Si Racha (ศรีราชา; pronounced 'see-ra-cha') is an unlikely blend of traditional and modern. Colourful, creaking fishing boats and squid rigs are still moored here, but these days they share the water with giant container ships anchored off the nearby port of Laem Chabang. Similarly, a building boom is overshadowing the traditional low-rise centre with towering residential apartment blocks.
Sushi restaurants and karaoke bars cater for the hundreds of Japanese employees who work at nearby industrial estates, giving the town centre a Little Tokyo vibe. The real heart of Si Racha, though, is the waterfront, where rickety stilt guesthouses, a peaceful health park and the busy pier are very picturesque.
Si Racha is the gateway to the worthwhile little island of Ko Si Chang.