Pattaya resort suffers from the multiple personality syndrome: on the one hand it
is a very modern town, built on vertical, renowned for excellent hotels (more than
reasonable prices), shopping, entertainment and nightlife; on the other one is an
exotic paradise, with paradisiacal landscapes, fishing villages forgotten by time
and almost virgin lands. A few people know that the city, found in an exponential
growth, tries to impose itself as an important cultural centre. First, there are
here several Buddhist shrines, true monuments of art: the central temple, the temple
of truth and Buddha’s Hill.
One of the biggest temples in Thailand lays outside Pattaya resort, on Sukunvit Road,
a road cutting the city. Wat Yansanwararam was inaugurated in 1988 to celebrate
the 42nd year of the reign of the current king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, translated "Earth
power, incomparable power", better known by Westerners under the name of Rama IX,
an immutable national symbol, with nuances harder to understand for Westerners.
Near the temple is Viharnra Sien museum, founded by Sa-nga Kulkobkiat, Master in
Feng Shui, who was born in Thailand and lived in China. The institution is conceived
as a tribute to the friendship between the two countries. Thousands of Thai and Chinese
art, statues, china, jewellery, furniture, tapestries, paintings and unique pieces
- soldiers by Terra cotta from the Tomb of King Chan (world premiere, is the first
time when China has left permanently to a foreign museum exhibits of such a height
value) are exhibited here. The museum is divided on themed collections illustrating
the Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
Two kilometres from Nong Nooch begins Viharnra Sien, the botanical garden, actually
a huge park spread of an area of six hundred acres. It takes at least a day to visit
the entire area. The most prestigious Asians landscape architects worked here. The
pride of the park is the French style garden, considered by Thais rival of Versailles.
And they are right. But the silver palm forest, a rare and precious species, the
exhibition of orchids, the greenhouse with butterflies, and the garden with cacti
worth to be admired, too. Near the garden. The „long-neck” women were installed. They
used to live on the border between Thailand and Myanmar, but since last year many
families have migrated to the hills bordering Pattaya. On a hill edging Noong Nooch
Park a Buddha was "carved" into stone by laser, and it measures 109 meters. The huge
work Khao Chee-Chan, made in Sukhothai style, marked the jubilee of the present time