The sea sand sun of the charming Bangsaen & Angsila.
Not so many tourists know that there are places close to Bangkok worth spending times, either making the day trip or even stay overnight. Many choose either to go directly to Pattaya beach town. There are beaches, local markets, and small fishing villages between Bangkok and the famous Pattaya beach town. One of the main beaches known to the locals is Bangsaen. It is about 100 km away from Bangkok and easy to get there by taking the cheap bus at Ekamai bus terminal, leaves frequently. Just let the driver know you would like to get off at Nongmon Market. It takes about an hour to get to Nongmon market where you can check the market out and buy the dried seafood products. It is also famous for its sweet sticky rice coconut cook in the bamboo too. After that, take the local taxi (pickup truck with roof) to Bangsaen beach. It should take around 10 minutes only to get there. It is also possible to take local motorcycle taxi or even tuktuk (motorcycle rickshaw) for those who would like the more authentic experience.
The beach is about 2-3 km long and there are chairs and table with big umbrella to rent to relax and order Thai seafood, barbeque, papaya salad with grilled chicken, or try the delicious fried crab cakes (in Thai we say HOY JAW). If you are food adventurous enough, you can try the raw oysters dish serving with spicy sauce and the fresh acacia leaves that gives amazing sweet flavor when eat these ingredients together.
It is also a nice place to swim too. The warm and the shallow water with small waves make it a perfect place to enjoy swimming. It is possible to have fun going on the banana boats as well.
Not just beach shops, but there are also many nice restaurants and cafes to sit, relax and order food and drinks as well. Moreover, there are shops and a big shopping mall nearby for those who are shopaholics too.
There is a very nice view point called Khaosammuk where you have to go further beyond the end of the beach, up the hill where there are lots of monkeys and very nice view of the surrounding areas. There are bicycles for rent so bicycling can be a fun activity to do. Right at the foothill, there is an interesting small fishing village and a hidden Chinese Buddhist shrine. Wandering around the small alleys in this village is quite a nice thing as well.
If there is still time and energy left, get another local transport and check out another old fishing village called Ang Sila where old wooden houses line in this sleepy village. It might be a good idea to go there early in the morning since it is quite colorful with fishing boats return to the pier, lots of the people buy and sell fresh seafood at the market there.
There is not such a tour to take tourists to these places so for those who want to see real Thai lifestyle, would like to see things that are more ‘local’ rather than ‘tourist stuff’, it might take a bit more effort to try to make this happen but to travel through Thailand is not just seeing the main tourist attractions, right?