Sometimes you get the feeling like you’ve been in Bangkok a little too long and you just need a break. We were recently feeling this way but couldn’t take a couple of weeks off so we did the next best thing we spent two weekends in a row at the small seaside town of Bang Saen.
Bang Saen is a great little town without a lot to do apart from sit at the beach and relax, which is what we did for the two weekends we were there. The beach may not be as beautiful as many of the islands in Thailand but it still has sand, lapping waves and palm trees. On our last day we did do a little wandering and saw slightly more of the town. We headed to the western end of the beach and up Khao Sam Muk where we saw a couple of monkeys.
At just over an hour’s drive from Bangkok (only 80 kilometres) it is easy to get to. Public transport options are easy to find as well. You can choose to take a bus or minivan from the Eastern Bus Terminal in Ekkamai but if you are travelling at peak hour it may take a while to get down Sukhumvit Road. A better alternative is to catch the BTS to Udom Suk and walk down the road a bit until you get to the intersection of Sukhumvit Road and Bang na-Trat Frontage Road, on this corner are a few small minivan stations. At peak hour the buses leave pretty regularly as people often use them to commute to the city. The minivans cost between 90 and 130 Baht depending on where you catch it and where the final destination is. Once you get to the Bang Saen the van or bus will probably stop off at the main road – there are plenty of Red Songthaew that go down to the beach, just wave one down.
The choice of accommodation spans all price ranges. If you want cheap, check out soi 1 off the beach road. The places might seem a little seedy given they generally “open 24 hour” places. But we found one that was nicer, didn’t have a 24 hour sign and friendly family ran it.
Thai tourists flock to the beachside town on weekends and the row upon row of deck chairs fill up and everyone chows into delicious fresh seafood. Fresh seafood food stalls line the path behind the deckchairs and you can order directly from your chair and it will be delivered right to you. In many ways it is easy not to leave you deckchair all day, everything you could want can come right to you – Fruit, Drinks, Massage, Beach toys and much more.
The water was a little murky when we were there but lots of people were swimming, riding banana boats and playing in rubber tubes. If you come for day trip and forget your togs, there are plenty of places selling swimwear and beach toys. There are a few toilets (5Baht) and shower (10Baht) buildings across the road from the beach making it easy to freshen up after a day at the beach too.