LADYBOY CABARET SHOWS: Admittedly, the curves may be fake at these cross-dressing spectacles, but the entertainment value is mighty real. Like Vegas showgirls, these technicolour butterflies add a combination of glitz, glamour, and gaiety to the city’s entertainment scene. The three most well-known ladyboy shows are: the world famous Tiffany’s Show Pattaya (now in its 40th year); The Alcazar Cabaret; and the Colosseum Show Pattaya, where the theatre itself is designed to look like the famed ancient colosseum in Rome.
ART IN PARADISE: The 5,800 sq.m Art in Paradise Interactive Art Museum (78/34 Pattaya Sai 2 Rd) is a visual funhouse where visitors interact with three-dimensional, optical illusion artworks painted on the walls and floors. Charge up your camera batteries and go crazy! Admission is B400 (B200 children under 130 cm), and opening hours are 9am to 10:30pm.
NONG NOOCH: Although officially opened in 1980, the official history of the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden dates back to 1954, when it was a private residence. Divided into thematic sections—such as the Italian garden, the Versailles-inspired French garden, the animal sculpture garden, and Butterfly Hill—these sprawling, vibrantly coloured grounds are nothing short of breathtaking. There are also daily Thai cultural performances and elephant shows here, and you can even stay overnight at the Nong Nooch Resort.
KAAN: Inspired by classic Thai literature, Kaan is an all-new theatrical experience that combines live action and cinema with stage performance and dazzling pyrotechnics. Held at the Singha D’Luck Cinematic Theatre—the world’s first levitating theatre—Kaan tells the tale a young man who embarks on a fantastic adventure where the characters of ancient literature come to life. A team of 600 creative professionals spent more than three years developing the project, which includes spectacular projection mapping, state-of-the-art animatronics, aerial silk and flying globe acrobatics, a tesla coil act, and even an eight-metre tall robot. The 90-minute shows run Tuesdays through Sundays at 5pm and 8:30pm, and tickets range from B2,500 to B4,000.
SANCTUARY OF TRUTH: Arguably the most unique and visually captivating attraction in all of Pattaya, the Sanctuary of Truth is a gigantic wooden “temple” situated on more than two rais of land by the seashore at Rachvate Cape in North Pattaya. The entire complex has been constructed according to ancient Thai ingenuity—without any nails or screws—and every square inch is covered with intricate carvings that reflect teachings from Thailand’s four major philosophical and artistic influences, namely: Hindu, Chinese, Khmer, and Thai. Tours are led through the building every 30 minutes while Thai cultural dance performers, Thai fighting, elephant trekking, horse riding, and speedboat sightseeing tours are on offer throughout the day. Temple admission is priced at B450 for adults and B225 for children. You can also cycle your way to the temple with Pattaya Bike & Boat Tours (tel: 086 788 8007). Their Colours of Pattaya Special Edition Bicycle Tour is an interesting sightseeing day-tour of the region, priced at B1,750 per person, that includes a visit to the Sanctuary of Truth and a local lunch.
LAZGAM LASER GAMES: For indoor fun, head to the Central Festival Pattaya Beach mall where you’ll find the local branch of Bangkok’s popular Lazgam Laser Games. The 900 sq.m maze-like laser-tag complex space lets you shoot fellow players to your heart’s content (at least from 11am till midnight, that is).
FROST MAGICAL ICE OF SIAM: If the heat gets to be too much, make a trip to the recently opened Frost Magical Ice of Siam theme park, where you can take a stoll around ice sculptures depicting mythical Thai creatures, relax with a cool drink at the Ice Bar, or take a spin on the “ice ride”. Sounds cool!
A WORLD OF ILLUSIONS: For something out of the ordinary, take a trip to the world’s most unusual museum, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Located on 2nd floor of Royal Garden Plaza, and open from 11am till 11pm daily, Ripley’s ‘World of Entertainment’ features over 350 fascinating exhibits, as well as several other eye-popping attractions—including Ripley’s 12D Moving Theatre, the nightmarish Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, and The Vault: Laser Maze Challenge. By contrast, just up the road you can get a different set of thrills at the newly opened Tuxedo Illusion Hall which hosts daily shows of illusion and trickery performed by master magicians and professional dancers. Open daily from 1pm to 9pm, with shows running every two hours from 2pm onwards.