Jungle, monkeys, beaches and waterfalls pretty much sums up this island that nears the boarder of Cambodia. Sound good to you? It did to us.
We had decided that we didn’t have enough time to venture South to some of the more famous islands, but we thought Koh Chang sounded pretty great. Our research told us that it is one of Thailands biggest islands, it is less touristy than the likes of the full moon party islands and it is suppose to be cheaper! This sounded like a great recipe for relaxing, so we booked four nights on the island and got ready to enjoy some quiet time.
When we arrived on the island it was pouring with rain! That is what you get for travelling in wet season I guess! Anyway, making it to our accomodation was easy enough. As soon as we got off the ferry there were taxi trucks waiting. Its all timed with the ferries so you won’t have any trouble getting to where ever you have decided to stay on the island (it cost us 100 baht each to get to Lonely Beach). We decided to stay at Lonely Beach, which is meant to be the backpackers place and have a party scene???? However, when we arrived the place was practically deserted. Wasn’t expecting that! It was a little odd it being so quiet but it was good for relaxing!
Overall, despite some rain here and there, we enjoyed Koh Chang and spent plenty of time relaxing, eating food and exploring the island. Here are some of my favourite things we did:
KLOH PLU WATERFALL
The waterfall is a little way from Lonely Beach so we rented a motorbike to get there. It cost us 200 baht each to enter the national park but it was so worth it. To get to the waterfall, it is a fairly short walk to the waterfall through the jungle. The waterfall itself is stunning and is great place to swim. The water was cool and refreshing and the best part of all….there were those fish that eat the dead skin off you! Except these ones were bigger than those found in the fish feet spas that you see in the touristy parts of Thailand. The ranger even threw in some fish food around us while we were in the water and the fish went nuts, it was so funny!
SWIMMING WITH THE LOCALS
This one was a surprise! We went to explore the island on our motorbike and found a local swimming spot. They had music playing, food to buy and were all hanging out drinking so we joined in for a while. I have out it on the map below, even if there is no one there it is good for a freshwater dip.
Monkeys are a common site around Lonely Beach. Often they come to the roadside and hangout on the power-lines. We encountered a whole troop raiding a rubbish bin that had fruit scrapes in it. There were heaps of gorgeous babies clinging on to their mums. At one point we even had a bunch right outside our bungalow. So keep your eyes peeled, you are sure to see some. My only advice is please, please do not feed the monkeys. It encourages them to be aggressive towards people and no one really wants that! There is more than enough food on the island for these monkeys naturally.
WHAT WE DIDN’T DO:
Elephants: There are a number of Elephant parks around Koh Chang. Personally, I am not a fan of the captive animal thing but do your research and make up your own mind.
Snorkeling and diving: Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best time of year for this, the water gets murky with the rain that comes with wet season, so we gave this one a miss.
TIPS FOR KOH CHANG:
- Rent a motorbike and explore the island. It’s pretty cheap and the only way to get around easily plus there isn’t much traffic so it’s not too scary. The only other way to get around is by taxi truck and they aren’t around all the time. It costs around 150-200 baht per day to rent a bike.
- Where to stay Lonely Beach is great but we didn’t see a problem with staying in other areas. We explored a bit of the coast line and there seemed to be plenty of places to stay and eat. The actual place we stayed in was called Margarita, I wouldn’t rate it very highly but the place across the road called Magic Garden Resort looked pretty good or there is a range of bungalows on the beach front. We liked our location as it was close to cheap good food.
- Where to eat By far the best place we ate at was called Guitar house restaurant, which is on the main street. The lady that runs it is so nice and has great English. The food is great and cheap. Try her papaya salad, she will make it not spicy if you don’t like spice… so good!!!
- Getting to and from the Island: We came from Pattaya and it wasn’t the easiest getting to Koh Chang from there. There are services that will pick you up from your hotel and take you by mini van all the way to your hotel on Koh Chang. However, we prefer not to travel by minivan. We couldn’t find much information about getting a bus there but eventually managed to get a taxi driver to take us to the bus stop for it. It wasn’t the main one that we had read on other blogs and we wouldn’t have found it by ourselves but it does exist. It costs 80 baht each for the ferry and then the taxi vans are set prices to where you are going. For us, it was 100 baht each to Lonely Beach. Getting to Bangkok from the island is just a reverse. The taxi trucks run on the hour from up the road so reach Lonely Beach about 10 past. Once off the ferry on the other side, you need to get another taxi van to take you to the big bus stop and then catch the next bus.