Great Islands off Pattaya
Pattaya is one of the most lively cities in Thailand and has a plethora of nightlife, shopping, attractions, sporting activities, restaurants, cinemas and basically anything you can think of.
That is why so many tourists and Thai’s visit the city to enjoy all the amenities that are on offer, however there is one slight problem being that it tends to be crowded most of the time.
One option available is party and shop till your hearts content and then chill out at one of the spectacular islands just off the coast of Pattaya.
There are some splendid choices available just a boat ride away from the city centre that offer great beaches, crystal clear waters and cosy boutique hotels where you can relax and recuperate from all the previous exertions.
Koh Larn is the largest of the islands which can be reached from Bali Hai Pier and is the only one with a resident population, it is 7km away from the mainland. There are several small hotels, mostly around Na Ban which is the main pier and also dotted around the island's main beaches.
Koh Larn has six beaches; Samae, Tien, Tawaen, Naul, Tonglang and Tayaiy. The water is conducive for snorkelling although care is needed if you are swimming near the popular beaches due to the heavy boat traffic.
There is a small road that connects the island’s beaches and songtaews and motorbike taxi’s are available to take you anywhere you wish to go.
There is a regular ferry from Bali Hai Pier and Na Ban which take about 45 mins and is 30 baht per person.
Situated about 10km west of Pattaya and just 600m from Koh Larn, access is exclusively by speedboat from Bali Hai pier.
The tiny horseshoe island is uninhabited and has gorgeous white sandy beaches, the beach that lines the U-shaped bay is the largest at 250m in length. On this beach is a small restaurant serving food and drinks.
There is a path that runs across the island to a smaller beach 80m on the other side.
The island and the waters surrounding it are particularly popular with divers and snorkelers, and the large sheltered bay are particularly good for beginners. The corals and and sea life in Koh Sak’s waters are really interesting including hawksbill turtles and several bamboo sharks.
The best way of gaining access to Koh Samet is by driving to Rayong, less than one hours drive from Pattaya and then take a ferry from Ban Phe Pier.
If you are seeking an tropical getaway then Koh Samet is not the place as it is probably the most popular of the islands off the coast of Pattaya. The island is usually packed with visitors at weekends and long holidays and you will find most accommodation booked up. Many visitors come to the island for the throbbing nightlife which is like an island version of Walking Street.
There are some fabulous remote beaches away from the crowds with excellent swimming in the warm, crystal clear waters.
These are just three of the nine great islands off the coast of Pattaya with the other six being; Koh Krok, Koh Phai, Koh Rin, Koh Khram, Koh Si Chang and Monkey Island. If you are visiting the Pattaya area then take time out to visit one or even more of these tropical paradises, it will be well worth the effort.