Have you been to Bangsaray before? We are routinely asked, even by tourists who have been to Pattaya many times before, for day trip itineraries that encompass lots of the region’s attractions in a single day. This is the perfect opportunity to rent a car or taxi and get out of the sprawling metropolis and explore the surrounding areas of the region. For our first-day trip itinerary, we would like to take you on a journey to explore the Bang Saray area, which is under a 30-minute drive from downtown Pattaya, merging the best of culture, cuisine and the beautiful beaches you can find outside of the city.
8 am: Nong Nooch Gardens
If you want to discover the Bangsaray region, it’s a good idea we make an early start at 7:30 am. Our first stop for the day will be at one of Pattaya’s most popular attractions at Nong Nooch Gardens. It will take approximately 30-minutes to get to the gardens, which open at 8 am every day. The gardens are set over 500 acres in size, making it one of the biggest places of its kind in the country.
Nong Nooch Gardens is most famous of course for its botanical offerings, but in fact, this place has much, much more. For starters, the gardens offer some incredible cultural shows, demonstrating to visitors some aspects of Thai culture and leaving them with a better understanding of Thailand’s history and its people. The show also includes traditional Thai dancing, which is very popular, and even elephants (one of the national symbols of Thailand) performing incredible feats. The elephants can play football, bowl, and otherwise interact with guests of all ages and sizes. This is a great way to start the day, especially for families. The admission price for adults is 500 THB per person, although it is cheaper for kids.
11:30 am: Bang Saray Beach
Literally over the road from Nong Nooch Gardens is one of the finest beaches in the area – a real rough diamond so to speak. Bang Saray Beach has a similar feel to the beaches you find in Southern Thailand; peaceful, beautiful and un-crowded. The views looking out across to Pattaya Bay are simply stunning. This is predominantly a Thai beach, although you will see a few tourists here. Surrounding the beach are vast amounts of seafood restaurants.
12:30 pm: Seafood restaurants in Bang Saray
By this time, you will probably be eager to have a spot of lunch. Bangsaray Beach has several seafood restaurants, ranging from small beachside stalls to larger restaurants resting on stilts in the sea. Here you will find some of the most sumptuous and affordable seafood in the region to take advantage of.
2 pm: Silverlake Vineyard
On your way back from Bangsaray Beach, you will see a turning for Silverlake Vineyard on the opposite side of Sukhumvit Road. Blessed with excellent soil and warm weather, Thailand is actually a fantastic spot for winemaking and grape growing, and as such is seeing an increase in the number of vineyards and wineries opening up. Silverlake, as the name suggests, is a vineyard sprawled around a large lake. You can explore the exotic gardens and vines on a makeshift train that will take you around the entirety of its grounds. Sample the wines and the ultra-tasty grape juice to complete the experience.
3:30 pm: Khao Chi Chan (Buddha Mountain)
On the same road as Silverlake, you will find Khao Chi Chan, also known as Buddha Mountain, jutting out of the earth’s crust in spectacular fashion. Opened to commemorate His Majesty The King’s Golden Jubilee in 1996, the main attraction is a mountain with a Buddha image skillfully silhouetted into the rock in gold. It’s free to enter and there are lots of gardens and pavilions to enjoy.
5pm: Viharn Sien Temple
Located on a side-road leading from Silverlake Vineyard, you will find Viharn Sien temple, which is one of the most impressive spiritual spots in Thailand. More of a museum than a normal temple, Viharn Sien houses an impressive collection of art and antiques from China and Thailand. Viharn Sien opened in 1987 with a royal blessing from King Rama IX, the current and widely respected monarch of Thailand. Ever since history buffs and those seeking inspiration have come to take in the incredible amount of history in this place’s halls. The small scaled-down model of the Terracotta Army really is something to behold.
7 pm: Back in Pattaya
After nearly 12 hours of exploring Bang Saray, you will be back in Pattaya in time for your evening meal or just in time to have an hour’s rest before sampling the best nightlife Thailand has to offer.