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With Thailand offering a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for Indians, now is the chance to discover this city

Postcard from Pattaya: With Thailand offering a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for Indians, here is your chance to discover local markets, five-star resorts, relaxing spas and a museum on parody in port city

Thailand is welcoming tourists from India with the current visa-on-arrival fee waiver extended till April 2020. Earlier, a visa-on-arrival would cost approximately ₹4,500, but with the waiver, you only have the queue to beat.

When someone mentions Thailand, the first place that usually comes to mind is Bangkok. But a comfortable 90-minute drive from the capital is its quieter cousin, Pattaya. This fishing town might be less famous than the country’s capital, but it packs a punch.

From the famous Walking Street to the floating and night markets, Pattaya will make sure you don’t miss Bangkok. But it is the Sanctuary of Truth, one of Pattaya’s iconic structures, that make it a must-visit. Commissioned by a local business tycoon, the beautiful and intricately carved wooden structure acts as a place of appreciation for art, philosophy, culture and faith. A walk around the Sanctuary, which sits near the Wongamat Beach, will leave you in awe of the craftsmanship of the workers. The structure might look straight out of a history book, but its construction began only in 1981 and is still ongoing. Tourists are permitted to tour the Sanctuary with a helmet provided for their safety due to the ongoing construction work.

Next, you can make a pitstop at the Parody Art Museum. The museum is also home to a 3D selfie studio, which lets you be a part of fun situations.

The jaw-dropping KAAN Show, a hybrid of live action, cinema and stage performance combined with futuristic technology is also a must-watch when in Pattaya.

Apart from sight-hopping, one of the many things vying to capture your attention are the resorts in Pattaya. Amari Pattaya, one of the finest in the city, was recently renovated and overlooks the ocean. Right from when you enter the lobby, which reflects the waves, you are transported into a world of calm.

The resort offers visitors a choice between the new Amari Suites, residential-style suites for large families, and the Amari Tower which offers spacious rooms. It also has a little something for everyone, including tiny tots. While you are checking in, your children too can do the same in the kids’ check-in area, where they can win surprise gifts from a gumball machine! Children can also enjoy their meals at the local food market-inspired Amaya Food Gallery, as the restaurant has a separate space and menu for kids. And, if you like to eat your food with a view, head to the Executive Club Lounge on the 19th floor of the Amari Tower.

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    Not in the mood to step out? You could take a dip in the resort’s outdoor free-form pool, complete with water slides to add to the thrill. The ground floor rooms of the Amari Suites have private access to the lawns and the pool.

    A trip to Thailand is incomplete without the famous Thai massage. There are numerous government-owned and private massage parlours in Pattaya. Amari too offers a rejuvenating experience at its Breeze Spa, with professional therapists. There is even space for a kid’s spa. So, if you are travelling with a child, you can enjoy your massage, while he or she enjoys theirs and make the most of your holiday.

    The author was in Thailand at the invitation of Amari Pattaya

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    Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 12:28:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/postcard-from-pattaya/article30624420.ece

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