Koh Larn

Koh Larn promised to be the perfect getaway.
Close to Bangkok, pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs and an island without thousands of hotels. It sounded perfect, and was part of the reason for my recent trip to Pattaya.
 

 
Unfortunately it turns out that the websites I had looked at regarding Koh Larn, were not updated regularly, because as I sat by the pool looking into the distance the day before I was due to go, I saw hundreds (I kid you not) of speed boats and ferries sailing across to fill the oh so “isolated” beaches of Koh Larn.
 
My heart sunk, but deciding to take it as an omen of popularity, rather than as a day ruined by too much of a tourist footprint, I set my alarm for the following morning and caught the first ferry across to try and miss the rush. It turns out my efforts were futile, as many others had turned up to the pier with the same idea, but when the ferry costs just 30b and takes a mere 45 minutes to get across, I couldn’t possibly blame them.
 

 
Arriving in Koh Larn we were greeted by row upon row of sun beds. So much so that there wasn’t much of a beach to play on as the sun beds were lined up all the way to the waters edge! But we didn’t mind so much as the main reason for our visit to Koh Larn, was due to its nickname, “Coral Island”. So we spent the day beach hopping, in an attempt to find Nemo.
 
We started with Twaen.
 
     
 
Which although beautiful, was far too overcrowded. Partially due to its clear waters and charming wooden walkways, but mainly due to it’s convenient location right by the pier. The constant stream of boats meant the water was too disturbed for fish to settle, so we hopped aboard a songtaew and made our way to Samae beach.
 
Samae was beautiful.
 
     
 
Although the rows of sun beds were an eyesore, there were not nearly as many beds here, and surprisingly not that many people either. Ourselves and a handful of others were the only ones there leaving our footprints in the soft white sand. We stayed for a short while before our feet began itching to see what the other beaches had to offer. We walked to the top of the viewpoint, then made our way across to Tian beach.
 
With market stands, restaurants and a bar, Tian beach was definitely one of the more populated beaches.
 
     
 
After a day of walking around in the sun we decided to pull up a sunbed and order a spot of lunch, only to discover that it was 10;30 am. Not one to let time dictate my meals I settled in for a bowl of Tom Yum Goong and watched as S and Anna went for a quick swim. The waters were clear however there were no fish, nor any corals. So after my lunch (breakfast?) had gone done, we covered up and moved on to the next beach.
 
Nual beach.
 

 
Nual was a little different to the other beaches we had visited. Huge hills surrounded the beach, which made for stunning scenery, however the coarse sand meant walking barefoot was a no-no. So if you’re heading that way I definitely recommend taking flip-flops or jellies. I was a bad little blogger and forgot to take photos. Forgive me?
 
Next up was Thong Lang.
 
   
 
Our final beach stop, and the only one in which we saw any corals. Actually to say corals would be an overstatement, we saw one sea urchin and an array or different sized rocks! But navigating around them made for some interesting swimming. Before long the waves picked up and so we made our way back to the pier.
 
 
 
All in all I’d say that Koh Larn was definitely not what I was expecting, especially after various Internet sites had built up my interest in finding Nemo. However as with any place, the day is what you make of it and even though the snorkeling was a total wipeout, I still had a great time exploring with S and Anna.
 
 
 
The island is fairly easy to navigate, with songtaews and mopeds taking you around for as little as 40-50b per beach. The beaches, although somewhat ruined by umbrellas and sun beds, were just as beautiful as one could hope for, however if you’re looking for a relaxing day, I’d suggest that you skip the other beaches and head straight to Samae!