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Things to Do in Gulf of Thailand

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Nang Yuan Island (Koh Nang Yuan)
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31 Tours and Activities

In many ways, Koh Nang Yuan is the paradisiacal location most people imagine when they think of Thailand. Consisting of three tree-topped islands adjoined by a tan-colored sandbar beach, Koh Nang Yuan is one of the most sought after destinations in all of Thailand. The best part? Unlike nearby Koh Samui or Koh Tao, accommodation options are extremely limited on the island, meaning the crowds remain relatively sparse as well.

Most people come to Koh Nang Yuan on day trips from other nearby islands and snorkeling excursions as well as scuba dives are extremely popular. And although the quick day visits are available, you'd be doing yourself a great favor by coming to the island and spending a night or two. In the evenings and early mornings, you can almost have the entire beach to yourself. During the heart of the day, activities such as snorkeling, zip-lining, and hiking are available.

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Ang Thong National Marine Park
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34 Tours and Activities

No trip to Koh Samui is complete without spending a day at sea visiting the islands of Ang Thong Marine National Park. Scattered across the sea lies an archipelago of 42 small islands with sheer limestone cliffs, white-sand beaches, hidden lagoons and dense vegetation.

A lovely sight from sea or land, the islands offer snorkeling and diving, beach picnics and hiking to lagoons and caves.

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Koh Tan (Koh Taen)
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In stark contrast to its famed northerly neighbor, tiny and sleepy Koh Tan tempts visitors with empty beaches and vehicle-less roads just three miles and a 15-minute boat ride south of Koh Samui’s southern tip. Koh Tan (also spelled Koh Taen) is sometimes also called Coral Island for its diversity of colorful hard and soft corals, and it often serves as a popular day-long escape for snorkel or kayak excursions through its clear inshore waters. Though the island doesn’t have quite the aquatic diversity of other more remote locations, it still affords excellent snorkeling, relatively empty beaches and navigable mangrove swamps all very close to a major tourist hub. Longboats make the crossing daily and usually stop at several unique coral spots around the island.

On land, Koh Tan spans only three square miles, and its population barely tops 30 people; their rustic lifestyle with limited electricity affords a glimpse of what much of Thai Island-living was like decades ago.

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Coral Island (Koh Larn)
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30 Tours and Activities

Coral Island, or Koh Larn, is a picture-postcard island off the coast of Pattaya. The popular day-trip destination is set up for underwater diving in the surrounding coral, glass-bottom boat tours and beachfront relaxing at one of several beaches on the island.

Activities like sea-kayaking and parasailing are also catered for, and buffet lunches are served on the sand.

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Sanctuary of Truth (Prasat Sut Ja-Tum)
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Thailand’s answer to Barcelona’s La Sagrada Família cathedral, the Sanctuary of Truth (Prasat Sut Ja-Tum) was begun in 1981 and is scheduled for completion around 2050. The wooden structure is a whopping 345 feet tall (105 meters tall), hand-carved by artisans using traditional techniques, and full of Hindu and Buddhist sculptures.
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Black Mountain Water Park
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Occupying 10 acres (40,000 square meters) fifteen minutes outside of Hua Hin, Black Mountain Water Park opened in 2011 and has already become one of the most popular regional attractions. Large, clean and staffed with professionally trained lifeguards, the waterpark features all the crowdpleasers, including Thailand’s biggest wave pool, lazy river, zero entry pool, children’s pool and a 56-foot (17-meter) tall tower with 9 water slides. Changing rooms and lockers are offered free of charge. An on-site restaurant serves a variety of Thai and international dishes, and park-goers will also find snack and ice cream kiosks located throughout the waterpark.

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Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks (Hin Yai/Hin Ta)
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41 Tours and Activities

Grandmother and Grandfather Rocks - or Hin Yai/Hin Ta - are rocky outcrops on Lamai Beach. Often photographed and commented on, the rocks bear an uncanny resemblance to male and female genitalia.

The rocks are set on a lovely stretch of beach, and create tranquil rock pools when the tide is in.

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Pattaya Floating Market
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Traditional market buildings perched on stilts over the water offer a refreshingly different place to shop at the Pattaya Floating Market. The thatched huts are filled with stalls selling Thai handicrafts, delicious street food, and souvenirs.

The Mud House Village and Old Market have joined the attractions here, along with a woodcarving museum, flower fair, and agricultural demonstrations. Dance troupes dressed in traditional finery regularly perform at the floating market, along with shell dancers and sea boxers.

Traditional boats ferry visitors around the market’s canals, past boat vendors selling Thai food from around the country. It’s an especially picturesque sight at dusk.

