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Thailand - Koh Chang

"Elephant Island"

View Honeymoon Tour on Daft Slags Do..'s travel map.

Arriving on Koh Chang after a 45 minute speedboat journey we were ushered along (Bang Bao) pier, built up with restaurants and shops, to a pickup truck in a car park (actually a patch of rubble behind a shop). We loaded up our bags and hopped on board, along with an overweight northerner to keep Kiwi company. We then drove the short distance to our first port of call, Cliff Cottages, after a wrong turn/detour by the taxi driver!!! Cliff Cottages is made up of a small number of bungalows/bell tents overlooking a private rocky bay. The tents were placed on wooden platforms at the top of a cliff, however to get to the top of the cliff you had to climb a mammoth set of steps. Our jelly thighs just held out to be greeted by spectacular panoramic views of the blue sea and surrounding jungle of the island. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in the main resort area (I say resort as I don't know what else to call it) and then decided to take a walk as the sun was edging its way closer toward the horizon. We'd seen a few people make their way along a timber walkway on the opposite side of the bay which hugged the cliff before disappearing round the corner, so we did our best Scooby Doo gang impression and went to investigate. We discovered a little secret gem, as for only 2 hours every day at sunset a bar opened around the southern headland of the island serving beer and cocktails to the sounds of classic chill out with unprecedented views of the sea and sunset. Having arrived a little late to the party we supped up a beer and looked forward to the following evening. Later on we enjoyed a decent vegetarian meal back at the resort before adorning crampons to scale the steps back to base camp for the night.


The next morning we awoke to a cloudless sky and enjoyed breakfast overlooking the bay. Being the first time in a while we'd had the opportunity (sounds like bollux but it's busy business), we sat down to do some planning for upcoming parts of the trip. We took a break mid afternoon for a swim in the bay, although not for too long as Kiwi got freaked out by the rocks!!! In the afternoon a troop of monkeys passed through the resort to catch crabs on the rocks which was great to watch, although not as great when we got up the hill and realised they had uprooted the bins. As evening threatened, we briskly walked up to the bar in order to beat a large group of Dutch emo hippies (as Kiwi called them) to a front row cushion, leaving us to sit for the evening and watch the sunset again, but managing a few beers this time before it set. After which we walked the distance to Bang Bao pier (not realising there was a shortcut) and had some dinner at a floating restaurant. I had a curry so hot that my bowels began to cry at the thought of the next morning, and Kiwi feasted on a plate of beige (cauliflower stir fry and rice). We walked half the distance back to the resort and got a lift for the other half with the resort owner, a slightly strange diving obsessed Dutch man with a very nice smiley Thai wife.


One thing of note from our stay was an American couple who had named their baby Chinatown!!! I'm not sure if that's where the baby was conceived or a tribute to their favourite area of home, either way it's f*cking absurd.

In the morning we packed up and tripped down the steps to travel on to the next location on the island. The reception woman pointed me in the direction of the road when I enquired about a taxi but the road was an empty track, great. Then she called the resort taxi man who refused to take us until he had eaten his lunch and tried to charge us a ridiculous rate which we had to barter down. This was all while the owner sat on his arse bragging to a group of lads about his new resort, basically being about as much use as a marzipan dildo. Finally though we jumped in the pickup and drove the short trip to Lonely Beach, which is the backpackers area of Koh Chang. We were staying at a small resort called Little Eden which was set back off the main village in the jungle and turned out to be a one of the best places we've stayed on the trip!!! We were checked in by a German lady who was minding the fort whilst the owner was out, so we threw in our stuff and went to lonely beach for a couple of hours. On our return we were introduced to the owner of the place who was an English man named David who was extremely decent but bat shit crazy, an entertaining mix. In the evening we found a little bar called Joy Cottage which had a nice feel, played live music and served vegetarian food, so we remained there for the duration.


The next day we awoke and enjoyed a homely breakfast of beans on toast with grated cheese and some cracking coffee. We learnt the owner David had lived in Germany for much of his life, married and divorced a women (who turned out to be the women who checked us in), moved to Thailand, set up Little Eden, married a women who turned out to be a (quote) "psychopathic bitch", then separated, paid her off and had now met another Thai women who was (quote) "just amazing". I'm no mathematician but I could definitely detect a pattern there with a possible common denominator, as I said, entertaining. We spent the day at Lonely Beach and supped a beer watching the sunset before playing on an oversized beach swing and returning to Joy Cottage for evening drinks and entertainment.


The next morning it was raining and Kiwi had a headache so we relaxed in the bungalow and went down to the beach for an hour in the afternoon when both the weather and headache had improved. We made use of the Wifi at Joy Cottage and had a skyping session with the folks back home before retiring to Little Eden for cards and yahtzee etc. Not much to report that day.

We had rented a scooter to explore the island so the next day we awoke for another breakfast of beans on toast before starting out for the national parks and waterfalls. The drive to the first waterfall took around 1 hour followed by a 30 minute hike. Located in a little valley the waterfall created a deep swimming pool which drained out into a stream further down. The pool was full of really big fish and with it's crystal clear waters you could see them all swimming around you. The best fish however were the little ones which would peck at the skin on your feet whenever you stood still, a strange feeling which most people shrieked at and freaked Kiwi out!!! This place was fairly busy so we hopped back on the scooter and drove round to another waterfall on the less inhabited east side of the island. This waterfall was smaller but far more peaceful owing to lack of crowds and we chilled out by the water for a while before heading back for the day. Along the route the road rose and fell on two huge winding hills/mountains so that was good fun on the bike, better going up than down though. On the way back we stopped off at Lonely Beach for a swim and lie down after which we had dinner at Little Eden (best restaurant in Koh Chang) and went to Joy Cottage for evening beers and another Skype session. That evening a reggae bar from Chang Mai were in residence and the music was pretty good quality leading to increased beer consumption and a thick head the next morning.


