Pattaya may be the closest beach resort to Bangkok, but it’s teeming traffic and tawdry nightlife puts many tourists off. The secret is to do Navy beach (known locally as Had Sai Kaew), 20 minutes’ drive beyond. Divorced from the hubbub, it’s secluded and serene, surrounded by tropical forest and lapped by gentle turquoise waves. There are no hotels and only a scattering of simple seafood restaurants. Rent a scooter (easy in Pattaya town) and come early in the day before the tours arrive.