Here’s an activity that can only be done during the rainy season. As it involves swimming in a river. The rivers on Koh Chang are pretty much dry from November through until April. But once the rains start in late April – early May, they quickly fill up with cool, clear, fresh water.
Some people head to the waterfall at Klong Plu to swim. That is pretty cheap if you are Thai, just 40 Baht entrance fee for Adults and 20 Baht for kids. But it’s far more expensive for foreign visitors. And also visitors aren’t permitted to take food or alcohol inside. So enjoying a cold beer and lunch by the river isn’t possible at the waterfall.
Fortunately, there’s a spot called ‘Sii Tor’ (Four pipes) which has now become Koh Chang’s best free fresh water swimming pool. The names comes from the large pipes that pass under the bridge. It is located in the south of Koh Chang, about 2km from Bangbao village on the road leading to Koh Chang Boat Chalet, the new name for Aunchaleena Beachfront Resort, which was formerly known as Koh Chang Grand Lagoona. (The resort seems to change names once too many negative reviews rack up.)
A couple of local entrepreneurs have set up food stalls by river crossing and also built a rope swings and put steps up a riverside tree. So you can climb the tree and jump a few metres down into the river.
The water here is very clean. There’s no development or farming upstream. And it’s a fun place to spend a couple of hours on a hot low season day. The area where people can access the river is split in two by the bridge. The deeper water is on the northern side of the bridge is where the large pool with deeper water, ideal for swimming, is. The river is much shallower on the south side of the bridge. This is where it’s safe for young kids to splash around.
Weekends are especially popular with local families who bring their kids to swim here. There’s far more shade than by the beach, plus the sea can be rough at this time of year, so the river is safer to swim and play in. Also the food is cheaper. Plates of somtam or BBQ pork neck start at around 50 Baht. There are also dishes like fried rice, BBQ chicken etc on offer. Just simple food that is easily shared between a group. Add on another 50 Baht for a cold beer or 10 Baht for water and and you’ve got yourself a very pleasant place to swim and chill with friends or family.