Thaiguide

Dec 28, 2020

Koh Changs tropical forest, beaches and the green landscape

Facts about Koh Chang

Koh Chang is known to be the second largest island in Thailand, but still less developed from Phuket or Koh Samui.

Here’s the size:

Koh Phuket 543 km² (Airport)

Koh Chang 429 km² (no airport)

Koh Samui 228 km² (Airport)

70% of the forest and green areas belong to the national park. Therefore, there are restrictions on what is allowed to build here. You will be able to experience jungle that is lush and green in combination with high mountains. Here there are many opportunities for hiking.

My personal “insider tips” of Koh Chang

The first time I was on Koh Chang was in 2014. Then I remember there were a couple of 7-11 shops, the roads were quite steep and difficult to drive on a moped. Lots of forest everywhere and the sea was blue with clean water.

As of 2019, I do not think there has been such a huge development on Koh Chang after all these years. You see grocery stores like Tesco, Big-C here but the mood is how I remember: Laidback and relaxing. Just like going back 2000 years, when people in southern Thailand began to notice the arrival of tourism.

Normally by bus / car it will take 5-6 hours and approx. 30 minutes ferry. The chance of having to wait 30-50 minutes for the boat at the pier is always there. From the time you arrive in Koh Chang, the hotel is anywhere from a 15 to 30 minute drive. Yes, it is a fairly long trip when you spend just over a day getting there. If you ask me if it’s worth it, I answer a resounding YES, guaranteed! But this place one should have at least 5 days to be due to long travel distance. Due to a long journey from Bangkok, Koh Chang has therefore become a little different than a typical tourist destination.

How to get to Koh Chang?

Flights with Bangkok Airways: There are 3 departures from Bangkok to Trat per day. Price of flight ticket: Approx. NOK 1,000. From there you take a taxi and half an hour by ferry to the island.

Bus from the airport Suvarnabhumi Airport is an option. The bus takes you directly to the island (price includes ferry).

Bus from Ekkamai Eastern Bus Terminal or Mo Chit – northern terminal in Bangkok: It will take 5-6 hours bus / car from Bangkok plus half an hour ferry from the mainland.

Roads

The roads of asphalt are small and crooked with many turns. Varies between narrow roads and large width. Not recommended for beginners to rent a moped to drive here. Some places are poorly lit along the way in the evening.

Weather

The best time to travel is from November to April with an average temperature for the whole year of approx. 27-30 degrees in the air and in the water approx. 28-30 degrees (Celcius)

Beaches

Koh Chang has many beaches and bays that offer accommodation

White Sand Beach

White Sand Beach is a 3 mile long sandy beach. It was the first Koh Chang beaches to begin with accommodation options in the form of simple bamboo huts. Today, things have changed a lot and White Sands has more hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other tourist facilities than anywhere else on Koh Chang.

Klong Prao Beach

Klong Prao Beach is the name of the central area on the west coast and is a very popular part of the island. Here you will find everything from luxury resorts to traditional bamboo huts.
Much quieter than White Sand beach. Klong Prao beach is ideal for those who appreciate tranquil surroundings and is built so that the beach almost becomes part of the jungle.

Kai Bae Beach

South of Klong Prao is Kai Bae beach and village. The beach is a kilometer long beach that is known for the fact that it overlooks a bay filled with several small islands. A visit to the lookout point on a hill just south of the village, especially at sunset, is a must-do for visitors. This is for those who want the ultimate picture of Koh Chang overlooking the entire bay.

Lonely Beach

Lonely Beach developed as a backpacker beach, but as of now there are many large resorts. Lonely beach is not as “lonely” as it once was. Lonely beach is far south on the island.

There are restaurants, hippie bars, party places where people gather. Probably the liveliest place on Koh Chang for backpackers.

Recommended accommodation / hotels

Here on Koh Chang you will find everything from simple cabins to luxury hotels in all price ranges.

Here is my suggestion for the resort / bungalow located on the beach.

