No kidding, Pattaya is way more than a famous party place for adults. Thailand’s eternally popular seaside town has a surprising side to it that makes it a wonderland for families with children; packed with wholesome family fun – as I was amazed to discover recently. Know more about these new attractions, some you’re probably hearing for the first time!
Like the incredible stroll in a see-through tunnel, with fish watching you right under the ocean. A new spectacular stage show ‘Kaan’, that’s wowing even showbiz pros from Las Vegas. An art museum that tricks your eyes into believing something impossible. A waterpark that makes all else seem like a tiny fountain. And hey, we haven’t even come to the beach yet!
1. Ramayana Water Park: No swimming skills required – just sliding
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You may have been to waterparks before but never as big as this one, or this fun. With 21 different slides, it’s a day-long roller-coaster of joy. There’s utmost safety – 100 alert guards are at watch here. Get even the timid ones into a secure life-saver tube, go spinning down the circular slide and splash into the lazy river ride. By now everyone gets hooked!
The sky-fall vertical drop is a good warm-up to tempt the braver ones onto Aqualoop, and then to Aquaconda (if you thought of a gigantic endless winding snake, you’re right). In between, there are pitstops to fuel up with delicious eats. You may wonder suddenly “But why is it called Ramayana?” Well, that’s a story for another day!
Note: Ramayana Water Park is 20 km from Pattaya. The rides here operate 365 days.
Price: Adult – 1090 baht, Child – 890 baht
2. Underwater World’s Ocean-floor Walk: Who let the sharks out?
It’s a lot like scuba diving. But you don’t get wet, (or eaten up alive). You’ll be as wide-eyed with wonder as your kids, walking along a unique 105-meter acrylic see-through tunnel, where sharks with mean grins and gigantic stingrays swim inches over your head. Some astonishing creatures may keep your kids speechless with awe – till they ‘find Nemo’ and break into excited babbles. Ever thought fish could be fed with feeding bottles? Well here, kids can actually sit and bottle-feed the adorable koi fish. They’ll be talking about this forever, plus all that they learnt at the touch and feel Ocean Class.
The daredevil diver in your group could surprise you all by even diving right in from above with scuba gear as you stand ready to Instagram it with video camera-phones!
Price: Adult – 500 baht & Child – 300 baht
3. The spectacular KAAN stage show. Now running to gob-smacked audiences
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This newest stage wizardry by the amazing Thais is wowing world audiences. Never miss this swash-buckling adventure of a young man Kaan’s fantasy trip as he gets sucked into a magical storybook. Actual ships ‘float’ onto the stage, dancing pirates leap around, fire-breathing beasts battle with brave Kaan and quite suddenly, a gigantic mythical monster with glowing eyes comes right out of nowhere above and onto the gasping, cheering audience!
The lightning-fast stage changes even feature dancing horses and adorable baby elephants. Familiar themes from Ramayana are woven in – wait till your children watch the ‘hanumans’ and their antics. More than an hour of stunning entertainment with hi-tech special effects. The cast of hundreds even poses for photographs with your family. The experience is totally unforgettable and unmissable.
Price: Adult/Child – 2500 baht and up
4. ART in Paradise: Watch out! These paintings are ‘alive’
Your children will laugh a lot – but also learn a lot, about the world’s famous paintings. This utterly quirky and clever art museum has startling 3-D tricks, like cleverly painted shadows added on, to make every real handpainted-picture interactive with loads of funny photo opportunities.
A popular visit, Art in Paradise is just a 15-minute drive from Pattaya City centre. Despite all the giggles and leg-pulls, a tour of the attraction is an enjoyable, educational experience.
Price: Adult – 500 baht & Child – 300 baht
5. Pattaya Beach sports: Water lotta fun
Here are all the beach fun and games your water-crazy family loves. After your experience at Ramayana Water Park, parasailing here will be a breeze. Never miss out on the banana boat ride where your whole family can sit, sail and scream together. There are also other thrillers like jet skiing and water-boarding. Snorkelling and scuba diving also await the adventurous at Coral Island close to Pattaya Beach.
Now that’s a summer well spent.
Price: Parasailing – 600 baht, Banana Boat – 600 baht for a group of 5, Jet Ski – 700 baht for a couple.
About the Author:
Indu appeared to be married to her career in Advertising, but always carried on an illicit relationship with travel writing. A top prize in a Lonely Planet contest led to recklessly quitting her cushy JWT job and joining Travel To Care, reviewing 70 eco-friendly destinations around India. A visit to Greece led to a travelogue (disguised as a romantic novel) called Runaway Writers. Indu now frequently runs away to travel, to write; in between panic attacks on whether there are enough blank pages in her passport.
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