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Samae Beach in Pattaya is The way to relax says Murli Menon

One is writing this from the air-conditioned comfort of one's ocean-facing room at the homely yet modern Siam Bayshore Resort and Spa in South Pattaya. Pattaya is a paradise for all those who love the sun, the sea, the sand, and the surf.

Murli Menon in conversation with Prittle Prattle News

Samae Beach in Pattaya is The way to relax says Murli Menon. One is writing this from the air-conditioned comfort of one’s ocean-facing room at the homely yet modern Siam Bayshore Resort and Spa in South Pattaya. Pattaya is a paradise for all those who love the sun, the sea, the sand, and the surf. The Siam Bayshore Resort and Spa is located at Bali Hai pier, within a short walk away from the beach, one of the many beaches that dot Pattaya. Walking Street is one of Pattaya’s tourist attractions and is a cobblestone path that runs parallel to the coast for two to three kilometers. One can find old wooden houses and narrow streets with antique shops and several traditional Thai restaurants overlooking Pattaya Bay. As one walks along the cobblestoned streets that lead to the beach, there is still an air of a global village as tourists from all over the world are shopping on Walking Street. One can find several shops selling handicrafts and sarongs along with the street corners.  

There is a fascinating history of the origins of the name Pattaya. In 1767, Thailand lost Pattaya to the invading Burmese army for three months. The reigning Thai king Tap (Phraya Kamphangphet) made it clear that had his general Krungsri Ayuthayya fought the Burmese with tremendous effort, Pattaya would never have been lost. So the king raised another army of 500 under his command to repel the invaders. On reaching Pattaya, a local warlord called Klom, and his army joined the battle against the Thai king. As the two troops prepared to fight, King Phraya appeared in person seated on the back of the royal elephant with a gun in hand, followed by his soldiers, who advanced on the Klom army, which hesitated to join the battle.  Overwhelmed by the king’s presence and forces, the Klom army surrendered without a fight and integrated into its own details. Thus strengthened, the combined army rested at a local lake. The local people called this place Thapphraya after the king’s name but due to mispronunciation, tapphraya soon metamorphosed into Pattaya

As one crosses the Dolphin Point and heads towards South Pattaya, one can walk along the edge of the sea along a newly constructed promenade, under the shade of the swaying coconut palms! Pattaya is dotted with several beautiful beaches, and the color of the sea is turquoise. Several coral islands are scattered around Pattaya and are easily accessible by boats. The beach at Jomtien is a relatively quiet beach full of tourists. The sea is calm, and the greenery starts where the beach ends! Naklua Beach is the other beach at Pattaya. Koh means island in Thai, and two coral islands, namely Koh Krok and Koh Sak are a short boat ride away from Pattaya. The visit to Koh Larn is an enjoyable experience. One takes the morning boat, which leaves the Bali Hai pier from South Pattaya at 10:00 a.m.Bali Hai Pier is just a short walk away from Siam Bayshore Resort and Spa. Local boats go at one-hour intervals to and from Koh Larn, and the round trip costs 40 Baht. If one takes a shared private speed-boat, the round trip cost is 150 Baht. There are three islands, namely Koh Larn, Koh Sak, and Koh Krok, situated 17.7 km. West of Pattaya Strait. The boat ride takes 45 minutes one way. The island is spread over 4 square kilometers. Speed boats cover the distance in 15 minutes. 

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The boat gently rides the waves, and one can get a magnificent view from the upper deck. The turquoise waters stretching from horizon to horizon, the snow-white clouds suspended above the water. The light blue sky, a stark contrast to the waters. Soon two islands covered in a canopy of green appear at the far end and become more significant as the boat inches closer and closer. These islands have a wild look. Soon one lands on a white sandy beach surrounded by crystal clear waters.  There are several beautiful beaches on Koh Larn island, but the most beautiful of the three is Samae beach. This beach boasts gentle waves, clear transparent blue waters, and a magnificent view of the verdant hills surrounding this oasis of tranquility. The view from the beach is soothing to the eyes. White sands stretch for kilometers on end. One enjoys soaking in the warm waters of the sea, feeling the gentle waves lapping at your feet. Once the water’s novelty wears off, one can explore the island, which is mostly uninhabited. A few stalls selling souvenirs, coconut water, and boiled corn surround the beach. The view is picturesque. The silvery sands, the wide arched bay, the swaying palms, and the green treetops. The ocean breeze is cool and rejuvenating. Meditating here is a religious experience.  Just the sky, the sun, the beach, and the roar of the ocean. One exists in the present, and all worries, tensions, and stress seem to dissolve into thin air. After swimming in the crystal clear blue waters, one enjoys the warm water in the afternoon and returns to one’s boat to enjoy the sunset cruise. 

