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

Ayutthaya: Ruins of the Old Capital

There is a great legend a thousand years ago when people in the neighboring city, Kampuchea, was struck by the chicken pox outbreak. They looked for a new shelter and walked several days until they came to a river where they built a kingdom on the opposite side of it, thus the Capital Ayutthaya.

It became one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world until Burmese won over the capital. It was very difficult to rebuild so people just abandoned the temples.

And now, everyone will have the privilege to observe and experience a site “of outstanding value to humanity”, as designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

If you are ready for some temples running and hopping escapade, I hope our experience will help you.

A day is enough to see temples and markets in Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Old Temple in Ayutthaya

How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok?

We tried the cheapest option which is by train. You can also reach Ayutthaya by bus, minivan or if you are feeling rich, try the cruise! Information about other options can be found here .

Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions. Whai is Thai and we will do our best to answer all your questions.

Train

Train Station
 

The train is located at the Hualampong Train Station which can be easily accessed by MRT. When you get there, be careful with people offering you help. Just don’t make eye contact and go straight to the ticket booth. I don’t want to generalize but since this is a busy tourist area, the majority of these people will try to scam you. Click here to find the train schedule.

Make sure to also check the trains from Ayutthaya to Bangkok so you know how late you can stay.

We boarded the train without buying tickets because our local tour guide Whai told us that it’s free but apparently, it’s only free for Thai. The staff thought I’m Thai because she just passed our seats but she asked our American friends for tickets but when they can’t provide any, the staff just asked for a 15 Baht payment.

The 3rd Class train doesn’t have seat numbers so when the train arrives, be fast to score a seat. We rode around 10 AM and there’s not a lot of people so there’s a lot of empty seats.

The ride to Ayutthaya is 2 hours long from Bangkok. You can observe locals with their bulky bags full of things they will sell in the province. You can also buy snacks, water, etc from people climbing in and out of the train. And don’t miss the scenery. Take a look outside while you play a dramatic Adelle song or any song for that matter. Just be careful with your belongings!

The problem with 3rd class trains is there is no one announcing your destination. So be alert when your arrival time is near (you can see it on the ticket), or look outside to read the name of the station.

Here is the Ayutthaya Station:

Ayutthaya train station

Getting Around Ayutthaya

The moment you arrived and got out of the train station, you will magically become a celebrity because you will be crowded with Tuktuk drivers offering you a tour. Just wear your celebrity shades and gracefully answer, “No comment.” Just kidding!

We arrived 12 noon when the sun is at its hottest. So our original plan of renting a bicycle didn’t sound fun anymore (I’m blaming our last night’s party at Khaosan Road).

With little sleep combined with the taunting sun, we opted out for a Tuktuk driver who offered us an unbelievable price of *drumroll please* 1500 Baht. Tip: Once you heard the price, prepare your face of disbelief. (I swear, this will work, just a bit of practice). If this doesn’t work, pretend to talk to other Tuktuk drivers. Once he saw prospected customers were turning away, he immediately lowered his price to 1000 Baht. And now we are talking! We tried our best puppy face until we agreed upon 750baht for 4 people. That’s not bad, I think.

If renting a bicycle is what you prefer, here’s what you can do:

You need to cross the river by boat, 10 Baht person.

Get down and you will see bike rentals for 30-40 Baht. You don’t need a passport but some might ask for a deposit.

They’ll give you a map and they’re kind enough to circle places you need to go. You can also check this map.

Temples in Ayutthaya

There is just too many breathtaking temples in Ayutthaya. If you have the whole day then there is no problem circling the whole town. If you have limited time, you can rent a Tuktuk just like what we did. Temples closed at 6PM.

All the most important temples have an entrance fee for foreigners, others are free with no gates. From what I can remember, we paid for 3-5 temples. Cost is 20-50 Baht.

Ayutthaya Floating Market

I love open markets in Thailand. Here in Ayutthaya, we’ve been to 3 markets. One is a street market we passed by and the other one is their local market.

My favorite is the Ayutthaya Floating Market. If you have some extra time, don’t miss it.

Lucky for us, they have a show when we were there. It’s a little presentation about the war between Thailand and Burma. They speak Thai but you will be entertained with the music and special effects. Don’t forget to laugh when everyone is laughing. 😛

What to Eat in Ayutthaya

Roti Hair! Sorry, I just call it Roti Hair. But look for something that looks like this.

what to eat in ayutthaya

They also call it Thai Cotton Candy. You can find it in Bangkok but it’s best in Ayutthaya. It’s one of my favorites Thai dessert. Yumyum!

Back to Bangkok

Heading back is easy, just go back to the train station and wait for the next train schedule to Bangkok. We head back around 9 PM. Unluckily, there are no available seats. Tired and sleepy, we just sat down on the floor until we reached Bangkok.

Our Rating

Bangkok is full of magnificent temples, but Ayutthaya is different so I would say you should never miss it if you happen to be in Thailand. The architecture is mesmerizing and the photo opportunities are just awesome.

Total Cost:

Train to Ayutthaya – 15 Baht

Train to Bangkok – 15 Baht

Boat (back and forth) – 10 Baht each way

Bike Rent- 30-40baht (whole day)

Entrance fee – 100 Baht estimate

 

Total Estimate: 190 Baht