The Guide For Independent Travelers to Koh Chang »

Kai Bae elephants

Island Guide

November 9, 2015 – 2:08 PM

The island of Koh Chang . . . to some it’s the ‘Maldives of Thailand‘ to others ‘The Oriental Eden of the East‘ or even the ‘Last Paradise of Natural‘ but to anyone who has ever been here, or who lives in the real world, this is all marketing nonsense. What you want to know is ‘What is Koh Chang really like?‘ The good, the bad and the stuff hotel booking sites ‘forget’ to mention. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to find out.

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Koh Chang resort and hotel reviews. Room rates and locations of over 70 Koh Chang hotels, resorts, guesthouses and slummy chipboard huts from 300 - 30,000 Baht/night. Book online or through a reputable local tour agent.


Koh Chang activities. You'll probably want to leave the confines of your hotel at some point. But what will you do? Where will you go? Who will organise it for you? Read this and discover the numerous ways to fill your days on Koh Chang.

The Guide For Independent Travelers to Koh Chang

Check out the Koh Chang Island Guide. Each beach on Koh Chang attracts a different type of visitor. Which is best for you?


Property on Koh Chang. Everyone will be your best friend once they know you want to buy real estate here. Listings of businesses, homes and land for sale on Koh Chang and Koh Mak. Plus new information on what not to buy and why not to buy it.

Photo Galleries

Pictures of Koh Chang and other islands. Unimaginative, but un-Photoshopped, photos taken around the island which should give you an idea of what to expect when finally reach Koh Chang, if you can't be bothered to read the 'Island Guide' section.

For 2015 »

15 October

October 15, 2015 – 8:54 AM

Update 15 october

A bit of a gap between updates due to extended holidays in Europe; laziness and getting everything ready at our guesthouse and Baan Moon for the coming High Season.

I’m just catching up with things that I should have added last month, among them some details on the Cambodia Kids Care foundation who need your help.  They run a school for underpriviledged Cambodia kids living on the island.  It;s funded entirely by donations.  If you’d like to know more about an aspect of life on  Koh Chang most visitors don’t see then take a look.

Yesterday, the wind blew from the north  / northeast for the first time in months.  This may not sound particularly interesting to you, but to folks on Koh Chang it signifies the end of the rainy season is nigh.  An lo and behold, it was a beautiful sunny day, so I went out for a quick scooter ride to take some photos.

Another indicator High Season is on the way is that the boat service from Koh Chant to Koh Mak began running again today. And on 19 October Bangbao boat starts running their speedboat service between Koh Chang, Koh Mak and Koh Kood once a day.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be updating the pages of info on the various areas of the island and hopefully having a go at redesigning the site.  But due to it being an unwieldy 1,000 pages + and not having a particularly good navigation structure things may well go tragically wrong.

So, for this update just some pictures . . .

Bangbao seems to be the graveyard of businesses.  BB Divers and Peace Moon handicraft shops are thriving and expanding but half the other businesses are for sale.  On the plus side the pier was cleaner than I’ve ever seen it before.  It looked great.  Hopefully this is a change of mindset and not a short term clean up in honor of entrants to the ‘Miss Grand International’ beauty contest who have been visiting the island this week. Some classy souvenirs on sale too.

Bangbao Souvenirs

Down in Bailan, the Mercure Hideaway has built some new rooms. And have come up with this. A Soviet era army camp? Post-modern 1970s urban housing? Wherever the architect drew his inspiration from it wasn’t from a book on hotel design in the tropics.

Mercure Hideaway

Keep following the road east from Bangbao, past Klong Kloi beach and you come to a bridge over a small river where there are a couple of natural swimming pools.    At weekends there are often several stalls selling food and drinks for families that visit.  It’s a great spot for young kids to splash around in a cold, clear jungle river.

River swimming

White Sand is the busiest beach on the island.  I avoid it as much as possible in High Season, but at this time of year it’s a great spot.  I can see the attraction.

