Discover Koh Si Chang - Pattaya
Geographically, it’s the closest island to Bangkok and because of the close distance, it’s mostly overlooked for more popular destinations. Many travellers and backpackers haven’t even heard of this tiny island, making it a pleasant weekend of exploring and relaxing. If you’re looking for a travel destination that is well off the beaten path, Trip Guru highly recommends that you give Koh Si Chang a try. Koh Si Chang has no high-rise hotels, and dormant barges that are the bulk of any development seen there. The lack of things to do except to relax and become one with nature gives it a refreshing change of pace from the busy, crowded streets of Bangkok, and of life.
If being chill and doing nothing is more of your thing, take a quiet walk by the beach and have a drink at the island’s only bar. You can rent bicycles or motorbikes if you would like to explore the fun-sized island in under an hour. If you’d like to look for something to eat, head to the public beach on the island called the Haad Tham Phang where other travellers are also present. There are seafood restaurants that pepper the shoreline, offering delicacies such as seafood-style tom yum soup, spicy crab salad and pan-seared scallops in Thai sauce.
To enjoy the ocean, there are sea kayaks for rent, or you can use floatation devices, or hire a private boat for snorkeling. Accommodations lie on the northeast side of the island, and even if you show up during peak season, there will still be more empty guesthouses than tourists so a roof above your head is a sure thing. If you are in no hurry to get back to Bangkok, you can also spend a night in Sri Racha, a coastal town with friendly locals. It offers Japanese restaurants, karaoke bars, an exercise park and a floating temple near the pier to start.
To get to Koh Si Chang, you need to go to Sri Racha. Head over to Ekkamai bus station in Bangkok and buy your tickets. Buses leave every 40 minutes from 5:00am to 9:00pm. This is the easiest and most hassle-free option. From Sri Racha, there is a ferry that leaves for Ko Si Chang. You can also catch a minibus heading to Pattaya from the Victory Monument, as these often stop at Sri Racha. From there, you can take a ferry to go to Koh Si Chang.