Bangkok - Further Afield
Bangkok isn’t the best place for beaches. However, should you wish to combine your city break with some time at the coast, you can easily arrange a day or two at the Gulf, where the warm waters of the South China Sea wash ashore.
The best options for this are Pattaya, Hua Hin, Cha-am, Ko Samet and Ko Chang.
Pattaya is a very developed beach resort only a couple of hours from Bangkok, but the beach itself is only average. Still, its proximity to the capital – and easy transport links between them – makes it a good choice for a swift beach-fix. Although, in reality, most Thai people come here for the vibrant nightlife.
Ko Samet has wonderful, white sand and palm tree-lined beaches. The most popular, Diamond beach, caters mainly to rich Thai tourists and is very developed. Other beaches around this tiny island are much quieter, cheaper and more serene. Ko Samet is a national park and, in order to keep environmental damage to an absolute minimum, charges an entrance fee of 200B per person for foreigners, 20B for Thais.
Hua hin’s five-mile long beach was once the playground of the Thai Royal Family but, these days it’s a rather tired looking place. Accommodation here is good value, should you wish to stay overnight, and there are some great seafood restaurants, where the pace is a lot less frantic than in downtown Bangkok. The beach is clean, with good facilities.