On the Water

Private Speedboat Tours. See the Best Beaches. Avoid Tour Groups.

A chartered speedboat to an island near Koh Chang

Private speedboat charter on Koh Chang

When you visit Koh Chang you will find that there are a wide variety of snorkelling tours and boat tours on offer.   You want clear water, white sand beach and some snorkelling then it is pretty easy to find.   Just take any of the tours which range from around 600 – 1,500 Baht / person. 

But as Koh Chang gets busier so does the chance of sharing your snorkelling trip with a huge group of fellow visitors.  That’s not always a bad thing.  But if you’re sharing a boat with, for example, 60 excitable, loud, non-swimming Chinese then the experience might not be what you were hoping for.  Likewise if you are visiting at Peak Season then it’s not  uncommon to see the popular snorkelling spots ringed by vessels.  You’ll see more flailing limbs underwater than fish. 

So, if you want to avoid large noisy groups, then renting a speedboat for the day might be worth considering. 

Likewise, you’ll notice that almost all the snorkelling trips go to the same islands.  And the boats visit the islands in pretty much the same order.  So one snorkelling site or is packed, another nearby is virtually empty. 

So, if you’d like to be in control of your itinerary and decide which islands to visit, then renting a speedboat for the day might be worth considering.

Privat espeedboat tour on Koh Chang

There are dozens of islands south of Koh Chang. But, as mentioned, most tour boats only go to a handful.  There are a couple of bigger wooden ships, Thai Fun and Kontiki which also take in other islands.  These are more akin to day long sightseeing trips with a stop off at larger islands such as Koh Mak and also Koh Wai plus some snorkelling.  For anyone wanting to visit some of the lesser known and rarely visited islands a stop at then there isn’t an option to go by tour boat.

So, if you like to explore and see something that the crowds won’t see, then renting a speedboat for the day might be worth considering.

The main downside to renting a private speedboat is the cost.  Zooming across the water with the sea-spray in your hair is a lot of fun, but isn’t cheap. However, for a group.  Or a couple of families travelling together, it won’t break the bank and can even be cheaper than a regular boat trip. 

However, you still need to know where to go otherwise, you guessed it, you’ll still end up going to the usual places.   So you need to be able to let the speedboat company know where you want to go and randomly picking an island by pointing at a map isn’t going to work.   And that’s where this guide comes in handy.

Some popular speedboat trips from Koh Chang to nearby islands.

Below are some examples of trips and costs.  These can all be booked through Kai Bae Hut speedboat.  They have been operating almost 20 years and are the largest speedboat company on the island.  Prices include two way transfer ( hotel-boat-hotel) by pick up truck taxi; snorkelling equipment and a simple packed lunch plus water and fruit. ( No lunch on the half day trip to Koh Yuak)

 Speedboat TripMax. 4 Persons
60-85 HP Engine
Max 10 Pax
200 HP
Max 13 Pax
200HP
Max 25 Pax
2 x 200HP
Max 30 Pax
2 x 200HP

1

Five Islands. Marine National Park.8,500฿10,000฿12,000฿18,000฿20,000฿

(Koh Rang, Yak, Nok, Mapring, Wai)

2Koh Wai, Laoya, Mak, Kradad & monkeys8,500฿10,000฿11,000฿18,000฿20,000฿
3Koh Wai, Laoya, Klum7,000฿9,000฿10,000฿15,000฿16,000฿
4Koh Kood, Mak, Kham, Wai12,000฿14,000฿16,000฿21,000฿23,000฿
5Koh Kham, Mak8,500฿10,000฿11,000฿18,000฿20,000฿
6Around Koh Chang8,500฿10,000฿11,000฿18,000฿20,000฿
7Koh Yuak (Half Day)3,500฿4,500฿5,000฿8,000฿9,000฿

This map shows the islands each trip visits

Which Speedboat Tour is Suitable for You?

Here’as a brief rundown of what each island offers . . .

Koh Rang, Koh Yak, Koh Nok, Koh Mapring – I’ve grouped all these together as they are the main snorlkelling & diving islands south of Koh Chang.  Visiting these islands requires paying a Marine National Park Entrance Fee of 200 Baht for Adults & 100 Baht for children.  Koh Rang is the largest island and is home to a National Park Ranger Station plus  a handful of small, idyllic white sand bays. Do this trip if you want the best snorkelling.  You’ll just have to make sure the boat captain visits the islands in a differetn order than the tour boats do.  

