A return to koh chang

A Return to Koh Chang

For those of you living outside Thailand, Koh Chang is on the eastern coastline of Thailand, is in the province of Trat, and is the largest of all of the eastern islands.

It is probably only in the last five or six years that the island has been attracting international tourists. However, tourism has certainly now taken off, and Koh Chang is attracting a complete cross section of tourists. On this visit, amongst others, I met backpackers from Latvia and Israel, restauranteurs visiting from Italy, and a couple who clearly had more than a few bob in the bank.

The hotel industry, and the locals, have done well to provide accommodation for such a large range of tourists. I actually heard from a “local”; he was actually from Wales a long time ago, that room rates range from a tad under B500 (US$1=35.5Baht) per night all the way up to B35,000!

Having decided to go to Koh Chang for a long weekend on my birthday; I am one of the lucky ones whose birthday always falls on a public holiday (October 23rd, the memorial day of Rama V, otherwise known as King Chulalongkorn Day), I headed to Ekamai bus station.

This time I selected the correct bus company, Chedchai Tours, bought my B275 one way ticket to Trat. Cherchai Tours have the blue and white buses. Do not take the blue and white buses with the red paint job. The latter stop everywhere and anywhere, and generally take up to two hours longer than Cherdchai Tours!

Five hours later, I was dropped off in a small town near to Trat, where you are met by the friendly people from “Orange Taxi”, who mainly run, surprise, surprise, orange pick ups. They provide you with your transportation to and from the ferry to Koh Chang, and also the return ferry ticket as well.

The ferry ride is excellent, offering an outstanding view as you arrive on Koh Chang. There you are met by a bevy of pick ups, which take you, and nine other fellow passengers per pick up, to approximately where you want to go. On this occasion, I was heading to White Sands beach, which is the first of many beaches on the western coast of the island.

Dropped off at the Paloma Resort, I was met by my “friend”, Khun Oy, who took me to her bar for a few beers, some local food, and of, course, a few games of pool! I have been told that the Paloma offers first-rate accommodation, but I prefer to stay at the small bungalows that still exist on Koh Chang, despite the construction of more modern hotel/resort complexes. A reasonable bungalow, with air-con, cable T.V., and hot/cold shower costs around B750 per night.

Koh Chang offers a complete range of activities. Island hopping, fishing, diving, snorkeling, and kayak trips, elephant trekking, guided walks to some fairly impressive waterfalls, chilling out on beautiful beaches, to name a few!

My activity of choice this time was the off road ATV’s, or All Terrain Vehicles. Brilliant fun, providing a reasonable adrenalin rush, and also offering some superb views. ATV Tours can be found at Chai Chet, near to Klong Prao beach. Apologies to ATV Tours, but I have lost your number! However, their leaflets can be found all over Koh Chang.

If gastronomy is one of your favorite pastimes, then Koh Chang will not disappoint you. You name the food style, you can find it there! My favorite place to eat is called “Thai & Isaan Food”. It may have a more formal name, but that was all I could translate from the sign outside the “restaurant”. Don’t expect comfortable surroundings from three shop-houses combined into one large eatery. However, the food is outstanding, has Thai, and loosely translated English menus, and is exceptionally reasonable priced. Sufficient for five people, we chose sweet & sour snapper, prawn green curry, an incredibly spicy Isaan yam (salad), vegetables, and much more. With a couple of large bottles of “beer Leo”, the cost was just around B700.

The eatery can be found on the southern side of White Sands beach, going up the slope, with KCTV (Koh Chang TV) on the left, “Thai & Isaan Food” is another twenty-five meters on the opposite side of the road. Happy eating!

As usual, a big hello to my friends at the Thailand Web Zone, www.thailandwebzone.com, which is a new Thai social networking and Thailand community site. Share information in Thai forums and Thailand articles, meet people, share photos, music and video, find & submit information on Thailand travel. Make new friends from all over the world! For those readers who have not visited TWZ, go have a look now!

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Опубликовано 24 Feb 2009 в 2:33 pm. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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