Koh Larn A Pattaya Option
Koh Larn is a small island (approximately 4 km long x 2 km wide) situated 7.5 km from the Pattaya coast. It has around 1,000 permanent inhabitants and the island has its own police station, school and medical facility. The island is a place of thick, lush vegetation, with large hills. There are six beaches with soft white sand, surrounded by beautifully clear, tropical waters. For those disappointed by the main beach of Pattaya’s Beach Road, they are a delight and the crystal clear warm sea, safe to swim.
The island can be reached by the main ferry at the Bali Hai pier. The journey is an hourly service, costs 30 baht each way and takes around 45 minutes. Care should be taken when embarking and disembarking when seas are rough during the monsoon season. There is also a ‘fast ferry’ service which costs around 150 baht. It takes 30 minutes to the island, but delivers you direct to the beach. With baht bus transfers from the main Naban Pier to the main beaches the price works out roughly the same. The fast ferry however, stops in knee deep water and is not easy for older or less agile persons to negotiate.
The six beaches on the island are, Taewan, which is by far the most popular, a beautiful beach with very good facilities, it has many visitors, not only Western, but also Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean and increasingly, Chinese. Taewan has a number of shops, from convenience stores to garments and souvenirs and a number of restaurants on the beach itself. Samae beach is another fine example, 700 metres long and has been developed in a different way, with attractive streets, a park and environmentally friendly energies such as solar and wind power. There are some good accommodations here, for those wishing to spend more than just a day trip to the island.
Thong Lang beach was once as popular as Taewan, but due to access difficulties it is now regarded as a quiet beach. The nearby coral reefs are the main attraction, and the beach can be reached by motorbike and a short walk. Nual beach is another quiet beach and due to the many reefs, it is not suitable for swimming. It is ideal for those wishing to sunbathe and relax. It is also the most easily accessible of Koh Larn’s beaches, without having to negotiate the island’s large hills. Ta Yai is a small beach is also an easy to reach location, just turn right at Naban pier. It is on the way to the island’s shooting range. It is very quiet with only one shop and no accommodation, but a picturesque beach nonetheless. The other beach on the island is Tien, another beach that is a quiet spot, with not many facilities. It is a great area to enjoy the tropical sunsets and an ideal place to ‘chill’. During the monsoon season it becomes more popular due to its sheltered location.
In addition to beautiful beaches and swimming in crystal clear waters, Koh Larn offers snorkeling, jet skis, parasailing and the popular ‘underwater walking’ among other activities. Restaurant and drinks prices are reasonable and overall the island is a great place to unwind.