Some people think that all beaches are the same – that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Those people have never been to Thailand.
A perfect example is Koh Larn, an island that’s just a short boat ride away from Pattaya Beach. Koh Larn has a unique atmosphere and design, with the sea a distinctive bright blue colour.
Whether you’re seeking the perfect selfie, or if you just love the white sand, crystal clear water, ‘salt in the air, sand in my hair’ experience, as soon as you arrive on Koh Larn, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Here are some quick facts about the island, before you dive in:
- The island is located in the Gulf of Thailand, 7km from Pattaya Beach.
- It’s just 4km long and 2km wide, with the highest hilltop reaching 180m.
- There are 6 main beaches (all of which have full facilities, bathrooms and showers).
- Those seeking an overnight stay can choose anything from budget rooms to luxury accommodation.
There’s a lot of fun to be had on this tiny island near Pattaya – so let’s just jump right into it.
Koh Larn – perfect for a day trip
Travelling to Koh Larn
You’ve got your swimsuit on, and day bag packed: Sunscreen? Check! Swimsuit? Check! Adventurous spirit? Check!
If you’re ready for Koh Larn, the first thing you need to do is book a ride to the island. The most popular kinds of transport are speedboat and ferry. Both can be booked from the Bali Hai Pier in Pattaya.
The speedboat to Koh Larn will be quick and bumpy, taking approximately 15 minutes. The ride costs 300-400 baht per person, or 2,000-3,500 baht if you want to rent the whole boat. The ferry to Koh Larn is smoother but slower. It costs just 30 baht per person, and takes around 45 minutes.
After a bit of decision-making, you’ve chosen a transportation method, hopped onboard, and you’re on your way to Koh Larn.
Getting around the island
Koh Larn is in your line of vision. The boat reaches the port and a man starts to help passengers step off the boat safely. It’s your turn: The man extends his arm, and your feet soon touch the ground.
You’re starting to feel comfortable at Koh Larn already. But now it’s time to decide how you’re going to get around. There are four methods: motorbike rental, motorbike taxi, songthaew (local transport), and on foot.
Motorbike rentals cost 400 baht for 24 hours – gas excluded. Motorbike taxis also cost up to 400 baht, but this price is flexible. Drivers know the shortest route to different beaches, and may also function as introductory tour guides.
Songthaews cost around 50 baht, and are sometimes shared by a dozen or more other people. The last method is on foot – free and easy, but some form of transportation will get you where you need to go a lot faster.
You hop on to your ride and you begin travelling to your first destination. You feel the breeze flowing through you, as you contemplate where to get off. There are 6 main beaches on the island: Sa Mae Beach, Tawaen Beach, Tien Beach, Nual Beach, Tonglang Beach, and Tayaiy Beach. All of them have white sand and clear water – but there are plenty of different features between them, waiting to be discovered.
You arrive at the beach, finding plenty of restaurants onshore, and waves washing over your feet as you step forward.
Other services are also provided:
Price to expect:
Beach chairs 50-100 baht
Toilets 10 baht
Lockers 50 baht
Showers 40-50 baht
You pick up a beach chair and find a spot, wondering whether to relax or join any of the 5 popular island activities: parasailing, banana boat rides, jet ski rentals, underwater sea walking, and fishing. Parasailing costs around 600 baht per ride; Banana boats are 300 baht per person; Jet skis are available for rent at 1,200 baht for half an hour; underwater sea walking costs 500 baht per person; and fishing is free, but don’t forget to bring your rod and line.
Or you could spend your time snorkelling, hiking, scuba diving, sunbathing, or even hanging out at the nearby shooting range. You pick a couple of activities, and by the time you are done, the sun is low in the sky and it is time to go home. You had a blast at Koh Larn, creating memories and experiences. Perhaps you could even stay a bit longer ...?
Keep in mind
Always remember that you are travelling into new places, where the environment around you is delicate and needs to be cared for. Look after the destination and the people, and help keep Koh Larn beautiful so that your grandchildren can someday share this amazing experience.