Of the several beaches on Koh Lahn, Tawaen Beach (see photos below) is the most popular. In this case, my definition of popular refers to being populated, very. Visitors arrive here en-mass from Pattaya and Bangkok, so don’t expect an idyllic, peaceful little beach, especially in the high season, and even more so on weekends and holidays.
Note: Koh Lahn is also referred to as Koh Larn, Koh Lan, and Coral Island. The Thai meaning of Koh Lahn translates to Million Island. Koh Lahn is approximately 8 kilometers from Pattaya, and of all the islands near Pattaya, it is the easiest to reach.
Somewhere beneath the throngs of people and the regimented rows of deck chairs and loungers which again lie beneath a forest of parasols, there is a stunningly beautiful beach. The backdrop is beautiful forested hills that form a very picturesque bay.
The water is clear and shallow, and the sand is soft and fine. I guess you could sum up by saying for some people, Tawaen Beach would be perfect if it was not so popular.
Having clean shallow water and soft fine sand, Tawaen Beach is vastly superior to most of the beaches in Pattaya. There’s lots of room for children to paddle, fall over, or simply chill out, as in the photo (above).
Lots of little beer bars and restaurants line the pathway behind Tawaen Beach, ideal if you like to sit and watch life go by, but the only view you’ll get of the beach from here is what’s visible through the mass of tourist bodies beneath and the canopy of parasols.
There is a large safe swimming area, if you are on the northerly end of Tawaen Beach it’s a good idea to make sure your children don’t stray out of it, boats frequently come close to drop passengers off on the beach.
Tawaen Beach is situated on the eastern coast of Koh Lahn, it runs in a north to south direction, and is roughly 800 meters long. At the northern point, there is a rocky outcrop, at the southern point there is the Tawaen Beach to Pattaya Bali Hai ferry terminal and an emergency medical facility (not sure if this is in use).
With its deck chairs, gift shops, bars, guest houses, and thronging masses of tourists, it feels like a tropical Blackpool.
Tawaen Beach Tips.
The boat traffic is quite noisy, if you would rather listen to the soothing sound of the waves breaking on the shore instead of the gurgles and screams of speed boat engines, head further up the beach in the direction of the ferry terminal.
Before you even got on the ferry or speed boat I bet you were hassled and harried by touts on Bali Hai Pier, expect more of the same when you arrive on Tawaen Beach, staff are very keen to get you to their deck chair pitch.
Food and drink are expensive, especially if vendors are fetching it to your chair or lounger, seems like they are adding a large percentage to the price. If you are going to order from a vendor, ask for a menu with prices and confirm the price before you order. Even better, go and eat in one of the restaurants behind the beach before you hire a chair.
You don’t have to stay on Tawaen Beach, if you follow the path to the ferry terminal you see a road up the side of a steep hill, from the bottom of this road you can take a “Baht Bus” type taxi or a motorcycle taxi to anywhere on the island.
- Food and drink is more expensive than in Pattaya.
- Loungers and deck chairs can range from 60 to 100 Baht.
Getting to Tawaen Beach from Pattaya.
You can get to Koh Lahn by speed boat or ferry. Ferries go to Tawaen Beach, and to Naban port—Koh Lahn’s main town, from the pier at Bali Hai at the south end of Walking Street. Tickets cost around 50 baht, and the journey time is 40–60 minutes.
Ferry times from Pattaya to Tawaen Beach are 08.00, 09:00, 11:00, and 13:00.
Ferry times from Tawaen Beach to Pattaya are every hour from 13:00 to 17:00.
Speed boats depart from the pier at regular intervals, when they are full, and cost 200–300 baht per person. You can charter a speed boat for about 2,500 baht upwards, depending on the size of the boat.
You can get directions using this Pattaya Beaches Map.