The East of Thailand
The East Coast of Thailand
Located within easy reach of the capital, the east coast resorts and islands attract a mixed crowd of weekending Bangkokians, pleasure-seeking expats and sybaritic tourists. Transport connecting are good, prices are generally more reasonable than at the biggest southern resorts and, if you're heading overland to Cambodia, the east-coast beaches provide the perfect chance to indulge yourself en route before adventuring into more challenging territory across the border.
You'll find the whitest beaches on the offshore islands: the five-hundred-kilometer string of mainland strands are disappointingly grey and the resorts here cater more for Thai groups than solitary horizon-gazing farang. In addition, the discovery of oil and natural gas fields in these coastal waters has turned pockets of the first hundred-kilometer stretch into an unsightly industrial landscape of refineries and depots, sometimes referred to as the Eastern Seaboard. Offshore, however, it's an entirely different story, with island beaches as glorious as many of the more celebrated southern retreats.
The first worthwhile stop comes 100km east of Bangkok at the town of Si Racha, which is the point of access for tiny Ko Si Chang, whose dramatically rugged coastlines and low-key atmosphere make it a restful haven. In complete contrast, Pattaya, just half an hour south, is Thailand's number-one-package-tour destination, its customers predominantly middle-aged Western and Chinese males enticed by the resort's sex market reputation and undeterred by its lacklustre beach. Things soon look up, though, as the coast veers sharply eastwards towards Ban Phe, revealing the island of Ko Samet, the prettiest of all the beach resorts within comfortable bus-ride range of Bangkok.
East of Ban Phe, the landscape starts to get more lush and hilly as the coastal highway nears Chanthaburi, the dynamo of Thailand's gem trade and one of the only two provincial capitals in the region worth visiting. The other appealing inland city is Trat, 68km further along the highway and an important departure point for Ko Chang, a large, increasingly tourist-oriented island with long, fine beaches and plentiful accommodation. A host of smaller, less-developed islands constitutes the Ko Chang archipelago, including beautiful Ko Whai, Ko Mak and Ko Kud. East of Ko Chang , the Cambodian border post of Hat Lek is one of this region's two main points-the other being Aranyaprathet, a little way north-where it is currently legal to cross overland into Cambodia.
Highway 3 extends almost the entire length of the east coast- beginning in Bangkok as Thanon Sukhumvit, and known as such when it cuts through towns- and hundreds of buses ply the route, connecting all major mainland destination. Buses from Bangkok's Eastern (Ekamai) Bus Terminal serve all the provincial capitals and tourist spot; there are a few service here from Bangkok's Northern (Mo Chit) Bus Terminal as well, and tourist minibus run direct from Banglamphu in Bangkok to the ferry piers for Ko Samet and Ko Chang. It's also possible to travel between the east coast and the northeast without doubling back through the capital: the most direct routes into Isaan start from Pattaya, Rayong and Chanthaburi. There are two airports along the east coast: at U-Tapao naval base, midway between Pattaya and Rayong, which is served by Bangkok Airways flights to and from Ko Samui and Phuket; and just outside Trat, for Bangkok Airways flights to Bangkok and Ko Samui. Though a rail line connects Bangkok with Si Racha and Pattaya, it is served by just one slow train a day in each direction.
Getting to Pattaya City
Pattaya being located only 150 kilometres south of Bangkok, there are no commercially viable alternatives to the road, save for the rail, and a single flight service from/to Koh Samui. Travel from either the Bangkok Airport or hotel to your Pattaya Hotel. Transfer services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Choose between a shared vehicle transfer, and your own private vehicle transfer. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed immediately and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver.
The Top Ten Restaurants in Koh Chang
As the island develops into a major tourist destination the number of quality restaurants and bars is increasing rapidly. This article features some of the best restaurants and bars on the island. I hope you will enjoy them with the BEST TOP TEN Restaurants in Koh Chang... Enjoy your food and your vacation...!