Bang Saen beach is a beach frequented by Thai's, it's in Chonburi province, the same province that has Pattaya City, and is only an hour and half by bus from Bangkok, making it perfect for a day trip to the beach. I've visiting during Songkran to see the sand sculptures, Songkran runs from 13th-15th April, but here in Bangsaen the peak is 16th-17th with some Thais partying till the 20th.
This beach has a long cycle path running the length and your can rent cycles, even tandem bikes, down near the south end. There's also a Windsurfing center further south, and a lot of entertainment along the beach.
The beach runs north-south, it's better to avoid the north end and stick to the south section. You know that area in the sea where all the dis-guarded plastic collects? I thought that was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but apparently it's actually in a short stretch of North Bang Saen Sai:
Coconut trees line the beach, you can rent mats, and rubber rings to go out into the sea. There's also a wide range of seafood available in seaside restaurants along the beach. I took a change of clothing, since you can shower and change at several places next to the beach. It's a good way to clean yourself of the sand (and plastic food wrappers if you were foolish enough to swim in the north beach) before you eat for the evening.
You see the blue shop behind the welcome sign? That's one of the places you can take a shower at, but as I saw a few, just at the back of the shops on the street and if it looks like a shower block, then its a place to get changed.
How to Get There
The best and cheapest way to get there is by regular bus. It may be a little daunting to catch a Thai bus, but it's all part of the experience. You can leave from Ekamai eastern bus terminal, or, for a cheaper trip, get off at Bang-na or Udomsuk BTS stations and walk a little.
Where Sukhumvit road crosses the Bang-Na express way, there are a number of tourist buses and cheaper, larger Thai coaches that travel east along the coast. I caught a large blue, 'Bangkok-Jomtien' bus, it passes the Bangsaen on the way. The bus cost 80 baht per person each way, about $2.5. The smaller ones are more expensive and they're more expensive during the evening. See the map below where to get off, but if you ask the ticket collector for 'Bangsaen sai' (pronounced like 'Bang Sen Sigh' he can help you, even if he doesn't speak English.
Once you arrive there, a bike ride (about 50 baht) or baht bus (10 baht) will get you to the beach.
There's plenty of buses running along the main Sukhumvit road between Bangkok and Pattaya, just look for one with Bangkok on it and flag it down as it passes. I was told by a bike rider that the buses had finished, but I've caught a bus at 11pm on this road before, so I know that's not true. There are plenty of buses and they all want your business. At worst case you'll be getting a taxi back.
View Bangsaen Sai (Beach) Chonburi Thailand in a larger map