Bungalow on the beach cheap and simple.

Porn Bungalow Kai bea Beach.

They have many Bungalows located on the beach with fans. If you dream of a simple bungalow overlooking the sea.

http://www.pornsbungalows-kohchang.com

Traditional classic Thai style Resort at budget price.

Klong Prao Resort (Koh Chang) http://www.klongpraoresort.com/

It is beautifully located on the beach and the rooms overlook the lagoon and the sea.

Luxury choice

I myself have stayed at Awa Resort several times. The hotel was completed in 2014. The rooms are quite large and the pool is nice and serviced.

Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort is located on Klong Prao Beach. This is a well known hotel chain in Thailand.

If you ask me. Koh Chang will be preserved and no major development will come here, since most of the island is the National Park.

Enjoy yourselves

Guide Rossi

Blog
Blog
Blog
Blog

Songkran waterfestival

If you ask me which Thai festival you as a tourist should experience at least once then I will answer Songkran..  Songkran  is both culture and a cool experience. This is the  day we Thais  celebrate Buddhist New Year.

Songkran is a big family holiday and it is as important in Thailand as Christmas is in Norway. The school in Thailand has summer holidays from mid-March to mid-May, and under  Songkran  the adults have time off from work for several days (minimum 3 days, but a few years up to 5 days). This year,  Songkran lasted from April 12 to 16. Mostly, people return to their homes to be with their family.

Culture and Buddhist ceremony

The day starts with a Buddhist ceremony taking place in several places around the communities. People bring food as offerings to the monks, and they pray for us. Some temples put Buddha statues on the street so people can pour water on them to clean the statues. The goal of the Buddhist ceremony is to get a good and happy start to the New Year. If you have a Buddha statue at home, this is the day you give it a proper cleaning, as well as clean up the sacrificial shelf in front of the statue. We also show respect to the elderly by pouring some water into their hands and then they give us some nice words back.

Party, celebration and water war

Big smiles, laughter and happy people everywhere are the hallmarks of Songkran. We  Thais  know how to party and have fun! In Thailand, this day is celebrated with large street parades, foam parties and various cultural experiences. There’s a full party in all the streets!

One of the funniest things is sitting in the back of a pickup truck and throwing water at anyone who drives by. Most people equip their pickup trucks with water tanks so you have enough water to splash water on people all day. What’s certain is that you’re going to get wet from head to toe and nobody gets mad even if you squirt on them.

How long does the party last?

It depends on where you are in Thailand.

In northern Thailand (+ Pattaya) you celebrate anywhere from 5 to 10 days while in other parts of Thailand you only celebrate for 2 days, or only on songkran itself which is April 13th.

So if  you are in Thailand at this time you must not be surprised if you are suddenly splashed down with water by wild strangers. As a rule, it is only appreciated and cooling in April because it is the warmest month in Thailand, and the temperature often reaches 40 degrees.

Wet T-shirt contest?

This is the day most Thai men look forward to. Thousands of Thai girls  and tourists wear wet T-shirts throughout the day. In Thai culture, body contact such as hugging or kissing on the cheek is not common when meeting strangers, but on this day it is tradition that the boys smear white powder on the faces of the girls they meet and some of them are so naughty that they don’t just settle on their faces.

In order to avoid the desperate men at Songkran, it is important not to wear revealling clothes.

You should wear colourful clothes that do not show too much skin, and it smart to check if the clothes become transparent when they get wet.

Some good advice when celebrating Songkran

  • Bring a waterproof camera
  • Waterproof bag for mobile phone and money.
  • Sunglasses to protect you from sun and water.
  • Dress in colorful clothes. Prefer not to wear white or see-through clothing.
  • Get out on the street, get your own water gun and find the nearest place to fill water.
  • Do not use ice-cold water or get rid of ice cubes. Don’t shoot people in the eyes.
  • Do not throw water on the police, monks, infants or old people.
  • Songkran is known to be the time when most traffic accidents occur in Thailand. So do not drive a moped or any other vehicle after drinking alcohol.

