One Sunday afternoon I needed to get out of my apartment to get some fresh air, and in order to keep myself out of the local drinking establishment, I took myself to Koh Loi, in Sriracha.
I didn’t even know it existed until I came across it by accident when I was doing some online research. So I hopped on an orange songthaew, after checking with the driver, who confirmed that the songthaew waiting was indeed bound for Sriracha.
The journey from Bangsaen to Sriracha took less than 30 minutes- it’s 12 km away, so not far at all. The songthaew stopped opposite Paradise Park, Sriracha’s biggest mall. I could see a few tuk-tuk drivers waiting, so I got off and hailed one down.
Koh Loi is connected to the mainland by a bridge, so I asked the tuk-tuk driver to drop me this side so I could walk. He didn’t understand and pointed to the island, so I said to him in my pigeon Thai “durm, sanook”, which means drink for fun. I meant to say “dern sanook”-walk for fun. I wondered why he was giving me funny looks; poor guy must have thought I was propositioning him.
The island is located by Sriracha’s pier and it is perhaps Thailand’s smallest island. In fact it took me longer to get there than how long it took to walk around. It was busy with Thai’s, visiting for the day, and me, the only foreigner.
The first thing I saw was a huge pool with sea turtles. All sizes from small to very large. Interesting to see them but the water doesn’t look particularly clean, and am sure the pool will not be large enough to house the number of turtles there. But I read that, in the past, some of the turtles were released into the wild, so maybe they are doing some good conservation work. I hope so anyway.
Then continuing to walk around I climbed up stairs to the small temple at the top of the hill, where there were a number of people making offerings, and enjoying the views. I stood admiring the view myself before walking down the other side of the hill.
There I saw the Kwan Yin Shrine at Wat Koh Loi. This temple is hard to miss. It has traditional Chinese decoration- brightly coloured reds, greens and yellows and ornate dragons on every column.
Just by the side of the temple is an area where you can sit and relax-have a picnic, chat to friends, or simply sit and take in the surrounding area. From here you get great views of Koh Si Chang, another island off the coast of Sriracha. This would be an ideal spot to enjoy the sunset in the evenings.
On the opposite side of the island, as you walk back towards the bridge, there is a market selling food and souvenirs, and a lovely little garden area.
Although the island is small, it will take you all of twenty minutes to walk around and see everything, it is a lovely little place and so easy to get to. Go see for yourself.