"Hidden Away" Ban Bang Saen (2) by Hewer
Ban Bang Saen (2) Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 42 photos
I have been to Bang Saen twice. On my first visit, I spent four days there in January, 2005. I quickly realised I was on to something. This is a little piece of paradise hidden away from the tourist spotlight. I had never heard of Bang Saen before I went there, and now it's the first place that springs to mind when I think of Thailand. I could never have imagined a place like this still exists here, and only one and a half hours from Bangkok at that!
Bang Saen, or Ban Bang Saen, has a population of less than 10,000 and is part of Saensuk Municipality, which in turn belongs to Chon Buri Province. Pattaya is less than an hour away and while it seems to attract vast numbers of international visitors, Bang Saen is a local haunt.
One of the best things about Bang Saen was the large number of local restaurants and bars and the relaxed atmosphere everywhere one goes. The nightlife in Bang Saen is completely different to that of beach towns in Thailand I've visited. Virtually all of our fellow diners and drinkers were locals and the live bands that played from time to time were singing Thai pop or Thai versions of western classics. Pretty good too! One musician we came across was able to play ten instruments. i enjoyed checking out all the different bars. You can hop in a taxi bus and move from bar to bar. There are plenty of places to see and it's easy to get around.
The only 'adult' night life in town was far away from the beach area. It's present, that's for sure - just not not as obvious as in Pattaya or Phuket.
This was the view I had from my room during my first stay in Bang Saen. I was located in the center of town, meaning halfway along a 6 km strip of hotels, restaurants and residential houses which make up the town. This was definitely a tourist town, and it really got packed on the weekends. I guess it would be really full in the Thai school holidays. I saw less than half a dozen people that I guessed weren't Thai. The town had a whole different atmosphere and feel to it. You can take a stroll here and end up walking for hours - it seemed to always work out that way anyway.
Basically, Bang Saen has all the tourist niceties and none of the tourist nasties. It's clean and well looked after but there are no touts or hassles whatsoever.
If you really want a relaxing time, then this is probably the kind of place you'd like.
- Pros:No touts, no vice, great restaurants!
- Cons:No shopping either
- In a nutshell:One of the last secrets in Thailand....
Saensuk Palace is off the beaten track because it is away from the beach, which is the focus of most of the activities... more travel advice
This is a large complex of temples and monuments in Bang Saen. It is both a center of religious study for novice monks... more travel advice
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