Chonburi is a very popular sea side town on the coast of Thailand. The agricultural bowl for the crops of sugar cane, cassava and natural rubber, this town ranks high in its industrial activity and falls right after Bangkok in terms of the output of production. This is basically a collection of many small towns conjoined together and morphed into one settlement and ages back to prehistoric era. Most famously known for the Chonburi Annual festival, this town is its best during this festival. A huge statue of Buddha is paraded and a procession is carried out with enough pomp and show.
The annual festival is a sight to catch and marks this city on the global map of tourism. Every year the 16th-17th of April marks the beginning of the New Year which is again the eye catching celebration. Tourists from all nations of the world come to attend this festival and there is none of the locals who would stay home that day. Everyone is rejoicing, out on the streets and merry making.
Chonburi has a unique concept of a ‘holiday bank” where in you can deposit your money in this holiday bank and use it with their cards and branches all throughout your stay there and then close your account hassle free , before travelling back. This reduces the risk of theft and loss of cash and valuables while you are on the trip.
When To Go:
Southern Thailand is best explored between November and February. The rest of the year alternates between the very hot and the very wet days. The average temperature between the day and the night does not show a marked difference but, April is the hottest month and should be avoided due to its high humidity. Heavy rains lash this coastal area from July to October where floods can even ravage the entire area. A trip planned between November and February is the best.
Laem Chabang International Country Club
Designed by the ace designer, Jack Nicholas, this international level country club is a nature lovers’ delight. There are five different golf courses to choose from. On an average day you can spend your whole day just playing golf and putting. This game here derives a classic thrill because of the lush greens of the terrain. With 27 holes designed on 700 acres of greens, a golf lover cannot ask for more. Just the experience of playing here is what would make you happy. At a distance of just 30 minutes from Pattaya, this is where you should be the moment you land in Chonburi. The lake which is sprawling amidst the landscape has a stream gushing through it magically. These nature conditions have been created and designed keeping in mind the different levels of expertise a person can have while playing this game.
The main club house has a dynamic view of the entire golf course and has an extensive menu to choose from. With beautiful interiors apart from the thrill of the sport, this club house is the common point of the who’s who of Bangkok meeting here. The seating for 30 at a stretch and the bar to glue you, what more could you ask for sitting right there in the lap of nature?
The patio is extremely well designed and the lounge is unaffectedly a lounge to enjoy your cocktails.
A safe environment, a spa, a massage service, a swimming pool and a laundry service – this characterizes the Club house here. With over 40 rooms of the deluxe and super deluxe categories, this club house is just what would make you rest sound after a hard day of play. Book in to one of the rooms if you have not had enough of this magic in one day and stay over comfortably for more.
Wihan Thep Sathit Phra Ki Ti Chaloem
Midway between the Ang Sila and the Khao Sum Muk is this beautiful Chinese temple. Spanning four stories in altitude, this temple, is a majestic show or art and deities. Though photography is not allowed within the premises, you can still capture some memorable ones from outside .A total of approximately 2400 dragon sculptures in and around the temple along with a dragon pole of the dimensions of 36 feet represent the sanctity of this place and a huge hall of the heaven and the earth is right in front of it.
This hall representing the heaven and the earth has sculptures of the nine dragons, which supposedly represent the nine planets of our solar system. The colors here are so interesting that you can stand on for hours together just discovering the details. Not just the dragons and the walls, the fish symbolic of this Chinese temple are colorful too. There are also two huge bells that would use the bigger part of your calories when you try to ring them. Clean air and the green color of the surroundings, with the bells echoing to distances, this place is a time bomb to heaven itself.
Bang Saen Beach
The favourite getaway spot for the Thai people for more than a decade now, this beach has its own charm. This is one of the most accessible beaches of this area and is just an hour’s drive straight from the airport. In fact if you are arriving early in Chonburi, visiting this place immediately after you have arrived of a hectic travel is just the best relax time you could gift yourself. The wind here has the perfect velocity unlike the other coasts of the east where the speed is too high to let you enjoy it. There is no crowd of swarming tourists here, but the local village around it, is a serene part of the country. Here, in the conventional, rural environment, where a tourist is still a sight to see, you can have immense fun in being the kind of a person you are. There is nobody to stop you from making noise, having fun and sleeping under the sun. This is the place where you can just let yourself loose.
Sometime around in November, with a horde of fish swarming around, you may just as well dive in the waters and fetch yourself out at least 1500 grams of fresh fish just by your hands. Even fun is the sign language that you will end up using. Natives here do not understand English and the only way to communicate with them is to depict what you want to say, in signs. Makes you remember the games, we as children used to play! Go ahead and ask for a glass of water. Sounds simple? Now try that out in signs! After your wonderful experience of catching fish with your bare hands and that too in huge numbers, move ahead to the zoo. Oh! It’s not the regular’ kind of a zoo, and is one of the master pieces of design. This is THE zoo.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo
So you walk into a zoo and all that you can see is nothing but barbed wires and cages. It kind of upsets a person to see this. These wild animals become mere show cases for us. How about a place where you can sit beside a tiger and say cheese and get a selfie clicked? A selfie of the kinds where your ears are touching the tigers whiskers? Yes! This is the place where you have to be. You can feed and hold a baby tiger and can sit beside a grown up tiger. The paw of the tiger that you fear for your life, you can now shake it and touch it. Stroke these beautiful felines with all the love you have and see them snuggle into you harmlessly.