White Sand beach

Chok Dee Resort are slowly moving away from being a place that caters to groups of eight Thais ion a budget who want to share a bungalow, as it building some stylish new accommodation on the headland at the far southern tip of Klong Prao beach.  Awesome views across the 3Km long expanse of sand.

Klong Prao beach


You’ll probably have seen this view before.  But it’s to show how clear the sea is at the moment.  Just a couple of days ago I had to convince people who had booked to stay at our guesthouse not to cancel.  They were worried about the monsoon, cancelled ferries and lack of sunshine at this time of year.  Not sure where they got their information from.

Koh Man Nai

The sea doesn’t get much clearer than this.  The photo at the top of the page is of the north end of Lonely beach at Siam Beach Resort.  Much quieter and far nicer than the southern end near Siam Hut which is has less sand and full of unwashed backpackers comparing tattoos and hipster beards.

Lonely beach Koh Chang


Looks like the monkeys have figured out the monkey proof garbage cages in Lonely Beach. Monkey proof bins are in use in other areas of Thailand and across SE Asia – a simple Google search shows examples.  So you’d think the people running Koh Chang might come up with a better solution than a wire mesh cage that can be padlocked.  But obviously never is, as then no-one would be able to put garbage in it and the key would be lost after a week.

Lonely Beach Monkeys

And on Pearl Beach work had begun on a new Big C supermarket.  At present, along with numerous minimarts, there’s a large Tesco plus three large locally owned supermarkets, Aana Store, V Mart and Singthong catering to tourists, residents and businesses.  And within a couple of months, construction of the large Makro cash and carry will be completed on White Sand beach.  I’m wondering who will be the customers for these two new superstores.  One thing’s for sure, they’ll be plenty of opportunities to use ‘Store Wars’ headlines in blog posts in the coming months.

Big C superstore

Finally, it’s the vegetarian festival in Thailand at present.  In many areas it’s a big event.  But here on Koh Chang interest has waned.  There is now only one restaurant that converts to selling vegetarian food for the week. Fortunately it does make some very nice stuff.  I remember several years ago when you could easily find several restaurants selling ‘Jay’ food.  Eating veggie food during the festival week is something I’ve done for the past 5 or 6 years as part of my annual routine to lose some of the weight I put on from spending September living on European beer, cakes and cheese.

Animals »

Hunting for Snakes on Koh Chang

November 29, 2015 – 7:03 AM

Video ofvenomous snakes on Koh Chang and Koh Kood

Domi is a regular visitor but rather than spend his days lazing on the beach, he’s out every day in the jungle looking for snakes on Koh Chang.  The reason being he’s an avid herpetologist.  Which is plain English means he likes these creatures a lot for some reason.

His latest trip was in November 2015.  He sent me a few photos of the snakes that he’d seen both on Koh Chang and Koh Kood, but he also took this video which includes some great footage of them.  They’re lurking everywhere but you probably won’t see unless you know where to look.

The chances of seeing a snake close up are very low unless you’re in the right place ant the right time.  And even though some of Thailand’s deadliest snakes live on the island, the possibility of being bitten by one is very slim – it’s not something that’s going to happen. It’s one of those irrational fears.  ( The only time I’ve come close to seeing someone bitten by a snake was on a jungle trek when we walked across the island and the guide was attacked by a King Cobra.  And that’s something that’s virtually unheard of – as snakes don’t go out of their way to try to harm people. )

The most venomous snakes tend live by water – so any you see which are roadkill probably weren’t too dangerous when they were alive.  But if you are walking by quiet stretches of riverbank then it pays to take a stick and tap the rocks as you walk.  Snakes feel the vibrations and that alerts them to visitors. They will then lie low until you pass. When the guide I was was was attacked we were walking in silence and he wasn’t tapping a stick.

If you want to prepare for your holiday, or have a go at identifying the snakes in this video, then there’s very good free ebook available at  Download it, print it out and see how many you can spot on your next holiday.


