Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I've added writing a Squidoo lens on Chonburi, Thailand to my ever growing list of things to do. Just because it isn't in the tourist brochures, people seem to have a negative picture of it and rule it out as somewhere to stay. It's perhaps not somewhere I would recommend to somebody who was only in Thailand for a couple of weeks, but it's a fantastic base for anybody spending several weeks in Thailand - and quite a few ex pats live in Chonburi

There are a number of temples worth visiting in Chonburi itself. The picture is the one behind the main post office. The pagoda is covered in tiny little bells that tinkle in the wind. It's quite a big complex (Wat) with a courtyard behind the front building, and another worship hall at the back of the courtyard. In a later post, I'll also put up pictures of the Big Buddha on the edge of town.

The great thing about Chonburi though is convenience. If you want a day of sightseeing in Bangkok the bus only takes about 90 minutes and costs about £1. Pattaya is a similar distance in the opposite direction, but quicker as there is less traffic. Pattaya is an interesting place - but scores very highly on the tackiness scale. Not my taste - although I did pick up a nice tiger eye necklace there. A better option for the beach from Chonburi is just to jump on one of the trucks to Bang Saen - a whopping 25p. Bang Saen is the beach used by Thais rather than Westerners. You may say an occasional white face, but probably an ex pat family rather than tourists. Even the backpackers don't seem to have discovered Bang Saen beach. Yet the sand is better than Pattaya. There are still lots of food traders who frill fresh prawns, squid or crab. Delicious.

All in all, Chonburi is authentic Thailand - many residents can speak no English - convenient ... and cheap. Well worth considering!


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