On the 5th of May 2016 the last of a series of new water parks in Thailand opened in Pattaya. I was lucky to be able to visit only a week later and here are some of my impressions.
Ramayana Water Park is located in Silverlake, south of Pattaya. Despite being quite far from the main hotel areas (Jomtien, Pattaya Beach), there is ample signage on the main road and most people seem to know about it. It helps that the project has been under construction for 5 years!
Opening promotion ticket prices (Adult – THB990, Child – THB790) are 20-40% cheaper than Cartoon Network Amazone, Pattaya’s other major water park also located in Pattaya South (10min drive from Ramayana).
Ramayana is shouting loud and clear it is Thailand’s biggest water park. I guess it makes for an easy positioning; and big always works in marketing! Using the theme – Ramayana – would have been a bit more difficult; and you will understand why below.
I went on a weekday (Friday) and the park was not too busy; there was a good mix of Thai families and tourists (Russian, European) mostly in couples. This made for an overall good family fun atmosphere.
The first thing that struck me about the park was indeed that it felt big thanks to the sense of space (enhanced by the setting in a flatland surrounded by hills) together with the sense of generosity (lots of seats and umbrellas everywhere, large shaded areas, spacious locker and shower room, etc). Then came the attention to details: uniforms, landscaping and soundscape.
But the most memorable was probably the service, starting with guest service staff assisting while in the queue to explain how the park works, and then continuing on throughout the park with staff that was helpful, spoke good English and presented very well. I was very well looked after and someone even helped me sort-out transportation back to Bangkok. I definitely left with a smile and so did most of the visitors who were being greeted goodbye by friendly staff!
In terms of rides and facilities, Ramayana offers the latest in trends and technology. The park is cashless and using a barcode wristband (incl. locker systems). The numerous slides are all from Whitewater including Thailand’s first water coaster (going up and down a few times) and the same kids play area as the new Lost Lagoon at Sunway Lagoon. It’s really fun!
The park provides a variety of different ambiences for different age groups and moods: kids, toddlers, activity pool, relax pool, wave pool. The only disappointment is actually the wave pool, which felt a bit small and with no strong backdrop/theming.
Speaking of theming, this is where I was disappointed, or rather mislead. My understanding was that when this project started many years ago it was going to be heavily themed following the myths & legends of Ramayana. But maybe with time and possibly changes in the management it seems the theming was forgotten; there is no flow-through on the slides or in the visual identity (logo, signage, etc).
In summary ‘Thailand’s biggest water park’ is probably the best tagline for this well executed, spacious and generous park offering the latest and best in facilities. This makes a great park for families with younger kids and therefore a good complement to Cartoon Network Amazone, which is targeting teenagers and young adults (DJ’s, live shows, etc). Visitors to Pattaya now have two great options for a fun day-out in the new water capital of SE Asia; a great positioning for the growing family tourism market into the region!