The Land of Smiles has long been at the very top of the premium beach holiday destinations list, with the southern islands of Phuket and Samui offering white sandy beaches, palm trees and crystal-clear water, yet there is another region of Thailand that has yet to be discovered, namely the Eastern Seaboard.
Pattaya is the main town of Chonburi Province, while Bang Saen is another stunning beach destination, which is well-known among the locals, but not foreign tourists. For more information about Bang Saen, Google can take you to reviews from other travellers, with up-to-date information on hotels, resorts and restaurants.
This was a quiet coastal town in the 1960s, with fishing as its primary activity, then the Vietnam War began and thousands of GIs were conscripted to fight the Vietcong. The troops had regular rest & relaxation (R&R) and Pattaya was somehow the chosen destination and within a few months, bars were opening up to accommodate the military personnel.
The next ten years saw the development of Pattaya to cater for the soldiers, then the war was over and Pattaya remained an attractive holiday destination for guys. The turn of the century saw concerted efforts to change Pattaya’s image from a red-light area to a family-friendly resort town; fast forward to the present and you can book a family suite at รีสอร์ทพัทยา ติดทะเล (Pattaya resorts beach front) and with so many local attractions, the kids will never be bored.
Koh Si Chang
This stunning island should be on your list of places to visit; the island isn’t developed like Samui or Phuket, although there are nice resorts and most of the tourists are Thai. If you want to experience a tropical paradise island without the crowds, Koh Si Chang is the place to go.
The capital of Rayong Province, this is a beautiful city that sits on the Gulf of Thailand, with 5-star resorts along a stunning stretch of beach. Those who know about this prestige part of Thailand try to keep it to themselves, while the locals flock from Bangkok, which is only 3 hours away. If you are coming to Thailand for a holiday, rent a car and tour the Eastern Seaboard, using Pattaya as a base; you can use the web to check out local attractions and create day trips. If you plan on taking your dog on your travels, click here.
Samet island is well-known by the seasoned expats who have been coming to this tiny island since the 1970s. The idyllic island is the perfect place for a secluded getaway, with beach bars where you can enjoy ice-cold beer and exchange travel stories. This is a low-season favourite for expats who live in Bangkok, as the island has less rainfall than other parts of the country. Long weekends see many locals and foreigners heading to Koh Samet, so if you’re going during a public holiday, we recommend booking in advance.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has all the information you need to plan your holiday.