No, this is Dongtan Beach, sometimes also known as Pattaya Park Beach, a surprisingly delightful and still under-commercialized beach strip situated between Pattaya and Jomtien that has caught the eye of shrewd investors in recent years and is now captivating visitors who in the past bypassed the area on their way to its two much better known beaches.
Despite escalating land prices, all small ocean front lots have now been sold and only one larger piece of land is still available - but you've got to be in the multi-millionaire class to buy it. On a nearby plot, a luxurious private pool villa is being constructed with an anticipated price tag of more than 300 million Baht.
Although Dongtan Beach is actually a continuation of Jomtien Beach, the main road connecting Pattaya's Thappraya Road and Jomtien skirts around the area, traditionally leaving it somewhat isolated and overlooked. It didn't help that Dongtan's beach road was for years closed at its far end, deterring visitors from exploring further. But that all changed a while back when the north end of the road was opened up and linked to the busy Phratumnak area of Pattaya. To date, the road sees little through traffic and parking is easy.
Dongtan's beaches are sandy, generally quiet and shaded by trees. It's a popular spot for family picnics and for watching often dramatic sunsets over Ko Larn. There are safe swimming areas and the presence of life guards makes it ideal for children. The reputation Dongtan once had as Pattaya's exclusively gay beach' is long gone and irrelevant.
Among the best venues that match Dongtan's notably laid-back atmosphere are Sandbar, a popular mostly outdoor venue serving great food, live music and open-to-all salsa dance evenings, Tui's for all kinds of excellent Thai food; and Rabbit Resort, the area's bestknown hotel.
Sitting on 10 rai of beachside property, including 85 meters of ocean frontage, Rabbit Resort was built 25 years ago by Paisan and Deborah Bundityanond, who still run the place and can be often seen mingling and chatting with guests. They're expanding the property's ocean frontage to incorporate five new facilities, including an expanded coffee shop, French bakery, seafood restaurant, Thai herbal clinic and a 'Weed Farma Traditional accommodation can be found at the Adriatic Palace Hotel, Welcome World Beach Resort, The Heritage and the sprawling Pattaya Park Beach Resort with its huge water park.
Among the best venues that match Dongtan's notably laid-back atmosphere are Sandbar, a popular mostly outdoor venue serving great food, live music and open-to-all salsa dance evenings; Tui's for all kinds of excellent Thai food; and Rabbit Resort, the area's bestknown hotel.
Dongtan meets Phratunmak and its various link roads at the north end of the beach. It's also the beginning of a vibrant social scene featuring myriad venues, from coffee shops and restaurants to bars, massage parlours, shops, street vendors and boutique hotels.
In many ways, Dongtan and Phratumnak are a beach resort in their own right, a friendly rival of Pattaya and Jomtien. Check it out.