PATTAYA, 7 April 2021: Being one of the closest beach destinations to Bangkok has always been a major plus point for city residents who love their holiday breaks. It is less than a two-hour drive away on a motorway and six-lane highways from the densely populated Thai capital. While Pattaya City may not boast of idyllic beaches for that relaxing time you are looking for, it is blessed with a cluster of offshore islands just a short ferry transfer from main bay Pattaya.

If you’re looking for some relaxing beach time, here are recommendations to a few of the islands near Pattaya you can consider

Koh Larn (Coral Island)

Probably the most popular islands from Pattaya City because of its proximity. Blessed for its white-sand beaches, this island is perfect for a lazy day just sun tanning with 6 beaches to choose from. 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 busy boat traffic, especially over the weekends. The island is also pretty set up with restaurants on the island 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.

Koh Sak

Picture: Islander’s Website.

A small neighbour of Koh Larn, Koh Sak is a tiny horseshoe-shaped island, once an exclusive private island for the country’s military elite during the 1960s. 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.

Koh Sak is only accessible by speed boat and takes about 1 hour.

Koh Phai (Bamboo Island)

With one of the nicest reefs around the islands, as well as the wreck of HTMS Khram, Koh Phai is a popular island frequented by those looking for an adventurous time underwater. Even if you’re not a diver, you can still sunbathe on its beach or snorkel out to explore the beautiful coral reefs. As one of the islands under the protection of the Royal Thai Navy, there are no facilities and overnight stays are not allowed so be prepared to bring your own food and water, unless you join an island tour.

As with Koh Sak, there are no regular ferries servicing Koh Phai, and it’s only accessible by speed boat, 2 hours from Bali Hai Pier.

Koh Sichang

King Chulalongkorn’s Summer Palace. Picture: @kohpccpl / Instagram.

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.

View from the Yellow Buddha. Picture Credit: @nuengmesa / Instagram.

Regular ferry services between Si Racha(north of Pattaya) and Koh Sichang takes about 20 minutes each way.

Koh KletKaew (Monkey Island)

Monkeys for neighbours. Picture Credit: Eizy Travel’s Website.

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:
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(Source: Your Stories Hard Rock Pattaya)