After having a chat about where to go next, I was introduced to the idea of Koh Chang. Now, I’de been to Thailand twice before but hadn’t heard of this island. I knew “Koh Chang” must mean ‘island Chang’ like “Koh Phi Phi” so I thought why not… After all, the Island life with its beaches, ocean waves and sea front bars was for me!
But where was it? Was it Northern territory, was it in the southern regions- I had no idea!
After a little google mapping I realised that it was a perfect destination as it was pretty much next door to Cambodia which was a country I also wanted to visit. Without research I presumed I’de head to Koh Chang by ferry and then hopefully head to Cambodia direct from there (it is in fact possible, but more about that later when I have booked and understood for myself)
So how do you get to Koh Chang, this island a 6 hour drive away from Bangkok?!
I was staying in a hostel just outside and 20 meters around the corner from The Sky Hotel. (The Sky Hotel was great, I stayed there for one night on 64th floor overlooking the city scape and got some awesome pictures.) The hostel was called Coop Hostel. I took a taxi from the main road about 200m away – Ive learnt to always go to a main road for a ‘flag down’ taxi as side road drivers tend to charge more and have a “broken metre” meaning they can, and will, charge you whatever they like! I passed 3 or 4 side road taxis and ignored them it’s the best way to make them understand. If you make eye contact or conversation they buzz around you like an annoying fly that won’t go away.
The taxi on a metre cost 250tbh. I thought this was a little steep but at 6am I couldn’t be bothered to question it as it worked out £5.50. I could have taken the train as it was very close walking distance from the hostel too, but at 6am I didn’t want to get lost without having tried the route first. The taxi took me door to door to the airport which was what I wanted at that hour!
At the airport I got dropped off at departures, but found my bearings and I went to Level 1 as it was clearly marked as the place to go for transport. There were lots of different numbers printed on the glass walls and I walked down to exit 8. Here there was a little bus desk for passengers wanting to go to Koh Chang. The cost was 600tbh and the coach left at 07:50. I had just over an hour to spare. Although I always try to eat the food of the country I’m staying in (it’s part of experiencing a different culture I think) I do however, allow myself whatever the hell I want in Airports – It’s a given! So Burger King Breakfast it was!
The coach was great. Air conditioning was strong, I almost felt cold. The journey was 6hrs all in but a relatively painless and very comfortable ride. We stopped after an hour and a half for breakfast/lunch for about 40mins. Stepping off the coach was like opening the oven door and not dodging the heat just right… from head to toe I was hit with a blanket of wet, hot, humid air. After a short break we were on the road again. Luckily as I was travelling solo I had nobody in the seat next to me- A great time to catch up on some sleep!
We arrived at the ferry port and boarded the ferry. The sun was out so I put on a bit of factor 30 and headed to the boat deck – I was the only one who seemed to want to sit directly in the sun- Maybe I didn’t know something? I don’t know… Although underway my cap did blow off and launch quite harshly into the faces of a seemingly unimpressed family – Shit happens!
Arriving at the island we jumped in a minivan and ‘bobs your uncle, fanny’s your aunt’… we were taken to our hotels/ hostels and in my case the beach because I hadn’t booked anywhere! The Thai’s seemed quite concerned that I had nowhere planned to stay? It was easy enough finding somewhere… its rainy season so most (if not everything) had plenty of room for me! I opted for: Paradise Cottage Resort
The guys at this resort were so friendly and helpful. It was quiet obviously because of the season, but that was exactly what I wanted for my first few days. On arriving I got talking to an owner of a different hotel who was visiting her friend at the bar. Her English was so good – sounded American. The resort had 3 different room brackets, 1000thb with air conditioning, 500thb with a fan and 200thb for a hut. I stayed my first couple of nights in the 500 and my last 2 in the 200.
The island itself was beautiful. Set on the beach front with hammocks and beach swings, a really relaxing place to spend a few nights. There were a lot of bars scattered around but literally had no one in them because there were no guests on the island. I truly had the island to myself to enjoy and relax.