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More Things to Do in Gulf of Thailand

Pattaya Water Park at Pattaya Park Beach Resort

Pattaya Water Park at Pattaya Park Beach Resort

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Get ready to get wet and cool off at Pattaya Water Park, part of the Pattaya Park Beach Resort complex. Multiple giant water slides zigzag and spill into the water, and the winding whirlpool is the perfect place for a more relaxing glide through the surf.
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Na Muang Waterfall

Na Muang Waterfall

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32 Tours and Activities

The cool sound of water tumbling down a rocky cliff face and into a pool greets you at Na Muang Falls.

Nestled amongst the island's central mountains, the falls have two tiers: a lower stretch easily reached by foot and a higher tier that’s best reached by hiking or riding on elephant back. The lower tier of falls is suitable for swimming.

The road to the lower falls is lined with food stalls and souvenir vendors, and elephant handlers offer their animals for rides to the top tier.

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Wat Khunaram (Mummified Monk)

Wat Khunaram (Mummified Monk)

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Koh Samui is known for its incredible beaches, turquoise waters and sandy shores. But hidden away from the coastal wonder lies one of the most unique temples in the nation—Wat Khunaram.
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Slip N Fly

Slip N Fly

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Pattaya Beach

Pattaya Beach

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The 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) stretch of sand known as Pattaya Beach ranks among the area's liveliest beaches. The crescent-shaped coast remains lively day and night, with the party atmosphere of the bars and restaurants of Beach Road to one side and a host of water sports—wind surfing, jet skiing, parasailing, or banana boating—to the other. The popular beach also serves as a departure point for diving expeditions to Pattaya's offshore coral islands.
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Secret Buddha Garden (Magic Garden)

Secret Buddha Garden (Magic Garden)

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Deep in Koh Samui’s jungle-clad hills is the Secret Buddha Garden (Magic Garden), where a waterfall tumbles past stone sculptures of the Buddha. The oasis was created by local durian farmer Nim Thongsuk, whose tomb sits among the carvings of Buddhist spirits, musicians, and animals.
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Talu Island (Koh Talu)

Talu Island (Koh Talu)

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Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

Big Buddha Temple (Wat Phra Yai)

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Apart from the beaches, Koh Samui’s distinctive icon is the golden Big Buddha Temple - or Wat Phra Yai - visible above the red-tiled rooftops on the island’s north coast.

The 12 meter (40 foot) Buddha statue is visible from several kilometers away, and even from an airplane if you’re arriving or departing by air.

The temple, shops and restaurants cluster at the base of the statue, and ceremonial stairs lead up to the top for terrific island views.

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Mini Siam

Mini Siam

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Home to miniature replicas of both top Thailand sights and global landmarks, Mini Siam is a family-friendly Pattaya attraction. Travel through Thai history on the Mini Siam side, where you’ll see to-scale versions of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the Bridge on the River Kwai, and then admire the Eiffel Tower in Mini Europe.
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Underwater World Pattaya

Underwater World Pattaya

24 Tours and Activities
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Pattaya Teddy Bear Museum

Pattaya Teddy Bear Museum

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Home to a collection of more than 2,000 teddy bears spread across 13 different themed zones, the Pattaya Teddy Bear Museum (also known as Teddy Island) is exactly what it sounds like. Unlike at traditional toy museums, though, where exhibits are kept behind glass, here visitors are free to pose with the bears. There’s a well-equipped gift store, too.
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Aow Leuk Beach

Aow Leuk Beach

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Travelers looking for seclusion and solitude on Koh Tao, one of Thailand’s most popular islands don’t have it easy. But on the southeastern side of the island, between the Sai Daeng Beach to the north and the Tanote Beach to the south lies the 200 meter long Aow Leuk beach. This stretch of sand is difficult to reach, and because of that, the tourist crowds stay away. Aow Leuk offers crystal clear waters and the peace and serenity necessary to forget everyday life and recover from stress. The bay is shallow, surrounded by the islands typical, fine white sand and big boulders and due to the low depths, is a protected site and a great place for snorkeling and training dives to see luminous butterflyfish, blue angelfish and parrotfish among the corals.

The beach prides itself on being very clean and it is accordingly not allowed to bring your own picnic. But there are a few small, family-run bungalows and a restaurant, so you won’t have to worry about basic necessities.

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Frost Magical Ice of Siam

Frost Magical Ice of Siam

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Nobody goes to Pattaya for the snow, but Frost Magical Ice of Siam, a wintry theme park kept at a temperature of 14°F (-10°C), features plenty of ice. Inside the chilled dome, enjoy ice carvings themed around the Arctic, an ice bar, an ice slide, and even an ice tuk-tuk. Outdoors, view white-sand sculptures inspired by Thai culture.
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Ripley's Believe it or Not! Pattaya

Ripley's Believe it or Not! Pattaya

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Sometimes known as Ripley’s World, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Pattaya combines seven distinct attractions. The classic Ripley’s “Odditorium,” with 10 galleries of bizarre exhibits, is the star of the show. But you can also enjoy waxworks, two spectacular mazes, a haunted house, a shooting ride, and a “9D” multisensory moving cinema.
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