A Year in Bangkok – Dolphin Bay and my Favourite Hotel

7 05 2011

Five kilometres of beach.

The first time I went to Khao Sam Roi Yot national park, I drove out of the north gate and almost immediately saw a small road going off to the right. I wondered if that might lead to a coast road so turned down to see. It did. It also took me to a small seaside community and resort which I so liked the look of that I resolved to return. At that time, I didn’t even know the name of the place – just how to find it again.

If you are lucky, you'll see some rare dusky langurs in Khao Sam Roi Yot.

Well, I have now been back several times and it must be one of my favourite places in Thailand. It is called Dolphin Bay and is known to a fairly small number of Thais and expats so it never gets too busy. It is named after a school of the local pink dolphins which inhabits the bay. They are often seen and I have seen plenty of photographs of them but, so far, I haven’t met them myself.

Sunrise in Dolphin Bay.

For me, it is ideally located. It is two to three hours drive from Bangkok so is great for a weekend break. It is just outside a beautiful coastal national park and is very close to two other excellent national parks. It is on the gulf coast, the beach is five kilometers of brilliant white sand and the sea is always warm. Indeed, I like it so much that I sometimes wonder why I bother to go and find new places to visit here. And it is only a short drive to the busy seaside town of Hua Hin if you fancy a night out.

Releasing lanterns on the beach to celebrate the King's birthday.

It is also home to my favourite hotel in Thailand. I am quite fussy about where I stay and this particular hotel was first recommended to me by somebody who lives nearby. It is called the Long Beach Inn and is quaintly described as a boutique hotel. It is owned by Dutchman Bram and his Thai wife, a lovely couple who take really good care of all their guests. There are only eleven rooms so the service is always personal and my experience has been that Bram has an amazing memory concerning his guests and their interests. I am fussy about my food too and the food there is usually good. It is not the cheapest place – rooms start at just under two thousand baht per night including breakfast but it is great value and I would recommend it to anybody.

The Long Beach Inn - my favourite hotel in Thailand.

If you so desire, Bram will lend you a bicycle. You can take a short ride round the delightful local lanes or you can easily spend a day cycling round the nearby Khao Sam Roi Yot. You can take a trip with Bram to one of the other nearby national parks to go wildlife watching. I haven’t done that but, from many conversations with him, I expect a trip with Bram would be very good as he is one of the most knowledgeable people I have come across regarding the wildlife of this wonderful country.

Beachside massage.

You can have a massage at one of the many beachside massage spots or you can arrange with Bram for somebody to come along to the hotel to give you a massage. You can relax on the balcony of your room with a book or you can chill in the outdoor jacuzzi. This is starting to sound like a promotional piece for the hotel so I had better stop – I think you might just be getting an idea of what I think of this place by now!

Crab-eating macaque with crab in hand - quite common round here.

So, if you are in Thailand and want a short break outside Bangkok, you could do much worse than go to Dolphin Bay which also has several other hotels!

That beach again.

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