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.
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.
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).
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).
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:
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.
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.
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