Tag Archives: Koh Chang

Trip to Koh Chang (Part 2)

The morning was fresssssh, just what you’d expect after a rainy night. It was still cloudy and cool, yet dry to safely drive a motorbike. We drove up north, past yesterday’s places and parked at some bungalow place. The thing is that in Koh Chang most beaches are occupied by resorts, some even having concrete stages stretching right into the water. However if you sit where there are no deckchairs/restaurants, nobody will mind.

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Read the first part HERE.

Kai Bae viewpoint
Kai Bae viewpoint

If you walk north from the Emerald Cove (less than one kilometre) you can enjoy stable wi-fi and quality food and beverages at the Pilot bar – beautiful lattes were 60 baht and a big, rather healthy potato and tomato omelette was only 90 baht. 3 coffees and 3 hours later we were still enjoying the reggae tunes, this time in a hut, as the tree shade is only a temporary fix (brought to you by ourredfaces.com). Ooh, they also have a slack line. Although you know you’re too lazy when you see a slack line and go “Oh, a slack line. That’s cool” and slide back into the deckchair.

Ko Chang Pilot bar restaurant

The evening was fun and funny: we drove to the Lonely beach area which is supposedly backpackers’ paradise. It kind of reminded us of Tonsai Beach in Krabi with lots of reggae and veggie burgers, but with tense alpha male Russian tourists, instead of laid-back international climbers. So once we got back, we were hypnotised by the beautiful waves crashing onto cliffs, just thinking how quiet was the area that we chose. It was a truly sensational experience, none of the YouTube best-crashing-waves-meditation-mix stuff can compare to it! And to top that off, we enjoyed a veggie burger with some serious fries and a beer whilst on those cliffs. Nothing else needs to be said.

Ko Chang-7073

Oh, the funny part. We got into the tent, snoozed for a bit, and then wanted to look at the stars, so Auste laid down on the porch; immediately thinking what the heck were all these crumbs underneath her back, which we realised were not crumbs, but the whole porch was covered with hiiiiiggggghways of ants. She jumped up at the speed of light and to my eyes what she did was a natural talent to riverdance. Michael Flatley would be proud. It was scary-funny!

Bang Bao pier
Bang Bao pier

On the last day we explored the Bang Bao fisherman’s village with the lighthouse, which was closed. There was nothing spectacular at all, except you had a wider view of the sunrise. Next thing was the trip to the White Beach. It had a wide strip of nice beach with lots of western cafes and resorts. It was such a relaxing morning, and even the bike rental place didn’t check a thing!

Ko Chang-7147

Ferry back to the mainland, then a few hours wait, and an 8-hour bus trip back to Bangkok. Yeah, our guess was that the road from Pattaya/Chonburi was completely clogged with Bangkokians coming back from their weekend breaks. Mai pen rai, as we had a very nice break.

Trip to Koh Chang (Part 1)

To read how we got there from Bangkok, click HERE.

So we ticked the first thing – getting a bike – off our checklist. We wore helmets for the first time and made our way to the south. The road was good, with just a few steep windy hills, little traffic, and cautious drivers. It was a good half an hour drive and we both got sunburnt.

First impressions?

We drove past what felt like 5,000 Tescos, 6,000 Big C’s, a million Makro’s, several Formula 1 racecourses, and all these russian signs, which really made us question whether we were in Koh Chang or the city centre of Pattaya. You can probably tell – Koh Chang is very modern. There are no F1 tracks though (duh!), but there are hair salons, SPAs, ATMs, boutique coffee shops, diving shops, tree climbing playgrounds, pizzerias, and even a gym.

We arrived at the Cliff Cottage resort, and it had both the cliffs and the view! It was pretty perfect, as we enjoyed uninterrupted 1st class view of the sunset… from our tent. That’s right, there were no chubby red lobsters blocking the view, and we could listen to waves crashing into the cliffs.

Ko Chang sunset tent at Cliff Cottage

Our day can be kind of summed up in three words: beers, hammock, chilling. As soon as we checked in, we were taken over by the nothingness around the resort and we just chiiiilled. We sat on a beautiful wooden terrace. Just that. And when the sun went to bed we did, too. It wasn’t as hot as we thought it would be, we only had the fan on low speed for the first half of the night, and no ants or mosquitoes got inside.

First night in the tent – success!
First night in the tent – success!

