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My Travel Story: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.
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  1. #1
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    Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    In anticipation of only having a week to spend in Thailand on break from work, I pre booked flights and accommodation. Flights leave a couple of times a day from Suvannabhumi airport, but only with bangkok Airways, as they operate the Trat airport. The cost is 2500 baht per person. It only takes an hour, or a bit less, so just up and down.
    The most enjoyable thing for me of the whole trip, was absolutely no scams, cons, pressure selling or nuisance. (Except one tiny one.)
    At the airport, I was expecting the usual tuk tuk, baht bus shenanigans, but there were none. Only the minibus service to all resorts/ hotels, at 500 baht pp, including ferry. As we were the furthest, we had the best value.
    We stayed at the Mercure Hideaway resort on Bai Lan beach. Just a coincidence, as while I was there, I read Richards trip report. 2000 baht per night , for the beginning of the off season, and the room was awesome.


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    If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    Bai Lan bay is mostly fairly quiet. There are half a dozen or more restaurants within a few hundred metres walk, as well as shops and a couple of laundries, but you really do need transport to explore past this bay. We hired a Honda Click for 200 baht a day. I expected to be asked for more, being a resort Island, so more tension seeps away. The surprises here, are that it just keeps getting better.

    I was worried that the little bike would not carry us both up the steep hills, but assured by the hire girl that it is not a problem, and it wasn't. The hire/ tour office is at the front of the hotel.

    The seas were rough, and the waters murky, so there would not be any Island tours for us, so no pressure of rushing here and there. We had some occasional rain, But never even needed an umbrella. The overcast skies made it cool and very pleasant touring around the rainforest covered hills.


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    This restaurant at White Sands beach, was part of a resort. I will retrieve the name from the dormant brain cells as we go along. They had many small bungalows right on the beach for the more minimalistic visitors. Great food, fantastic laid back beach atmosphere. If I go again, I will aim for White Sand beach, but maybe one of the hotels back on the other side of the beach road.

    Which reminds me. As you travel along the various beaches, access is fairly limited, due to private resort roads, and beaches. TBC.
    If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    Sangtawan was the name of that resort.

    This first day with the bike, I planned to go right around the Island to Klong Neung waterfall. I thought I read somewhere that it was the nicest, but I was mistaken. It was almost not even there. Never mind.
    I had read Fileeeps trip report, but as I had not been there before, did not put it all in perspective. A couple more kilometres, and we would have been at the Salak Phet pier.


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    The east coast of Koh Chang is mostly flat, the road runs 10 to 20m above sea level. Even the sea was nice and flat. There are a number of resorts on this side, but the beaches are stony. We rode out on this concrete pier, where a few locals were fishing, and on the way back in, a car load of anglers were heading out.
    I can't describe the Salak Phet area, as we didn't get there.
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  7. #4
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    On our last full day, we set out to the Bang Bao pier. It is only a few kms south of our hotel. Many tour boats were docked here, the weather being a bit rough. The place was very quaint, with rickety walkways and no handrails being the order of the day. One was so flimsy, I had to send my woman out first, to test the strength. Haha. Reminds me of Cambodia, where I have to send her first, in case there are land mines. But because I love her, mostly we take the kids, and they go first. Hahahaa.

    We had breakfast in this El Greco restaurant. They have a few trip advisor awards hanging from the counter, but I didn't read them. Very nice food at reasonable price. Too good service, like there were four staff, and only us as customers.

    Sorry this is a mess, I'm having trouble uploading files. On the walkway out to the boats, I could stand on one end of a plank, and the other end would lift up. But not wide enough for my foot to go through.
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  9. #5
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

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    The only upset for the whole trip was our return from the pier to the motorbike. I had park directly in front of the 7/ 11. When I pulled up, I purchased 1000 baht phone credit, because I need to make some international calls. I assumed that I would be entitled to park there for an hour or so. Anyhow, as I pushed the bike back, this old woman came out of the woodwork, demanding ten baht for parking. I told her that it is the 7/ 11 park, and there are no signs for parking. Any way, she starts raising her voice, expecting some local support, but there was none. I told my wife to hop on the bike, but she wanted me to hand over the cash. No bloody way is this woman getting a cracker from me, so I insist she gets on the bike, and off we go. I am the most generous bugger around, but please, don't try to rip me off. If she had just asked for ten baht, I would have given twenty or a hundred.

    So, from there, we went back to the hotel, and had a lovely afternoon by the pool. I normally didn't buy beer at the hotel, because they charge 150 baht for a small Heineken. I get them from the minimart 100m away for 80 baht large bottle. But, they called happy hour, which means buy one, get one free. Good stuff. Two Heineken, and two blue Hawaii for my sweet. Cheers.

    Next morning, we were off to Pattaya in a minivan. 800 baht each. The trip was supposed to take five and a half hours, but took seven and a half. Never mind. We had a great time on Koh Chang. Cheers guys.
    If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it.

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  11. #6
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    Dodged a bullet, according to the news.
    If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it.

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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    Koh Chang resort building collapses killing one tourist, trapping 7 others
    in General | June 4, 2016 11:01 am

    A Thai tourist was killed and seven others trapped inside after a two-storey resort hotel on Koh Chang island of Trat province collapsed Saturday morning following heavy rains in the night.

    MORE: THAI PBS

  14. #8
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    Same beach, Bai Lan, different resort. Lucky.
    If it's not true, don't say it. If it's not yours, don't take it. If it's not right, don't do it.

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  16. #9
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    Re: Koh Chang, May 2016, so relaxing.

    Never made it to this Koh Chang (been to the one in Ranong), but have wanted to go for a while. I tend to just go to Chiang Mai for a month and relax or drift through southern Thailand for several months between countries these days. Maybe if i ever make it to Pak Chong, Korat to see where the "Big Boss" Bruce Lee movie was filmed, i could make the short trip to Rayong or Trat and visit Koh Chang. Looks nice from your pics.

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