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It is difficult to believe that Pattaya’s one-hour trip will bring one to an almost secluded cove surrounded by pristine pure waters, white sand, and colorful corals. In a region as lush as Pattaya’s east coast, one would expect to see a rain-cloud or two at certain times of the year. There is a rainy season but not day-long torrential rain, but a few isolated showers towards the evening. Pattaya is a year-round destination where beaches are open and safe for swimming regardless of the season. At six-monthly intervals, there is a gentle swing in the winds from the south-west to the south-east. Thus if one island faces the wind and breakers, another is blessed by calm waters and soft breezes. Strong cooling breezes from the ocean follow almost all afternoon drizzles. Jomtien is the famous beach at Pattaya. Beach children love the banana boats that snake their way through the surf, twisting and turning till everyone falls off! There are several other tourist attractions around Pattaya, including Underwater World, Crocodile Farm, and Mini Siam, which contains replicas of 80 sacred sites and important historical sites around Thailand at a scale of 1:25. Tesco Lotus and Big C are two supermarkets at Pattaya selling everything from pins to washing machines. Local handicrafts, silverware, pottery, and traditional clothes are sold at night bazaars. Pattaya’s unique feature is the availability of motorbike taxis and shared songthaews (shared jeeps), which make commuting in Pattaya easy and affordable compared to metered cabs.  

The nearest international airport to reach Pattaya is the Suvarnabhoomi International Airport in Bangkok. There are several options for Indian tourists to get to Pattaya from Bangkok. 

By bus: The easiest and most popular way to get to Pattaya from Bangkok is by bus. This 140 km. The trip takes 2 hours. There are three bus terminals in Bangkok, namely Northern, Southern, and Eastern. All buses are first class airconditioned with pushback seats. 

From Northern:The first bus leaves at 4:30 a.m., and the last bus leaves at 9:30 p.m. The one-way ticket is priced at 117 Baht. 

From Eastern:The first bus leaves at 5:00 a.m., and the last bus leaves at 11:00 p.m. The one-way ticket is priced at 123 Baht. Buses leave at 30-minute intervals.  

From Southern:The first bus leaves at 6:00 a.m., and the last bus leaves at 6:30 p.m. The one-way ticket is priced at 123 Baht. Buses leave at two-hourly intervals. 

By taxi: Direct taxis to Pattaya are available. It takes about 150 minutes for the non-stop drive from Bangkok airport to Pattaya and costs 1300 Baht (one-way).  

By train: There is one train available on weekdays (from Monday to Friday). This train departs from Bangkok’s Hualamphong Station at 6:55 a.m. and arrives at Pattaya at 10:20 a.m.  

Siam Bayshore Resort and Spa at Walking Street is a value for money proposition that offers four-star comforts at three-star rates and is extremely affordable by Indian standards during May-August, a low season. A standard double room costs approximately. 2000/- Baht inclusive of Indian breakfast. Budget-conscious Russians frequent this eco-friendly property at this time of the year.Few small restaurants serving Thai cuisine dot Pattaya. Freshly steamed vegetables in coconut milk served in a steamed jasmine rice ring is a local dish that melts in the mouth. Boiled spinach with mushroom, bamboo shoot, and peppercorn are filled with cooked white rice at “Vegetarian Food,” a quaint restaurant serving Thai vegetarian cuisine at Naklua, the traditional Thai village in North Pattaya. At 20 Baht, this food platter is a steal. The food at the high profile hotels is only for the gastronomically adventurous who like greasy food. Fresh tropical fruits, including durians, mangosteens, tender coconuts, santol, langsat, and jack-fruits, are available at the local market. 

Exchange rate: 

100 Thai Baht = Rs. 120/- (approximately) 

About the Author :

Murli Menon, author of “ZeNLP-the power to relax” is a stress management consultant based in Ahmedabad and can be contacted at

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