A journey through sea, sky and the Royal Thai Navy
Sattahip district in Chonburi is only 120 kilometers away from Bangkok. We are introduced to the sea of Sattahip district at Nang Ram beach located fourteen kilometers from Sattahip. Turn left just before Juksamet deep sea port, and go straight for a kilometer you will find a distinct signpost. There is an entrance fee at the pike. The first stop is to pay homage to the shrine of Admiral His Royal Highness Apakorn Kietiwong Crown Prince Chumphon Khet Udomsak “the father of the Royal Thai Navy”.
The sea at Nang Ram beach presents endless gradient colors from light blue to deep indigo. The view in front of you is of Nang Ram Island. Despite the fact that it is unoccupied, there was a myth saying that often people have heard the sound of a traditional Thai grand orchestra, which normally used to accompany dancing performances. The name ‘Nang Ram’ means female dancer. Tourists can rent a kayak to row around the island. However, you cannot go nearer than 30 meters from the island so obviously no landing is permitted. This is because it is a coral reef preservation area and a main habitat of sea urchins which can be dangerous to tourists. Seashore activities under the shade of pine trees are equally fascinating. Alternatively, you may try looking for some Thai massage, which is said to be very skillful. Additionally, there is a large variety of interesting activities along the beach for everyone, such as freehand sketching, batik painting, and even ‘spa fish’. Do not miss the fresh seafood at the Nang Ram beach club in a seaside atmosphere with a breezy wind on your face. On weekends and holidays, it is recommended to go a bit further from Nang Ram beach to Nang Rong beach. The cape of the island houses sculptures of fictional characters, including Phra Aphai-manee, the mermaid, the guardian demon, Sinsamoot, Sudsakorn, the naked ascetic, as well as the magical horse Nin Mangkorn. These sculptures mark the boundary between the beaches of Nang Ram and Nang Rong. Yet to find out that which of the character is most popular, visit there and discover the answer yourself.
Tian-talay Dongtan, one of six weekend houses, provides a spacious, tidy and peaceful living area. It hides under the overhanging rock at the far end of Tian-talay beach. The 900-meter long beach is full of assorted sizes of pebbles. Visitors are warned about submerged rocks whilst swimming. This holiday attraction place is exclusively for Thais, not open for foreigners yet.
Bushes of Pemphis acidula or Tian talay can be found all over the beach and give the origin of the beach’s name. Fires for cooking are prohibited on the beach. Adjacent to Tian-talay is Dongtan beach which always becomes packed during weekends. The most popular activity here is sailing. Whoever is interested in learning to sail and is above eight years old can ask for more information concerning training courses at the Royal Thai Fleet Yacht Club that boasts good results at a reasonable price.
Kledkaew Saikaew is known amongst locals as Monkey Island. The shrine of goddess Obchoey is the island’s sacred place. Only the frontal part of the island is open to visitors. The island is surrounded by rich complete coral reefs, including antler coral (Acropora austere), leaf coral (Mycedium elephantotus), brain coral (Symphyllia spp.), and red sea fan. Diving is not permitted. However, glass bottom boat services are available at Saikaew beach for excellent views of the coral.
The most convenient way to get to Sattahip is by state Highway no.7 (motorway) or state Highway no.34 (bangna- trad) to Pattaya. Then head to Sattahip along the Sukhimvit line. To reach Saikaew beach and the New Theory Center, turn right at the 167th kilometer post. You can access the shore via Chumphon Thahan Ruea School (military training center) on Toey-ngam beach. At the main traffic light in Rayong (before approaching Sattahip center), the Royal Thai Marine Corp is located on your right. So go there and inform the officers the purpose of your visit. Nang Ram beach and Nang Rong beach are situated near Juksamet port. Tian-talay beach, Dong Tan beach and the sea turtle conservation center require you to go straight along Chong Samae san. Look out for the entrance to Air and Coastal Defense Command on your right as a landmark. Cross over the rail line to enter the community of Samae san and Percular Farm. At the intersection to Sattahip district, take state Highway no. 331 that leads you to Juksamet port. Once you arrive at Phramaha Chedsadha Rajchao camp, turn to Chong Samae san temple.