The Guide For Independent Travelers to Koh Chang »

Island Guide

October 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 »

19 November

November 19, 2014 – 2:24 PM |

loader 19 November photo

Who fancies some exercise?

On 28 February Go Adventures Asia, an event planner that specializes in organizing races, triathlons etc across SE Asia is holding Koh Chang’s first adventure race the ‘Ultra & Trail Unseen Koh Chang 2015‘ . There are three events – 13Km, 35Km and 66Km.  The event will take place in the southeast of the island on routes laid out around the Salakphet area. This is a quiet area, very little traffic plus plenty of dirt roads . For the 35Km & 66Km you’ll obviously need to be pretty fit. The 35Km also includes a stretch through the jungle which looks interesting to say the least.

I signed up for the 13K race, as it seemed a good idea at the time.  I don’t run now and my last competitive attempt at running was the annual Ingleton Middle School cross country around 34 years ago.  I came 5th.  Not bad, although it helped that all the best runners took a wrong turning, and ended up hopelessly lost. I’ll be hoping for something similar to happen this time.  In accordance with advice I’ve received from experts, I’m keeping a training log and am taking notes of my times and distances run.  End of Week 1 and both columns read ‘Zero’ .  But, I’ve got 3 months to go, how hard can it be for a middle aged bloke to do 13Km in 35C heat on rough, hilly tracks?

  unseenkc 540x204 19 November photo

This week’s mini-adventure took me to Klong Nonsi Waterfall on the east coast.  It’s a small waterfall that has had a high “Meh” quotient for me in the past. I can take it or leave it.  If there’s water in it it’s a pleasant but unexceptional spot, if not then it’s a dry riverbed. However, all that has now changed.  Firstly there’s anew dirt road that leads to the start of the trail by the river.  S no need to pay 10 Baht to park outside a local’s house and walk though their fruit farm.  Secondly, and far more interestingly, a narrow trail has been cut to allow access to the hitherto unseen third level – which is a beautiful little waterfall.

Klong Nonsi was developed for tourists years ago, you can see the old steps by the side of the river in places and small dams were built at the second and third levels.  So at some time in the past access to the third level was possible.  However, this hadn’t been possible in the 10 years since I’ve been going there.

Of course, it’s not easy to get to the third level.  The path is a barely visible trail that leads up a steep ( 45 degree + ) slope.  You’ll have to use your hands to grab roots and vines in some places.  Once up the slope the trail meanders through undergrowth for 50 metres or so before you come to the descent to the waterfall.  Septembers flash floods caused a lot of landslides and one of them took out the path down to the waterfall.  So you need to scramble down loose soil and tree roots the best you can.  Not too hard but easy to slide down if you aren’t careful.  Once at the bottom you can have a swim or turn right and walk down the river to the top of the second level where you’ll see people down below you.

There were quite a few people at the waterfall, I saw a few try to go to the top but they turned back.  But definitely worth the effort if you want to see the ‘real’ Klong Nonsi waterfall.

The Awa Resort opened it’s doors earlier this month.  This is the island’s newest luxury hotel and is located in the central area of Kai Bae beach which has now become a bit of an upmarket enclave with Gajapuri Resort, The Chill and now Awa Resort all next to each other. Three very good resorts to choose from.  Awa is owned by the same family who run The Dewa , on Klong Prao beach which is well known for it’s distinctive design.  As it’s brand new there are some very good deals to be had at the moment.  I’ve heard of people finding rooms for as little as 60EUR / night –  which is a bargain.  If you still haven’t found a room for High Season use the search box below.  It automatically compares prices from all the main online booking sites.

 

Also just opened is Pajamas Hostel, which is a flashpacker hostel, one minute walk from Klong Prao beach.  It’s bright, modern and owned by a young Thai couple with experience of running similar places in Bangkok.  There are a mix of 4 bed, dormitory rooms plus private rooms.  Ideal if you’re the sociable type that values safety and security and prefer a nicer, longer beach than at the usual backpacker hangout of Lonely beach.

And another welcome new addition, a restaurant.  ‘Baanta’ opened last week.  Located by the roadside at the north end of Klong Prao village.  it’s from the owner of the posh Panviman Resort and staffed by Panviman staff but prices are way cheaper than the hotel and also lower than most ramshackle roadside places.  Very good food, nice surroundings, cheap cocktails & drinks, efficient staff, a large fish tank, a couple of big TVs for important football matches, plus chandeliers. Needless to say it’s been busy every night.

