DOLPHIN BAY IN BRIEF
WHY GO: Dolphin Bay is ideal for families looking for a quiet beach destination not too far from Bangkok.
WHY NOT: Don’t expect white sand or turquoise water in Dolphin Bay. Even though the beach scenery is pretty, the sand is brownish and the sea gets a dark shade.
FAMILIES: Dolphin Bay is essentially a family destination thanks to its namesake resort, the extremely family friendly Dolphin Bay Resort.
BANGKOK & BEACHES: Dolphin Bay is about three hours drive from Bangkok, close enough if you are looking for a quiet getaway from the capital.
Families, pay attention! Dolphin Bay, also know as Sam Roi Yot Beach, is a rustic and quiet beach destination with one of Thailand’s most child-friendly hotels. Since there are not that many other hotels on Dolphin Bay’s beach, peace is guaranteed.
Dolphin Bay’s views are serene: small islands dot the horizon, and the beach is bordered by limestone-mountains at both ends. The beach is wide and shallow hence ideal for small kids. But it’s far from being picture perfect: during the low tide the sea recedes far, and during the high tide the sea gets brownish color.
Dolphin Bay has gotten its nickname from the rare pink dolphins that live in these waters. Chances of actually seeing the dolphins are pretty dim, though.
Another name for Dolphin Bay is Sam Roi Yot beach, which is derived from the beautiful Sam Roi Yot National Park just behind the coastal mountains.
Dolphin Bay’s Sights and Activities
Dolphin Bay is especially good destination for families who are looking for peace and nature experiences.
Right next to Dolphin Bay is a beautiful coastal national park Sam Roi Yot. It is easy to reach even by bicycle, but you will be able to see much more of the park with a rented car (or a motorbike). The park got its name “Three Hundred Mountain Peaks” from its beautiful limestone formations. The main attraction is a huge cave with a beautiful royal pavilion.
A little drive from Dolphin Bay, just before the Sam Roi Yot National Park lies an intriguing beach called Brassiere Beach. The beach and its only hotel, the wonderful boutique-style Brassiere Beach Resort, takes its name from two strange conical islands that stick out of the sea like a pair of gigantic breasts. According to a local legend, the islands are the breasts of a beautiful fisherman’s daughter who drowned a long time ago.
One can rent a kayak from the hotel and paddle to the islands. One of them has a small shrine, where visitors have left bras to help the fisherman’s daughter to cover her bosom.
Another great national park close not too far from Dolphin Bay is Kui Buri National Park, where one is almost guaranteed to see wild elephants. Dolphin Bay Resort organizes afternoon trips to Kui Buri National Park.
If you want to try out snorkeling, the nearest coral reefs can be found around the Ko Talu island, which is located about 150 kilometers to the south of Dolphin Bay.
Nearby beach resort Hua Hin makes out for a good day trip for shopping and dining. Hua Hin is easily reached from Dolphin Bay by car or taxi.
Dolphin Bay’s Best Restaurants
Dolphin Bay is not exactly a culinary wonderland: there’s only a handful of restaurants outside the hotels. One of the best restaurants in Dolhin Bay is Chomtalay, which is located towards the southern end of the beach. The northern end of the beach, in turn, has many small seafood restaurants, definitely worth a try (the chances are you keep on coming back most evenings).
Dolphin Bay’s Best Hotels
Dolphin Bay Resort is one of Thailand’s best hotels for families, especially price-wise (rooms start as low as from 40 dollars). Everything in the resort is designed with children in mind. The rooms are spacious, and the large lawn area is good for soccer games. You can also pay ping-pong, table football and billiards. There are three swimming pools: one with with a water slide, one for the smaller kids, and one for adults.
If you are not traveling with kids, however, a calmer and more sophisticated option is the small and cozy Terra Selisa Resort.
Brassiere Beach Resort is a playful boutique guesthouse on its own namesake beach between Dolphin Bay and Sam Roi Yot National Park. All the rooms are unique and decorated on playful maritime style.
How to get to Dolphin Bay
Dolphin Bay is located on the Gulf of Thailand, 235 kilometers South-West of Bangkok. The easiest way to get to Dolphin Bay is to rent a car from Bangkok or hire a taxi. The alternative is to ride a bus or a train to Pranburi and take a taxi from there.
Hua Hin is just 40 kilometers north of Dolphin Bay.