The Guide For Independent Travelers to Koh Chang »

Island Guide

April 22, 2014 – 9:08 AM | Comments Off

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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Accommodation

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.

Activities

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

Read the Koh Chang Island Guide. Each beach on Koh Chang attracts a different type of visitor. Find out what you need to know about the different areas of the island. There is something for everyone whether it be beer and hookers or peace and quiet.

Property

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 2014 »

7 July

July 7, 2014 – 1:49 PM | 2 Comments

After the wettest  June for a few years the weather has perked up a bit in July. Some nice sunny days and no big storms ( yet).  However, the sea is still quite rough and another tourist drowned a  week ago off Lonely beach.  So, if you need to cool off  but the sea is so rough that only foolhardy Chinese visitors attempt to swim in it, what to do if you aren’t staying at a fancy resort with a pool?  Don’t worry.  Head to Koh Chang’s free open air pool.

There’s a nice spot by the Klong Plu river where locals often go to swim after work or at weekends.  You’ll find a shallow area for kids and deeper area where adults can swim safely.  No strong currents – except after torrential rain.  To get there turn off the main road at the Klong Plu Waterfall turning, head past the elephant camp, then look to your right and you’ll see a large house behind tall trees.  Turn off at the obvious path by the road sign on the right hand side of the road. You’ll see well worn tracks through the trees that lead to the riverbank just 20 metres away and no doubt a few scooters parked up.

It’s still pretty quiet on Koh Chang.  So quiet that a new welcome service has been introduced.  For a small fee visitors can now be paraded from the ferry pier to their resort by elephant.  An elephant on its own wouldn’t be much fun, so the new arrival is accompanied by party of dancing locals,  a band and optional 50,000 Watt speaker truck.   Below we see one of the few people to arrive on the island on 4 July making their way to their resort. I should have taken a video as the sound of the band breaking into Wham’s  ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’  was a sight to behold.  Book this service through your local T.A.T. office.

welcome

The local police, accompanied by the ‘Nai Amphur’ ( boss of the island – in the blue polo shirt ) took down a Western ‘mafia’ ring in Lonely beach.   At this point I should point out that the term mafia is used a bit more loosely in Thailand than in the west.  No-one woke up with a horse’s head in their bed in this incident.   The mafia consisted of a middle aged English guy and a young Russian guy.  Their cunning plan was to meet people getting of pick up truck taxis and then try to divert them to particular resorts where they received commission.  The two wannabe Godfathers then went to resorts and told them they had to pay 50 – 100 Baht per person commission for every live body of a backpacker they deposited in their reception area.  If they didn’t, then they would tell potential guests how bad that resort was and attempt to take them elsewhere.   Given the complexity of this seemingly foolproof path to riches it was a real surprise when some resort owners decided that this wasn’t particularly fair and complained to the police.  ( Photo from Facebook )

mafia

A lot more people are getting in on the ‘Keep Koh Chang Clean’ bandwagon, which is a good thing.  But what happens to the garbage after it all gets picked up and put into big black bags?  Three years ago I had a wander round the garbage plant.  Back then the machinery that was designed to separate plastic, glass etc had fallen idle and all the sorting was being done manually by a handful of Cambodians. Not particularly state of the art.  Photos from the Garbage Plant in 2010.  The good news is that the machinery appears to be working again and the separator seems to work.  But unlike last time I visited where no-one cared if I wandered around,  this time I was asked to leave.   So no photos of how the sludge / food waste is treated or if they ever got the biofuel thing working.  The old dump is still there in all its glory, leftover from simpler days when when garbage disposal was no more complicated than filling a large whole in the ground and setting fire to it.  First thing you notice is that there are large bales of reclaimed plastic ready to be taken away but then you see that nearby there are more bales that are overgrown and almost hidden by weeds, meaning that they’ve probably been there for a while.

If you want an alternative to Koh Chang – I can definitely recommend a couple of nights on a raft house in the middle of Chiew Larn lake in Suratthani, way down in the south of Thailand, which we visited last week.  Open the door, dive off your balcony into warm, fresh water.  Stunning scenery, you’re in the middle of nowhere, with no mobile phone coverage, the sounds of various monkeys coming from the jungle and surrounded by limestone mountains.  The only access is by boat.

