2020

Koh Chang Has a Bumper Tourist Weekend

Bangkok Post, 27 July 2020

The long holiday weekend is reportedly seeing heavy bookings at hotels and resorts, reigniting hopes of a revival of domestic tourism, which has been battered for months by the Covid-19 outbreak. Accommodations in the southern provinces in particular have been receiving a good rate of bookings with holidaymakers for the 4 day extended weekend.

The tourism authority of Thailand says hotels and resorts in coastal provinces in the East and seaside provinces in the South are reporting a surge in bookings to 80% and 90% occupancy over the 4 day weekend, which kicked off yesterday. It should be noted that not all resorts are open and than many have opened a select number of rooms, skewing the TAT’s rosy picture for the holiday break.

Tomorrow is a substitute holiday for Songkran and Tuesday is the birthday of HM King Maha Vachiralongkhorn.

In Trat province, hotels and resorts on Koh Chang and Koh Kut island were nearly booked out. The province’s 2 ferry piers were jam-packed yesterday with cars waiting to board a ferry to the islands.

Tourists have been flocking to Koh Chang off the Trat coast, in the east of Thailand. The TAT says that they estimate some 30,000 people wold have visited the popular Thai island over the long weekend 

Kamphon Jaroenkhajornkun, president of the Trat Tourism Business Association says this weekend’s numbers are a record for the year.

“On Saturday, July 25, there were 10,537 tourists and 2,268 vehicles that crossed to Koh Chang. This broke the previous record for this year during Buddhist Lent.”

Becoming one of Thailand’s established getaway destinations, Koh Chang is a beautiful, semi-secluded island with an unspoiled natural environment, but still with all the modern day conveniences and a selection of accommodation and restaurants, swimming, kayaking and canoeing, and great entertainment options. Whilst it’s been a popular alternative for Thais heading out of Bangkok for a weekend or short break for years, it hasn’t ended up on the mass tourism map as yet.

Like all of Thailand’s tourist spots it’s been devoid of tourists since April and was eager to attract people back for this long weekend.

“Trat is one of the provinces in Thailand that has had no Covid-19 cases. Koh Chang is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the province and as a result attracted thousands of tourists this weekend.”

“During this long holiday we have estimated that there will be 30,000 visitors in Trat which will generate about 261 million baht in total to the local economy.”

The easiest, and most popular, way to get to Koh Chang, is to catch the #999 bus from Ekamai (Eastern) Bus Terminal in Bangkok to the two piers at Laem Ngop, where you can catch the short ferry trip from Trat over to Koh Chang. The times for departure are usually 7.45 am & 9 am everyday in Bangkok and the journey takes between 5 – 6 hours, depending on traffic.