The east side of Thailand is not that crowded unlike the rest of the country. Most of the islands there are actually still undeveloped and have untouched shores without any trace of huge businesses and resorts. However in 2001, when the Thai Prime Minister visited the island named Koh Chang, he fell in love with it and decided to open it for tourism. Hence, the now massive resorts that lined up in its beaches.
Koh Chang is a district in Trat Province that lies in the eastern seaboard of the Gulf of Thailand, near the border of Cambodia. Its name Chang, which means elephant, was derived from its elephant-shape headland.
It was the end of summer when we decided to pack our things and head to Koh Chang. As usual, I was with my cousin and her bf. I already declared myself as the World’s Greatest Third Wheel, so I am OK with it. LOL.
How To Get There
The journey was pretty the same when we went to Koh Kood. But this time, we opted to travel early morning so we’ll get at the port by noon, and arrive on the island in the afternoon. From Bangkok East Terminal at Ekkamai, we had 5-6 hours bus travel going to Trat. And since we already booked a ferry ticket from Chedchai Tour, we waited a little bit for the taxi/songtaew to take us to the port. Then, another 30-45 minutes ferry ride to the port of Koh Chang.
This trip was already planned because we’ve been in one of the islands in the East. And since my workmate had been there, too, I already expected that this island was a bit of Samui where people can have the usual nightlife – drinking, partying, fire dancing, etc. But to my surprise, it’s a little bit of Samui and Kood – a busy island during the day but goes quiet at night.
Where To Stay
Koh Chang is already famous so looking for a place to stay won’t be a problem. You can search online for resorts and book there directly, you can then request for a shuttle to pick you up going to the resort.
There are a lot of resorts and hotels on the island. You can settle for a fancier one with a sea view if you want.
In our case, we booked the White Sand Beach Resort. Our bungalow was situated right in front of the beach so imagine how it would look like in the morning. You can literally say, “I woke up to this”, and snap a photo from your window.
What To Do
Just like a normal tourist would do, you need to rent a motorbike to explore the island. We rented one for 200 baht/day and they only asked for a photocopy of our passport so we were all good.
Have a cold swim at Khlung Phlu Waterfall
With an entrance fee of 200 baht/person for foreigners, you can enjoy a little trek to the waterfalls and have a swim with the big sizes of fish – fish that are clingy enough to stick with you wherever you go.
Sightseeing at Koh Chang Viewpoint
This viewpoint above Kai Bae is one of the postcard views on this island. It offers beautiful views and when you look down, you will see islets and the adjacent shores of the beaches. The best time to go is mid-morning when the sun is behind you or during sunset. But since we intended to explore the island the whole day, we passed by the viewpoint at noon when the sun was up high. Guess who was hardheaded and didn’t catch the sunset?
Shopping at the Fisherman’s Village
If you are okay with cheaper, affordable stuff then, I bet you’ll love shopping at the Fisherman’s Village. They have everything – from clothes, dresses, shoes, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, hats, swim wears, house decors, to food, fish, even ice cream! They also have some mini bars where you can enjoy a drink under the starry skies.
Since I collect things as remembrance every time I travel, I bought myself a pair of dangling earrings for 90 baht and anklet for 50 baht.
Photoshoot at the Light House
In this generation, I would be surprised if someone wouldn’t want a photo with a beautiful background. And you read it right! Bangbao Light House is a wonderful spot for good quality photos, especially during sunset.
Do yoga on the shore
If you are health conscious and a nature lover at the same time, you’ll appreciate doing yoga exercises on the shore. Who said you can’t do the World’s Greatest Stretch on the sand? None, right? So stretch those muscles, darling, while inhaling the salty air and feeling the ocean breeze.
Swing by the sea
We are all children by heart no matter how much we try to deny it. Well, in my case, I will always be a kid at heart and I don’t intend to deny it. I always get excited whenever I see a swing. And visiting Flora i Talay is like hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. I got to savor every taste of my snacks and coconut juice by the sea while swinging back and forth.
Watch Fire Dance
Wondered what it felt like having an island life? I am not Moana but I did feel the Motonui Life at Koh Chang. We had dinner by the sea and we were lucky that their waiters perform a fire dance.
One of the highlights of this trip is the island hopping, in which we visited 4 islands around Koh Chang: Koh Khlum, Koh Wai, Koh Ngam, and Koh Yuak.
For 800 baht/person we booked for the day tour on a speedboat. If you want a cheaper one, there is 700 baht/person on a bigger boat with 100 passengers. Since we wanted to enjoy this trip with a little privacy, we opted for a speedboat which only carries 20 people.
We were under the sun the whole day, but the sunburn was worth it! We got to dive and chase schools of fish, enjoyed the tranquil waters of the island, and took time to admire how wonderful nature is. We even had lunch on one of the islands. It was like a picnic, yeah?
If there is one thing I like chasing after, it would be sunsets or sunrises. After being so busy exploring the island, at last, I was able to catch the sunset.
I was in so much awe that I stopped for a moment and just watched the sun go down. Of course, I took a photo to share it with you.
Note that the island is really living by its name, you can still find elephants there! And since I love animals and actually against exploitation, we decided not to go to their entertainment parks. You can still enjoy touching and looking at them but riding them is a huge no-no! Instead, on the last day of our getaway, we contented ourselves to just stay in the resort and have fun swimming before we get back to our city lives.
I have been to many islands. Each one of them has their own beauty. And Koh Chang might have a brown sand shore unlike the white sand beaches of the other islands, but I still found it beautiful, just like other people found tanned skin pretty. I felt blessed that I was there, and explore parts of it.
Thanks for reading!