Just off the coast of the famed resort city of Pattaya is a haven for nature enthusiasts, fans of extreme water sports, or those just looking for one-of-a-kind holiday experiences. Koh Larn (also known as Ko Lan, เกาะ ล้าน, or Coral Island) is a short ferry or speedboat ride away from the mainland and is known as one of the loveliest islands in the Northern Thailand region. With plenty of picturesque beaches and a diverse selection of things to do, it’s worth a day trip over to try out everything that Koh Larn has to offer. Keep reading for some of our suggestions on how to maximize your time there:
Take the Speedboat Over
Hiring a speedboat is ideal for friends traveling as a group. Speedboats are easy to find; all along Beach Road in Pattaya you’ll find a good number of operators that will take you across the water to the island. This is the faster option as well, only eating up 15 minutes of your time, leaving you with more hours to take in and explore Koh Larn. It may be a more costly option over the ferry, but there’s nothing quite like the sensation of feeling as though you’re flying above the waves. If you are traveling solo or as a couple, the ferry boat may be a more budget-friendly option. They run every 2 hours or so from the Bali Hai Pier.
Pick a Beach and Stick to It (or Don’t)
There are 6 main beaches on the island, each with its own charm. Activities offered can vary, and some are inevitably more crowded than others. It’s best to stick to the bigger beaches if you’re looking to try out some of the more popular water activities. You can also hire a taxi for an island tour, which will take you to each beach so that you can have a quick look around before deciding where to plant yourself. All of the beaches in Koh Larn are beautiful: the waters are clear and blue, and the sand is white and fine. Taxi drivers can also direct you to some of the smaller, quieter beaches less overrun by tourists if that happens to be your preference instead. Samae and Tawaen Beach are some of the most popular draws on the island for tourists, with the most diversity when it comes to dining options and activities.
Feast on Seafood
One of the best things about being on a tropical island for vacation is the amazingly fresh seafood on offer. Samae Beach has between 10 to 20 dining establishments, many of them located right on the beachfront, which presents a charming view of the sunset as you enjoy your dinner. Tawaen Beach is home to 25 different restaurants that serve a wide variety of cuisines, so you can have your seafood prepared practically any way you like. Dip in here for an extraordinary lunch before heading back out to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. Standout dishes include tom yum kung topped with fat prawns and other seafood, as well as scallops pad cha, a fragrant dish made with wok-fried scallops seasoned with fresh pepper and krachai.
Have Some Fun in the Sun
Jet skiing and banana boating are popular activities on Koh Larn, and facilities for these are available in all 6 of the major beaches on the island. Parasailing is only available on Tawaen Beach, so head over there if flying over the ocean waves sounds like your idea of fun. Another unique draw is the undersea walk, a one-of-a-kind experience that uses a custom underwater helmet, allowing participants to walk on the seabed among the fish and view corals up close. There are also several hiking trails and bike paths on the island if you’d rather keep away from the water.
The beauty of Koh Larn is that it has something for everyone, despite its relatively small size. Even if you’re only there for one action-packed day or if you’re staying a while to explore at your leisure, you’ll leave with extraordinary memories.
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