Koh Larn. Koh Larn Island
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There are many small islands situated within sight and easy reach of Pattaya, but the most popular and largest one is KohLarn, which has a regular ferry service during the day from Bali Hi Pier. Alternatively, many people, particularly those in a group, may prefer to hire a speedboat for the day to get to the other side of the island and to the more secluded islands as well. This option will be more expensive but gives you freedom to go island-hopping if you wish.
KohLarn (Coral Island) is popular with foreign tourists, not only for the diving and snorkelling over the coral, but also for the quality of its white beaches and blue sea. In the winter season more than 5000 people a day go to KohLarn, and it is as popular with Pattaya ex-pats as well as visitors.
Once you have reached KohLarn, which is only eight kilometres from Pattaya, you can visit the mountainous forest which takes up nearly all the interior and features a large number of different types of trees and flora, or you can go to one of the numerous beaches, many of which are very quiet. The way to get around the island is by taxi or motorbike taxi, the same as in Pattaya.
Ta Waen Beach: at the northern end of the island is popular for its 750-metre curving golden sands and clear blue sea. Asian holiday-makers particularly like this beach, where either they or their children can enjoy banana boats and jet-skis and other beach attractions.
Thong Lang Beach: has a relaxing atmosphere and the foremost activity here is shallow-water coral snorkeling. This small beach is very private and tranquil and if you don’t want to snorkel you can go out in a glass bottomed boat, or ‘sea-walk’ to see the corals for a fee of 1500 baht.
Sangwan Beach: next door to Ta Wean is only 150 meters long but is a lot more private and quiet.
Thien Beach: on the western side of Koh Larn is around 500 miters long and has the same facilities as Ta Wean but is a lot quieter. There are jet-skis and banana boats here but they do not intrude in the sun-bathing and swimming on this beach, where Thais and Westerners enjoy the sea equally. You can stay the night here in a bungalow or tent, but Samae Beach is much more popular for this option.
Samae Beach: has a fine sandy beach about 300 metres long and is a favourite with Western visitors. The Scenic Viewing Point shows both the modern face of Pattaya and Koh Larn and its superb setting in the Gulf of Thailand. The Western visitors encourage westernised overnight accommodation and facilities here.
Nual Beach: in the southern part of the island is under private privilege. There is a 250 metre beach, hotels on the beachfront and some good coral. The beach is a favourite with snorkellers for the shallow coral formations and clear sea.
There are many ways to get to Koh Larn. The easiest way is by speed boat, all along Beach Road you will find speed boat operators. Cost of speed boat to the Island is between 1500baht and 2500baht for a group of people. The other way is the Koh Larn ferry, cost is 20baht per person, each way.