 

7 July

July 7, 2014 – 1:49 PM | 2 Comments

After the wettest  June for a few years the weather has perked up a bit in July. Some nice sunny days and no big storms ( yet).  However, the sea is still quite rough and another tourist drowned a  week ago off Lonely beach.  So, if you need to cool off …

A Typical Low / Rainy / Green Season Day

July 26, 2014 – 6:31 PM |

Low, rainy or green.  Take your pick on how to describe this time of year on Koh Chang.  The island is quieter than usual One of the most common questions I get asked is “What will the weather be like  in < insert month between May and October > ?”
Who …

Wholesale & Retail Wine Business For Sale

July 24, 2014 – 10:48 AM |

This business was set up in 2004 and is Koh Chang’s leading wine wholesaler and distributor. The owner now has to relocate for family reasons & so it is for sale.
The business is running with many repeat and long term customers in hand. You’ll take over all existing contracts and …

Little Sunshine Resort

July 12, 2014 – 8:17 PM | 2 Comments

Little Sunshine Resort is Koh Chang’s newest and smallest boutique resort.  A Swiss/Thai family has converted their three luxury beachfront villas on Koh Chang into a luxurious retreat managed by a small team of professionally trained staff.  If you need 5 star comforts but prefer a more homely, private but welcoming atmosphere than a large resort can offer,  this is the place for you.  High Season rates from 3,000 Baht/night.

Beautiful Thai-Style Holiday Villa For Sale on Koh Mak

July 9, 2014 – 12:03 PM | Comments Off

 

This beautiful red brick and teakwood home is located on the island of Koh Mak.   It comprises two floors and has a total living area of approx 170sqm.   It is built on a 650sqm of Chanote titled land.   Near neighbours include several other expat home owners.   …

Bungalow in 800sqm Landscaped Garden For Sale

July 8, 2014 – 9:32 PM | Comments Off

This cosy studio bungalow sits on an 800sqm Chanote titled plot of land on Koh Mak.   The internal living area is approx 50sqm – studio bedroom plus bathroom, and outside there is a large terrace area and covered seating.
As the land is large, the bungalow could easily be extended, …

Chinese Tourist Drowns Off Koh Chang Coast

July 2, 2014 – 8:41 PM |
Chinese Tourist Drowns Off Koh Chang Coast

1 July 2014 (NNT)
A Chinese tourist reportedly drowned near Koh Chang in Trat after he was swept away by strong waves. Local rescue teams have retrieved the body of a 19-year-old Chinese tourist identified as Guo Jiachang from the southern part of the island. Witnesses said Mr Jiachang had ignored warnings …

Koh Chang Weather in June 2014

July 2, 2014 – 1:58 PM |
Koh Chang Weather in June 2014

The weather on Koh Chang, or my little part of it, for June 2014.   June is one of the quietest months on the island and is often pretty wet.  But this year was the wettest for a few years.  Some very heavy overnight rain.  However, the afternoons and evenings …

Join the Volunteers Keeping Koh Chang Clean

June 26, 2014 – 7:36 AM |

For the past few years, Koh Chang has had an annual cleaning day. This involved a lot of pomp and ceremony, free t-shirts all round, pats on the back from the Governor of Trat for the resort owners who lent their staff to the operation, plus a slap up meal at the …

Flying Trat to Bangkok on Bangkok Airways

June 24, 2014 – 9:35 AM |

I usually drive when I go back to Bangkok.  When I say usually, I mean always with , I think, three exceptions during the past 10+ years when I used one of the van services.  This meant that I hadn’t ever flown on Bangkok Airways non-stop Trat to Bangkok service.  A …

17 June

June 17, 2014 – 7:30 AM | One Comment

How things change . . . The first week of June was glorious, blue skies, some cloud, a little overnight rain and deserted beaches. Literally deserted beaches, as the photos below show.
But now, mid-June, the beaches are still deserted but we’ve had a week of cool, grey, wet weather. Hopefully …

What Wat? Bangbao Temple & Klong Son Temple

June 12, 2014 – 6:55 PM |
buddhist temple koh chang

Located at the opposite ends of the west coast of Koh Chang, Bangbao and Klong Son villages are both fishing communities and both have their own small temple called a ‘wat’.   Neither of these two temples is visited much by tourists.   Mainly because there isn’t anything spectacular to …