Map over Thailand

Thailand is divided into 75 provinces (so-called  changwat),which in turn are divided into 5 provincial groups according to where they are located. There are also two districts with special government:

  • The capital Bangkok (Krung  Thep  Maha  Nakhon)
  • Pattaya, of which Bangkok is at the provincial level, and therefore often being counted as a 76th province

Each province is divided into districts, and the districts are again divided into subdistricts (tambon). The provinces are named after the provincial capital, so the name of each of the provincial capitals ,  mueang, is the same as the province’s; for example, the capitalof the province of Chiang Mai(changwat  Chiang Mai)  is Mueang  Chiang Mai or Chiang Mai.

Source wikipedia

Wikipedia page with all districts in Thailand

Rossi.

Thailand’s largest animal parks

Visit two of Thailand’s largest zoos, Safari World and Marine Park! Both zoos have a large selection of Asian and African animals, and here the children will surely thrive. This is an experience that is both fun and educational for young and old. 

Safari world

Bangkok Zoo is known for Thailand’s best animal and leisure park offering experiences for everyone. At the zoo in Bangkok, many of the animals walk freely around fenced areas, and you will see the animals up close as you drive through the park in your own car. The zoo in Bangkok has a diversity of animals, including several endangered animal species such as tigers, lions and bears. If you are in the park at a special time you can watch when the animals are fed.

 

This is a park with many animal species that depend on a maritime environment. The park also has different performances with the animals, and there are shows with dolphins, birds, seals, elephants and orangutans. An experience for those of you who will both be entertained and at the same time learn something new.

 

Here you can visit a rich maritime area with animals of many categories depending on such an environment. Furthermore, you can experience 6 incredible performances performed by stuntmen and sea creatures such as dolphins, killer whales and seals. An oasis for animals and visitors.

Thailand’s largest crocodile farm

Crocodiles are both terrifying and fascinating animals. When we look at crocodiles in Thailand we head to Thailand’s largest crocodile farm, Samutprakarn  crocodile farm and zoo.

 

The crocodile farm is half an hour’s drive from Bangkok and has more than 100,000 crocodiles, ranging from small babies to huge monsters.  Samutprakarn  Crocodile Farm and Zoo was founded in 1950 to protect crocodiles in Thailand from extinction. The farm is also dedicated to research.

The crocodile farm has its own show that we will of course get with us. Here you will see, among other things, how an unarmed man can survive in a pit full of crocodiles!

Institute of snakes in Thailand

Did you know that snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them? Useful to know if you first encounter a snake.


Snake Institute in Thailand
 – The Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, has existed since 1912 and was established in its time as a research institute for rabies vaccine. Today, the Institute’s foremost task is to research antidotes, but it has also become a major tourist attraction.

Every day at the large open arena, demonstrations of both poison extraction and proper handling of the hoses are given. Here knowledge is combined with entertainment.

Snakes in Thailand

The institute has its own exhibition area with 35 different living snake species. In addition, there is a museum where you can learn all about snake evolution, anatomy, reproduction, life cycle and toxicology. Here is also information on what kind of first aid should be used if one is so unlucky to be bitten by a snake.

Institute of snakes in Thailand

Did you know that snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them? Useful to know if you first encounter a snake.


Snake Institute in Thailand
 – The Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, has existed since 1912 and was established in its time as a research institute for rabies vaccine. Today, the Institute’s foremost task is to research antidotes, but it has also become a major tourist attraction.

Every day at the large open arena, demonstrations of both poison extraction and proper handling of the hoses are given. Here knowledge is combined with entertainment.

Snakes in Thailand

The institute has its own exhibition area with 35 different living snake species. In addition, there is a museum where you can learn all about snake evolution, anatomy, reproduction, life cycle and toxicology. Here is also information on what kind of first aid should be used if one is so unlucky to be bitten by a snake.