All Or Nothing: This Man’s Passion Knows No Boundaries
A weekend trip during the Vesak Day long weekend led us to a garden that we had been wanting to visit – Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. We’ve seen the pictures and videos. But to have the opportunity to experience it ourselves? It’s out of this world, with the owner’s motto somewhere along the lines of “go big or go home”.
Yes, fuelling his passion for anything under the sun requires a pocket deeper than Mariana Trench, but for him to open up the park to the public makes us feel that he wants to share his happiness with the world. I mean, the funds at his disposal could be directed to less meaningful usage…
We arrived at the first of two car museums – and were greeted with air conditioning that were god-sent given how hot the weather was. It took us a good ten minutes to cool down, catch our breath and get into the groove to absorb the scale of his collection. From tractors, amphibious vehicles, supercars, hot hatches to rally-bred machines, 3-wheelers and military-grade trucks, I have not seen an accumulation of vehicles as diverse as this.
The owner of this park, Mr. Kampon Tansacha, also owns Scala Theatre in Bangkok, which was torn down a couple of years ago due to financial reasons (no thanks to the internet age, and Netflix). It was an icon right in the heart of town just next to Siam BTS and a real pity to have it demolished, but to know that he has other hobbies makes us wonder how one can possibly have so many hobbies. But we were proved very wrong…
Nong Nooch Tropical Garden was named after Khun Kampon’s mum, who opened the park in 1980 and attracted 2,000 visitors in its heyday. It was understandable how Khun Kampon wanted to keep the legacy in tact, but it was not easy during the pandemic having to pay wages for thousands of staff without inflow from Chinese tourists. It was encouraging however during our visit that it was packed with local travellers last Saturday – partially due to a 1 for 1 promotion, and a Yokohama Thailand event at the dining hall. Tickets usually cost THB300 per pax.
For now we’ll let more pictures from K Kampon’s car museums do the talking. It’s worth a visit for petrolheads whenever you’re in Pattaya!