White sandy beached and crystal clear water. This is the words that some of the developers use when they describe the beaches in Pattaya. Maybe a mild exaggeration because the water in Pattaya is definitely not crystal clear. Maybe they were thinking about Koh Laan or Koh Larn (เกาะ ล้าน), an island 35 minutes away from Pattaya by boat because the water is much clearer out there and the beaches are much nicer. Koh means “island” and Laan means million or bald. Hua laan is bald head (หัวล้าน).
I must admit I do not visit Koh Laan much, I was here with my daughter on 11 September 2012 and probably 9 years have passed since my last visit. It is so close yet mentally so far away. Yes, only 35 minutes by a boat and a one way ticket only costs 30 Baht. But if you want a seat you have to board 20 minutes before departure so you will spend at least an hour on the boat. Usually there will be a lot of tourists on the boat, actually too crowded for comfort. I counted at least 130 people and that is way too many people for such a small boat. Despite that I had a good time so a visit to Koh Larn is recommended. A trip by speed boat is 300 Baht per person, go and come back.
You can arrive at Ta Waen Pier, there you will find Ta Waen Beach that is the biggest and most crowded beach. It is actually a quite nice area, and the walkway or the walking street is kind of cosy, just look at the pictures below. Then there is Samae Beach, also a very big beach but less crowded and no walking street. The main city is Na Baan that also has a pier, Na Baan Pier. Na Baan also has a temple, a public school, a police station and a 7-Eleven. It is probably just a matter of time before there will be a Mc Donald Restaurant on the island.
You can rent a motor cycle for 200 – 300 Baht per day, the motor cycle service is ok, prices from 40 Baht – 50 Baht will not ruin your budget.
So what kind of people come here? To no surprise the russians love this place, when I say russians I mean people from Ukraine and the former Soviet Union – russian speaking people. You will also find a lot of chinese group tourists coming here. During the weekends you will see a lot of Thais from Bangkok visiting. In hort: mostly russians, followed by the chinese and thais. How do I know this? Because I go to Bali Hai Pier every day. My daughter loves to look at the boats and I go wherever she wants me to go. How to get there: Go to Bali Hai Pier at the end of Walking Street. Father and daughter ไป เที่ยว เกาะ ล้าน.
Just how many persons on this boat? Probably around 200. Safety issues? This is Thailand year 2012….