Koh Chang was the birthday stop that Matt’s dreams were made of. He’s all about beach-living. Although it isn’t really my thing, I enjoyed some beach time and the amazing views. Plus, it was an opportunity for me to get caught up on work after having my cast removed. I’m not a big fan of laying on the beach, but I was really excited to give Matt his Koh Chang holiday. Plus, it worked out perfectly considering Cambodia was our next stop.
GETTING TO KOH CHANG FROM BANGKOK
If you’re wanting to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok it’s pretty simple once you get going. If you’re in Bangkok just make your way to Ekkamai Bus Station and you can buy your ticket same-day. Buses to Trat start at around 5 am and take off every half hour or so well into the evening. (Tickets are 230 baht.) They’ll ask you at the window if you’re going on to Koh Chang and it’s easiest to just say yes, but they will drop you off in a different spot and you’re forced to take a tuktuk to the pier. However, from what I’ve heard you have to take a taxi from in town anyway, so it’s easier. You don’t have to buy the ferry ticket at the train station because you can purchase it at a “travel agency” that sells them for the same price.
I had no idea that Koh Chang was so mountainous when we booked our stay here. It’s absolutely beautiful.
GETTING AROUND KOH CHANG
Koh Chang is a surprisingly large island. Because it’s quite mountainous, there’s really just one road that goes around the edge of the island, and the bottom of the island isn’t connected at all. If you’re experienced at motorbike riding, I can only imagine that it would be an amazing drive! Other than that you’re at the mercy of the tuktuks and taxis. Surprisingly we found that it was better to book a taxi (asking for an upfront price) through your accommodation. We asked a driver on the street and he said 800 baht and didn’t want to negotiate at all. We asked our reception what it would cost, they called a driver and he said 100 baht. When the driver arrived it was the SAME GUY! Craziness! We tried walking some, but the roads are so hilly with no shoulders, it was just so unsafe to walk any distance.
THE BEACH AT MERCURE HIDEAWAY IN BAILAN, KOH CHANG
This little walkway thing is a little confusing as to what it is now. You have to walk along a super narrow walkway to get to the end but it’s still a great view!
This area of the island isn’t actually the best if you’re looking for beaches that stretch for miles. However, it’s perfect if you’re just looking for a chill little getaway. We spent most of our time staying on Mercure Koh Chang Hideaway mostly because they had direct access to the beach and a couple of pools. However, it wasn’t the most ideal place I’ve ever stayed. Although, the beach part was quite pretty!
This is a really amazing spot to take in a sunset as well. We loved to take advantage of the Beach Bar’s buy one get one free happy hour. (They’re still super expensive, but it’s fun to treat yourself while having a romantic getaway.)
Kai Bae Viewpoint – Southern Koh Chang
One of the quick trips we took just outside of our resort was checking out Kai Bae Viewpoint. It’s right off of the road and offers a view of the ocean and a couple teeny islands off of Koh Chang. There are benches to sit and take in the view as well as this awesome Trat sign that you can climb in! I would absolutely recommend making a stop here.
What a view to take in! Matt taking in the gorgeous view.
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed two places in Koh Chang, both in Balian. Because we booked a really nice resort for 5 nights, Matt wanted to be sure we got the most of it by staying somewhere else the night before. We booked Lazy Republic because was so cheap and within walking distance to the resort (Mercure Koh Chang Hideaway) that we had booked for several days.
However, Lazy Republic was actually my preference as far as just the feel of the place. The place was super modern and we had our own individual little building to ourselves. It was very secluded and the breakfast here was absolutely incredible – truly one of the best hotel breakfasts I’ve ever had. It was just really cozy. The two major cons of this place were that only the common area had wifi. This is fine for someone wanting to truly unplug, but difficult for a travel blogger. Second, no beach access. However, there wasn’t a bracelet, any signs or even a pass for the beach at Mercure, so I think you could just use their beach access.
THERE’S EVEN MORE TO KOH CHANG
I’m only able to show you a tiny bit of the beauty of Koh Chang. It’s a beautiful island covered with mountains, national parks and waterfalls. We only made it to a couple of small sites along the way (one more post is coming your way soon) because we were here on a holiday. However, between Koh Chang and Koh Tao, Koh Chang is my preference.
Have You Visited Any Islands in Koh Chang? Which was your favorite?
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