The city of Pattaya, second most visited City of Thailand feels like one big theme park. It’s a good thing since it used to have a reputation of being seedy. Not only were the stretches of beach a main draw and the Pattaya Sea Adventure, there are several man-made attractions. From the lively night life of cabarets and muay thai arenas, theme parks have popped up all over the place. The Underwater World Pattaya is one that is family friendly and offers a glimpse of the nearby underwater world of Thailand without the need to get wet.
We’re in the midst of the summer season heat and the call of the sea grows even stronger. With AirAsia Filipino introducing direct flights from Manila to Bangkok, there’s another beach or island getaway to add to your summer destination – Pattaya, Thailand. Pattaya, is the second most visited city in Thailand after Bangkok and there’s a good reason why. It’s the closest beach escape from the bustling city. For a full day of tropical island fun, Pattaya Sea Adventure handled our tour (booked via KKday) which includes parachute ride, sea walk, snorkeling and beach bumming at Koh Larn Island.
I was planning to go back early to Siargao but decided to take it easy. Spent the morning at the Puting Bato beach and enjoyed some down time at Sohoton Bay Resort. Before making my way back to Siargao, Sir Ed suggested we visit one of the attractions that was to open this April 2018 – the Giant Mangroves of San Roque. These rainforest of the sea have always fascinated me. They are one of the indication how healthy the environment is so I try to see them when there is one in the area.
This is one of the places where you had to know the right time to visit. Access to Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande is only during low tide. Coming from Tundan Cave, we went back to Sohoton Bay Resort for a short lunch break before returning for the cove in the early afternoon. I was already impressed with what I’ve seen of Bucas Grande in general. The low round karst hills and islets reminds me of chocolate hills but this one over the majestic Palawan blue waters. That’s until we passed through the 40-meter low cave and entered the world of Sohoton Cove.
Change of plans. I love it when my companions are just ready for anything. Meeting hiking buddies Christine and Marky early Friday morning in Cubao, we were supposed to go to another mountain. As fast as the changing wind, we decided to visit another mountain at the vicinity of Daraitan – Mt Mamara. A smaller brother of Mt Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal, Mt Mamara was opened as an alternative to climbers who got cut-off from the maximum 300 pax per day limit of climbers for Mt Daraitan. It may be a minor mountain but the rewards of the climb is equally captivating.
Just a short boat ride from Tiktikan Lagoon are three caves open for exploration. The popular Crystal Cave and Bolitas Cave are easy and accessible which are often visited by tourist. The third cave, Tundan Cave sees less visitors as it is longer and requires an extra fee for exploration. Since I have only limited time to explore I picked what the guides considered the best among them, Tundan Cave. It may be more than half a kilometer long but the cave formations are remarkable.
Just checking in at Sohoton Bay Resort was already a preview of what Bucas Grande Island holds. This municipality has often been overshadowed by the nearby island of Siargao. There are even day tours from Siargao for Sohoton Cove and their stingless jellyfish which people often mistake as being part of their municipality. But Bucas Grande is a destination of its own. My tour starts at Tiktikan Lagoon (also referred to as the Tiktikan Lake), a serene body of water concealed within Sohoton Cove.