This trip is quiet simple. I just happen to have 3 days holiday and my itchy travel feet would like to go on journey so I plan the short trip nearby. Chilling trip and try out some new places to travel (for me), therefore I plan my trip into 3 places which include watching lantern at Alangkarn theater, Sai Kaew beach in Sattahip and jump to eat soft-shell crab at Klung district, Chanthaburi province.
I start my journey from Lopburi at 5'o clock in the morning, driving on Motorway route and filling my stomach at Nai Thuek Gai Hub Bon.
The restaurant condition as you could see in this picture. The chicken here might be backyard chicken as its meat is quite sticky.
First menu that we order is Chopped Chicken, looks simple and average tasting actually. If it is hotter than this, it might be much more delicious.
Stir Fried Crispy Chicken in Chili Sauce, although the food looks not great it is yummy, I just can't stop eating it. They fried chicken just like frying cracklings, so the chicken can keep its crisp for a long time. When mixing with the chili sauce, the taste of chili sauce is coated at crispy chicken. This dish is tasty.
Stir fried Mixed Chicken with Basil Leaves. Average taste.
Stir Fried Chinese Kale with Crispy Chicken, also average taste.
The last dish is Mixed Chicken Tom Yum, it's hot and spicy.
After we are full, we continue our journey to Sattahip, our first destination is Sai Kaew beach.
Many people who use to go to Samed Island may wonder that Sai Kaew beach is in Samed Island, right? The answer is correct, Sai Kaew beach is in Samed Island but besides Sai Kaew beach, Samed Island, there is also another Sai Kaew beach which is located at Sattahip.
Sai Kaew beach that I am going to visit is located within Chumpol Navy Sailor School. For the direction, you have to drive straight to Sattahip from Pattaya, and will pass Four Regions Floating Market, Mimosa. Then when you pass the entrance of Nong Nuch Garden which is in the left hand side, and then just driving right, observing the pedestrian and taking turn at the first pedestrian.
When you already turn into Chompol Navy Sailor School, you have to stop the car and change the card in order to go inside.
After taking the pass card, we have to put the card at the front console for the military guard to check. And from changing card point, you will see the big trees line along the road which looks very shady. We drive along the trees line till the end; I assure that you cannot lose the way. Later, you will see the sign telling the direction to Sai Kaew beach.
Continually driving along the road, you will see the deep blue sea, After drive along the beach for a while, you will see the booth for paying the entrance fee to Sai Kaew beach; it costs 50 baht each person. Traveling here on Saturday-Sunday between 08.00-05.00pm, the tourists need to park the car at nearby the paying booth, around the beach side area. However, if traveling during weekdays, you can drive into Sai Kaew beach directly. Anyway, do not forget to stop by and pay for the entrance fee first.
From the parking area, you can see Pattaya city as well, and there are many beautiful area for taking some photos.
After paid for the entrance fee and walk inside a little bit, you will see the pavilion for tourist to wait for minibus which will take them to Sai Kaew beach, the entrance fee already include round trip minibus fee, you don't have to pay extra.
It take around 2 kilometers ride but you could feel the dizzy due to the slope and the curve. You have to look at the view around, it will help.
And the minibus stops at Sai Kaew beach sign which is located at the front of the entrance of Sai Kaew beach. We are quiet lucky as there is a very bright clear sky today.
From the sign, we have to walk a little to the right side; there is a shop and restaurant along the street.
From the restaurant, you will see Sai Kaew beach sign, I am sure that whoever visits this place, they certainly cannot miss out to take photo of this area.
Although the beach is not that white and smooth like those which located on the Islands, but I think this beach is more beautiful than others beach which located on the east side of Thailand.
The sea water here is very pleasant and perfect clear.
There are some beach activities as well, but they are not a lot like those in Pattaya beach or Koh Larn. When we are here, no one play such activities, I think that most of the tourist would like to come here to have a peaceful moment more.
Walking along the beach to the left side, there will be rock beach and the rock is quiet sharp, I would say.
As for the right end of the beach is the rock beach as well.
This is the extensive view of Sai Kaew beach, if you travel to Pattaya and would like to have some peaceful and private moment, then I would recommend this place, "Sai Kaew beach".
Leaving Sai Kaew beach for a while, my stomach starts to rumble with hunger, so I visit Bang Saray for having lunch. Bang Saray is not far from Chompol Navy Sailor School and finally I stop by at Preecha Seafood restaurant.
There are indoor and outdoor sections; the indoor section is air-conditioned room ant the outdoor area for the nature wind. But during noon with the strong sunshine like this, I prefer to sit indoor. The outside view that we can see at far end is Pattaya city.