Top 3 Places to Snorkel off the Beach on Koh Chang

November 27, 2015 – 7:57 AM
Places to snorkel on Koh Chang island

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No boat required.  It’s snorkelling by scooter.

The best snorkelling to be had is around the islands south of Koh Chang.  Snorkelling tours go to pretty much the same group of small islands just off the northwest of Koh Rang.  This is about an hour and a …

Loy Krathong Festival 2015

November 26, 2015 – 3:09 PM
Loy Krathong festival on koh Chang

Celebrating Loy Krathong at Klong Prao temple

On the west of Koh Chang the main, annual, Loy Krathong festivities are held at Klong Prao temple.
Loy Krathong is the Thai festival of love and gratitude. It’s timed to coincide with the full moon in November. Traditionally, floating a ‘krathong’ , a lotus shaped, banana …

The Conservation of Koh Chang

November 19, 2015 – 6:40 AM
Conservation on Koh Chang

A Green Ideal
If you’re flying on Bangkok Airways in Nov / Dec 2015 then you’ll be able to read this article in the in-flight magazine.  It’s much more balanced than I expected when i was first contacted about it.
How serious and how far reaching the local authority’s efforts have been …

Bangbao by Drone

November 17, 2015 – 3:57 PM
Bangbao aerial video

Flying over Bangbao fishing village
It’s been a while since I added any aerial videos.  I had a drone, a Phantom, but the stress of wondering if it would ever return when it flew a few hundred metres away proved too much.  So eventually I sold it.  I’ve got a smaller, …

Koh Chang Maps

November 16, 2015 – 2:29 AM
Koh Chang Map

The Koh Chang Map
This map will give you a quick introduction to the main areas of then island.   I also added a few icons for spots where you can take good landscape photos showing different aspects of the island.
You’ll find more detailed maps for specific beaches in this section.   …

Salakphet and Salakkok Map

November 13, 2015 – 12:13 PM
Salaphet map

Salakphet and Salakkok Map
At first glance it may seem that there aren’t many sights in this area of Koh Chang.   That’s because the attractions are natural in this very scenic, ‘local’ area of the island, rather than man made.   The two mangrove forests, which can be reached by walkways …

Lonely Beach Map

November 10, 2015 – 6:37 PM
Map and guide for visitors

Lonely Beach Map
Lonely beach is the main area on the island for young people to hang out, drink buckets of cocktails made with the cheapest alcohol available and party to instantly forgettable music with no soul.  It’s heaven and the essence of a nomadic travelling lifestyle.
Just you, the beach and your parents’ …

Island Guide

November 9, 2015 – 2:08 PM
Kai Bae elephants

The island of Koh Chang . . . to some it’s the ‘Maldives of Thailand‘ to others ‘The Oriental Eden of the East‘ or even the ‘Last Paradise of Natural‘ but to anyone who has ever been here, or who lives in the real world, this is all marketing nonsense. What you want to know is ‘What is Koh Chang really like?‘ The good, the bad and the stuff hotel booking sites ‘forget’ to mention. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place to find out.

White Sand Beach Map

November 8, 2015 – 1:28 PM
White Sand Beach Map

White Sand Beach Map
Get your bearings.   Figure out where your hotel is on White Sand Beach.
This is the north and central area of White Sand beach.  Not every place to stay or eat is shown, if it was the map would disappear, buried under icons for second rate souvenir …

Bailan Map

November 7, 2015 – 10:38 AM
Bailan map

Bailan Bay Map
Bailan Bay is the least developed area on the west coast of Koh Chang.   The lack of white powdery stuff on the beach means that there hasn’t been the usual mad dash to buy up land and build huge resorts.   But times they are a-changing and …

Salakphet Bay

November 5, 2015 – 9:33 AM
Salakphet Bay

Salakphet offers some great views, local homestays plus the hard to reach, remote Long beach

The East Coast of Koh Chang

November 5, 2015 – 9:28 AM
View from east of Koh Chang

A couple of the island’s best small resorts, the chance to see the local way of life, no traffic and a world away from the busy west coast.