Life’s A Beach: 2 Island Beach Trips Less Than 2-hours Away From Bangkok

Life’s A Beach: 2 Island Beach Trips Less Than 2-hours Away From Bangkok

City life can often become “too much” for many people – especially in a city like Bangkok where it never seems to stop. Being in town for extended periods is stressful and experiencing traffic jams, mosquito bites, taxis that reject passengers, overpriced motorcycle taxis, and deadly toilets without bum-guns (it is a serious problem!) adds up. This is why when the weekend comes along, some of us just want to take some time off and go somewhere that we can rest our brains for a moment or two.

There are many ways to relax. Some people choose to venture out into forest trails where even the oxygen smells green. Others prefer to sit on the sand and listen to the waves. For those who value quality time lying under the sun in their swimsuits, we know your dilemma. Someone, somewhere in history (what conspiracy is this?!) decided that the weekend should only be 2 days long. And with only 2 days to spare, it is hard to plan an affordable trip to lay around on the pristine beaches of Lipe, Samui, or even Phuket. Even if you had the money, you might not have the time and vice-versa.

Luckily for us, there is a reason why Thailand has consistently been voted as one of the best destinations to visit in the world. Choices are aplenty if you know where to look, and a beach close to Bangkok that is relaxing, fun, and affordable at the same time does exist! Here are our 2 top picks for island beach trips (listed by distance from Bangkok) that are less than 2-hours away from Bangkok.

Koh Si Chang (Sri Racha)

© Phrachudadhuj
© Phrachudadhuj
© Phrachudadhuj
© Phrachudadhuj
© Tourism Authority of Thailand
© Tourism Authority of Thailand
© Wat Tham Yai Prig
© Wat Tham Yai Prig
© Wat Tham Yai Prig

Considered to be one of the closest large islands to Bangkok, Koh Si Chang is a local haven which many people overlook, off of the coast of Sri Racha. Whereas people think of Pattaya or Hua-Hin when they think “nearby beach”, this island paradise is, in fact, closer to Bangkok and is largely untouched by the overpowering tourist crowd. Find yourself fully immersed in nature in bungalow style hotels and restaurants. You will not find many 5-star amenities here, but if peace and serenity among nice clear waters is your thing, then you may have found the right place to go.

Getting There (from Bangkok)

You have 3 main options to get to Sri Racha including:
• Drive: 1.5 hours from anywhere in Bangkok
• Taxi: 1,000-1,500 baht / 1.5 hours from anywhere in Bangkok
• Van: 100 baht / 2 hours from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai)

Once you arrive in Sri Racha, get yourself to Jarin Pier and find the floating island. The ferry leaves from the pier to Koh Si Chang every hour. Each ferry trip costs 50 baht and will take around 1 hour.

Where to Eat

Other than the abundance of your typical “tarm sung” which mean made to order restaurants, there are some good eats that many turn to on the island.

© FlowerBlue Coffee & Bistro
© Pan & David Restaurant
© ครัวทะเล สีชัง

• Pan and David's Restaurant:
A mixture of Thai and Western cuisine that is tasty and affordable
• Krua Talay Sichang:
A well-known seafood restaurant that offers fresh catches of the day
• Flower Blue Coffee & Bistro:
A hip cafe that recently opened up serving coffee and food

Where to Sleep

Bungalows and guest houses are sparsely located throughout the whole island. However, some hotels offer a more comfortable stay at very reasonable prices.

© Moroc Home Resort
© Rubtawan Si Chang Resort
© Yellow House

• Yellow House:
1,200 baht/night, offers wifi, beach access, modern design, good food
• Moroc Home Resort:
1,100 baht/night, offers wifi, beach access, Moroccan themed lodging
• Rubtawan Si Chang:
1,100 baht/night, offers basic amenities, great view.

Where to Play

You may choose to just kick back and relax at the beach all day, but with only a single beach that you can really swim in at Taam Pang Beach, other activities are also worth doing.

© Phrachudadhuj
© Wat Tham Yai Prig
© Tourism Authority of Thailand

• Rama IV Summer Palace and Gardens:
Take a stroll down history and visit Rama IV’s quarters
• San Jao Phaw Khao Yai:
The island’s landmark, this Chinese temple holds Buddha’s footprint
• Wat Tham Yai Prik:
The sacred temple can be seen from far away and is a local place of worship

Koh Lan (Pattaya)

© Tourism Authority of Thailand
© Tourism Authority of Thailand
© Tourism Authority of Thailand

Koh Lan is considered by many to be the go-to island for a quick getaway. Situated off the coast of Pattaya City, the small island has 6 different beaches, each with its characteristic and charm. However, the one similarity they all have to each other is that they offer visitors the chance to enjoy the fine white sand and clear waters without having to break the bank. And because this is Pattaya, visitors who get bored of just sitting around in the sun will have the choice to get a little rowdy or still enjoy the “big city life” when they feel like it. Definitely one of our favorite places to check out.

Getting There (from Bangkok)

You have 3 main options to get to Pattaya including:
• Drive: 2 hours from anywhere in Bangkok
• Taxi: 1,500-1,800 baht / 2 hours from anywhere in Bangkok
• Van: 150 baht/3 hours from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai)

Once you arrive in Pattaya, get yourself to Bali Hai Pier. The ferry leaves from the pier to Koh Si Chang every hour. Each ferry trip costs 30-100 baht depending on which of the 6 beaches you want to head to and will take around 1 hour. If you want to get there faster, speedboats are available for around 200-400 baht and will take you to the island in less than 25 minutes.

Where to Eat

Many people swear by the food on the beach of Koh Lan. It does not really matter where you get your food as long as you are eating it right ON the beach. For more restaurant like eating try

© Sea Space
© Sea Space
© Lareena Restaurant

• Lareena Restaurant:
A very good hotel restaurant that serves anything from seafood to burgers
• Krua Chaliang Lom:
A restaurant with an awesome view, serves up Thai delicacies at its finest
• Sea Space:
A hip cafe and restaurant fitting for those looking to post pictures on Instagram

Where to Sleep

As with any well-known location, cheap and new accommodation runs aplenty on Koh Lan. Most hotels offer amenities as if it were on mainland and made any stay comfortable

© Baan I Taley
© Xanadu Beach Resort
© Suntosa Resort

• Suntosa Resort:
1,600 baht/night, offers wifi, beach access, and is one of the most popular hotels on the island
• Baan I Talay On Sea:
900 baht/night, offers beachside living and direct access to the water
• Xanadu Beach Resort:
1,200 baht/night, offers wifi, good food, and a hip vibe suitable for Instagram

Where to Play

© Suntosa Resort
© Suntosa Resort
© Suntosa Resort

With 6 beaches that can be easily accessed throughout the island, there is nothing better than just relaxing in the water on Koh Lan. Spend your day on banana boats, jet skis, scuba diving, or snorkeling in the surprisingly crystal clear waters. Other than that you can find multiple vantage points around the island to capture some of the most breathtaking views.

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