Finally, The Guardian newspaper in the UK did a big travel supplement last weekend featuring ‘The best tropical holiday destinations in Asia for under £40- There were three places from Thailand mentioned.  One was on Koh Chang.  That was ‘Baan Rim Nam’ our guesthouse. :-)

 

Koh Chang Monk Hugging Foreign Babes to be Investigated

November 25, 2014 – 11:09 AM |
Klong Prao monk

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This news has been all over Thai Facebook pages and also there was a 5 minute segment with report and analysis on the breakfast news yesterday.   That’s what happens when a monk gets even a little bit frisky with a female.  The monk in the …

Klong Kloi Beach – the new Lonely Beach(?)

November 24, 2014 – 9:30 AM |
Klong Kloi Beach

I was down in Klong Kloi beach the other day and it struck me that it was becoming another Lonely beach.  I don’t mean the modern Lonely beach where bars compete with each other to have to loudest sound systems and you can’t get to sleep until 5am due to …

Ultra & Trail Unseen Koh Chang Adventure Race – Feb. 2015

November 16, 2014 – 9:52 AM |
Unseen Koh Chang Race

So who fancies a bit of exercise?
On 28 February Go Adventures Asia, an event planner that specializes in organizing races, triathlons etc across SE Asia is holding Koh Chang’s first adventure race the ‘Ultra & Trail Unseen Koh Chang 2015′ .  There are three events –  13Km, 35Km and 66Km. …

Blessings From the Godfather – at Lonely Beach

November 14, 2014 – 10:22 AM |
Lonely beach Sprits

In Klong Son, there’s a Chinese style temple.  The original settlers on Koh Chang were Chinese sailors and until around 100 years ago there was a Customs office in Dan Mai village that dealt with Chinese merchants who were sailing past on their way to ports on the east coast …

‘Sea of Lights’ – Loy Krathong Festival in Salakphet, koh Chang

November 10, 2014 – 12:02 PM |
Loy Krathong Koh Chang

The Loy Krathong festival was held across Thailand on the night of 7 November.  On Koh Chang the main festivities for people on the west coast of the island were centered around Klong Prao temple, where there was the usual temple fair, loud music, games, food and plenty to drink.
However, …

Loy Krathong Festival on Koh Chang

November 8, 2014 – 10:13 AM |
Loy Krathong 2014 Koh Chang

SITREP: Mission Accomplished.  Novelty plastic garlands secured. Request permission to take out the old lady attempting to sing on stage.
Another year, another Loy Krathong festival at Klong Prao temple.  These don’t really change much year on year.  You know what you’re going to get.  Occasionally there’s a nice surprise – …

A Postcard from . . . Koh Chang

November 8, 2014 – 9:28 AM |
A Postcard from  . . . Koh Chang

The Independent 8 November 2014
The island of Koh Chang is a short boat journey into the Gulf of Thailand, an hour from the mainland and close to the border with Cambodia.
Its unobtrusive tourist strips, clear water beaches, dense forest and gigantic waterfalls are particularly popular with German, Dutch, and Russian …

Klong Neung Waterfall – A Mini Adventure

November 5, 2014 – 1:52 PM | 2 Comments
Koh Chang Waterfall

I hadn’t planned to go to this waterfall, but was out on my scooter nearby and suddenly thought that it’d be fun to go back to Koh Chang’s least visited waterfall. The last time I had been there was a couple of years ago. ( For the pedantic, technically , …

Six of the Best Accommodation Options on Koh Chang

November 2, 2014 – 1:51 PM | 54 Comments
Koh Chang hotel pool

You’ll find details of loads of places to stay in the Accommodation section.  But if you want a few places where you can’t really go wrong then take a look at this page.  Just six resorts / bungalows / guesthouses plus a few alternatives ranging from 5 star luxury to basic beach huts.

30 October

October 30, 2014 – 2:24 PM |
Cookies Koh Chang

New on Koh Chang.   Although many business owners are saying the island is quieter than normal for this time of year, that hasn’t meant any cease in the push to develop the island and build more and larger resorts.  Two large resorts opening up are the all new Awa …

Around Bangbao Fishing Village – October 2014

October 28, 2014 – 10:46 AM |
Bangbao Fishing Village

There haven’t been as many changes in Bangbao fishing village this year as compared to last , when the walkway between the houses was covered to make it resemble a narrow indoor market.  The main area that has been developed is the land on the peninsula that faces east looking over …

White Sand Beach Photos – October 2014

October 26, 2014 – 11:31 AM | 5 Comments
White Sand Beach photo

I took a walk around White Sand beach yesterday to take a few photos and see what’s changed since last high season.  Good news is that the beach is much tidier – the army have had a crackdown on deckchairs and sun-loungers, so you won’t see as many out on …