Less than one hundred kilometers from Bangkok on Bang Na-Trat Highway, Chonburi is a well-known seaside destination. It is also a major agricultural and industrial producer with extensive sugar-cane, tapioca and coconut plantations, a shallow and deep water fishery and has many manufacturing plants.
The most famous location for tourists, of course, is the seaside city of Pattaya.
Wat Yai Intharamin Chonburi : Wat Yai Intharam has some interesting mural paintings on the walls of its Ubosoth. They narrate the stories of the 10 last Jatakas or lives of the Buddha.
Sam Muk Hill is situated mid-way between Ang Sila and the Bangsaen Beach. The Chao Mae Sam Muk Shrine atop the hill is widely revered by local people.
Ang Sila, a small fishing village about five kilometers from Chonburi Town, is one of the oldest seaside vacation spots in Thailand. It is noted for its products in stone mortars.
Hat Bangsaen is a well-known beach only 10 kilometers from Chonburi at km. 104 turn right. Highly popular with local tourists, a part of the beach front area is set aside for venders of local foods and snacks. Canvas chairs and tire inner tubes are available for rent, as well as shower room facilities. Eminently suitable for a one-day outing from Bangkok.
The Marine Science Institute is located on the campus of Burapha University at the entrance to the Bangsaen Beach, is divided into three components. They are Marine Aquarium, Marine Science Museum and Marine Science Laboratories. The Aquarium has a large selection of fish and other marine animals which are found in the waters around Thailand. The museum is devoted to fish and fishing in Thailand. Open daily from 8:30-16:00 hrs. on weekdays, 8:30-17:30 hrs. on public holidays and closed on Monday. Admission fee is 20 baht per person.
Nong Mon is the central market one kilometer past the entrance to Bangsaen. Here can be found all types of fresh and dried sea food, local sweets and fruits (both fresh and preserved), as well as, fine rattan wares from nearby Amphoe Phanatnikhom.
Khao Khieo Open Zoo is about 11 kilometers from the Bangphra market. Operated by the Zoo Organization, it covers an area of some 2,000 acres, with more than 100 species of wild life roaming freely in its compound. Tourists can walk and have a close look of monkeys, gibbon, elephants, deer and birds. The zoo is open everyday from 8:00-18:00 hrs. Admission fee is 20 baht per person.
Pattaya is located 147 kilometres southeast of Bangkok or only about a two-hour drive. It is Thailand's premier beach resort and annually attracts hundreds of thousands of pleasure-seeking tourist from all over the world.
(more about Pattaya in our directory : Pattaya travel info and travel agents, Pattaya nightlife, Pattaya Real Estate)
Sunset over Pattaya
Chan Ta Then Waterfall is located 15 kms. off Sukhumvit Road at Km. 110 in the same direction as Khao Khieo Open Zoo. The fall is in the Wild Life Conservation Area and is very beautiful. Shortly after the rainy season swimming and leisurely walking are possible. Placid natural surroundings make the area even more attractive and ideal for relaxation.
Siracha is a seaside district 24 kilometers from town. It used to be one of the most popular resorts and still attracts considerable number of tourists, who make frequent stops to buy sea food and fresh-fruits, particularly pineapples.
Ko Sichang, about 12 kilometers off the Siracha shore, is a substantial island with a peaceful atmosphere and has fresh, clean air. The only transportation available are motorized tricycles as the ring-road around the island is only a little over one meter wide. The major structure ashore is an extensive former palace built by King Rama V for recuperation. Two temples were also constructed during his reign one of which, Wat Atsadang Nimit, has a chapel and a pagoda in European architectural style. A chinese pavilion, with dragon and peacock designs, is also worth visiting. Nearby is The Chakrapong Cave within which is a chimney-like access to the top of the hill. This affords a grand view of the island. On the other side is a beach called Hat Hin Klom (round stones). This is because they have been exposed to the strong winds of the West causing them to rub against one another until they become smooth and round.
As places of interest are somewhat far from one another, it is advisable to hire a tricycle from the pier for the tour, which should not take more than one hour. Ferry service is operated from Siracha (Ko Loi pier and Tha Charin pier) at 25 Baht per person beginning from 07:00 hrs.
(more : An updated recent travel account with images of Ko Si Chang : San Jao Pho Khao Yai (Chinese temple), Phra Chuthathut Ratchathan or Royal Palace)
Chonburi Buffalo Races are held during October every year. The water buffalo is one of the mainstays in the life of a Thai farmer, but in this annual event it is put to more amusing uses than ploughing the local fields, such as buffalo races and contests pitting buffalo and man. Beauty contests add to the fun a festival that attracts crowds from nearby seaside resorts.