It’s hard to compare Pattaya’s beaches to those of the nearby islands, Koh Chang, Koh Samet and Koh Lahn, but that’s not to say you can’t have fun or even find a typically beautiful beach in Pattaya. I’m sure Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach were once very beautiful, That is, until man encroached and brought mass tourism, development and industry to the the shores of Pattaya and the surrounding areas.
Koh Samet is the nearest and quietest resort island to Pattaya, there is a plenitude of beaches which bring to mind most peoples idea of a typical tropical island beach, areas of unspoilt natural beauty, golden sandy beaches lined with coconut trees, picturesque coves and lush green backdrops.
Much like Koh Samet, only larger geographically and more startling, despite being a very popular destination Koh Chang can boast many relatively unpopulated beaches and places of outstanding natural beauty.
Koh Lahn is a charming little island, Tawaen Beach (photo above) is the largest and most popular beach on Koh Lahn, and it must be said it is a pristine beach, soft, smooth sand, a lush green backdrop, and all situated in a picturesque bay, everything you would expect of an island beach in Thailand. What it is not though, is the remote and serene beach that you imagined yourself swinging in a hammock, listening to the soothing sound of the ocean lapping up gently on to the shore. Koh Lahn is a victim of it’s own beauty, and it’s close proximity to Pattaya means it has to cater for large numbers of visitors on a daily basis, the tight rows of deck chairs and masses of bathers somehow detract from the vision of a typical Thai island beach.
The geography and terrain of Asia Beach (photo above) in South Pattaya have helped to maintain it’s relative serenity, not visited by the masses like Pattaya Beach and Jomtien Beach, and not encroached by highways or a high rise backdrop, Asia Beach does have a certain charm. But water quality and the rocky nature of the beach detract from it’s desirability.
Cosy Beach (photo above), in my opinion and probably most everybody’s opinion, has to be the most beautiful and picturesque beach in Pattaya, the only beach in Pattaya with enough “wow” factor to make you exclaim “what a beautiful little beach”. In many ways Cosy Beach can be compared to the beautiful island beaches, it is situated in a an idyllic crescent shaped bay, has a steep and lush green backdrop, and has soft golden sand. The only detrimental factor is the water quality, like all the beaches in Pattaya, it is not the pristine turquoise water which laps the shores of the island beaches. Cosy Beach does have atmosphere though, there are some nice little beach bars and restaurants which lend themselves to the “holiday feeling” of Cosy Beach.
Most people visit Jomtien Beach (picture above) in preference to Pattaya Beach because it is considered to be more beautiful and friendly than Pattaya Beach, car parking is also easier and makes the beach more accessible. Jomtien Beach is long and in many parts quite narrow, it has no distinguishing features except for the promenade road which runs parallel to it.
Wongamat Beach, apart from it’s crescent moon contour and a handful of resorts and restaurants has nothing magnificent to boast of but it’s not a bad beach, like Na Jomtien Beach and Krating Lai Beach, it is well worth visiting at night to experience that special ambiance of dining on the beach, doesn’t quite compare to the ambiance of the islands but still a nice experience.
Pattaya Beach is the main geographical feature of Pattaya, but it’s arguably not the feature which makes Pattaya so popular, it’s just one of many contributing assets. Like Jomtien it is long and quite featureless, bedecked with chairs and sprinkled with jet ski vendors.
If it was not for the mud and chocolaty brown water, Krating Lai Beach in North Pattaya could have been a winner, but if your only concern is the beach it is actually a nice looking beach, nice soft sand, fringed with fir trees and coconut trees, and a great place to eat and watch a beautiful sunset over the Sanctuary of Truth.
Pattaya’s beaches compared to island beaches.
Like I said already, Pattaya has a mixture of ordinary beaches but there are one or two beautiful beaches amongst them, and when all is said and done, Pattaya’s beaches are still immensely popular. It’s ironic that the best beaches have more in common geographically with island beaches, making them less prone to encroachment by highways and major developments. I can imagine both Pattaya and Jomtien beaches being very beautiful before the the trees were chopped down and roads were routed along their lengths. They lost their charm, they gave way to concrete, as yet most of Thailand’s islands are protected by National Park status, ensuring that their natural beauty is not spoiled. It is purely natural beauty which gives the island beaches the edge, and it’s this natural beauty that means there are few beaches in Pattaya which can come close to comparing to the nearby islands of Koh Chang, Koh Samet and Koh Lahn.