During noon, I order Crab Legs, but it does not seem fresh, so I don't feel impress with this menu.
Spicy Mixed Salad, there are shrimp, squid and oyster in it, tastes delicious.
Deep Fried Sea Bass with Fish Sauce, served with Spicy Mango Salsa. It is very tasty that we all eat the whole thing.
Baked Shrimp with Vermicelli, tastes average.
Sour Soup with Giant Catfish Spawn, it tastes sour and spicy with large spawn.
Mixed Tom Yum, tastes spicy as well
The food cost is not that expensive, If I have a chance to go to Pattaya again, I might come to this restaurant during the evening and sit at the outdoor area, it will be fulfill with the delicious food and the pleasant view at the same time.
Leaving Preecha Seafood restaurant, I back to take some rest at ELEVEN@JOMTIEN RESORT which will be my accommodation for today.
ELEVEN @ JOMTIEN RESORT is located in Jomtien 11 alley, although the resort is not close to the beach but you can walk to the beach within 100 meters distance. There is the parking lot located beside the hotel, but the area is rather small.
The Lobby area has a little space for guest to relax.
From the picture, the left area next to the Lobby is the dining room.
The room is quite spacious with 2 size of beds; a big bed and a small bed, there is sliding door to the balcony, you could walk out to breathe in the fresh air and there is also the chair for taking a seat. As for the facilities in the room, there are TV, kettle, refrigerator, air conditioner and Free wifi. During the day I stayed, the Wifi signal is full but I cannot connect, I ask the staff and they said Wifi has some problem.
Ther restroom is divided to dry and wet sections by the mirror partition.
On the fifth floor area which is the highest floor of the hotel, has a swimming pool available for free. And from the swimming pool area you can see the beautiful Jomtien beach and the city area view. Moreover, there is a drink corner for service, but this section is charged for the service.
Let's take a look at the dining room; I think that the dining room area is rather small. In the morning, I come down at the same time with a big tour group, and the dining room area is packed and not enough room to serve the guest. The breakfast is in the buffet style.
Walking around the hotel a bit and then take some rest. Our next program will be watching the amazing show at Alangkarn theater. During I visit the theater, they are holding Alangkarn lantern festival as well.
In the front area, there is a large colorful lantern of Temple of Heaven, and the ticket booth is located beside.
Opposite the Temple of Heaven lantern is the lantern of Ancient Chinese Children and the Goat Year lantern.
The walk way area from the ticket booth to the theater is decorated with big masks, looks fabulous.
Walking through ticket checking point, you will find Pixiu lantern and Dragon Phoenix fan lantern, they are all in gigantic size.
This is Peking Chinese Opera lantern.
There are lots of animals on the corner of Safari Forest lantern.
In the middle of the pool, is the set of Joyful Fish Challenge the Dragon lantern.
In front of the theater area, located the set of Double Dragon lantern.
I don't know the name of this lantern set.
There is photo taken with the elephant service, and after the show finish, you can buy this photo at the front of the theater area.
The staff dress in many Thai ancient playground clothes. This picture is Phi Ta Khon (Ghost Festival).
Before the show in the theater begins at 06.00pm, there is the show at the outdoor stage first. After the outdoor show, the theater door will gradually be opened up, the tourist will walk into the theater successively, the theater door will be opened around 05.45pm.
The show in Alangkarn theater will be divided into 3 parts which include:
The first part is about human belief, about Thailand civilization scene and King Na Ga scene.
The second part is related to the charm of the culture and art, there are the miraculous eye-catching of 4 regions scene which shows the beauty of 4 regions' culture and art, and another scene is Thai Khon Dancing.
And The last part is the greatest pride in being Thai's which are divided into 3 Kingdoms of Thailand; Sukhothai period, Ayutthaya period and Rattanakosin period.
The show takes approximately one hour, in my opinion, the show style is similar to Phuket Fantasy Show but just only it is not that marvelous as Phuket Fantasy Show.
When I am in the theater, I feel very uneasy. Even though the theater has opened the air-conditioner but the weather inside is quiet hot. And especially when it comes to the show which has to set the fire, there will be the smell of burning oil and smoke which filled the theater. It is better as I have ointment with me that I can inhale it and feel a little better.
After the show finished, there is Sichuan Acrobatic Show at the outdoor stage, but since there are lots of people so I decide not watch the show. Moreover, the sky starts to get dark, so I just would like to take photos of the outside atmosphere which is now filled with the nice color from the lantern.
Yuan Dynasty Vase Lantern, the vases can alternate their color.