Even better are the animal shows. Enjoy the Crocodile show for instance. Ever imagined these naughty, huge, dangerous carnivores listening to some one? Here they do. They are trained over duration of time to exhibit their talents.
A shooting game where if your shot hits the spot, a piece of meat is given to the tiger; games like this will keep you occupied for the whole day. This is not a tour but a journey, where in you can get really close to the animals and see them closely enough to identify their emotions.
The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden
A garden that explains the scene of immense torture and punishment is in reality a garden that depicts the Buddhist hell. Originally designed to remind the people of their sins and the punishments there of, this garden has now become a tourist attraction of global fame. As the legend says that when a Buddhist dies, they go through the cross check and analysis of four beings in their celestial form, who evaluate your karma and assign you hell and heaven accordingly.
Though punishment in this religious sect differs but every punishment is some form of torture. And it is this torture that is depicted in this garden. This hell in the pictorial representation has 36 pits, each for a different purpose, a different kind of torture based on your Karma. There are many stories and myths associated with this and you ought to hire a professional guide who would tell you tales about this.
The Pattaya Shooting Park
Pretty accessible form Chonburi, this shooting park is one day of activity that will leave you exhausted for a good night’s sleep. There are air conditioned rooms and outdoor areas which you can use as per your need. Designed to be the biggest shooting park of the east, this Pattaya shooting park is full of thrill and adventure.
The outdoor shooting range is 25 meters and the equipment used is just amazing in terms of its durability and maintenance. There is a wide range of choices for the kind weapon that you would like to use. With all safety standards at place, this is one of the shooting ranges that also have an extensive shooting academy in it. Dedicated to teach the art of shooting, this range takes regular admissions for amateur and expert level shootings for one and all.
There is also a fishing club which is a common tourist spot. The equipment again belongs to the club unless you want to carry your own, which is a rare exception because as a tourist you would not be carrying one. Sit here and fish for a while and spend some serene moments with your loved ones. There are times when in the hustle and bustle you forget to talk and share with each other, this creates just and environment like that. And if you are travelling alone, then you would not find a better place to introspect and face yourself.
“You should not point your gun at anything unless you want to shoot it “. This is a very common saying that you found written all across the area.
This is an ancient temple and has its own history to live up to. The most fascinating part is the roof of this temple. It is quite before a while passes that you can figure out; that the shapes which are standing there, on the roof are not just random images but are the statues of fighters – of Shaolin Monks. Enough is known about the art of Shaolin but the fact remains that it just not every ones cup of tea. You may not be able to stand like even one of them. The mastery of their skill and the balance they derive, literally jumping off air and water, these statutes are a surprising part since they are on the roof of a temple. This may be named the fighters on the roof very aptly.
Move around and you would see the larger than life pieces of the game of chess spawned across. The emperor of the HAN dynasty is easily recognizable standing amidst the statues of these chess pieces again on the roof of this Viharnra Sien. Though we do not know about the purpose of this, but these statues have a huge following and are very pious to the locals. These chess statues just rest around flatly on the ground.
There are many festivals and events that are organized at this place. One of them is the exhibit of the Chinese. Very interesting small-scale models of the terracotta armies of the kings have been placed here.
Very close to this place is this Giant Buddha Drawing which happens to be the largest drawing of Buddha in the world .Though it is not known what material was used to paint the Buddha, but it has remained here, untouched and unscathed by the weather for many years now. Resting on a big mountain, this painting spans the entire wall of the mountain. Once you look at it, you would really try to figure out how this could have been drawn.
The Buffalo Race
This is one sight that would be seen only a brave heart. With humongous buffaloes, and their fighters and their job, something which is very normal and probably an everyday routine for them, is what would make our heart skip a beat. Wild would be too small a word to describe this event. Perched high on their buffaloes, these racers traverse a stretch of land which has been assigned as the race track and use all their might for winning the race and getting their trophies. The harsh part is the injuries that are sustained if of any of the rider falls.
The stampede of the buffaloes is enough to kill a man if fate is not on his side. Sprinting down a 200 meter race tracks this is certainly a very dangerous sport and all spectators are made to watch this from behind a certain distance. The mud from the hoofs of the buffaloes makes everything misty and then it becomes a chance game overall.
Wander In the town
There is nothing better than exploring a place on foot. There are areas in the city which are old and some are new. The best way in which you would be able to know the exact connect with the place is when you are crossing the narrow by lanes and crossing the interiors of the city. As a tourist you would enter the city and see what you want to see, or what you have been advised to see. But when you move around on your own, you lose and find yourself again. This is what connects you to the people, the locals and in turn the customs of the native place. It is always suggested that you imbibe a bit of the culture you are visiting. This is the only way you can keep this culture alive within you.
So pack your bags and stop planning and delaying your vacation. This destination is the best you could enjoy in your budgets without having to save too much.
A traveler’s delight, Chonburi is as fascinating as its name!