The area of Eastern Thailand borders central Thailand to the West, Cambodia to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. The Eastern Gulf Coast is home to the party resort of Pattaya and the picturesque islands of Koh Sichang, KohLan, Koh Chang and Koh Samet. The interior countryside incorporates Khao Yai National Park and Trat Province which is a popular beach destination, with swaying palms and charming fishing villages.
Begin an exploration in Eastern Thailand in the vibrant 24-hour resort of Pattaya. The resort is suitable for all age groups with an abundance of activities to suit all travellers. Explore the temples, gardens, museums and floating markets before taking in the bustling nightlife and neon lights of Soi Buakhao and Walking Street. Inland, Khao Yai National Park can help visitors recover from those late nights in Pattaya. Lush, tropical forest covers the park which is home to around 2,000 species of plants. The park provides year-round grazing for elephants, deer and guar. The rare birdlife is exceptional and visitors can expect to see gibbons and macaques in the trees by the roadside. Take a trek to the beautiful waterfalls where swimming is permitted underneath the cascades. The idyllic island of Koh Chang attracts visitors from all over the world. With long, sandy secluded beaches, fabulous diving, snorkelling and jungle hiking, it’s the ideal place for a relaxing retreat. Alternatively, travel to the less populated T-shaped island of Koh Samet, home to clear waters and exotic coral reefs. It’s a popular destination for both local and foreign travellers, and its unique microclimate means it receives less rainfall than other islands in Thailand.
Reaching Pattaya from Bangkok is easy, as taxis are reasonably priced and there are buses from the city centre and airport. Khao Yai National Park takes just under 3 hours by car from the capital. The easiest way to reach the park is to hire a local driver, rent a car, taxi or take the bus to Pak Chong. Travelling to Koh Chang from Bangkok is best by car, as the road signs are straightforward and easy to follow. There are two car ferry companies from the mainland running every hour. There are also buses from Suvarnabhumi Airport and Ekkamai bus terminal to the ferry pier.
Eastern Thailand is a region of economic importance to the country. Pattaya is a major tourist city, second only to Bangkok and the surrounding area is a centre for major export industries. Much of the country’s fruit is grown in this region. The islands and resorts of Eastern Thailand boost the tourist industry with a combination of party resorts, world class beaches and rich local heritage.