Pattaya Exploring the East Coast
Pattaya presents the widest choice of activities and the biggest selection of hotels, but it is by no means the only resort along Thailand's East Coast. There are many other attractive spots to be explored, either on day trips from Pattaya or as destinations in their own right. To the north is Bang Saen, an older beach resort and one still very popular with Bangkok residents. Here, apart from the beach, is the excellent Marine Science Centre aquarium. Close by are Ocean World water amusement park and, a few kilometres inland, khao Keo Open Zoo where various wild animals can be seen in a picturesque hillside setting. Both these attractions are ideal for children and afford perfect family day outings from Pattaya. To the south is Rayong where a number of beach resort hotels have recently opened along the splendid coastline.
The area is one of quiet coves and charming little fishing villages with typical markets well worth exploring. This area is much less developed than Pattaya and offers a quieter vacation by the sea. Continuing southeast one comes to the provinces of Chanthaburi and "Trat. Set against a backdrop of lush green hills, the land here is extremely fertile and the cultivation of a variety of fruit and vegetables adds to the beauty of the natural scenery.
Topping the list of fresh produce are three of Thailand's most exotic fruits durian, mangosteen and rambutan which are in season from May to September. Indeed, Chanthaburi is known as "the garden province" and an excursion into this green world provides a refreshing change from the beach. Last, but by no means least, along the East Coast, is Ko Chang, Thailand's second largest island (after Phuket) and characterized by a hinterland of densely forested hills fringed by some superb beaches. Ko Chang, along with equally magnificent neighbouring islands, is only now beginning to attract visitors. A good standard of bungalow accommodation is available, but otherwise the islands afford the perfect tropical escape.