Koh Larn: A Paradise near Bangkok

It is no doubt that Thailand is the home of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And good news for everyone, you don’t need to spend a 14-hr ride or an expensive plane ticket from Bangkok to the famous beaches to have a glimpse of this beauty.

If you have been living in Bangkok for a while and you want to be freed from the hassles of the city but you only have a day or two off from your demanding work, or if you are a traveler who will just spend a few weeks in Bangkok and doesn’t have the time and money to fly to the famous beaches, then check out this paradise that is only a few hours away from Bangkok.

So grab your bathing suit and a few hundred bahts! Koh Larn is surely worth exploring.

How to get from Bangkok to Koh Larn?

There are a lot of ways to go to Koh Larn, but the details that you will read here is what my boyfriend and I tried. We always try to find the cheapest yet convenient ways!

You can ride a minivan at Victory Monument. It will take a maximum of 3hrs, sometimes faster depending on the traffic. It will cost you 99 baht to go to Pattaya (Tip: Get their number or ask where they park so you can avail the same service when you head back to Bangkok). Tell them that you want to go down at Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier.

From the pier, you can ride the public ferry. The fare is 30 baht each way. You pay just as you board the boat, there will be someone collecting the money. It will take 50 minutes to reach Koh Larn.

There are two arrival ports, the Naban port and the Tawean port. It doesn’t matter where you go down because you can still roam the island by tuk-tuk or motorcycle. If you don’t want to roam, both ports have beaches. Just find a spot on the sand and enjoy the sun.

koh larn port

Getting around Koh Larn

There are many kinds of transportation waiting for you at the pier.

1) Motorcycle – Tell them what beach you want to go and they will bring you there. Thay have a map with them with written prices for each destination. They ask for about 50 – 80 baht each person.

renting motorcycle in koh larn
A cat rested on our motorcycle

2) Rent a motorcycle – It costs 200 baht to rent a motorcycle for a whole day. Be careful because the roads are really steep, if you are not well versed to drive a motorcycle, then please don’t even try this one.

My boyfriend drives like a maniac and he almost gave me a heart attack when we drove on a small road to reach the highest viewpoint. It’s very steep and bumpy, a very bad combination. There’s a point where in the road has a gap and we have to go down and carry the motorcycle to reach the concrete.

But this view from the top took my breath away (literally).

koh larn beach

3) Big Tuktuk – They usually park near the pier waiting to be filled by passengers. I remember they asked us 30 baht to go to the next beach (prices might vary per destination).

 

Accommodation

What we did is once we arrived at the pier, a motorcycle made a deal to look for the cheapest guesthouse. We paid him 80 baht per person.

Accommodation in Koh Larn are quite expensive compared to other places in Thailand. The lowest that we found is 1000 baht and we did not like it so we ended up renting a 1200 baht guest house for the night. This guesthouse has free wifi, free breakfast and free use of a motorcycle.

The guesthouse name is Sabaydee Koh Larn http://sabaideekohlarn.com/

I don’t recommend this guesthouse because it is not clean. We even found a cockroach! Yikes!

Their free breakfast is just boiled rice. I slept till noon and it’s a good thing that my boyfriend didn’t bother to wake me just to eat boiled rice!

Tip: Since guest house is quite expensive here, I recommend the following:

1) Make this your day trip and head back to Bangkok. The last trip for the ferry is at 6pm and the last trip for mini van heading back to Bangkok is at 8pm.

2) Rent a place at Pattaya. In Pattaya, you can find standard double room for 500 baht (maybe even lower). And some backpacker’s guesthouse for 200-300 baht. And when you are at Pattaya, never miss the nightlife (There is no nightlife in Koh larn). I’ve been to almost all the nightlife in Bangkok, and in my opinion, Pattaya is the wildest.

What to eat in Koh Larn

Food stalls and restaurants are all around the corner and you won’t have any problem satisfying your tummy. Price is also reasonable.

But if you love fresh seafood, then I highly recommend that you try this!

You need to look for seafood stalls that look like this:

food in koh larn
Seafood diet. Eat when you see food.
seafood in koh larn
All of these cost 400 baht, with the famous Thai seafood sauce included

There are a lot around the island, we just chose the one with a few customers because we are starving.

All you need to do is choose what seafood you like and they will cook it for you. You can wait for it or they will deliver it to your guest house.

