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