First came an outlet mall, then rides, restaurants and now an all singing, all dancing waterpark. Welcome to Santorini Water Fantasy, one of the latest of a shower of new waterparks to arrive in Thailand.
The 4-acre (1.6-hectrae) venue is located adjacent to the Cha-Am Premium Outlet Mall in Phetchaburi Province. Before the opening of the waterpark, visitors numbers were already as high as 10,000 per day. Between 10-20% of those are tourists, but the majority come from nearby Bangkok.
Now guests can enjoy THB 100 million ($3.1m/€2.2m) of aquatic facilities courtesy of Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems. The park’s main attraction is one the Turkish manufacturer’s signature King Cobra slides (pictured above), featuring a 260m (790ft) long twin slide path in which two riders can race alongside one another. Propelled through open and closed tubes via a water pressure of (14,668 litres) (3,875 gallons) per minute, they rush through an exhilarating series of twists, turns and surprises, reaching speeds of up to 51 km/h at 32 mph. The ride comes to an intense finish as they experience a heart-pounding plunge of nearly 25ft (8m) down a 50° slope.
Other Polin slides and attractions include a Looping Rocket adrenaline ride, Space Shuttle (pictured above), Windingo mat racer, Freefall, Aquatube, Rafting Slide, Black Hole, Kids Freefall, Space Hole, Kids Octopus Slide, Mini Pirate Slide, Turtle Slide, Rabbit Slide, Mini Rainbow Slide, Giraffe Shower, Mushroom, Frog Slide, Baby Octopus Slide and Aquatower Type 600 play structure. In total the facilities are designed to accommodate up to 3,500 guests.
Open Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6:30pm and weekends until 9pm, the waterpark also features a giant wave pool, a wide variety of food and drink offerings, air-conditioned cabanas and shopping. Ensuring guests can stay in touch with social media, even when they are in the water, is a specially-designed camera system them to uploading images of them enjoying attractions to their Facebook pages. It’s a “like” from us!
“Santorini Water Fantasy is a thrilling new addition to our plan for enriching the tourism in the area,” says Supoj Tantichirasakul of Pena House, the company that developed the mall and all adjacent Santorini Park facilities. He’s also big in fashion clothing. Tantichirasakul’s plan is to transform Cha-Am’s main road into a “Western Gold Coast,” similar to Australia’s Gold Coast. Other amusement parks and waterparks are planned in line with this vision.