Dan about Thailand loves great content from across Thailand from fellow Expats and is delighted to share this post from MeanderingTales.Com. The author, Kim Waddoup, has over 40 years in the travel industry and is now happily living in Thailand.
Koh Larn (aka Koh Lan & Koh Laan) is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand tantalisingly close, just 7 kms, from the major resort of Pattaya. It is a picturesque, hilly island about 4 kilometres long and 2 kilometres wide with a total area of just 5.6 square kilometres.
With its idyllic location and small island character, Koh Larn, unfortunately, became a victim of its own success with tens of thousands of day visitors visiting its quaint streets and clear beaches every day. Whilst many profited from this tourism onslaught, the environment and character suffered terribly. With the onset of Covid, the island was closed completely to visitors and whilst a massive blow to all involved in tourism, it has allowed the island to regenerate and to re-emerge to what it originally was. With regular hourly ferries, it is easy to reach the island and even with only domestic tourism it is already becoming busy at weekends and holidays. If you can, visit during the week.
My 24 hours on lovely Koh Larn
To get to the island you have the choice of speedboats or the ferry. All these boats leave from Bali Hai terminal and as you arrive you will be met by a substantial number of hawkers each trying to encourage you to choose their mode of transport. On my visit the speed boats were offering a per person price of THB.100 for a shared boat. The disadvantage is that you have to wait for the boat to fill. In pre-covid times the rent for the entire speed boat was THB.2,000-2,500(return). On my visit this week I was offered THB.500! However, my aim was to take the ferry and despite being a bit longer, just 45 mins, this is the best way to travel both to and from the island.
There are 2 ferries. One that goes to Na Baan which is the main town of the island, and the other to Tawaean Beach. The cost of each ferry is just a mere THB.30. My recommendation is just to take the next one that is leaving as the distance between the two destinations is minimal. The ferries offer open seating and the sea breeze is a great start to a mini vacation. My ferry took me to Tawaen Beach, so you have a view of Koh Sak and Ko Krok islands as you approach Tawaen Beach. The pier is a simple affair and really needs some urgent renovation. You will see what I mean as you take the elevated walkway to the shore.
If you are just on the island for a few hours then Tawaen Beach is ideal with its wide white sands, water sports and plentiful restaurants. My goal however was to explore the island. As you exit the pier you will be met by an eager crowd of hawkers hankering to rent you a motor bike, arrange a hotel or a restaurant. I simply just rented a motorbike. Such a easy transaction! Just pay THB.300, leave a form of ID and just drive away. No formalities at all. Please note that they do not supply helmets but as there are no cars on the island and the pace is slow, the risk is acceptable. I would also recommend taking photos of your bike as you receive it to avoid any later disputes. Do note, that especially in the north, there are some quite high hills. The roads are well paved and many built only for motorbikes. The only traffic that you may meet are the few pickup taxis on the island and tractors!
Full detail at https://meanderingtales.com/24-hours-on-koh-larn/