Beaches around Pattaya, Thailand
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We spent this morning at my favorite quiet beach as a family. Every time we go, I am amazed and thankful for the beauty of creation and the chance to spend lazy Saturday mornings like this. Now that our youngest is a bit older (14 months) and has dropped his morning nap, days like this will be more common than not. Messy, wet sand castles, chasing the waves, snorkeling with these cool snorkel masks, swinging in the wind and finishing the day with a meal at the restaurant. The day couldn’t have been better! So, I wanted to highlight the MANY different beaches in the Pattaya vicinity and the highlights of each, but first, it is worth noting a few of our favorite things to take with us to the beach.
· Baby Powder – This is the best kept secret for getting sand off a wet body. Sprinkle baby powder on the sandy area of your body and it quickly absorbs the moisture from your skin so the sand just brushes off. Brilliant!
· Distilled Vinegar – there are jelly fish in the waters along Thailand, including the most dangerous of jellyfish, the box jellyfish. Although we have never seen box jellyfish we have seen others and we always go to the beach with our own vinegar just in case. It can be a life saver.
· Life vests – Maybe when my kids are much older we won’t require them to wear life vests at the beach, even in shallow water. But for now, I am perfectly content making them a little uncomfortable while wearing a life vest. After all, we have 4 kids running around to watch, and only our 6-year-old knows how to confidently swim! Our 4-year-old is improving, but by no means confident in the pool, let alone in an ocean.
· Water shoes – we do not often bring or wear our water shoes. However, they would be very helpful especially for the kids along rockier beaches. We just can't make them keep them on.
· Swim Shirts – The Thailand sun is HOT, and it's just not worth getting sunburned. Two of our kids burn and two tan. But we all typically wear swim shirts. These are the ones we have been happy with: Mens, Womens (if you're large busted, the seams may look awkward), Little Girls, Boys & Girls
We found this great little restaurant past the city of #Rayong along a beautiful, quiet beach. It’s called the “One Beach Restaurant & Thai Massage”. The building doesn't look like much, but it offers some kids play stuff and sand toys, free beach chairs and umbrellas so long as you order drinks or food during your time. It is slightly busier in the afternoon (like maybe 20 people?) but most mornings it is empty. The Rayong Marriot Resort is just down the beach about 200 meters, so you may have guests from the hotel come by. The highlight for us is that it’s quiet, usually pretty clean for a beach, there is a good selection of food, and we can just chill as a family. There are a few other small little restaurants like this along the beach, but not a lot. The main downside is the distance from our home. It is further than other beaches (especially if you are visiting downtown Pattaya) it wouldn’t be worth it when you have many other beaches to choose from closer by.
This is the very long, very busy beach in Pattaya city. Many hotels are along Beach Road (across the street from the beach). There are tons of restaurants along Beach Road, and tons of car and foot traffic. There are also “baht busses” aka the trucks you sit in the back of that go up and down the street for 10 baht (approximately 30 US cents). There are swimming zones, and areas to get on speed boats for a number of tours. If you’re a tourist and want a boat trip to snorkel or see the near by islands, check with your hotel about scheduling. But during high season, the bay is packed full of speed boats! It is a very busy, but very popular area because it is near by so many activities. The city has worked hard to improve the beach, but where there are lots of people, there can also be trash. There are beach chairs you can rent as well, but there are many reviews of beach chair “scammers” so just be aware. We have never actually swam here, because as a family we like places a bit quieter. Other side note – after dark, it’s best to not walk on the side of the road along the beach or you may have some propositions come your way. Read more about this area here.
This is also a popular beach outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown Pattaya. It is 6km long and very beautiful. There are lots of condominiums and restaurants along the beach. Although it can be busy, it is not nearly as crowded as Pattaya beach during high tourism season. To read more about the beach and nearby attractions see here.
This is the northern most part of Pattaya, and there are many beach resorts, condominiums and restaurants along the beach. Some parts of the beach are private for condo residents only, but it would be clearly marked. Another favorite restaurant along this beach is Surf ‘n turf. They do not have beach chairs for use on the beach, but it is a large and popular restaurant that gives gorgeous views and has a very extensive menu. For more about the beach and nearby attractions see here.
Military Beach – Sai Kaew Beach
This is a hidden gem with clear blue water and beautiful white beaches. It is often frequented by locals, however non-Thais can visit even though it is on a military base. This website gives a lot of details about visiting it. However, I wanted to share in brief about it. When you arrive on the base you do have to leave some identification – drivers license or passport - then you drive for a while before getting to a parking lot to park and buy tickets for the beach. It costs 100 baht (~$3.20) per person (if I remember correctly all our children were free). We went during the week, so we could drive our van down to the beach. If you visit on the weekend or a public holiday you have to pay a bit more to take a tuk-tuk truck down to the beach (a hilly ride!). The water is so very beautiful and calm. It is in the bay, so there are no waves and it is quite clear, blue and shallow for a far distance. As normal, there are chairs, umbrellas and mats you can rent, multiple restaurants/ice cream stands and restrooms with outdoor showers. The area has a lot of large trees that offer shade as well, so choose your area to sit wisely and you won’t need an umbrella! I highly recommend this beach, especially if you can visit during the week when it is quieter.
This is one of the best things to know about finding a beautiful beach to swim at. Spend your day at a restaurant on the beach. Enjoy the beach and the food. Practically any restaurant will allow you to do this, and some even have showers to use. Our favorite is Bacco Beach Italian Restaurant. The food is amazing – with a huge selection – and the beach and beach chairs are also ideal. They even have a shower in the bathrooms to clean off! This is our favorite beach “date night” restaurant as well, because there is nothing as soothing as the sound of waves. But there are so many beach restaurants with all types of food. You are sure to find somewhere to enjoy food and a gorgeous view.
So my advice... explore. Find out what beach would fit well with your family and enjoy it! There are many beautiful beaches to see, the only thing you will be short on is time.