Discover the hidden island gem known as Koh Kham
One of the most frequently asked questions in Bangkok is “where’s the nearest beach?” And while there are a couple of destinations in the nearby vicinity, many of these popular getaways—such as Koh Larn near Pattaya—suffer from being overcrowded or not properly looked after. However, there’s a shining beacon of hope for daytrippers, and it goes by the name of Koh Kham.
Located just a 2.5 hour drive from Bangkok (50 km south of Pattaya), this small island is located about 9 km off the coast from the Sattahip Naval Base, in Chonburi province (just to the west of its larger island neighbour, Koh Samae San). It is under the control of the Royal Thai Navy and, due to its delicate ecosystem, was declared a Marine National Park in 1993 (as part of a marine park project based in Sattahip). According to the Royal Thai Navy, Koh Kham is one of three islands that are under the pilot project, a campaign that aims to preserve and rehabilitate coral reefs in Thailand.
Only 61 rai in size, this H-shaped island is comprised of twin mountains linked together by a thin stretch of land. It boasts beautiful white beaches, clear waters, and an abundance of colourful coral reefs that are home to many underwater animals. Compared to more popular islands nearby, Koh Kham is a unique and authentic alternative—far from the maddening crowds—where you can relax, swim, snorkel, and explore the delicate underwater world. Likewise, you can discover the island’s lush interior by taking a light, 30-minute hike up to the island viewpoint, which offers stunning vistas overlooking the neighbouring islands as well as the broad expanse of the Gulf of Thailand.
The island is open to visitors only on weekends, with Navy boats leaving from Kao Ma Jor Pier, close to the Thai Island & Sea Natural History Museum in Sattahip. The ride takes only 20 minutes, but the number of daily visitors is restricted to 300 people, and as there’s no accommodation available, tourists cannot stay overnight. Except for toilets and one little “shop” selling refreshments, there are no other buildings or construction. Strict rules apply on the island, including the prohibition of shower products, cooking, or fishing.
However, the travel agency The Asia has just recently begun offering exclusive all-inclusive daytrips from Bangkok during the week (except public holidays). For just B1,900 (lunch included), you’ll get picked up at one of two convenient Bangkok locations, taken on a worry-free daytrip to this serene island paradise, and returned to Bangkok rested and refreshed. Both snorkelling gear and kayaks are included, as are deckchairs and beach mats. With exclusive access to the island from Monday to Friday, The Asia offers beach seekers the authentic tropical island getaway they’ve been looking for.
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