Koh Klum – The big island south of Bangbao.   Nothing but a huge rock covered with trees, one fisherman has a shack there and that’s it as far as civilization goes. There is one nice little beach on the southeast corner of the island.   Very easy to snorkel here, so a  good place for kids.

Koh Wai – The regular snorkelling tours stop here too.  But they will all go to the beaches on the north facing coast.   You are going to get your boat guy to head just around the north-east corner of the island and moor on a lovely little white sand beach. Koh Wai is well known for it’s good snorkelling off the beach and this spot is no exception.

Koh Mak – Relatively flat and great for exploring by bicycle if you have time.  You wont if you just take  aday trip here.  Rent a scooter and you can see most of the island in three hours.  During high season, Koh Mak is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Koh Chang.  A much more laid back, friendly, vibe.  Worth a day trip if you just want to get away from traffic for a day but also laze at a beach restaurant and enjoy long, quiet beaches. 

Koh Kood –  Empty beaches and crystal clear water.  Beautiful. Ideally you should plan on staying here as a quick visit to a beach doesnt do it justice.  I wouldn’t bother with the day trip here unless you want to have a quick look in perapration for returning to stay another time.  The best island in Thailand to ride a scooter around.

Koh Kradad – Another private island. There’s a long deserted beach on the east of the island that hardly anyone goes to.  But that’s not why you’re going.  It’s also home to a small restaurant, three bungalows and, more interestingly, a large herd of deer.   Some deer are tame and can be hand fed.  But to see the others you need to take  a tour of the island by tractor.  There’s a 100 Baht entrance fee to the island which includes the tractor tour.  Good fun and something 99.9% of visitors to Koh Chang won’t do.

Koh Laoya – A privately owned island with one resort, Laoya Coco Island Resort. Beautiful white sand beach on the east of the island.  Not so good for snorkelling but for swimming and selfies then it’s an idyllic spot.  

Koh Yuak – You can kayak here if you want some exercise.  It’s the nearest island with some snorkelling to Koh Chang.  Located 3Km off Klong Prao and Kai Bae beaches. There are six small islands here but only Koh Yuak has a white sand beach and pretty good snorkelling.  It can’t compare to the islands further south.  But it’s OK for a half day trip.  Plus great views of Koh Chang from there.

Monkey Island – Not really an island.  There’s a troop of monkeys which live on the peninsula near Bangbao.  Every afternoon in High Season they come down from the trees and wait on the rocks for tour boats to pass by.  The boats pull in close to the rocks so passengers cna throw some fruit for the monkeys.  ( True you’ll see the monekys lose up – but bear in mind feeding them sugary fruit daily is like feeding a child all the chocolate he can eat every day. i.e. not a good thing longterm. )

But Wait . . There’s More.

A couple of add ons, if you have time or want to see more.   Koh Ngam, the island at the far southeastern tip of Koh Chang is another private island with a crescent bay and some snorkelling. It is similar to Phi-phi.   Two small islands linked by a sandbar.   Very picturesque.   Nearby, on Koh Chang, is Long Beach.   A picturesque swathe of white sand backed by palm trees and mountains.  As good as any of the developed beaches on thw west coast.  Easy to visit from Koh Laoya.  Another detour for anyone visiting Laoya or circumnavigating the island is Wai Chaek Beach – on the south coast of Koh Chang. It is possible to get here by (unfinished)   road from Salakphet, but not many people try.   400 metres of nothing but sand and coconut palms.   Not for snorkelling but great for a swim.

How to book?

There’s no need to book months ina dvance.  You can arranfge everything when you are on koh Chang.  Any tour agent will be able to arrange a private speedboat for you.  Or you can contact Sao, the owner of Kai Bae Hut Speedboat direct. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sroytip.knonkun

Email: sao.nornouspeedboat@gmail.com

Tel: 081-9829870, 081-8176832 039-557128

 

 

 

 

1 Comment

  • How many people can you fit on a boat?
    Thanks for the idea and the info. We’re going to have a very low-key wedding on Koh Chang in January next year and so need to keep a small group of family and friends occupied – this will help :)
    Also appreciate the info on travel to Siem Reap (which is how I stumbled on your site) – very detailed and useful, off to browse the rest of your site for other gems :)
    Thanks,
    Joel

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