The Santorini Park is one of the newest amusement parks within the Cha-Am and Hua Hin districts having officially opened on May 5 2012. This new complex is said to have been architecturally inspired by the Santorini Island in Greece which is why the buildings look very Mediterranean being painted in a white and blue colour combination. As Cha-Am is itself a city by the sea the theme seems to work quite well.
This relatively small amusement park
combines boutique style shopping with fun rides, restaurants, cafe's and other activities to
create what the owners of the 500 million baht amusement park term as
'an amused shopping experience'.
Indeed, at first glance the Santorini Park does look more like a Greek village than an amusement park with its waterfalls and fountains, paved walkways, white washed walls and sea blue contrasts.
However once inside the park and you see children and adults playing on the amusement rides and paid performers intermingling with the crowd, you will be left with little doubt that this place is all about having fun.
Although, be warned, like many amusement parks around the world the cost of rides are not included within the park entrance fee. The rides cost between 120-600 Thai baht per person so make you are cashed up if you are bringing children along.
This Cha-Am amusement park is popular for both Thai and foreign visitors and is owned by the Pena Group Public Company Limited which group has also owned and operated a variety of other retail outlets across Thailand since the 1980s.
THE IDEOLOGY BEHIND THE DESIGN
Their main aim during the construction of this amusement park was to create a happy retail atmosphere for families, an create an environment where people would want to take pictures and display them online. This ideology is evident by their incorporation of green area's, water features, and architecture and sculpture throughout the park.
HOW IT WORKS
The Santorini Park is divided into five different
zones and they include:
Zone 1: The Park Zone which is your typical amusement park contains all your fun rides including a 40 metre high Ferris wheel, the double decker carousel, the XD Dark Ride and 7 D interactive game. There is also a Wallholla climbing structure and the G-Max reverse bungee and G-Max giant swing.
Zone 2: The Village Zone contains over 100 boutique style shops selling a good collection of your brand label fashion including clothing and accessories yet this zone also has art and decor, lifestyle and handicrafts.
Zone 3: The Rest Area is where you can find the food outlets and convenience stores. The food and drink is actually quite well priced for a theme park although the rides are a little on the expensive side.
Zone 4: The Activity Zone is an open area that has been designed to host concerts and other live performances.
Zone 5: The Weekend Art Market is a wonderful 3000 square metre area . This is a zone that both art lovers and handicraft enthusiasts will enjoy.
The Santorini Park is located along Petchakasem Road in the Cha-Am district along the main road from Bangkok. The amusement park opens daily from 10 AM to 8 PM Monday to Friday and 10 AM to 10 PM on Saturday and Sunday with an entrance fee of 50 baht. The best way to travel there is by bus or taxi.
There are a number of ways to travel to from Bangkok to Cha-Am including by plane, train or bus. Trains depart Bangkok's Hualamphong train station daily at 9.20 AM and 3.35 PM with the journey taking about 4 hours. The train station at Cha-Am is located approximately 2 kilometres from the beach so you will need to take a taxi from the train station to complete the journey.
Buses from Bangkok's Southern (Sai Tai) Bus Terminal depart daily between the hours of 5 AM and 10 PM with the journey taking approximately 3 hours.
Flights from Bangkok (i.e. from Don Mueang Airport) to Hua Hin (located 25 kilometres from Cha-Am) are available via Solar Air who have flights on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 4 PM. Flight time is around 30 minutes with a cost of about 2,700 baht for adults.