A Day Trip to Koh Larn Island
Wednesday March 16, 2016
The night before I put towels, hats, sun glasses, bandannas and miscilanious stuff in my back pack for a day at the beach, so when morning came we could get dressed and go catch the 8am Ferry.
The day started at 7am taking the Baht Bus on Soi Bakow, not before buying some freshly cooked chicken and sticky rice for the beach from a street vender by the room. Baht Bus ride took us onto Pattaya Klang, to Beach road, to the start of Walking Street. The party on Walking Street was now over from last night and the street was swept clean when we walked it. All partyers were asleep or somewhere else.
I don’t go out too much at night, but what I have noticed is a decrease in the number of people in Pattaya probably the combination of the present economy and low season. I generally stay in Pattaya two to three months at a time. Been coming to Pattaya 10 years, the longest stay time 6 months. Now there lots of Thai Ladies sitting in the beer bars without any company. I am staying two months March and April will be flying home to California. Pattaya will be in full swing come April for Songkran, there is a rumor that the Songkran festival will be cut one day because of the water shortage. I will be here in Pattaya to watch things unfold.
At 7-11 on the south end of Walking Street we picked up sunscreen and few more provisions. Thai Lady and myself walked to pier where the boat leaves at 8am, Ferry disembarked at 7:45am. The Ferry was full, so maybe that is why it left the dock early. Good thing we were early, but if we were late, Ferrys go all day long. Always good to get an early start, because 3pm and 4pm it is time to get on a Baht Bus back to Ferry boat terminal.
We bought tickets at the Ferry for 30 baht a seat. Seats that were left were at the transom of the boat, and ended up being dry and comfortable, with a nice ocean breeze. The Ferry capacity is 125-150 people. Seas were bumpy because of the wind blowing out of the South and I would say that the wind waves were 4-6 feet, a bit choppy. The Ferry was taking the wind waves (small white caps) on the port, and those people sitting port got a free shower. The Ferry bobbed and weaved, but was definitely a better ride than the speedboats (back pounding) and at a fraction of the cost. I didn’t see any body get sick which can cause a domino effect. The ride was about 45 minutes to the Island (Ta Waen Pier).
When we got of the boat I could see that no umbrellas were up, then I remembered that Pattaya on Wednesday is a no umbrella day. Thailand is no place to be without some cover. In my mind we would be back to Pattaya on the next boat if we couldn’t find shade. Hardcore sun worshipers even look cooked after being in the direct sunlight here. I am in my late forties, and have had enough sun. So for me it is Sunblock and shade. What a strange thing not seeing the umbrellas, looked like a bomb went off on the beach. Did not imagine that Koh Larn would be under the same restrictions as Pattaya Beach. We kept on to the road that connects all the beaches on the Island. 10-minute leisure walk to the road from the boat.
At beginning of this road (steep hill) as you look up at the hill with the beach to your back, on the right parked are motorcycles for rent, Motorcycle Taxis, Baht buses and the Map of the Island which I have attached.
At this point I ask my lady to ask if any of the beaches have umbrellas. Yes there is a beach with umbrellas today. Now this is good news!! Our choices to get to the beach with umbrellas were 1. Baht bus 2.rent bike 3.bike taxi. We took the motorbike taxi because I didn’t want to get caught up in a scam, Buzz Kill. The responsibility of a motorbike in Thailand lies with the foreigner (Me). I do have a Thai license, but today the taxi man can be in charge. No need to show up to the school of hard knocks on a beautiful day, like today.
A fifteen-minute ride to the beach on a 150cc motorbike. I have not been around the Island for several years and to my surprise, there are lots of new construction completed and not complete (hotels and bars with music and dancing), even a 7/11. I understand it is possible to spend 1 day in a room with the use of a motorcycle for 1,000baht/day. 800 for a room and 200 for the bike. Maybe even better deal if you stay a month. Low season promotion? Worth asking if you want to stay on Koh Larn island. Nual Beach (Monkey Beach) was where there was a beach with umbrellas. Yes we have happy campers. I paid the taxi driver his fee of 200baht, and let the fun and relaxing day begin.
What a nice beach. The monkeys were somewhere else, all day I did not see one. We found the biggest tree that provided shade above and beyond the umbrellas. There was a nice wind blowing warm air on us. Several rope swings, that Thai ladys and others loved taking pictures on. The beach chairs were a 100baht each, for all day. Tall Chang 140baht. Smoothies 80 baht, crab salad 140baht, fresh and tasty fruit grown on Island (kanoon) 20baht. My friend (Thai Lady) was telling me that most of the help at the beach were Cambodians because they are cheap labor, not her exact words.
Dogs (six that I counted) were all over the place, when the food came out they were there in force. The waiter had them in control, most of the time. The dogs weren’t mean, but would beg often. The dog in the picture would cool herself in the ocean often. The sand was soft on the feet, but watch where you step because of sharp sticks, tree roots and rocks. Take you time walking without shoes. The tide was high when we arrived and low when we left. The tide change was at least 6 feet. A man sitting next to me, brought his dive mask said he saw fish and a couple of sea urchins out by the reef that is in the picture. I would suggest bringing some fresh bottled water to rinse eyes and ears after swimming. The water didn’t have much garbage floating, what I could grab, I took out. I have been to some beaches and had slimy plastic bags rub into me. There were some parts of a fishing net 1/4” rope that I found too. Made a dog collar for one of the dogs that was friendly.
The toilets by our lounge chairs were subpar, I could smell them 30’ before I got there. Thought I should check em out, if you got to go #2 try to make it happen before coming to this beach. Never made it inside toilet house, by chance I was smelling an odor from toilet vent line. These were the bathrooms in the middle of the beach at the left of the restaurant, maybe there are more which are clean??
A relaxing way to spend a day, and overall a very quiet beach this time of the year. 3pm rolled up on us quick. Time to take the Baht bus to the Ferry Terminal. The Baht Bus took us to the other side of the Island from where got off the first Ferry (Na Ban Village and Pier). Baht Bus ride was 10 minutes max, shorter than the first Baht Bus ride in the morning. This cost 60 baht per person. Then a 5 minute walk through town to the Ferry Terminal. Boarding the Ferry cost 30baht per person. We again sat in the back of the Ferry. While we were waiting I took pictures of places to rent and a guy fishing of the pier who was catching fish about the size of anchovies but 4” in length. The fisherman averaged 1 every 5 minutes. In a couple of hours or so he would have enough to eat. The boat ride back was about 45min, and was calm compared to the morning boat ride. Last and final picture is walking down the pier-dodging Tourists.
This transportation cost was under 600 baht. Total trip cost me around 2,000baht.
A very nice trip, hope my experience will help Stickman’s readers. If you show up on a Wednesday there are umbrellas on Monkey Beach, do not panic.
I have read all of the submissions to date, which I spent at least 5 years enjoying. Reading all the submissions from the first on to today was therapeutic knowing that history has a high chance of repeating itself. Now I feel it is time to contribute to this great wealth of information. Thanks to Stickman and all who have taken time to share with the rest of us. Stickman’s Web page is spot on. Good things for you.