Nong Nooch tropical gardens close to Pattaya is the largest botanical garden in South East Asia. The vast gardens are set in an area of around 600 acres, that originally was to be used as a plantation to grow local fruits.
The area was then first turned into a garden for conservation of certain species of plants and flowers, and was later opened to visitors.
In the gardens you will find an enormous number of plant and flower species in a particularly well kept environment.
Several sections of Nong Nooch are set in a specific theme.
The almost four acres large French garden was inspired by the gardens of the 17th century Palace of Versailles.
In the Animal Sculpture garden you will find sculptures of animals as camels, kangaroos, lamas, leopards and deer.
Stonehenge garden is modeled after a famous prehistoric monument in England named Stonehenge, a ring of large standing stones believed to have been erected some 5,000 years ago.
On the gentle slope of the Butterfly Hill you will find beds of several species of colorful flowers planted in a way to resemble the shape of a butterfly.
A few of the many other gardens are Bonsai garden, Desert Rose garden, Italian garden, Orchid garden, Cycad valley and Bromeliad display garden.
Orchids, Palms, & Cycads collectionsThailand is well known for its many beautiful orchids. In Nong Nooch garden, you can admire more than 650 species with a wide array of colors.
Another thing Nong Nooch is famous for is its variety of palms. Currently, more than 1,100 species of palms grow in the gardens, more than anywhere else in the world.
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Nong Nooch garden also has one of the largest collections of cycad species in the world. Cycads are mostly found in tropical environments and can live very long, up to many hundreds of years. Unfortunately, many species are becoming rare.
Nong Nooch garden is working together with organizations as the IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature) to perform research on Cycads and to create a diverse collection of Cycads, especially the most threatened species, in order to preserve these beautiful plants for the future.
Cactuses and fat plants
A collection of cactuses and fat plants (succulents) that are usually found in much dryer conditions such as deserts, can be found in the cactus garden. Although the Thai climate is too humid for these plants to grow in the wild, Nong Nooch has succeeded in growing them in an outdoor area.
Heliconia and Zingiberales
A huge collection of hundreds of species of Heliconia and Zingiberales is also present in the gardens. These beautiful flowers, some of which are native to Thailand, are known for there very bright colors.
Thai cultural and elephant shows
Visitors can enjoy a number of shows at Nong Nooch garden. View a varied program of Thai cultural and traditional performances like Thai wedding ceremony, traditional Thai dance performed by dancers wearing elegant traditional Thai dress and musical performances.
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You can also watch a demonstration of ancient fighting techniques like sword fighting, martial arts and even a demonstration of soldiers fighting on elephants like in the days of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.