Chao Lao Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Chanthaburi. Though it’s not as beautiful as beaches in Southern Thailand, Chao Lao beach has clear and shallow water and it’s suitable for swimming. The area is still natural and quiet. Many shops and restaurants are locally owned. For those who want nightlife, please don’t go there. You will be disappointed.
Located in Amphoe Tha Mai, Chao Lao beach is about 30 km. from Amphoe Muang and about 15 km. from Amphoe Tha Mai city center. Please exchange enough money for your stay unless you have credit cards or ATM cards.
If you want to spend your time on a quiet beach, I would suggest you to come to Chao Lao beach during weekdays. On weekends, the beach become crowded because the Thai tourists come.
Most of the beachfront areas in Chao Lao beach are resort-own. Just some parts of the beach are open for public. Therefore, there are not many street vendors on the beach here.
For beach activities, you can take a trip with a glass-bottom boat or do a scuba diving. Though the coral reef here is not as beautiful as in the Andaman, it’s still worth spending your day in the sea. At night, you may join a squid fishing trip. If you are lucky enough to get the squid, you can grill and eat it in the boat. These beach activities are available only during October to May, not in the rainy season.
For me, Chao Lao beach is most beautiful between November and March. The sea is so calm and clear that you can see the fish swimming. In rainy season, from June to October, you may find small jellyfish, especially after rainfall.