Unfortunately the next morning was laundry duty so we sorted and dropped our stinking clothes down to the laundry lady who said we could pick them up that same evening...something to look forward to (genuinely excited about clean clothes). Today we drove south to the Bang Bao area we had initially stayed in as there was a reportedly good beach down there. When we located it we weren't let down as it offered empty white sand and shade from the hot sun below beach canopy trees. The only thing to dampen the occasion was the obligatory items of rubbish in the sea floating down from the pier however not enough to ruin the scene. On the way back to Little Eden we stopped at a reggae bar overlooking the bay for a fruit shake sugar injection. Back in Lonely Beach I was overjoyed to collect my clean washing before we indulged in Tofu burgers at the accommodation then surprise surprise headed to Joy Cottage for beers and music. We must stress that we did explore other places in Lonely Beach but Joy Cottage was the best place for a more relaxed vibe and live music, although we did ponder going elsewhere for a 'drinks bucket' and dum dum house music, didn't seem quite right.


We arose early the next day and repeated our journey to the east side of the island up and over the sheer windy roads. We had passed a luxury resort called Amber Sands the time before and decided to stop in this time for breakfast. The restaurant was beach side with a lovely relaxed feel and decent menu, so I ordered french toast and bacon, whilst Kiwi went for eggs on toast. Both washed down with healthy sized fresh pressed coffee. However, the highlight of the morning was their WC's which topped my mental list of all time top toilets. They were located away down a winding plant lined path, and curved in shape, with a red wooden door leading through to a large open air area complete with toilet and wash hand basin. Their is something liberating about doing your business in an open air space, an experience I hope to repeat in the near future. After this highlight we continued our journey to the mangroves which we eventually found after several wrong turns. There are two areas of mangrove on Koh Chang both of which have walkways through them to elevate you above the water. It was a decent walk and very peaceful in the shaded mangroves watching the fish in the water and in the second area the forest broke directly onto the coastline allowing you to see the full impact of the forest. After walking both mangroves we drove to a secluded beach on the far south eastern spit of the island called Long Beach without realising quite how long the journey was owing to windy roads, steep hills, dirt tracks and in one place the road had been washed away by the river. We appreciated the signs which read 'Road Broken. No longer works', and carried on over the temporary wooden bridge feeling slightly cautious. When we did finally make it to Long Beach we were slightly underwhelmed in comparison to the effort of the journey so we stayed a short while before driving around 3 hours back to Lonely Beach for our final evening on Koh Chang. For dinner we had fresh garlic and lemon roasted fish from Little Eden and you know it was fresh because we saw the cook going to buy the fish after we ordered it!!!!


The next morning we had an early morning pick up by the mini bus to take us back to Bangkok, although unfortunately as we were the last pick up we were left the shit seats on the bus. Therefore after a thoroughly uncomfortable journey we gladly arrived back in Bangkok mid afternoon. I cannot express to anyone how crazy this minibus driver was, as all white minibus drivers in Asia are notoriously bad drivers, but this guy was the champion of their trade. At one point I saw him laughing as a moped slammed into a car which pulled across it on the highway, funny shit!!!

Back in Bangkok we were dropped at Victory Monument leaving us to catch the Skytrain a few stops and walking the remainder of the way to our hostel. In hindsight having not eaten that day and given the heat vs distance we should have got a taxi, so after a few sharp words between Kiwi and myself I conceded she was right!!! The hostel was really nice but slightly quiet so we showered and caught the train Siam Paragon for a spot of dinner before buying beers to drink back at the hostel over a few games of cards.

The next day we rose to sample the free hostel breakfast and then again caught the train to Siam Paragon for some food followed by a film at my favourite ever cinema, Scala Cinema Siam. This time we were slightly late so had to stand outside whilst all in the cinema rose to pay homage to the king by the automated collage of pictures. However we purchased popcorn and drinks for £1.50 and settled in to 'The Reverent' for a bit of light viewing and a master class in suffering from Leo. After a thoroughly nice afternoon we caught the Skytrain a few stops to meet my old school friend Jon Cubitt who has resided in Bangkok for a number of years but has now elected to move to Hong Kong this summer. We had a thoroughly nice evening with Jon and his wife Dana (drinking and chatting) which ended in me and Dana trying to convince Jon to hit up a karaoke bar, although he sensibly resisted which made the morning far easier than it would have been after more drinks and karaoke, so thank you Jon for not giving in.

The next day we mooched around the hostel area until it was time to get a taxi to the airport and catch our flight to Hong Kong.

All in all we really really enjoyed Koh Chang as the island is seriously beautiful but not busy enough to spoil the magic. Being not too big it's possible to explore the place on a scooter without the risk of getting lost, but big enough for plenty of secret locations to discover. Sad to leave but enough left to do to come back in future. As for Bangkok, best city in South East Asia, happy to come back any time!!!

Posted by Daft Slags Do.. 18:43 Archived in Thailand

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I love reading these posts and seeing/hearing what you're up to.
Speak to you stinky two later xx

by Lea

Better than a novel, look forward to the next instalment xxx

by Marge

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