Nong Nooch Park
There is one place in tourist Thailand, after visiting which the tourist has the impression that he has visited … paradise. The place is really heavenly.
This is a huge, magnificent, unusually bright, cozy Nong Nooch Park, located 17 kilometers south of Pattaya. If you have already chosen such Thailand – with vibrant nightlife, restaurants and bars – then you must visit Nong Nooch. This park cleanses the soul.
Nong Nooch – a whole complex of gardens and parks. It occupies an area of 210 and a half hectares and is constantly being rebuilt, but so that continuous improvement to perfection does not spoil the look of this amazing place.
The history of the park began in 1954, when Mr. Pisit and Mrs. (she is also called Madame) Nong Nooch Tansaka bought land in Chonburi province where they planned to plant fruit and vegetable plantations. The place was chosen very accurately – today Chonburi is one of the most popular tourist resorts in the world. But then, in 1954, Pattaya was a small fishing village, one of many on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. There was no talk of any tourism. And what kind of foresight it was necessary to possess in order to invest a lot of money not in agricultural production, but in a future tourist attraction.
The park was built for a long time. And opened to visitors in 1980. Since then, the flow of tourists rushing to Nong Nooch has only increased. And the park itself is becoming more and more beautiful.
The pearl of Nong Nooch is located in the middle of the once dense jungle. Today we can’t talk about the virginity of these places. Chonburi is a fairly populated province – suffice it to say that during the peak season the population of Pattaya increases six times. But still, the park’s keepers managed to save Nong Nooch from the destructive influence of civilization. On the contrary, people ennobled this place, turned it into a continuously blooming garden, which at any time of the year pleases with bright colors of tropical plants.
One of the most impressive tourist attractions located on the territory of Nong Nooch is the orchid garden. Yes, this is an attraction – in nature it is impossible to see such a variety of orchids in one place. Orchid gardens usually begin organized excursions. And this is exactly the place in the park where you want to return.
Orchid gardeners say it’s easy to care for these moody flowers. It is enough to maintain life in those plants on which orchids parasitize, and protect the flowers themselves from direct sunlight (the garden is shaded with a net). It is not necessary to maintain a microclimate, as in our greenhouses – the tropics of Thailand are the natural habitat for orchids … How beautiful these flowers are! At the exit of the park, after the tour, you can buy orchid seedlings, packed in special bottles. These orchids can be safely exported from the country (difficulties can arise only when imported into Russia – if you do not pay attention to the certificates that accompany the bottles with orchids).
Another wonderful place is the cactus garden. It is broken in the open air and simply amazes with bizarre forms of plants. Even if you do not have a competent guide (and in Thailand a good guide is a rarity), cacti are worthy of looking at them – to sit on a bench, think about life. Peer into this enchanting world. And try to realize how small our planet is. And how unusually beautiful …
Something in the park Nong Nooch like more, something less. This is inevitable – everyone has different tastes. The architecture of the French garden, in which European classical landscape design is combined with oriental ritual stupas in abundance placed in the garden, seemed to us … an unnatural combination of incongruous. But everything is done subtly, richly, beautifully. Every bush, every tree, every flower garden is well-groomed. And if you try to focus on the details, the overall picture breaks down into delightful fragments. And the impression of the garden is subtly changing.
The Blue Garden is a unique collection of palm trees and ferns. About half of all palm trees living on the planet grow here (more precisely, 1100 species and varieties from 2600 or 2800 – as indicated in encyclopedias and guidebooks).
In general, Nong Nooch is a place where you constantly discover something new. You walk around the park and suddenly find yourself in a … garage, which contains a collection of cars belonging to the current director of the park, Kampon Tansake, the son of the founder Nong Nooch. Why are these cars here? But … terribly curious. And, perhaps, beautiful. Although the nature of Thailand has nothing to do.
And the butterfly garden? Aviaries fenced off from the outside world by a curtain of hanging chains. Butterflies fly right over the heads of tourists. They sit on hands and shoulders. Like bright fresh flowers.
A completely miniature bird garden, arranged on the same principle? Before entering, you can buy a bag of some goodies (not bird – human, fruit sticks that are indefinable in the eyes of a European) and treat strange birds.