Safari Forest Lantern looks beautiful in a different way when the light open.
Flying Swan Enjoys Music Lantern.
Peking Chinese Opera Lantern.
Ancient Style Elephant Lantern.
I don't know this lantern's set name, there are seahorse, dragon and goat.
Chinese Panda Lantern.
This set, I am not so sure, it might be called Funny Songkran??
The corner of Red Flower Park Lantern
Small Bird in the Silver Cage Lantern.
Dragon and Phoenix Fan Lantern.
Peacock Vase Lantern.
Boy and the Flock of Fish Lantern.
Joyful Fish Challenge the Dragon lantern.
Goat Year Lantern.
And ending today trip with The Temple of Heaven Lantern.
With my empty stomach, I decide to have supper around front of Ibis hotel. This area sells food like those in the 24-hour market, there are many kinds of food to choose from and the price of the food also suit with their quantity. I eat Hoi Thod (Fried Mussels with Egg), it costs 50 baht. Actually, there is the buffet restaurant costs 200 baht each person in AlangKarn theater as well, but from my observation; I would rather eat outside as the varieties of food are similar to the hotel's breakfast.
I feel very tired tonight, maybe it is because that I have to wake up early for the journey and I have to walk around Sai Kaew beach to find some good view to take photos. I will take a long sleep today.
The next day morning after having breakfast at the hotel, it's time to continue our journey. My traveling program for today is to drive across province to Chantaburi province. Many people may wonder that why don't I just travel nearby Pattaya since I already came here? Why did I have to take such a long journey to Chantaburi? My first reason is that my journey time is during Chantaburi fruit festival period, so I intend to eat fruit buffet there. I am determined to be satiated with durian. The second reason it that last time I intended to eat Soft-Shell Crab at Soft-Shell Crab Farm, Klung district once but that time is the 3 days holidays and when I arrived at the pier which will cross over to Soft-Shell Crab Farm, it happens that there is no place for parking my car at the pier. Therefore, I fail to eat Soft-Shell Crab as I wished. And those are 2 main reasons that I would like to visit Chantaburi once again.
Actually, it takes around 2 hours drive from Pattaya to Chanthaburi but I take almost 3 hours to my destination. I am reconciled to the bad traffic during the long holidays and for advance preparation, I have reserved the table at Soft-Shell Carb Farm already and 7 days before the journey, I also have informed and confirmed the number of people to visit the fruit farm in advance.
I arrive at Chathaburi around 11.00am and straightly head to Klung district for my first destination, because I don't want to repeat the history which I cannot find the parking space at the pier area again. From Klung district, there is the direction sign to the pier which will cross over to Soft-Shell Crab Farm. When I arrive at the pier, many tourists already started to cross over to Soft-Shell Crab Farm before me.
The atmosphere of the pier area, there will be the boat of Soft-Shell Crab Farm (with blue color roof) sending and taking the customer all the time. There is the souvenir shop at the pier as well, and I buy Sweet Shrimp for my family.
During the pier to Soft-Shell Crab Farm, we can see the atmosphere of oyster farming along the way.
It takes not more than 10 minutes ride, and we arrive at Soft-Shell Crab Farm which is located on the island in the middle of the sea.
Walking up from the pier, there is the small corner selling souvenir and of course I don't miss out, I buy Preserved Pineapple to eat at home.
The restaurant area inside is spacious; there are many corner to seat; indoor and outdoor area. Sitting in the pleasant atmosphere among the mangrove forest, it's great.
The food here is very fast served.
Start with Stir Fried Soft-Shell Crab in Curry Powder.
Follow with Fried Soft-Shell Crab with Garlic, Soft-Shell Crab tastes quite salty.
Baked Soft-Shell Crab with Vermicelli.
Stir Fried Squid with Basil leaves, the squid is in a big piece.
Batter Fried Squid, the flour which covers the squid is quiet thick.
Deep Fried Sea Bass with Fish Sauce.
Sour Soup with Mullet, tastes sour and spicy.
Salt-Baked Shrimp, I did not order this menu, the waitress sent it to the wrong table, so I just take the photo.
Overall, The food tastes average and quite salty, but the materials are very fresh and reasonable price. If you would like to travel in Chanthaburi and happen to pass at Klung district, you can stop and have a lunch here. Consider changing from eating in the usual restaurant to have a meal among the mangrove forest atmosphere in the middle of the sea like this. For those who would like to reserve the table in advance, you can contact to 086-8344523.
