Worlds apart – Koh Si Chang’s charming and historical vibe is a sharp contrast to the modern tourism centre that is called Pattaya. This laid-back, void of mass tourism destination as a full day trip certainly stimulates the Thai senses of a bygone era.
Pattaya was once a small fishing village, yet this beach destination has become the equivalent of a famous European “Riviera” destination and searched for by many tourists, both local as international. This bustling city, located on the Eastern side of the Gulf of Siam, has a wide array of sporting activities, entertainment and top class accommodation. Off the coast, beautiful bounty-like islands can be found, where you can enjoy the widespread sandy beaches, the palm trees and blue-coloured sea. When combining a small island that has its roots still deeply buried in keeping traditions alive, Koh Si Chang will definitely appear on our radar. Void of entertainment and filled with construction that date back during the reign of Rama V, one is in for a full day treat of historical and local allure.We will pick you up in the early morning from your downtown Pattaya hotel and head in northern direction to Si Racha, one of the industrial regions of the Chonburi province. Located within easy reach of the shores of the Gulf of Thailand, our guide and driver for the day will head straight for the boat pier, offering regular ferry services to our destination for the day – Koh Si Chang (which should not be confused with Koh Chang). The sailing distance from the commercially-developed mainland to the scenic landscape of this historical pearl is a mere 12 kilometres (about an hour by boat) but the differences between both destinations look like worlds apart. Once arriving on the island, venturing over the island by motor cycle trishaw is the only way to get a feeling of what it was like during the reign of King Rama V (1868 – 1910). His love for the island has resulted in the construction of various residential buildings for himself and his children when seeking respite of his daily duties in serving and ruling Thailand. One of the most recognizable sites is the ‘Chao Por Khao Yai’: this Buddha image is famous among Thai and Chinese people who live on the island and Si Racha Province and still draws many visitors from other parts of the country during weekends and public holidays. Before we head out for our lunch at a local restaurant, we visit the Phra Chudadhuj Palace. This palace wad initially constructed exclusively for the Lady of the Court in providing her this exclusive retreat; nowadays, the palace serves as a museum with artifacts and memorabilia of times gone by. Koh Si Chang may not have the best and softest sandy beaches in the region it still is a nice escape for an afternoon of sun, sand and sea, with (still) little foreign tourism developments and plenty of local flavors to be found. We head back to the boat pier, catching the ferry back to the mainland and ending up back at your booked accommodation at around 5pm.