I wrote this back in 2012, since then numerous travel bloggers have made the pilgrimage to this decrepit, land-locked, cruise liner in order to explore the decks and experience the wonder of Koh Chang’s most bizarre accommodation. It even made an appearance in the Huffington Post. However, since mid-2016 it’s doors have been padlocked shut and a large ‘No Entry’ sign placed outside. So, it appears no longer in use even for resort guests.
One of the dilemmas facing guests staying on the floating ‘ship-otel’ is “Do I run towards the light or away from it?”
I often get asked what I consider to be the most ‘interesting’ of Koh Chang’s resorts and one place always comes to mind. Aunchaleena Beachfront Resort, formerly, Koh Chang Grand Lagoona, near Bangbao, is a Thai billionaire’s vision of what a luxury island resort should look like, so maybe his ideas are ‘different’ to yours. The resort is so ‘special’ that non-guests have to pay to get in, currently this is 50 Baht per person and includes use of a bicycle, if you want it, in order to tour the grounds. There’s also a nice little waterfall in the jungle nearby. So far, so good.
The centrepiece of the resort is the floating hotel, the Galaxy, which is described as either:
‘A Seven deck floating boat, nicely equipped with full facilities and five star hotel is drifting gracefully on the crystal lagoon next to the sea, giving you the mood of grand cruise with unforgettable impression. The well-decorated and modern building consists of 70 modern rooms of superior design.’
‘The Galaxy, well recognized as the most modern floating hotel in Thailand . . ‘ ( Hotel booking sites )
‘The Galaxy is the centre piece – a 7 deck boat housing 70 rooms. In the pictures it looks gleaming and white and the description talks of five star luxury. In reality, from the outside it looks like the Titanic – after being raised from the depths.’
‘The “ship” our room was in was totally disgusting, neglected and straight out of a horror film.’
‘Too scared to look inside the big ship they have as cabins.’ ( Tripadvisor reviews )
As someone who has a resort,well a guesthouse, listed on Tripadvisor, I know how picky reviewers can be and that criticism can sometimes be harsh and unwarranted, but at least in this case all parties agree the Galaxy experience is ‘memorable’, just for differing reasons.
Rather than take sides, here are some photos of the the only ship-o-tel on the island and you can judge for yourself. But I have to say, when I walked down the dark, dank, unlit corridors I half expected Jack Nicholson to come through one of the doors with a chainsaw. On the plus side, great views from the roof.