A day at Hat Chaolao in Chanthaburi
The beaches of Chanthaburi might not be as stunning viewing as the Maldives but they are actually very nice, big and clean. And you will find yourself being one of the few western tourists going there, because yes you will need your own transport. Hat Chaolao is not really off the beaten track, but a Thai tourist destination for in the weekends and school holidays. Along Hat Chaolao are quite a few hotels, some a bit older as Thai tourists come here already more as 20 years. But there are also some newly renovated hotels and even some totally new hotels. Along the main road are a few restaurants, 7-11 and shops. On the north side is Leam Sadet a favourite place for Thai to sit on little matts on the ground in the shade of trees and eat & drink. So that is what we did also. Next to Leam Sadet is a mangrove forrest Kung Krabaen, where you can walk for about 1.5 km thru a mangrove forrest (we did that the next morning). And at the most northern tip of Leam Sadet is Klong Kood where at the local fishing pier is an Sea Farming Demonstration Unit (free entrance). Here are also 2 resorts and 2 restaurants.
At the southern end of Hat Chaolao (just after New Travel Beach Resort) are a few nice seafood restaurants right along the beach. Great place for lunch or dinner. And at the most southern tip of Hat Chaolao is a great view point overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.