Pattaya is a popular resort city in Thailand. It is on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, only 2 hours by car from Bangkok.
Monkey Island is one of the cool destinations you must visit! Also Koh Khram is a small and unhihabited island. Koh Khram is part of a marine protection zone and is controlled by the Thai Royal Marine in Sattahip. Two sandy bays are ideal for snorkeling and swimming. Visiting the island is prohibited
at some times of the year, due to the protection of the sea turtles.
Koh Khram Island is arguably the most beautiful island in all the Pattaya Archipelago with its white sandy beaches, clear waters and picturesque coves. Koh Khram is a Navy owned deserted island and access to its surrounding waters are restricted and at certain times of the year totally forbidden due to Navy exercises or Sea Turtle mating season.
Koh Khram is a large island with plentiful coves of unbelievable beauty, serenity and diversity. Although direct beach access is forbidden, the amazing diversity of the coves, beaches and inlets means a cruise around the island is simply magical. Nearly all the beaches are blessed with amazing white soft powdery sand. There are huge limestone drop offs to the south of the island reminiscent of Phuket’s fabulous Phang Nga bay. The waters are crystal clear all the way around the Island right through to its sister Island Koh Khram Noi located just a few hundred meters North of Koh Khram. The Island’s waters are literally brimming with marine life and coral reefs offering exquisite snorkelling. The plentiful marine life often makes fishing just off the coast a very pleasurable experience indeed.
The nearby Monkey Island is full with native monkeys who are always happy to greet any guests that arrive upon its rocky shores. Opposite Koh Khram Island is Sai Kaew Navy beach which makes for a perfect stop off for lunch and a little sea KAYAKING.
Pattaya’s Monkey Island, translated to Koh Ling, is a hidden gem situated south of Na Jomtien between Bang Saray
and the large popular island of Koh Khram.
The relatively undiscovered tiny pistol-shaped monkey island is only accessible by boat. It is known locally as Koh Ped and is the permanent residence of Thai Samae Monkeys. Thousands of these friendly, yet cheeky, primates have made their home in the island’s low lying vegetation and thrive in huge numbers, especially along the southern and eastern shorelines.
Visitors traveling from Pattaya to Monkey Island will be amused and amazed at the greetings you get from the native primate ‘Ling Samae’. They wait impatiently at the beach for tourists to supply them with tasty snacks.
Feed the acrobatic little macaques with caution because they are not tame and they will jump all over you if they see anything edible.
Bananas, nuts, and watermelon is their favourite food. They use stone tools to smash open shelled nuts and some bivalves, and they swim below the water to grab a free meal from fallen food or sea snails. Samae Monkeys main diet includes oysters and crabs which is why they are good swimmers.
Bananas, nuts, and watermelon is their favourite food, and they also swim below the water to grab a free meal. Samae Monkeys main diet includes oysters and crabs which is why they are good swimmers.
As Pattaya tourism increases each year, so do tourist visitors to Monkey Island. While some relate this activity to the increase of macaque’s population, the downside is a deficiency of natural food in the low season resulting in extremely hungry monkeys.
We understand the Royal Thai Navy operates food aid projects during the quiet months each year to address this problem. You may argue that feeding wild monkeys is not responsible tourism. Nonetheless, the fact is that primates now rely on tourism and government food aid projects for their survival.
Koh Pai or “Bamboo Island” is controlled by the Royal Thai Navy, who restricts the use of the beaches, but the fairly large sheltered bay at the south of the island is ideal for beginners. While beginners are using the South Bay, more experienced divers have opportunity to follow the southern most part of the island down to 24 meters where they will find some larger fish and a few outcroppings of rock formations and a spattering of coral. It could be a decent dive but the area unfortunately has quite a bit of discarded bottles, fishing boat parts and some nets, old tires and other trash. We have had some interesting dives in the deep in spite of this.
Koh paiThe east side of the island has a shallow (4 to 9 meters) line of corals which is also pretty good for beginners and the HTMS Khram is just 500 meters from the east side as WELL. We have on good currents dropped off the beginners on the beach and taken the advanced divers to the wreck, then picked up the beginners. It works pretty well and gets two dives done in the same time.
The north side of the island boast actually a very nice line of shallow corals seldom visited by diving boats. Very shallow though and not good in an outgoing current.
And, finally, the bay just west of the southern beach has a fairly shallow and patchy coral density dive but has produced some very interesting creatures, like a massive school of Sea Catfish hiding under a big outcrop of coral and interesting Pipefish.
Sai Kaew Beach
Sai Kaew Beach is a pristine Navy owned beach that is located on the Mainland opposite Koh Khram in the Sattahip district. It is open for public use at a reasonable fee and is approximately a 30 minute drive South from Pattaya. One of the best things about Sai Kaew Beach is its superb restaurant which offers fresh Thai and Seafood cuisine which are cooked to perfection.
The beach is usually fairly quiet and always has a relaxed atmosphere. Thai locals often like to visit this beach and enjoy a picnic under the shade offered by the plentiful trees that are located throughout the 1km stretch of sand.
The beach is managed by the Thai Royal Navy and therefore it is kept very clean and there are no street venders walking along the beach trying to hassle you into buying something! The waters are also clear and often calm which makes for great swimming. Snorkelling is also possible here however this activity is best done one of the islands where the visibility is usually, simply, incredible. There are also sea KAYAKS available to rent from the beach which is undoubtedly the best way to get a suntan whilst burning a few calories!