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. 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”, and it is roughly 8 kilometers from Pattaya.
Somewhere beneath the throngs of people and the regimented rows of deck chairs and loungers which again lie beneath a sky 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 the 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 through the mass of bodies and forest 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, there is a lot of boat traffic due to speed boats arriving and departing with passengers, and they come very close to the shore.
Tawaen Beach is situated on the eastern coast of Koh Lahn, it runs 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).
I’ve seen a few commentator’s write phrases such as “it looks and feels like Blackpool”, for those of you who don’t know, Blackpool is one of the busiest seaside resorts in the U.K, it has a typical touristy feel to it, lots of gift shops, pubs, guest houses, deck chairs, and people. Maybe if Koh Lahn’s Tawaen Beach was cold, dotted with old men wearing handkerchiefs on their head, and the water lost its tropical warmth and sparkle, then yes I dare say you could compare it to 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, You go where you want.
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 Tawaen Beach by speed boat of the ferry, you can take a speed boat from the Bali Hai ferry terminal, or you may try and negotiate a price with any of the speed boat operators dotted on the beaches around Pattaya.
Depending on the size of the speedboat and the number of people in your party you can expect to pay anywhere between 2,500 and 5,000 Baht for a return trip, you must try and bargain for the best price. You may find that some will hang around until you are ready to return, make it understood that you don’t want to leave until a specific time. Speedboats are a good alternative for groups, especially if the expense is going to be shared. If you are not part of a group you take a speedboat from the Bali Hai ferry terminal for 300 Baht, per person, but you have to wait for it to fill, they won’t go with only one or two passengers.
You can catch a ferry costing 30 Baht one way to Tawaen Beach or Naban Port, just walk down to the end Bali Hai Pier, don’t go inside the terminal building, ignore all the touts and simply pay when you board the ferry. Inside the terminal building you can buy a ticket for a faster ferry, costing around 300 Baht return.
For schedules from Bali Hai to Tawaen Beach and Naban Port, plus more general information and tips on getting to Koh Lahn visit this site..http://kohlarn.com/schedule.htm.
- 30 Baht ferry to Tawaen Beach takes 40 – 60 minutes.
- 300 Baht ferry takes 30 – 40 minutes.
- Speedboat takes approx 15 – 20 minutes.
For maps and directions to Bali Hai Pier and Tawaen Beach see link below.
See more high quality, large photos of Tawaen Beach.
A word about jellyfish: while I was on Tawaen Beach one of our group, a little girl, got stung on the upper arm by a jellyfish. I’m no medical expert and I’m not trying to pass on medical advice, I, like most people don’t carry a first aid kit to the beach. I’m a diver by profession so I have come across and heard of many marine mishaps, one that I remembered was the treatment of jellyfish stings. I mentioned to my wife that vinegar may neutralize the poison, and she managed to find some, needless to say after about half-hour of dabbing vinegar on to the sting it seemed to work and the itching stopped. I’m only telling you this because it worked for me, and if you are a long way from medical help you can only try what you know. But be warned, the treatment of jellyfish stings has caused much controversy, vinegar may work on some jellyfish types but not on others.