The next morning we enjoyed the sunrise. It’s interesting that here in Thailand you only get a few minutes to see the beautiful orange sun in the morning, as it goes up to its bright yellow almost in an instant. Then we drove to Siam beach resort in the northern part of Lonely beach. I say it as if we knew where we were going – we were just slowly cruising the streets looking for decent coffee places. It’s not that easy in the morning, apart from larger resorts. We had 3 nice coffees, and stayed there from 8.30 to 11.30. Food wasn’t an issue as we still had a few sandwiches that we packed from home 😀 As vegetarians, we’re always paranoid whether we’ll find any food. I don’t just mean tasty food, literally any food.

Quick swim, and a realisation that we were already sunburnt. We should have learnt by now that tree shade on the beach doesn’t count as protection from the sun… We drove further north and went to another random resort – Siam Cottage, which had a beach strip, with swings and hammocks, which is pretty common almost in every beach. A delicious Panang curry as well as tempura vegetables were only 90 baht each while the soft drinks and beers had 7-11 prices!

Ko Chang Panang curry Siam Cottage

We then went to a café and killed about half an hour enjoying a fresh mango smoothie. If it wasn’t for the beer-after-5PM-law, we wouldn’t have had this awesomeness haha. Things you do to get a dark beer.

Back at the Cliff Cottage we chilled out on our terrace until the sun vanished behind the clouds and the moon showed its skinny smile. We watched the stars and snugged into the tent. There was a storm on the other side of the island, and we could hear the distant thunders and glimpses of lightning reflected on the scattered clouds. The sound of soft raindrops falling onto the tent slowly lulled us to sleep. I love rain.

Random observation: the very second the sun sets, mosquitoes and bats come out to hunt for food, and when the sun rises – flies get up, but I think mainly to annoy people, not to hunt for food.

Ko Chang

Bangkok to Koh Chang

What a mistake it is to take a bus on Sukhumvit on a weekday… You really don’t want to be perspirating on a bus, 80 % of the time slowly crawling past truckloads of Burmese and Cambodian workers, and for the other 20 % defying the laws of physics and flying through time and space… until the next junction.

We got used to starting our weekend mini journeys with a nice coffee on a bus, quick and easy ride to the station with no traffic whatsoever. So we got our sandwiches and coffees at 7-11… just to remember it was a Thursday!

Since downing a hot coffee on a sidewalk isn’t an appealing option, we were faced with a dilemma: discard our 35 Baht drinks, or smuggle them through the BTS gatekeeper (bag check point)…. With the drinks gently packed into the pockets of the camera bag and a big smile to the security guy, we avoided the utmost important flashlight-pointing-at-the-bag operation and got on the skytrain.

How to get to Koh Chang? There are no trains 😦

From Ekkamai we got the government (999) bus to Laem Ngop. We got our tickets in advance (450 baht return, per person), but there were empty seats on the bus and there are other bus operators, too. Although on a weekend during tourist season it might be a different story. Stiff legs? We reached the ferry pier in just over 5 hours. Yes. Toilet? There was a functioning toilet onboard, and a pit-stop. It also stopped at Chanthaburi, so don’t get off too early!

The bus supposedly stops at both piers, but when we reached Koh Chang ferry pier, everyone got off and so did we. Once at the pier, a tiny kiosk sells ferry tickets for 80 baht per person, and the ladies working at the hut on the left sell packaged services such as ferry-and-transfer, tours, ferries to other islands, etc. Another lady at the barrier collects your ticket and you board the ferry. At this time (10 March) they seemed frequent enough, with a tight schedule of “once every hour or so”.

If you’re thinking of visiting Koh Chang check out  iamKohChang website, it will likely have most of the information you’ll need to plan your trip.

Ko Chang ferry

The ferry docked at Ao Sapparot, and everyone rushed either into resort vans, or white songthaew taxis. Apart from lazy drivers, there was nothing but a couple of Thai restaurants… where the drivers were hanging around. There is another, kind of unfunctioning pier, about 200 metres to the right. Bear in mind that to rent a motorbike you have to either get a songthaew for 50 baht pp, or walk up a steep hill to the nearest 7-11 in Klong Son. And by nearest I mean a couple of kilometres – which may not sound that far, but add the steep road and the midday sun and you will soon feel rivers running down your back, your arms, your forehead… So don’t do what we did – walked to the taxis, walked to the pier, walked back to the taxis, started walking up to the hill and then took a taxi…

Koh Chang is big. We underestimated its size. Our motorbike drive to the south peninsula took us half an hour going up and down the steep windy hills, but now our timetable is as flexible as the ferry’s schedule!

Read part 2 HERE.

Ko Chang vespa