Day-trips to islands
- Koh Larn, if you’ve come to Thailand for white-sand tropical beaches and diving in crystal-clear waters, then a day trip to Koh Larn (aka “Coral Island”) provides anything you’ve come here looking for.
Koh Larn has six popular beaches, all with fine white sand and unpolluted waters, where you can enjoy sunbathing in a picturesque tropical environment; it’s probably still your best option for a relaxed day at the beach.
Various water/underwater activities like banana boat and jet-ski rides, scuba diving, snorkelling or submarine rides, are available around Koh Larn. Overnight stays in bungalows are possible, too.For getting to Koh Larn, you can book fully arranged day-trips, for approx. 500 to 600 Baht, price includes minibus collection from your hotel, ferry, lunch and soft drinks.
A cheaper yet slightly slower alternative is to board one the regular ferries departing from the Bali Hai Pier at the southern end of Walking Street. A one-way trip costs 20 Baht per person and takes 30-45 minutes.
Speedboats can be chartered from anywhere along Pattaya beach and Jomtien beach; expect to pay between 2,000 and 3,000 Baht. Smaller and less tourist-oriented islands (e.g. Koh Phai, Koh Sak, and Koh Krok) can be reached from either the mainland beaches or Koh Larn.
Koh Samet, If Pattaya and Jomtien beach fail to satisfy your desire for a tranquil and relaxing beach vacation, Koh Chang is too far away for you, and a day-trip to Koh Larn was just long enough to give you a taste of what a tropical beach in Thailand can be like, then Koh Samet might be just the place to go for you. With a length of seven kilometres and a maximum width of three kilometres only, this T-shaped island isn’t popular only with Bangkokians, but also a favourite tour destination for Pattaya tourists.
Samet island is located just seven kilometres offshore the fishing village of Ban Phe in Rayong province. Ban Phe can be reached from Pattaya in about 90 minutes (minibus transfer recommended). Ferries to Koh Samet leave regularly from the Ban Phe pier; the crossing takes around 30-45 minutes.
As Koh Samet is a Marine National Park, visitors have to pay an entry fee upon arrival: 400 Baht for foreigners, 40 Baht for Thais. Minibus to Ban Phe, Ferry service to Koh Samet ask at the desk in the hostel
Those who seek more challenging activities than just sunbathing and swimming can enjoy a boat trip around the island, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling for coral in the shallow waters, or hiking in the tropical back-country.
Excellent seafood and barbecue restaurants can be found right at the seafront along the beaches at the east coach, and provide perfect scenery for romantic sunset dinners.
Koh Samet is still very much a natural resort with no proper roads being constructed yet and just a track and footpaths around the island’s coastline. Except from 24h electricity and running water available now, a couple of minimarts and souvenir shops, the islands’ infrastructure is not really developed yet.
- Ko Khrok (or Krok). 2 km east of Ko Larn, is an isolated rocky islet with a single 100 metre stretch of sandy beach to the east, where visitors can see coral reefs.
- Ko Phai (or Bamboo Island). Ko Phai, and other islands in the Ko Phai group, Ko Klung Badan (or Krung Badan), Ko Luam (or Leom), Ko Man Wichai and Ko Rin (or Lin) – are preferred destinations for scuba divers, and are also popular for general relaxation, fishing, swimming and snorkelling day trips. This area is controlled by the Royal Thai Navy, and overnight stays are not permitted. For a return speedboat charter from one of the mainland beaches or Bali Hai Pier (approx. 23 km / 2 hours), expect to pay 2,500-4,000 baht; possibly less from Ko Larn.