Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is a 500-acre (over 2 square kilometres) botanical garden and tourist attraction in Pattaya that is famed for its themed gardens such as the 17th century French Garden and the European Renaissance garden.
When I added it into our Pattaya itinerary, V was so puzzled and he asked me repeatedly if I’m 100% sure that I want to go. To him, I’m not that kind of person who would enjoy walking around the garden – especially if it’s outdoor and under the hot sun.
Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden is ranked #2 on Trip Advisor Things to do in Pattaya. From the various travel guides that I’ve read, I’m convinced that the garden is breath-taking and worth checking out. So, I thought we should not miss it too. And I’ll prep myself with lots of sun-block, cap and even umbrella, if need to.
We hired a private car to fetch us from Laem ChaBang port (where our cruise docked) for a one-day tour in Pattaya. Our first destination was Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. We wanted to reach there early before the weather turned unbearably hot. The journey took an hour as the traffic was quite slow.
Walk-in admission fees (excluding elephant show + ride) are priced at 500 Baht (~S$20) for adult and 300 Baht (~S$12) for child. There are various package prices available with add-ons such as Thai Cultural Show, Elephant Show, Elephant Riding and Buffet Lunch. As we didn’t intend to stay for long, we just got ourselves the basic admission tickets.
The first thing that captured my attention was the massive amount of sculptures of animals and insects in the garden. At first, I thought it was a bit weird but apparently Edison was fascinated with them that he went around taking pictures using his camera phone.
Not far from the entrance, there’s also a food court that serves delicious local food. It’s amazingly cheap too. We had yummy glass noodles beef soup at just 50 Baht (S$2 only!).
As we ventured deeper into the botanical garden, we were greeted by an incredible sight of garden landscape. This is the Butterfly Hill where you can see a huge amount of colourful flowers that resemble the colour pattern of a butterfly wing.
There’s a mini zoo too, but it’s not impressive. I felt that they’re better off with their artificial animal sculptures.
The Dinosaur Valley certainly took my breath away! The life-size recreations of dinosaurs are SO amazing. Yes, you heard it right. It’s life-size! Where else in this world can I see them?
Here’s a panoramic view of the famous French Garden in Nong Nooch. It’s definitely one of the most beautifully-designed landscapes I’ve ever seen. =)
Beautiful, isn’t it? Here’s more because I couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures…
The StoneHenge Garden, on the other hand, is a unique structure of square shaped stones similar to Stonehenge in England. Both gardens are equally stunning as they’re the highlights of this attraction.
I loved everything about Nong Nooch except that it lacks seating. I mean, you could walk for miles under the hot sun but there’s not much seats for you to sit down and rest.
We spent about two hours here, including the half an hour for lunch. We only covered about 40% of the garden, but we’ve decided to leave as the weather was unbearably hot. If you plan to visit Nong Nooch, plan at least three hours of visit and do start early when the weather is not too hot.
All in all, we loved the exquisite topiaries, fanciful animal sculptures, interesting elephant show, and a clean beautiful garden in Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden. Certainly an eye-opener for us! =)
Our Travel Tips to Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden:
- Start your visit early in the morning before the weather gets too hot and plan at least 3 hours.
- Arm yourself with sunblock, cap and sunglasses (umbrella too, if you don’t mind).
- Book your tickets online. I found that it’s much cheaper than buying tickets when you walk-in. For example: Klook offers admission + show at only S$16 (usual walk-in price is 800 Baht or S$32 for admission + show).
- Several other attractions are also located in the vicinity, i.e. Cartoon Network Amazone Waterpark and Swiss Sheep Farm, making it a convenient place to visit.
- I saw many taxis at the exit but I also understand that taxis in Pattaya are not metered. There are fixed rates written on the board. I’d recommend that you hire a private driver for a day to bring you around Pattaya.