Situated just a 2-hour drive from Bangkok, Pattaya is famous as an international playground in the sun. Facing a wide bay and a long
sweep of beach, a huge variety of sporting and entertainment
opportunities both on the water and on land. By day, Pattaya as alive with water sports actions, while come nighttime the place
is equally active as vacationers flock to the resort’s neon-lit bars, discos, nightclubs and restaurants.
Patttaya’s non-stop action can be overwhelming, yet the resort aims to offer something for everyone and easily reached surrounding
attractions provide plenty of alternatives. Several excellent golf courses, for example, are just a short drive away, while more
traditional beach scenes can be found at Bang Saen or the offshore island of Ko Si Chang. There are also plenty of options for family
outings, including a cultural village and a tiger zoo.
A wide selection of
place to stay from super deluxe to bungalow style, afford every modern comfort,
and a stay in Pattaya can be as much a quiet escape lazing by your hotel pool as a fun-packed action holiday.
Further along the coast from Pattaya, Rayong is a province that combines a lush interior with a coastline of quiet beaches that
are less developed than Pattaya and promise a more tranquil vacation by the sea. Complementing the mainland beaches is the offshore
island of Ko Samet. Immortalized by the classical Thai poet Sunthorn Phu, who set part of his epic Phra Aphaimani on the island,
Ko Samet is indeed a picturesque island with some excellent beaches and simple yet comfortable
in bungalow style.
On the way to the beach, Rayong town presents a couple of cultural sights in Wat Pa Pradu, which enshrines a large reclining
Buddha statue, and the Taksin monument at Wat Lum Mahachai Chumpon, which commemorates the occasion when King Taksin raised an
army to expel the Burmese after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.
Southeast of Rayong, Chanthaburi is known as Thailand’s “Garden Province”, being famous for its vegetable and fruit cultivation.
Topping the list of fresh produce is three of Thailand’s exotic fruits-durian, mangosteen and rambutan. Different fruits of the earth,
in the form of rubies and sapphires, were also formerly products of Chanthaburi, and while the local gem mines have now been largely
worked out, the provincial capital remains a renowned market for gems from all over Southeast Asia. This lends a buzz of excitement
and colours the character of what is a fascinating town, where sights include a French-style cathedral dating from the 19th century.
Trat, the far boundary of Thailand’s East coast, has long been pretty much frontier territory, literally as it borders Cambodia and
figuratively in the somewhat rough-and-tumble world of its gem mining past. The picture is changing today, however, with the growing
popularity the province’s big attraction, Ko Chang, Thailand’s second largest island.
Lying eight kilometers off the coast, Ko Chang is the main isle in a 52-island archipelago that forms Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park.
Mainly because of its isolation, only now are the island’s idyllic beaches being discovered by international travelers.
Although infrastructure development is slight compared to other Thai resorts, and it is still possible to
enjoy the thrilling sense of discovering a tropical paradise anew.