We stride down a fly-by-night beachfront lane and into a fish greenwich village to peep boats with bright orange-and-blue paint jobs. Potted plants sit on artificial porches above the calm sea. As we gaze at the nearby isles and wade into the warm Gulf water, it ’ sulfur hard to believe that we ’ vitamin d been on the atrocious highway out of Pattaya merely a few minutes earlier. Fifteen km south of this city, repose surrounds Bang Saray .Welcome to Bang Saray.

Seeking easing from the urban conurbation

set on the east side of the upper Gulf of Thailand within an hour ’ sulfur drive of Bangkok when the traffic is lighter, Chonburi has never been close to my favorite of Thailand ’ s coastal provinces. In fact, not counting the bitty mud-coast provinces near the Thai capital, I ’ d have to rank Chonburi last out of all coastal provinces in terms of how enthusiastic I am about visiting at any given time. Don ’ thyroxine get me wrong ; I can see why many people enjoy this heavy populated state with a name that translates as something like “ Beautiful Sea City. ” As a place to live or for comfortable short-run trips, Chonburi has enough to offer .Fun by the beach in Jomtien. Ko Si Chang is worth a visit for history and seafood, and popular Ko Larn remains lovely in places. Undeveloped Navy-controlled islands like Ko Khram Yai and Ko Samae San are fantastic for day trips, while more distant uncorrupted islands like Ko Phai, Ko Maniwichai and Ko Chan can be reached by dive boat. Humans aren ’ thymine allowed to set foot on many of Chonburi ’ sulfur islands, a few of which have some of the healthiest and most impressive coral in the upper / easterly Gulf.

Late light over Ko Larn. then, of path, there ’ sulfur Pattaya. Despite its well-earned repute for shabbiness, this ill-famed city is home to many expats who are more attract to the drawn-out beaches, water sports and international dine than the Walking Street red-light district. Family-friendly sites like Sanctuary of Truth and Nong Nooch Gardens make Pattaya a front-runner of many Thai tourists american samoa well. When it comes to beaches favored by the Thais, none are livelier on a Saturday than Hat Bang Saen .Pattaya Beach has its moments. But as residents of the Bangkok mega-city, we normally prefer peace and hushed when traveling. If there ’ s entirely adequate time for a quick beach trip, we tend to cruise down the west slide of the amphetamine Gulf to Prachuap, or to Chanthaburi on the more aloof Eastern seaside. In either direction, we ’ re mechanically soothed upon entering sleepy seaside spots like Sam Roi Yot and Laem Singh .Banana boats are big business in Bang Saen. In contrast, heading straight southeast out of Bangkok takes you through congested Samut Prakan and into the ample city of Mueang Chonburi, the provincial capital. From there, the urban and industrial sprawl extends right down through Si Racha, Laem Chabang and into Pattaya and Jomtien. Starting in a city and traveling through other cities in rate to reach a city, is not our cup of tea .A view from Bali Hai Pier in Pattaya. But after largely ignoring the Pattaya area ever since I ’ d done some windsurf at Club Loong Chat in 2007, we decided it was fourth dimension to give the area another look earlier this class. We didn ’ t have time to check out any of Chonburi state ’ second islands on this stumble. alternatively, we learned that Bang Saray would be a fine point to relax. This dreamy, not-so-touristy township ended up exceeding our expectations .

Like Pattaya in the past ?

early settlers of what ’ south nowadays Bang Saray ( besides spelt Sare ) were pirates who “ killed people, seized possessions and burned depressed ships, ” according to the subdistrict administration. Dotted with detached beaches, the hill-studded coast south of town must have been good booty-stashing terrain. In the early nineteenth hundred, descendants of Phraya Chanthaboon, an influential drawing card from Chanthaburi, took a reflect to the area during an extensive boat trip. They left some settlers behind .Looking south towards the start of the forested coastal hills. Pattaya in the early to mid 20th-century is frequently described as a calm and obscure fishing town that few people knew approximately. During the American-Vietnam War in the 1960s and ‘ 70s, the arrival of US servicemen sparked its transformation into a city with an economy geared towards “ Yankee ” soldiers on R & R, and then tourism more generally after the war. now Pattaya ranks as one of Thailand ’ s most democratic destinations for tourists, expats, workers and land developers .Homes extend beyond the shoreline in Bang Saray. As high-rise hotels sprouted in Pattaya and the wide Chonburi state started servicing cruise ships rather than american warships, the Bang Saray residential district ’ s continued focus on fishing unbroken bulk tourism at sleeve ’ randomness length. tourism has been rolled into the subdistrict ’ mho economy, of course, but it ’ s relatively subdued and we found many of the tourism-related businesses to be tastefully done .The city is never far from view. One thing I appreciate about Bang Saray is how the buildings of Pattaya and Jomtien are in view, as though hover over the Maya-blue ocean to the north. This makes Bang Saray one of the only places in Thailand to soak up vistas of an expansive seaside-cityscape, a lanthanum Miami or Gold Coast. The old-style fishing life style set against an urban skyline backdrop makes for some intriguing photography .

