide by throwing herself into the cliff, after her parents refused to give her the blessing to marry her lover. The entire hill is inhabited by wild monkeys, but can be hand-fed if you have bananas.

If you go more than picture-taking and want to do this and you don’t have anything to give, fruit vendors, who ply their trade on Sammuk hill, will provide. The top of the hill where the shrine is located can be reached by cars. The road is winding but not steep so that you don’t have to rev up your vehicle beyond necessary. Besides, monkeys do exercise their liberty, crossing the road at will.

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You don’t want having a bad day after killing one instantly with your rubberized tires! There are those who hike their way up the hill. If you do this and you’re over 40, make sure you had taken a dozen of energy drinks prior to embarking on this short journey. Halfway up the road is the first stop, though. Take a rest, deep breath, under a shelter, and enjoy a spectacular view of the sea. Right here is a relatively large tree where lazy and overfed monkeys take their nap.

If you need additional energy to reach the top, buy a bunch of bananas and do feed yourself first, before you do to your ancestors. Look through the thick trees and bushes beside the road. You’ll find a lot of baby monkeys, breast-feeding mothers, and banana-belied males. Most of the time, especially when many other people have come before you, the monkeys will not even throw a glance at your bananas. You need quail eggs to lure them towards you for the photos. This is a more expensive commodity around here, but it is readily available.p3

The top of the hill is a watering hole in itself. There is a car parking area. The shrine is never without people around it, devotees and curious onlookers alike. Ironically, despite its sad story, people worship it for luck and to improve on their love relationship. Another legend has it that this spot was used as “Lover’s Leap” where couples kill themselves after making a vow to their forbidden love.

Still another tale says that the shrine was built in memory of a fisherman’s wife who waited atop the hill for her husband who was lost at sea. They are not so sure, of course. It’s an old tale and we are talking here of an 18th century story. — Jony Reese

OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN BANGSAEN • Bangsaen Beach, ideal for swimming, windsurfing and other water sports. • Wat Saensook, where there are many statues, describing hell and heaven stories. • Ang Sila Village, where large oysters, lobsters and shells are kept in a fisherman’s farm. Also in this village are many stone handicraft factories, where you will be surprised at the craftsmanship skills of artisans in creating beautiful sculptures out of stone boulders.

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Rim Talay Seafood Restaurant Celebrates 7 years with complete makeover

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Opened 7 years ago, Rim Talay restaurant celebrates its 7th birthday with a complete makeover from top to bottom. “We are so happy to celebrate 7 years of successful operations for which we thank our many customers from around the world,” says Khun Kanuengsuk Prungpluem (Khun Oy) the general manager. “Our new renovations will reflect customer wishes so that we are able to provide better facilities and services. It is one of the ways we thank our customers for their continued custom by listening to their suggestions.” When the restaurants first opened its doors 7 years ago on the beach at Half Moon Bay at the end of Soi 18, next to the Centara Grand Mirage Resort the area was not very well known and there were thoughts that customers would not know to find the place.

However customers came and found the location perfect and the restaurant’s presence helped generate more traffic in the beach area so that today the beach is a very popular place for people seeking refuge from crowds off the main beach in Pattaya. Rim Talay’s new renovations start right at the beginning when customers enter the restaurant. Here they have created the biggest “seafood restaurant market” in Pattaya.

 

First they transformed one of their shrimp fishing pools into the largest seafood display pool in Pattaya where customers can choose live seafood like king lobsters, rock lobsters, river prawns, Fish and so forth swimming for customers to select prior to cooking. In addition they also have around 10 large glass aquariums where fresh live seafood and fish are kept for customers to eyeball.

Morever they have kept another pool nearby for their very popular fresh shrimp fishing where customers can try their luck skills with fishing for shrimps. A fun activity that is easy to do, but requires a bit of skill in order to master. This has been one of their signature fun activities and remains very popular. The restaurant cooks shrimp caught for customers with the slogan “you do the fishing and we do the cooking”.

Next to the live seafood pool customers pass through the fresh chilled food area where seafood are kept for people that prefer not to order live fish. Then customers pass near the grill area and kitchen next to it where they have a staff of 25 cooks busy with many orders. The cooks are specialists in seafood cooking as well as in the preparation of imported steaks.

The second floor is kept as the place to view the beautiful Half Moon Bay and is very popular particular during sunsets. The second floor area is reduced a bit to allow for more open roof space for the first floor terrace. “The second floor we have redecorated a bit to allow for private parties and other functions. Customers wanting to celebrate specials events like birthdays and such and can now have a better private area to celebrate” says Khun Oy. “Our redecorations of mainly white themes keep the mood of casual and relaxed elegance to reflect the spirit of the restaurant and mirror the beauty of the ambiance of the dark blue sea, white clouds, long golden sandy beach and lush greenery of our tropical garden areas.

Sunsets are often spectacular with the sun sliding into the distant ocean’s edge”! The biggest change is on the first floor or the “Sunset View Terrace” as they call the area. The area has been expanded doubling its capacity with more open sky space with the removal of part of the floor of the second floor. A retractable awning has been installed to allow for a roof cover in case of inclement weather. “This means more of our customers can dine under the stars while enjoying one of the best seafood in Pattaya” says Khun Oy. “Rim Talay is the only seafood restaurant that offers full service dining experience right on the beach for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner in Pattaya and we intend of keep and improve on this tradition,” according to Khun Oy. During the day there are dozens of sun beds for customers who wish to enjoy the sun while dining. In the evening more tables and relaxing beach sofas are set up according to demand so customers are able to dine under the stars with the ocean practically lapping at their feet.

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“Rim Talay is the only seafood restaurant that offers full service dining experience right on the beach for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner in Pattaya and we intend of keep and improve on this tradition,” according to Khun Oy. During the day there are dozens of sun beds for customers who wish to enjoy the sun while dining. In the evening more tables and relaxing beach sofas are set up according to demand so customers are able to dine under the stars with the ocean practically lapping at their feet. As an added innovation and a conversation piece they have also transformed a ‘tuk-tuk’ to become a draft beer bar, which is parked in the beach area. In addition to beer the restaurant maintains an excellent selection of wines from around the world for customers who want to choose the right wine with their meals. There are also tempting tropical cocktails served throughout the day. “We provide friendly and professional service together with our truly delicious seafood as well as imported steaks. Our wine selections go well with most dishes. We also have Australian or Canadian steaks, which we keep chilled to keep its unique flavors, as well as Thai, Asian and European food. We also offer New Zealand mussels, Norwegian salmon, and Thai specialties all at compatible prices because we want customers to return. Advertising and “word-of-mouth” are our marketing strategies and it has worked well for us,” according to Khun Oy.

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The main menu is spectacular boosting over 200 items of seafood, steaks, Thai and European food and each menu item has a photograph of the actual dish plus describing each dish in 5 languages (Thai, English, German, Chinese and Russian). Khun Oy further mentioned; “We also added a completely new and chic as well as romantic and relaxing “Chill-out-Zone” in front of the beach with cozy furniture, sparkling lights and a special chill-out-menu offering “Stone Oven Pizza” and other delicious items besides our international variety of seafood, steaks, Thai and Asian delights. Since we opened the “Chill-out- Zone” it quickly became a hit with our guests!” Another new addition is the “TukTuk Beach Bar” located right in front of the beach with breathtaking views and offering a wide varieties of drinks from draft beer to tropical cocktails, wine and delicious Mock-tails all of which are also available for take-away while strolling along the beach!