Travel In Sriracha Part 1
Amphoe Si Racha K0 Loi (เกาะลอย) This is a small islet near the northern shore of Si Racha. Connected to the mainland by a bridge, it is a popular location for recreation by the local people. Visitors can enjoy feeding sea turtles in a pond. A flight of stairs leads up to the breezy hill-top temple which offers a delightful view of the sea.
Sriracha Tiger Zoo (สวนเสือศรีราชา) At Kms. 20 on Highway No. 324l between Pattaya and Bang Saen Beach, or l0 kilometres from Si Racha District, this is a well-maintained zoo with hoards of crocodiles, Bengal tigers, camel, deer, scorpions and more. There are four different shows at various times during the day, including crocodile and tiger shows. Visitors also see how friendship can be possible among tigers, pigs and dogs who live together. The park is open daily from 8.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m.Admission: 350 baht for adults and 200 baht for children. Tel. 0 3829 6556-8 Bangkok Tel. 0 2934 7841, 0 2934 6637 or www.tigerzoo.c0m for more information.
Khao Kheow Open Zoo (สวนสัตว์เปิดเขาเขียว) Local in Tambon Bang Phra This famous zoo operated by the Zoological Garden Organization and covers a vast tract of forestland. It is Located 19 kilometres after a left turn at Bang Phra, about 20 kilometres south of Chon Buri on Sukhumvit Road. There are more than 200 species of wildlife living in their natural habitual. They include both domestic and imported types. Open daily from 8.00 a.m. until 6.00 p.m., the zoo is also put on shows of well-trained animals and birds. Until 11.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m. Admission fee is 300 baht for adults and 150 baht for children. Night Safari tours by auto-trams. Tel. 0 3829 8195,0 3829 8189 or www.zoothailand.org for more information.
Amphae Ko Sichang Ko Sichang (เกาะสีชัง) Twelve kilometers off the shore of Si Racha is the large island of Sichang offering pleasant and quiet mountain and sea views. Ko Sichang has served as a cargo station since the early days of the country's trading history. It is also the site of a summer palace built during the reign of King Rama V. Although abandon for over a century, several sections of the palace have been restored. Places of interest on the island include: Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อเขาใหญ่) Situated on a northern hill of the island, the shrine is a natural architecture masterpiece, revered by both the Thai and Chinese worshippers. From here the front side of the island with a panoramic view of Sichang community can be clearly seen.
Mondop atop Buddha ’s Footprint (มณฑปรอยพระพุทธบาท) King Rama V had this footprint replica installed on top of Khaya Sira Hill. It is another vantage point to admire Ko Sichang and its surrounding.
Hat Thana Khao Phang (หาดถ้ำเขาพัง) Hat Tham Khao Phang at the back of the island surrounds this white sandy beach. The sloping beach is thus on the un-windy side. The sea is clear and not too wavy. It is a good spot for swimming and lazing on the beach to admire the sunset.
Chong Khon Khat or Khon Khat Pass (ช่องเชาขาด) is a pass between mountains located at the back of the island and can be seen from the boat. It is scenic spot where visitors can admire the beautiful scenery and picturesque setting sun from a concrete bridge. There is also a beach of rounded pebbles of various sizes where King Rama V the Great’s pavillion was once situated.
Phra Chuthathut Ratchathan (พระจุฑาธุชราชฐาน) The only palace amidst the sea, King Rama V had it built in 1892 as a holiday retreat and a convalescence home for his wives and children. The king loved to visit Sichang Island because of the beautiful scenery and the tranquil atmosphere it offered. It was also a big cargo station with lively transactions with foreign ships. For the construction, the king spent the money from his private treasury. He named the palace after the name of Prince Chuthathut who was born here. The landscaping of the palace compound has carefully planned. Residential quarters, lawns, pools, and swamps are designed and located in ascending tiers from the beach up to the top of the hill, alternated with frangipani trees (Plumeria acuminata) of different colours. Each building was named after the queen who sponsored its decoration, for example, Watthana Mansion, Phongsi Mansion, and Aphirom Mansion. On the beach there is a green house made of wood decorated with ginger-bread patterns. A building called “Man-that Phairot” was unfortunately stopped by the Thai-Franco disturbance in 1894. In 1899 the king had it moved to Dusit Palace in Bangkok and had the construction completed. He named it “Vimanmek,” which is now opened as a museum. A temple called “Wat Atsadang Nimit” was also built on a hill near the palace. Western architectural style was adapted and applied to the construction of the temple. Facilities : There are several hotels and bungalows on the island. For local transport, motorised tricycles can be chartered to travel around. The narrow Road., on the island are in good condition, suitable for cycling and strolling.
How to get there : There are daily ferry services between Si Racha and Ko Sichang. Boats leave Ko Loi Si Racha everyday and every hours from 7.00 a.m.-8.00 p.m. It takes about 45 minutes for the journey. On return, boats leave Ko Sichang every hour from 6.00 a.m.-8.00 p.m. The boat services are operated by two companies: Saeng Prathip Tel. 0 3821 6237, 0 3831 3687 and Sichang Palace Tel. 0 3821 6276-82