Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thailand's Koh Si Chang

Koh Si Chang

Thailand's islands are rich in hidden treasures and one such is Koh Si Chang, a charming historical island offering a treasure trove of delights such as ruins of summer palaces, great architecture and lots more! Koh Si Chang is the biggest island in the Chon Buri Province, off Pattaya in the Gulf of Thailand.The small islets of Koh Kang Kao, Koh Kham Noi, Koh Prong and others surround Koh Si Chang.

About 3 hours from Bangkok, you can get to Koh Si Chang by catching a boat from Charin Pier of Sri Racha in Chonburi. From Sri Racha it's about a 45 min ride to Tha Lang Pier of Koh Si Chang. Plenty of local taxis called Tuk Tuks help you get to other parts of the island from Tha Lang Pier.

Thailand's Koh Si Chang is a rock island with a tropical climate. A vacation place of three former kings of the Chakri dynasty, the island is a popular tourist destination owing to its associations with royalty and beautiful architectural marvels.

Koh Si Chang will charm you with its many attractions, such as:

Chudahdhuj Palace, former summer residence of the royal family. Here there's the octagon stone base which was once the intended site of Vimanmek Mansion that you see in Bangkok.

Wat Thamyaiprig, a peaceful meditation temple where monks and nuns lead their holy life away from the world

Chao Pho Khao Yai Shrine of Buddha on a northern hill of the island, some 192 m above sea level from where you can observe the island in all its glory.

Some places connected with royalty worth visiting are: Phra Chuthathut Ratchatan and the intricately designed garden palace of Si Chang.

Mondop atop Buddha's Footprint replica installed by King Rama V on a hill from where you get glorious views of the island

The Assadang Nimit Temple in which a pagoda has been built atop a Western style domed church.

The secluded beach of Haad Saai Kaew on Koh Si Chang and the surrounding islets like Koh Kang Kao offer great snorkeling opportunities and a chance to view a variety of coral and fish.
You can explore Koh Si Chang on a day trip and be back in Pattaya before nightfall. Many tour operators in Pattaya offer such trips. If you want to stay over for the night, there are many hotels with affordable rates on Koh Si Chang itself.

If you want to be touched by royalty, come to Koh Si Chang, the preferred summer destination of kings!

How to get to Ko Sichang

Train: There is one train daily from Hualompong Train Station in Bangkok to Siracha town, a journey of 117 Km. Upon arrival in Siracha take a “tuk-tuk” to Ko Loy Pier. Ferries leave every hour to Ko Sichang. The first ferry is at 07.00 and the last is at 20.00. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and costs 40 Baht per person.

Bus:Air-conditioned buses leave Ekamai Bus Station(East) and Morchid Bus Station(North) in Bangkok to Siracha town, every hour starting at 06.50. The last bus leaves at 21.00.

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