My next program is to visit the fruit farm and eat fruit buffet. I and my traveling members look forward to this program since the morning. Before I go to the farm, I contact and confirm with the farm again, the farm owner gives me the information for making the decision that since during this time there are many tourists visit the farm that the farm have to restrict the fruit amount, and durian that I intend to unlimited eat is also restricted for trying only. We calculate the price and think about it for a while, and we have the conclusion as buffet costs 199 baht each person, we have 9 people and it is almost 1800 baht for the fruit buffet so we all agree that we will buy the food from the roadside instead, it is saver than go to the fruit farm. Actually, the fruit price here is not different from those selling at my home, but we just consider that we buy the fruit at its original place and able to get a fresh and quality fruit. Happy thought.
After finish buying some fruits from the roadside, we head back to Pattaya once again. This time,, we will stop by at Wat Yansangwararam first.
Wat Yansangwararam is the first class royal temple, Woramahawiharn rank and belongs to Dhammayuttika Nkaya Buddism. Somdet Phra Yannasangvara Sakol Maha Sangka Parinayok acts as a chairman for building the temple. The purpose of building Wat Yansangwararam is to have this temple for Dhamma Retreat which will focus on the Development of Tranguility and Vipassana Meditation and another reason is to benefit for the monkhood and the layman to train and educate the disciplines of Bhuddism.
The temple is very spacious; I will visit only the main attractions.
Start with the monastery for the first point, this monastery is the modification of the old monastery style of Wat Bawonniwet Vihara. Inside the monastery is enshrined the principal Buddha statue named as Somdet Phra Yannaret which is constructed to humbly devote to King Naraesuan the Great.
The second point is Phra Barommathat Chedi Maha Chakri phiphat was constructed to devote to Phra Phuttayotfa Chulalok (King Rama I) and Chakri dynasty. It has two floors; the ground floor is the great hall and the upper floor was situated Golden Stupa which enshrined the Buddha holy relics. It is prohibited to take photo inside.
The third point is Phutthakaya Stupa Replica; it is the replica of Phutthakaya Stupa in India which is one of four important places of Buddhism as it is the place that Buddha has enlightened.
There will be the hallway inside to walk around the stupa.
Inside the stupa is the art exhibition area while each piece of art work will have the viewpoint as well.
Face the vast river with the danger in the front. We should gather grass, wood and twig to tie a raft, and take that raft to the other shore with safe. Later, we should lift the raft and place on the land or just let it drifts in the river, then take a leave. Doing like this can be considered that you already did the right duty in that raft. It is the metaphor that we already preached the Teachings, and we have to leave it, not to hold on to it, in the same way of the raft that you also should leave it. Everyone knows the Teachings that I already preached, and you should forsake the Teachings as well.
Infatuation or delusion are the source and basis of all defilements / Somdet Phra Yannasangvara Sakol Maha Sangka Parinayok.
Obtaining is the beginning of losing / Somdet Phra Yannasangvara Sakol Maha Sangka Parinayok.
Within the vast river is the deep Samsara where I can up to the land by Nirvana, I sink in the vast river where there are lots of defilements. This vast Samsara river is full of illusion, jealousy, competing and sleepiness / Phutthapoj.
This tree might be Phra Maha Pho tree, as there is tour guide narrating to Chinese tourists.
Actually there are so many interesting places to visit but I just cannot bear the heating sunlight anymore. Therefore, I move to other attraction. When travel to Wat Yannasangworn, it is mandatory to go to Cheejan Mountain as well.
The highlight of Cheejan Mountain is the creation of the Buddha image which was crafted out the cliff using laser tecnology, it is the world's biggest Buddha projection (Shadow of the Bhuddha) and it is the seated Buddha image in the attitude of subduing mara which imitated from Navarachabophit Buddha image in Sukhothai and Lanna style. The Bhuddha image is built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of King Bhumiphol Adulyadej's accession to the throne.
There is no admission fee for this place, and it opens from 06.00am-06.00pm. Inside Cheejan Mountain has decorated with the beautiful garden giving much shady, if possible it is better to visit here during evening time as there is a strong sunlight from noon to late afternoon.
Near to Cheejan Moutain is Silver Lake Grape Farm where belongs to Khun Supansa Nuengphirom, the former famous heroine actress of Thailand.
A vast pond is next to the road.
Pass a large pond, the left side will be the restaurant and the entrance to the grape farm is on right side.
The garden has an adorable decorative arrangement, and there is the arch for tourists to leisurely sit.
This is the coffee shop area and the shop selling fresh grapes and processed products from grapes, No admission fee here.
From this area, you can see the grape farm at the front, it has a vast area. For those who would like to get closer to the grape farm and taking the photos in the small garden inside, you can also enter to the farm but there is the entrance fee for that.
