Major beauty overload this past weekend-my camera (and eyes) is in heaven. Since our weekends are free, we’ve been trying to pack up our weekends with as many mini-travels as possible. Just a couple of hours away from Bangkok is the beautiful Pattaya, which is filled with beautiful beaches, in close proximity to islands and it’s the perfect weekend getaway.
Funny story. On our way to Pattaya, we asked a driver how to get to Pattaya using our broken Thai, and he asked, “Pad thai?” Thought it was pretty hilarious, but we were able to find the vans after repeating “Pattaya” multiple times. (For future reference, it’s called “Pat-tay-YA” hahah).
From here, we got a songthaew to take us to Nong Nooch botanical tropical garden. They call it “paradise on earth”, and they weren’t exaggerating. This picture was taken at The French Garden, which has one of the most stunning views I’ve ever seen. Supposedly this place has even won many architectural landscape design awards, and it’s no surprise why.
Love how intricate these designs are.
Jess, my roommate! So lucky to have found a travel buddy and a boba buddy (literally we’ve gotten boba almost every single day).
The botanical garden incorporates a lot of world themes with different parts of the garden, complete with a mini replica of Stonehenge.
A view of the Four-Faced god, which is in another section of the botanical garden.
After our morning at Nong Nooch, we headed back to our hostel to drop our stuff off and headed over to Jomtien Beach, which I had found on TripAdvisor.
Nothing too spectacular, and since it’s closer to rainy season the waters weren’t as clear as I had expected (from the pictures online), and there was a lot of trash in the water which was pretty disappointing. I think a lot of beaches here also do this for safety precautions, but you can see buoys lining all around the waters to mark designated swim areas.
Thank you for slapping my butt while I’m taking my nap to ward off all the mosquitoes attacking my defenseless, sleeping self. True friendship.
After the beach, we treated ourselves to a nice 180 baht massage and took a nice walk through the city to get to this Big Buddha up at Wat Phra Yai temple.
After dinner we headed back to our hostel to meet up with the rest of our group, most of whom had spent the day at Sanctuary of Truth, which we unfortunately didn’t have time to visit this time around. At night, we headed to the famous Pattaya walking street for some dinner, but it wasn’t quite what we had hoped for since this part of Pattaya is actually considered the red light district…
Anyways, we went back to our hostel at night and hung out a bit (aka did some of my assigned readings…) but we woke up bright and early the next day to get ourselves on the ferry over to Koh Larn, otherwise known as Coral Islands. I’ve been craving a beach escape ever since entering the city, and I was so happy when I stepped out onto the pier and saw these waters.
Our whole group decided to rent motorbikes and ride around the island for the day, and it was quite the thrilling adventure. Lots of hills in this area, so it wasn’t as peaceful as the time I rode around in Koh Lanta, but totally worth our money.
Our first stop at Koh Larn was Nual Beach, which was in the most southern part of the island. Apparently you can find monkeys on this part of the beach, although we didn’t find any. Spent a couple of hours here just soaking up the sun (so lucky with the perfect weather this weekend), just enjoying the ocean and taking a break from the classroom and the city.
Didn’t find monkeys on the beach, but there were plenty of stray dogs AND puppies AND kittens everywhere!! Including this one that reminded me so much of lil Twinkie when he was a puppy. This was at Tien Beach and we enjoyed the rest of our afternoon here tanning (and burning).
Michael got himself a nice neapolitan ice cream sundae in a sweet bread bun for the long journey home!
Bye, Pattaya! Thanks for such a beautiful and perfect weekend!