Town to beach to village

Driving into Bang Saray from Sukhumvit Road, which is the main highway through the area, reminds me of entering any non-touristy Thai township with narrow lanes looping past markets, street carts and shophouses. A few guesthouses attract travelers seeking a local-oriented feel business district. Between the shrines and noodle stalls, some of the shops sell swimsuits and pink-flamingo buoyant toys.

placid, Bang Saray has such a relaxing vibration compared to Pattaya, whose countless locomotion agencies and neon-lit pubs are only some 20 km away .Looking north up Bang Saray Beach. A ocean breeze replaces the lived-in feel of business district at Hat Bang Saray, a three-km beach consisting of light-tan sand rimmed by a chunky breakwater and a two-lane road with lots of tad. We spot a handful of small condos, hotels and beach clubs, but most buildings are single-floor shops and eateries overseeing umbrella-shaded beach chairs for enjoying seafood with Thai beer and a bucket of ice .Find your chill spot and enjoy the view of Ko Phai. As we stroll aimlessly by the beach, a group of three twelve cyclists — both Thais and foreigners — zip up by in spandex overdress .No high-rise hotels here. Bang Saray ’ south beach road has a public ballpark and an old Navy boat that ’ south partially of a memorial to Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse ( 1880-1923 ), considered the don of the Royal Thai Navy. Seeing his trope here international relations and security network ’ thymine a storm given how Bang Saray is the northernmost tambon in Sattahip, a district that hosts headquarters and training grounds of the Royal Thai Navy ( RTN ) fleet. In fact, the long-standing pradu ( padauk ) trees that clothe over the Bang Saray beach road are a symbol of both the RTN and Chonburi province. To the south, the Navy controls most coastal terrain and all 20 of the islands found between Bang Saray and U-Tapao Airport .At the Navy memorial with the fishing village in view. Another attention-getting site on the beach road is a life-size giant shark statue that draws its plowshare of selfie snappers. veridical whale sharks are rare in the sphere, but these docile giants have made occasional appearances in Chonburi waters during the pandemic. The like goes for Bryde ’ randomness whales and bottle-nosed whale dolphins .As far as concrete animal statues go, I’d call this one a winner. Unlike S attahip ’ s other subdistricts, Bang Saray is more celebrated for fishing than the naval presence. Beyond the south end of the beach stands a seaside community that ’ randomness been here for at least a century, according to a local charwoman who we chat with while perusing dried squid in an open-fronted workshop. It occupies one of the photogenic old houses set along the narrow lane nearest the ocean .Take a stroll through the village. much of the local seafood goes to nearby stilted restaurant kitchens or the fabulous night market business district. Bang Saray is sol well known for seafood that quite a few tourists — particularly Thais — agenda dinner trips hera during their vacations in Pattaya. As with other fishing hub that profit from being separate of tourism-driven economies, the pandemic has been hard on the fishers of Bang Saray .Some fishers live in stilted houses set further back along the pier. In addition to several seafood restaurants, the village hosts a desegregate of shops, cafe, guesthouses and homestays that range from modern concrete buildings to bed-on-the-floor type places with flimsy wooden walls. The Boathouse looks like a bang-up guesthouse with big windows opening to the sea, while Kept Bang Saray has circular villas and a swimming pool area extending to a pier. besides worth a mention is Bang Saray Beach Club, a British-run restaurant and prevention with a pool and a bang-up repute .Street art in the village. If you ’ rhenium wondering why I ’ megabyte not including photos of the local seafood, it ’ second because we saved our appetite for a cafe further south. It will feature in future workweek ’ randomness article about one of the finest Thai mainland beaches I ’ ve come across. 🌴

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