I stay here for only a while as I cannot bear the strong sunlight any longer so I just head back to the accommodation to have a rest in the air-conditioned room and regain my energy to watch the last light of the day.
Today I stay at D Varee Jomtien Beach which is not far from the hotel that I stayed in at first night.
D Varee is located between Soi Jomtien 13-14, it is the big hotel located next to Jomtien beach. The hotel building has white color, looks very clean undeniably.
A lobby has very large area, there are many space for guest to sit and relax. There is Free Wifi available but only in the front Lobby area, making the Lobby area crowded by the guests who come to sit and play free Wifi here. Most of the guests are the foreigners in group tour.
Opposite the Lobby, there is the small coffee shop which provides coffee, drinks and bakery.
Let's going up to the room, the hotel has designed the guest room door facing Pattaya city, and the room's back facing the sea which means that all the guest room comes with the sea view. From the room, you can see the parking lot which is divided into 2 zones, bus parking and the car parking next to each other.
Let's go inside the room, it is quiet spacious but looks a little bit old. The walls are covered with wallpaper but as the time pass by, the wallpaper getting some scratch and the color tend to fade away.
There are standard facilities in the room like TV, air-conditioner, the kettle, safe box, hair dryer and book table, and Wifi available for service as well but you have to buy Wifi hour at Lobby.
The rest room has sea-through glass wall with the bath tub and showerhead, if you don't want to lie down when shower, you have to stand in the bath tub when using showerhead. The room divided dry and wet area with the curtain partition, and there is a bidet spay besides toilet bowl.
The curtain inside that use for blocking between the rest room and the bed room is quiet thin, during the night person who is in the bedroom area can clearly see the shadow of the one who is showering, it is like watching shadow show.
Tea and coffee are free of charge.
Each room has private balcony with a wide view of Jomtien beach in the front. When you look even further you can see Koh Larn on the right and the tall building on the left which did not making you feel uncomfortable for that.
There are the 2 swimming pools provide here, one on the ground floor and another one on the fifth floor.
The swimming pool at the ground floor is divided into kid pool and adult pool.
Beside the swimming pool is fitness.
The hotel sign which located next to the road that parallel to Jomtien beach.
The area next to the road is arranged to be the bar for having dinner and some drinks here. Moreover, the highest floor of the hotel is also the restaurant where you can watch the view of Pattaya from the high aspect but I do not go up to take the photo.
The evening atmosphere.
Koh Larn during evening atmosphere, the view from my room balcony.
After exploring the hotel, now I would like to explore Pattaya during dusk time.
I visit Tam Nak hill to watch the twilight light, this viewpoint has the most pleasant view in Pattaya city (in my opinion).
We can see the vast Pattaya bay, Balihai cape where the tourist can cross over to Koh Larn and we can clearly see Pattaya city view as well.
From Phra Tamank viewpoint, I walk a little further to Chomporn Statue, and we can also see Koh Larn from this point. I would say that this viewpoint is clearer than Phra Tamnak viewpoint, but it's just only there is one condominium stands there and another one which is in under construction, but it becomes the news that the construction has been blocked the enchanting scenery, so the construction is on hold now.
The sunlight seems to fade away and the light in Pattaya city is starting to light up instead, it does look great.
Tonight, I have to take a rest now as it's been a long day today.
The next morning, I wake up for the first daylight at my balcony.
Koh Larn is located just in the front.
The sea at Jomtien beach during the morning time looks so calm.
I stand at the door in front of my room to watch the view, seeing the warm light that shines over Pattaya city and the light fog that I am not sure whether it actually is the fog or smoke.
After we admire the morning time atmosphere of Pattaya city, we have a breakfast at the hotel. The dining room is very spacious; it is divided in to 2 sides in U shape, the restaurant opens at 06.00am-10.00am. However, there are a lot of guests in the morning that even the large dining room like this seems does not have enough space. Most of the guests are tour group and many tours would leave the hotel at the same time, making the dining room during the morning time between 06.00am-08.00am very crowded by tourist foreigners, and it will come back to normal mode after 8.00am.
After breakfast, before leaving, I would like to take a walk and take some photos of Jomtien beach atmosphere. The beach is so calm and peaceful during morning.
It's time to leave now, we have to pack our bag and go back now. I will say goodbye to Jomthien beach with the balcony view, the view is splendid with a little rainbow greeting us among the fluffy cloud.
This time, I can get a lot of new experiences from this trip. As this time I have a chance to visit many places that last time I do not. Some place like Alangkarn theater and many more.