PATTAYA, 22 December 2020: Just two hours away from the densely populated Thai capital, Pattaya a popular holiday destination welcomes locals and foreigners resident in the country.
While Pattaya City may not boast of idyllic deserted beaches, there are many islands close by with sandy shores and clear waters for a fun-filled vacation.
If you’re looking for some relaxing beach time, here are recommendations on the top islands near Pattaya.
Koh Larn (Coral Island)
Probably the most popular island from Pattaya City because of its proximity. It is blessed with white-sand beaches and makes for a perfect lazy day just sun tanning on one of six beaches.
Those looking for some fun in the water can also try out various water sports like banana boat, parasailing and Jet Ski. While snorkelling is possible, you should probably save it for another island due to boat traffic, especially at the weekends. The island is also set up with seafood restaurants, so you don’t have to worry about not finding food.
To get to Koh Larn, you can catch a regular ferry from Bali Hai Pier that takes about 40 mins one way or charter a speedboat that will take you there in 20 minutes.
A small neighbour of Koh Larn, Koh Sak is a tiny horseshoe-shaped island, once an exclusive private island for the rich and famous, including the first men on the moon Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.
The island’s U-shaped bay where the beach sits makes a great shelter for marine life and for snorkelling and diving. A wreck of the sunken HTMS Kut scuttled by the Royal Thai Navy makes a spot for divers, with frequent spotting of Bamboo Sharks and Hawksbill Turtles.
Remains of King Chulalongkorn’s Summer Palace, Picture credit: Renown Travel
While its beaches are not as pristine and picturesque, Koh Sichang makes a nice island day trip for those looking for a little sightseeing on the side. Visit the remains of the former summer retreat built for King Chulalongkorn, or learn more about Buddhist culture by visiting the Yellow Buddha with beautiful views from the lookout or trek up a hill to find the only replica of Buddha’s footprint in Thailand.
Regular ferry services between Si Racha (north of Pattaya) and Koh Sichang takes about 20 minutes each way.
Koh KletKaew (Monkey Island)
As the name suggests, this island is home to Macaques and is a nice day island day trip for photographers. Be welcomed by hundreds of monkeys as you arrive. These monkeys are accustomed to human contact and have become “photoholics”. They will gladly post for a picture or two.
You definitely won’t want to be lazing on the beach with these monkeys, but it’s definitely worth a trip for that interesting experience.
Join an island-hopping tour from Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Na Jomtien to visit these furry fellas.
Where To Stay: Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya at http://bit.ly/HardRockPattaya-TTRWeekly