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Egad! I'm going to Chonburi

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May 22nd, 2012, 04:10 PM
  #1
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Egad! I'm going to Chonburi

I've just been asked to go on a business trip to Chonburi late July/early August. I can extend the trip for a few days before or after, but not much. What to do/where to go for those days? I am totally unprepared and I am only home for one week to get this all organized.

I have been to Thailand twice before. I've spent more than a week in Bangkok and have seen many of the major sites like palaces, wats, river, shows. I've been to Ayutthaya. Flew up to Chang Mai and did an overnight trek, visited elephants. Traveled to Khao Yai Park to bird watch and see bats, etc.

My interests are birds, natural beauty, history and culture. I have snorkeled, but do not dive. I don't like to lie on a beach. I'm not into zip lining, parasailing, petting tigers, or partying.

Is there anywhere SE of Bangkok I should travel? I'd like to hire a guide or use mass transit, not rent a car on my own. I've even enjoyed day tours, but I'm not sure if they are practical to anywhere from Chonburi. Pattaya sounds awfully touristy.

Other choice is to use BKK as the hub, travel back after work and on to...?
Last time at Khao Yai we met some folks who were going to another park down south to go birding and that area sounded nice, but I have to find where it was and if it is accessible for me on my own.

Help!
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May 22nd, 2012, 10:29 PM
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I would not choose Pattaya! Take a look at Hua Hin instead. I don't think you would have any problems staying by yourself in Thailand. I've travelled there solo a number of times.
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May 22nd, 2012, 11:57 PM
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Khao Sam Roi Yot, is south of Bangkok - If I remember correctly, it takes 3or 4 hours by train to Hua Hin and then a bus/sorngthaew from there. http://www.travelfish.org/location/t..._national_park
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May 23rd, 2012, 12:32 AM
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Quite frankly with only a few days I would suggest that Hua Hin is a wildly boring destination - there is stuff nearby that might be right up your street, notably Kaeng Krachan National park, which is magnificent and good for 2 or 3 days - trekking birdwatching etc. ....but it is about 3 to 4 hours from Chonburi and may seem a little far when there is so much to see nearer Chonburi itself.

To access the west side of the Gulf coast from Chonburi you need to drive across the Kanchanaprisek Bridge that avoids going into Bkk.

However, if you are in Chonburi why not explore the Eastern Seaboard???
Chonburi Chachoensao, Rayong Chantaburi and Trat are all Changwats with something interesting to see.

The Eastern Seaboard may be an industrial heartland but that doesn't mean there aren't still places to go and see.

There are beaches Between Pattaya and Rayong. Along the coast, you might also check out the extensive Mangroves and estuaries around Laem Sing.

Chachoensao has a famous temple and a pleasant river.

Khao Chamao (about 3 hours drive from Chonburi) national Park has camping. log cabins (faux) and a waterfall to trek up. Near Khao Chamao is Phra Sae Reservoir with camping lodges and walks....about 2.5 hours from Chonburi.


Several towns nearby are worth a day out.........
Bang Saen (20 min from Chonburi) is a beach resort town used primarily by Bankokians at the week-ends, when it gets very full. But during the week you'll have it to yourself - more or less. Lots of seafood - shellfish at Ang Sila to the North.

- Si Racha (30 minutes) - eat seafood on Koh Loy joined by causeway to the mainland or take a boat out to Koh Si Chang.

Between Bang Saen and Sri Racha, Bang phra reservoir has small nature reserves around it and "picnic" food stalls.


Pattaya about 1 hour) has good shops and restaurants - vey busy all year and very urban.....but there are some passable beaches between Pattaya and conjoined Jomtien (Sugar Beach is one)

After Pattaya is Sattahip - naval town - there are some good beaches around there.
Beyond is Rayong which too can boast some good beaches and some of the worst industrial pollution in Thailand.

Chantaburi (about 3 to 4 hours) is famous for fruit and gemstones. I like some of the nature preservation attempts here.....not impressed with the dolphin "conservation" efforts.

Don't forget Koh Samet - the driest island in Thailand - which is accessible from Ban Phe - East of Rayong. about 4 hours.

PS - my drive times are quite conservative - he roads are pretty pod and if you know the way you can knock 30 to 40 minutes off a lot of these.
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May 23rd, 2012, 12:35 AM
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PPS - Drive times are from Chonburi.
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May 23rd, 2012, 07:56 PM
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Khao Yai National Park is an amazing place, all the more so given its location a few hours NE of BKK, and a couple hours north of Chonburi.

The accommodation in the area is gorgeous and reasonable, the tours are fantastic, and the wildlife will blow you away.

This place is a must-see for all nature lovers, and will make nature-lovers out of all the rest!
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May 24th, 2012, 12:04 PM
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I agree, if you are in Chonburi there is plenty to see and do along the coast, sights and attractions, even if heading just around Pattaya lots to see, Sanctuary of Truth is well worth a visit, I am sure you will find plenty for several days
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May 24th, 2012, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for the ideas.
I will be looking at the parks--unfortunately August is not the best time for birdwatching, but the scenery should still be nice. A friend of mine from Bangkok says she goes to Pattaya, but can tell me about islands, waterfalls, nearby mountains or else find out information for me. A day on a quiet natural beach is the most sand time that I want--just was in Florida on a beautiful white sand Gulf beach, but I tire of it quickly, especially if lined with hotels, vendors, parasailing, etc.

I looked up Hua Hin and I see that it attracts ex-pat retirees. I work with aging populations, retirement housing, etc. so that might be interesting to me if I can make some contacts with developers/marketers for some tours of properties.

I think I will be able to bracket in the number of days (probably 5) for the calendar and plane ticket, then spend some of my spare time over the next few weeks coming up with alternatives. I don't even have a Thailand guidebook on my shelf. I don't know if I gave it away or tossed it when I thought it was outdated. I think my last trip was 2004/2005. I have only visited in December/January.
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May 24th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Hua Hin is not a very exciting location. Guess you have figured out it will be in the rainy season.
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May 24th, 2012, 09:10 PM
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Parks to Look at
Khao Yai - v popular
Khao Chamao - not so crowded very beautiful
Kaeng Krachan - biggest in Thailand - be sure to visit the nearby WFFT - wildlife conservation project
Sam Roi Yot - caves, by the sea but surrounded by shrimp farms

August is VERY wet in most places
Driest would be Koh Samet and Pattaya

If you want expat retirees - go to Pattaya!
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May 25th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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Yes, I know it will be the wet season--no control over that and not the time I would chose to go, but that is when I will be there. That is my hesitation about some of the parks. I have been to Khao Yai in December, but have read that during rainy season that it will be knee deep mud plus leeches--yuk! Though the best birding we did there was along the roadways at the edge of the forests, we did hike through to see gibbons.

I will check out Koh Samet.
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May 25th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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Pattaya should not be automatically discarded
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May 25th, 2012, 08:47 PM
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I would never dismiss Pattay out of hand. However it doesn't look as if it fits any of the OP's requirements.
However as it is the Wet season it is worth bearing in mind that apart from being thee driest part on the coast, it also has a lot to offer that can be enjoyed in the wet or the dry.
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May 25th, 2012, 08:59 PM
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PS - you might want to check out this typo of mine from a few years back..

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...rally-like.cfm
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