Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden: Pattaya’s Royal Pride

This day trip to Pattaya is actually not part of my final itinerary. Simply because I know it’s far from Bangkok and I don’t think my companions will enjoy the long journey. So, I scratched it out from the plan.

But then a friend of ours who works in Bangkok convinced me to visit the town as it has a lot more to offer – of course she mentioned this beautiful botanical garden which I’m very familiar with, thanks to Google. She also helped us facilitate our transportation in Pattaya so we can visit the floating market, one famous palace, and two more extra sites. And the next thing we knew, we were inside the van, traversing the one of the expressways of Thailand. It was a grueling 3 hour ride. And yes, my companions complained about the long and winding journey. I was worried about the expenses for that day because it wasn’t part of my budget. But I think it was all worth it.

Entrance fee (foreigners – 500, locals - 200)

Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is a 500 hectare garden centre and tourist attractin in Pattaya. Its also a major scientific center dedicated to cycads, with its own Ccyad Gene Bank. They once won the Chelsea Flower Show organized by the Royal Horticultural Society in London. - wiki

You cannot leave the premises of Nong Nooch without being overwhelmed with the scenic beauty of different flora and fauna. I know my mom, how she loves flowers and plants, and I know this place is like another heaven for her. It was indeed a treat, according to her. But it was just disappointing that I can no longer afford to let her ride an elephant as it was very expensive, 400 baht. The elephant will tour you around the garden which will only take less than an hour. They had another option though. That is to take a shuttle car for 100 baht each, for 35 minutes I guess. It has two stops, to give visitors chance to take pictures. I did not join them. I wanted to feel the amazing garden myself, be one with nature for a moment…

It’s easy to roam around the botanical garden as it is has covered walkways that makes it easy to get to one place to the other. Although, at some point, I had to walk in an open area, where, my skin and the sun kissed again. But with this view, who cares if I get tanned. *tan talaga!* (I still have tan lines on my feet from my flip flops..haha!) If it wasn’t too hot, I would love to walk all day in every corner of the garden to maximize my 500 baht entrance fee. I am not really a plant enthusiast, but seeing different plants and flower meticulously arranged into great, stunning landscape, it will surely take your breath away.


Nong Nooch Botanical Graden isn’t just about flower and plants. They also have cultural show to educate visitors of the historic background of Thai traditions. Refer to their website for the schedule. After our garden tour, we went to their theater to witness the cultural show. It has Thai and English narration which is good, though you can hardly understand the English version of it. The show depicts the beginning of the rich culture of Thailand. From different forms traditional dance to sword fighting to drum beating to the origins of Muay Thai, kingdom battles and a lot more.

After the colorful cultural show, we transferred to yet another show – the famous elephant show. Personally, I had no interest watching it. I mean, I have seen them on TV, several times, in different shows, different channels. But since it’s a free show, might as well take advantage of it. Besides, my mom was so eager to witness it.

It's like these elephants are trained to extort money from the audience. They can smell money from your hands. Once you give it to them, they’ll hand it over to the one manning them. Bananas are being sold in the arena for 40baht – and in less than a second it’s already inside the elephants belly. Walang nguya nguya!  Mom had a chance to feed one of the elephant with 20 baht – and she was so excited and thrilled about it. Haha

It was fun watching the gigantic creatures doing amazing tricks like basketball, holahoops, bowling and painting. Yes, they paint – on t-shirts – and they’re selling it for 500 baht. They have a lot of elephant painted shirts displayed in an area (sa araw araw ba naming nagpi paint ang elepante sa show) but I think it’s just too expensive. And as their finale, they danced the phenomenal Gangnam style, that gave much delight to the audience. It was really cute.

Should you get hungry from touring around the garden and watching the shows, there are a lot of restaurants and food stalls inside the park to satisfy your stomachs… and more souvenir shops to empty your pockets. Haha.

We didn’t stay much long in Nong Nooch as we had to visit one more site in the town – the Pattaya Floating Market.


  1. hi! thanks to your blog.. We plan to visit nong nooch garden next month. hehee Magkano ang pamasahe nyo papunta pattaya? nagtour ba kau? Anong pangalan ng tour provider? thanks :)
    more power!

  2. hi, van fare from BKK Victory Monument is 100baht... we had a private tour, it was arranged by a friend... sorry don't have the details.. pwede naman pagdating nyo sa pattaya, you can just hire a cab, then sabihin nyo lang sa nong nooch garden centre.. hehe.. thanks.