White-washed houses and blue domes atop churches, this iconic blue and white coloured landscape has long become synonymous with Greece’s Santorini. If you can’t afford such a vacation but still really want to have a getaway with a similar picturesque background, why not consider "Santorini Park" in Thailand for a fraction of the price?
Opened in 2012, Santorini Park brings a piece of the blue and white paradise to Cha-am, a 2 hour drive from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, and a 30-minute drive from Hua Hin. Read on to check out what to do at this gorgeous attraction that integrates art, shopping and amusement together.
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Divided into 5 different zones
Santorini Park Cha-am is divided into five different zones. The Park Zone consists of amusement park rides such as the 40 metre (131 feet) high ferris wheel, G-Max reverse bungee and carousel etc. The Village Zone has an eclectic mix of retail outlets with familiar names like Converse, Adidas, Crocs and Ed Hardy, but also boutiques that sell cute souvenirs and handmade items. The Rest Area has fast food outlets, convenience stores and restaurants that offer a variety of food options, ranging from desserts to Japanese cuisine. The Activity Zone is a huge area for holding concerts and other performances whereas the Weekend Art Market features a range of flea-market shops on weekends.
A dreamy place with photography opportunities at every corner
Once you step into Santorini Park, you will be in awe of the lovely hues of blue and white everywhere as the architecture is modelled after Santorini. A charming and cheerful enclave, people who love snapping pictures will find this place a photography heaven as there are cute props like bicycles, lining the stone-paved streets, sculptures, and interactive artworks on the whitewashed walls that call out for you to pose with for a photograph.
The admission fee is 150 THB (about 4 USD) for non-Thais and 50 THB (about 1.50 USD) for Thais.
Ideal place for a romantic pre-wedding photoshoot
With colourful sculptures, whimsical musical notes, painted stairways and cute potted plants on the walls as backdrop, this is an ideal place for couples to snap pre-wedding photographs. Wedding packages are offered and are available for reservation.
Check out the Trick Art Museum for 3D photo-taking opportunities
There are many rides and attractions in Santorini Park, which makes it fun to enjoy with friends and family; however, you will need separate admission tickets for each individual ride or attraction. You can choose to go on the ferris wheel to get a bird's eye view of the entire park, get transported into your childhood days with a carousel ride, or even jump on a trampoline if you feel like working up a sweat.
I personally enjoyed posing with different paintings in the Trick Art Museum. The museum is filled with various paintings that trick the eye with optical illusions, thereby turning two-dimensional paintings into three-dimensional images. At 240 THB (about 7 USD) for admission, it is still cheaper than similar trick art museums in other countries, which makes it a pretty good deal for those who have never tried it before.
Even the bathroom is gorgeous
Before you leave Santorini Park, definitely visit the bathroom because even the interior of the bathroom is nicely designed after Santorini. You can find stone, fish sculptures on blue walls and a pretty basin modeled like a fountain, making it impossible for one to resist snapping pictures even in a bathroom.
A great place for family fun with lots of photo-taking opportunities
Santorini Park is a great place for a half-day trip from Bangkok or Hua Hin. I really enjoyed the artsy vibe and pretty architecture in Santorini Park, which takes you away from the hustle and bustle of a busy city and, of course, transports you to Santorini, only without the beaches and sea. With family-friendly activities, affordable food and shopping, not to mention photo-taking opportunities at every corner, this is a great place to go with your family as you’ll create memories in front of the many colourful backdrops.