It’s totally delicious that I am still remembering it’s taste while I’m writing this paragraph. Ohlalala.

Beaches in Koh Larn

There are six main beaches in Koh Larn. They have different qualities but all of them are equally beautiful. The white sand and clear water will sure take all your stress away.

It’s free to swim and camp on the sand. Beach chairs cost around 100 baht and there are shower rooms in every beach.

Also, if you are the adventurous type, you can try parasailing, banana boat, jet ski and shooting range. Just ask around, you will see a lot of advertisements.

Our Rating?

beach in koh larn

We just made a mistake in spending the night at Koh Larn. We can find cheaper accommodation in Pattaya.

Nonetheless, We will definitely go back to escape the heat of the city once in a while. It’s totally a place for relaxing since the beaches are not crowded. And oh, that seafood, I will definitely go back for that one.

 

 

Total Cost

Van from Bangkok to Pattaya (2-way) – 99 THB each

Ferry from Pattaya Pier to Koh Larn (2-way) – 30 THB each

Motorcycle rent 1 day – 150 THB

Total Estimate: 408 THB

How to Prepare for Songkran

How to Prepare for Songkran

Songkran is one of the most important holidays in the Buddhist Calendar. It marks the start of the year and Thailand celebrates it for one week.

Thai celebrates Songkran by splashing water on the streets and putting white talc powder on body parts.

If you plan to go to Thailand in April, then avoid arriving or departing on April 13th-19th as you will not be spared. No one cares if you are carrying your luggage. No one cares if you are carrying a laptop or a phone. No one cares if you showed them how angry you are, you will just become a favorite target.

What they have, are a very particular set of skills. Skills they’ve acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like you. They don’t know who you are, but they will look for you. They will find you and they will splash water on you.

So if you can’t beat them, just join them! And you will feel like a child again 😀

1)Choose your Weapon

How to Prepare for Songkran

It’s a war out there and you should be able to defend yourself. You will encounter water hose, big water guns, fire truck hose (yes, the government will fuck you too), and buckets of cold water.

The favorite choices are the water guns since you can load them with water and you can last for a couple of minutes before refilling it again. It’s portable and easy to use. You can strap it on your body with a beer on one hand and shoot someone on the other. Nowadays, Thai have this great idea of splashing freezing cold water because the usual tap water bored them. You can get it anywhere (sometimes it’s free, sometimes you have to pay) and it will surely make your enemies cringe.

Beware of White Talc powder, people will put in on your face and it will block your eyes. Also, Thai have this great idea again of putting something in it, sometimes it will be really cold on the skin or it feels hot. I don’t know what they’re putting in it. My guess is tiger balm or some chili.

2)Protect Yourself

If being soaked in cold water for a couple of hours makes you uneasy but you still want to experience the fun, then worry not. You can buy a raincoat anywhere and your face will just be the target, your back will be protected.

Buy a waterproof phone case to protect your phone and money. You can buy in anywhere before or during Songkran.

Wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes.

 

3)Prevention is better than Cure

Load up with vitamins. If your immune system is weak, then I do suggest to not join or go out.

Think about this, you will be soaked in water for hours. Not just water but cold water.

 

4)You can’t hide

The only way to hide is by staying in your hotel room. The minute you step out, you are a target.

Tuktuk, bus, taxi and other means of transportation is soaking wet too. We went home riding a bus and everyone is still splashing water on us, WHILE WE ARE INSIDE THE BUS.

If you lock the door on a taxi, you will be safe. But the roads are so crowded that your taxi won’t be able to move to go to the main event anyway, so you won’t see a lot. The moment you open your door or just a little crack in your window, say hi to the ice bucket challenge.

And if you are a foreigner, you are a favorite target.

 

5)Abort Mission

You are in Khaosan road, freezing and soaking wet. If you want to home, you can just easily ride a taxi and go back home right? WRONG!

It’s the point of no return. The place is so crowded that it’s so difficult to go to the main road to get a bus or taxi.

You’ll spend another hour walking just getting to the main road. This means another hour of cold splashing water while you are worn out. So I suggest staying near the main road. This means that you should not be tempted by loud music in the heart of the street or line of people dancing encouraging you to go with them. Your choice 😛

 

It’s New Year and there’s party everywhere. It’s time to get wet and get wild!