With such a multitude of great cultural attractions in Pattaya, it can be difficult for travelers to decide what cannot be missed when visiting Thailand’s number one resort town. It is important to research, read reviews, and devise where the most central location for staying in Pattaya is, before making any decision on which attractions to visit.
Make a To-Do List
As with any vacation, it is important for travelers to make a list of “must-see” attractions. This prevents tourists missing out on an attraction they really wanted to see. By researching ahead of time, it is possible to get the most out of what time a traveler has in Pattaya. Those planning on staying in Pattaya for a couple of days can head off to the Holiday Inn Pattaya, a Pattaya beachfront hotel with rooms facing the seafront. Guests can plan their excursions by figuring out what the best route and transportation is for the cultural attractions they want to visit during their stay.
Wat Phra Yai (Big Buddha Hill)
Wat Phra Yai, more popularly known as Big Buddha Hill, has the largest image of Buddha in all of Chonburi province. The Buddha image was constructed in 1977 and measures an astounding 18 meters in height. Located south of the city, the Buddha image is visible, even from far away, and is located at the top of Pratamnak Hill. The pathway to the Buddha image is long and is flanked by Naga Snakes on both sides of the stairs. The temple is an active place of worship, and both locals and foreigners visit Wat Phra Yai to pay respect, and pray for happiness and good fortune, among other things.
Viharn Sien – Anek Kusala Sala
Also located south of the main city of Pattaya, Viharn Sien is a temple that has been converted into a museum. The museum hosts a distinctive assortment of artifacts and architecture, believed to be the only collection like it outside of China. The museum is open from 8am until 5pm daily, and there is a 50 THB fee to enter. While the architecture is stunning, the real treasure of this temple turned museum is the rare collection of Chinese artifacts and antiques. The museum houses a collection of Chinese pottery, spanning several dynasties. Statues of eighteen Shaolin monks are also housed at the museum, each statue displaying a martial art form which has been actively used for fifteen centuries.
One of the most unique items in the museum, and the main reason for it qualifying as a great cultural attraction, is the Terracotta Army. Visitors can view stunning terracotta figures of warriors, chariots, and horses from the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi, along with a golden throne. Viharn Sien is one of the few places in the world where tourists can view a terracotta army of this magnitude outside of China. The museum also has a section dedicated to Thai art and history. Tourists can view a multitude of paintings depicting the history of Thailand’s greatest kings, and how Thais were freed from Burmese occupation.
Sanctuary of Truth
The Sanctuary of Truth is a gigantic wooden construction, made from teak wood, and stands 105 meters high. An exquisitely carved structure, it is a one of a kind attraction. The Sanctuary of Truth is a unique fusion of religion, philosophy, art, and culture. Although not a temple, or place of worship, the structure gives the allusion of being a hybrid of both.
Pattaya Floating Market
Although more touristy than historically accurate, the Pattaya Floating Market, is an interesting place to visit while in Pattaya. The market offers guests the opportunity to visit the 114 shops and water vendors who sell authentic Thai food, desserts, and other specialties from all over Thailand. For tourists who want to real floating market experience, there are man-powered boats for hire, for only 200THB. The market offers a unique combination of North, Issan (Northeast), South, and Central Thailand cultural items and foods.
With the many great cultural attractions in Pattaya, it is a difficult decision for tourists to choose what they must visit first, but hopefully no matter which attraction they visit they will be awed by Thailand’s artistry and cultural significance.