Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sai Kaew Beach

Had Sai Kaew is probably one of my favourite beaches within the local area although Bang Saray comes a close second.

Sai Kaew is around a 25-35 minute drive from Pattaya, along the Sukhumvit road past Nong Nooch Gardens and the Bang Saray junction. It is located inside the Chumpol Sattahip Naval Ratings College and is cared for and maintained by the recruits.

It is the sort of place that would probably not feature in any of the guidebooks and you are most likely to hear about through local people among whom it's incredibly popular.

However, it's charms are starting to be discovered by foreign holiday-makers, particularly the Russians and it's not unusual to see minibuses full of tourists these days.

It can get quite busy at weekends, so if your considering a trip, I would recommend going during the week.

Upon entering the Naval base, you are required to stop and exchange one form of ID, for example, a National ID card or driving licence for a permit which gives you permission to drive around the base.

You then simply follow the signs to the ticket booth where you must stop and pay the entrance fee. It's currently 80 baht.

From Monday to Friday you can drive to the car park next to the beach itself. But, at the weekend you have to stop at the car park by the ticket booth and take a song taew (a pick-up truck converted into a small bus) which will drop you off at the beach. The cost of the song taew is included in the 80 baht entrance fee.

The beach is about one kilometre long and there are plenty of trees along its length offering a shady spot to sit. There are no umbrellas, like you find on the beaches at Pattaya or Jomtien. You can rent deck chairs, but many people choose to bring a mat or blanket instead. Deck chairs cost 30 baht each for the whole day but if you bring your chair back when you have finished with it you will be refunded 10 baht.

The Northern end of the beach is a bit rocky but is generally a bit quieter than the Southern end of the beach. Thanks to being located on a naval base, development has been kept to a minimum, which is a huge plus point. There are, however, toilet and shower facilities, several small restaurants, a bar, massage shop and a few small bungalows available for rent, if you fancy staying the night.

Another positive is the fact that the sea is very clean and there are no jetskis. People do travel to the beach by motorboat but the day we were there I counted only 4 boats in 6 hours and there was only 1 banana boat offering rides. There are no dangerous currents and a gently sloping shelf, so the conditions are ideal for children and those who are not strong swimmers.

There are also a large number of wild monkeys which often venture close to the beach, as there are a lot of tamarind trees in the area. They also try and purloin tasty tit-bits from the visitors. I'm sure the monkeys natural diet would never include spring rolls, fried sausages and ice cream!!!!!  

The prices of food and drinks are slightly more expensive than you would find elsewhere but they are not exorbitant. I normally take a large cool-box full of beer, water, soft drinks and other essentials and just buy my food there.

All in all we had a tremendous day out, as you can see from the photos.........

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A trip to Pattaya sheep farm

My wife's nephew, who she hadn't seen in more than 5 years, recently spent a week with us. As it was his first visit to Pattaya, we thought it would be nice to take him sightseeing and introduce him to the delights of the city.

We decided to visit the Pattaya sheep farm, a relatively new attraction, which opened in June this year.

The first plus point was the absence of any double pricing. All visitors whether they're Thai or foreign are charged a nominal 50 baht entrance fee.

Visitors are able to feed and pet the sheep, donkeys, cows and deer and I was even able to pick up one of the lambs.

The farm also has a steak house, but on this occasion we didn't dine there. I'm sure many of you are also wondering whether the little fella in the picture above will end up as a set of chops. That I can't tell you, but on the day we visited there was lamb on the menu!!!!

There are plenty of photo opportunities and also the chance to enjoy a cup of coffee or shop for a few souvenirs. The second plus point was that the number of kiosks/stalls has also been kept to minimum. You aren't being constantly harassed to buy something and you don't have to face the prospect of aggressive traders around every corner which is the case at a lot of attractions in Thailand.


The Pattaya sheep farm must also be the only sheep farm in the world with a resident monkey!!!!

Overall the farm is very nice and I would highly recommend it. For those of you with kids, it's the perfect place to while away a couple of hours and I'm sure the kids will enjoy hand-feeding the animals.

The only complaint I had was the building work that was still going on. Whilst it was confined to small area, there was still the risk of an accident occurring, The area where the work was taking place was right next to the main pathway and was not cordoned-off. There was unsecured scaffolding and builders working with angle-grinders and welding equipment just above the heads of passing guests. For anyone who visits in the next few weeks please take care and keep your eyes open for any potential danger.

Here is a link to their facebook page..........