Rayong to Pattaya

Getting the Buffalo by the Horns.
A bit of pace from my forward scout Troy today. I was given specific instructions by him that it was get to Pattaya in time for the 3rd and final series (State of Origin) rugby match, no matter what or bust. Built up area for a lot of the way and then for the last 40 km it was onto the fast moving Bangkok-Pattaya motorway which gave Troy even more incentive to get the buffalo by the horns and get here to Pattaya, at speed, for the game. Sadly, it was a Queensland loss, so tomorrow's rest day is also needed to get over the loss besides the rest.
It's been a hard slog for the last six days of riding (600 km) of varying road and weather conditions (quite scary) so Troy, Giles and myself are really looking forward to a day off here in Pattaya to recover before riding to Bangkok to be welcomed by our Australian Embassy Staff.
Pattaya is a resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, about 100 km south-east of Bangkok, within, but not part of, Amphoe Bang Lamung in the province of Chonburi. The Pattaya City is a self-governing municipal area which covers the whole tambonNong Prue and Na Klua and parts of Huai Yai and Nong Pla Lai. The city is in the industrial Eastern Seaboard zone, along with Si Racha, Laem Chabang, and Chonburi. Pattaya's census population figure is 107,000, yet this only account for residents who have formally registered in the city. Pattaya is the center of the Pattaya-Chonburi Metropolitan Area - the conurbation in Chonburi Province - with a total population exceeding 1,000,000.
Once a fishing town, Pattaya first boomed as an R&R destination during the Vietnam War. It is striving to become a family-oriented seaside destination. In 2007, foreign tourists visiting Thailand totaled 14.5 million.
Popular activities include golf (19 golf courses within 40 minutes of Pattaya) , go-kart racing, and visiting different theme parks and zoos such as the Elephant Village, where demonstrations of training methods and ancient ceremonial re-enactments are performed daily. The private Sri Racha Tiger Zoo features tigers, crocodiles, and other animals in daily shows. The Vimantaitalay tourist submarine offers 30-minute trips underwater to see corals and marine life just a few km offshore. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, about 15 km south of Pattaya, is a 500-acre (2.0 km2) botanical garden and orchid nursery where cultural shows with trained chimpanzees and elephants are presented. The park also keeps several tigers and an assortment of birds.
Other attractions in Pattaya include the Million Years Stone Park, Pattaya Crocodile Farm, Pattaya Park Beach Resort Water Park, Funny Land Amusement Park, Siriporn Orchid Farm, Silverlake Winery, Underwater World Pattaya, the Thai Alangkarn Theater Pattaya (cultural show), Bottle Art Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and Underwater World, an aquarium with a collection of marine species from the Gulf of Thailand including sharks and stingrays. Khao Pratamnak or Khao Phra Bat is a small hill between south Pattaya and Jomtien Beach that provides a panoramic view of the city and its crescent bay. The hill is topped by Wat Khao Phra Bat, a temple, and the monument of Kromluang Chomphonkhetudomsak, who is regarded as the founding father of the modern Thai navy.
The Cartoon Network Amazone is a water park near the navy base golf course that was opened in late-2014. It has a Cartoon Network theme. The park includes different zones where different water slides can be seen. There is also a wave pool and surfing simulator that anyone can use, and the largest water playground in south-east Asia, which also includes two tipping buckets. A food court was opened later in 2014, and includes a large variety of cuisines, from traditional Thai food to Italian and Japanese food. Small huts are available for rent around the park. Yearly passes are available for those who wish to come there often and easily walk into the park.
RamaYana, with a total size of more than 18 ha (45 acres / 102 Rai), is one of Asia’s biggest waterparks, was opened in May 2016. The park, which is designed as a modern waterpark built on an antique Asian city, offers 21 water slides, and some of them unique1, 2 dedicated children’s zones, a 600m long lazy river and a double wave pool with a 150m wide beach as well as relaxation and activity pools. The park, which is located 20 km south of Pattaya City, close to the big Buddha Mountain (Khao Chi Chan) and next to Silverlake vineyard, has natural lakes and islands in and around the park, and also includes attractions like a floating market, real elephants or a maze. A restaurant offers more than 100 dishes and food delivery to sun lounges, which are provided free of charge. The park also offers massage services and fish spa.
The Sanctuary of Truth is a large wooden structure constructed in 1981 by the sea at Laem Ratchawet. It was conceived from the concept that human civilization owes its existence to religious and philosophical truth.
Mini Siam is a miniature model village which celebrates the heritages of Thailand with replicas of the most famous monuments and historical sites including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Democracy Monument, the Bridge over the River Kwai, and Prasat Hin Phimai. Models of the Tower Bridge of London, Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, and Trevi Fountain are also displayed in the section called "mini-world".
Wat Yanasangwararam Woramahawihan is a temple constructed in 1976 for Somdet Phra Yanasangwon, the present supreme patriarch. Within the temple compound are a replica of the Buddha's footprint, and a large chedi containing Buddha relics.
Thepprasit Market is the biggest and busiest market in Pattaya. It is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening on Thepprasit Road. It is known for selling pets, has many Thai food stalls including local specialities like fried insects and scorpions as well as branded clothing, shoes, and electronic goods.
Sawadee Krub
Truck, Troy and Giles
Rest day in Pattaya (tomorrow) on the long ride home.