Saturday, March 15, 2008

Little Gems Beyond Pattaya

The nearest beach party found on the mainland of this kingdom is about 150km away, south west and is well known. Agogo nudes performing strange tricks, famous Walking Street, nice expensive resorts, party till dawn, drink till drop – Pattaya, the commercial seaside town where thousands of tourist flock to per month.

I hate Pattaya waters however and am more of a guy in search of the crystalline. Just about 30km further south, you will be greeted by the town of Sattahip. The entire area is military run, so expect to see scores of barracks, military structures and entrances with always the sentries on guard. It’s a pity not to know Thai and not realizing that these encampments are actually opened to the public. And in there, you will find scattered patches of paradise.

Though the beachscape is not a pristine white, the inviting clarity of the water is enough to blow you away. It is surprising that the water could be so different just next door to Pattaya, which is murky. There is an island opposite where you can reach by a boat ride. They have bottom glass boats there to view the corals. The sand there is powder and white.

Don’t expect to find those luxurious expensive and exotic treatments of Pompeii here, but enjoy only the slightly overpriced simple food (for a Thai), the hut without air conditioning and of course the basic foot massage on the rental beach chairs. You can enjoy sail boating, canoeing, the banana boat and I saw parasailing.

Drive there with a Thai friend and he will be able to bring you to most of these nice short shorelines after speaking to the locals and finding out where best to go. Most of these gems are hidden and located deep within the military compound. It’s worth it and it’s not too far from Pattaya if you are already there.

I was there for work, but every morning I woke early to have breakfast on a different beach.

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