After a long covid lockdown with little to no travel, we decided to bite the bullet and visit Thailand’s third largest island, Ko Chang. We weren’t sure about covid restrictions and slightly worried about getting covid whilst there…
Sitting on Ko Chang’s beautiful long white sandy beach (albeit with crashing waves as we unknowingly went during monsoon season!), we were happy we made the plunge with the family. We enjoyed its friendly, welcoming people, its wide range of eateries and relaxed atmosphere. We were not haggled for beach trinkets, but enjoyed cheap motorbike rentals instead for 200 Thai baht a day, and great massages for 350 Thai baht (RM42).
We noticed some elephants on the island, which gave us a thrill until we realised they were chained. How sad.
We stayed at Kacha Resort, located on a white sands beach. It was the most popular hotel and a godsend, especially during low season when some of the other beaches are very quiet.
I would definitely recommend the resort – the breakfast was quite varied and delicious. Even in the low season, the staff are very accommodating. The wifi is good and the rooms are comfortable. The shower was a bit average though, as the water wasn’t always hot.
Things to do at Koh Chang
- There are gorgeous waterfalls on Ko Chang – we did a guided hike which was so cool! The national park entry fees are exorbitantly high, so try to visit all the restricted waterfalls in one day. It will cost you 200 baht per adult. For the more adventurous, book a guide to take you higher up to Khlong Plu waterfall. It takes 3-4 hours to complete for a 5km round trip. It was so exciting! Maybe at times a bit too exciting, due to strong river currents, but definitely recommended.
- Snorkeling – google waves and visibility before you go and find out exactly how far the boat will take you. We were on a 45 minute boat ride in stormy seas to snorkel at three low visibility sites. We saw lots of interesting things, but it was not the clear waters the brochures advertised.
- Check the weather before you go – we endured stormy seas, so we didn’t swim by the beach the whole duration of our stay.
- Pre-order your local sim card from KLOOK at RM20/8 days with unlimited data. Easy pick up from arrivals hall.
- Taxi rides on Ko Chang are on average 50-70 baht per person, so it is easier and more cost friendly to rent a bike for the day, if you want to go exploring.
- Google translate doesn’t work that well with Thai, so maybe it’s good to get some catchy phrases handy like “No sugar, please”. All the drinks at Ko Chang seem to come either ‘sweet’ or ‘very sweet’.
- Bring cash, as many places do not accept credit cards. They do have ATMs on the island, but they charge you 220 baht (RM26) for withdrawals.
How to get to Ko Chang
There are no direct flights from KL to Koh Chang. Our journey from KL was a 13 hours door-to-door journey, including a 2 hour flight to Bangkok, a 5 hour taxi ride to Trat and a 1 hour ferry from there to Ko Chang.
From Bangkok airport, you take a taxi or flight to Trat, the local town you catch the ferry from to Ko Chang. We took a five hour taxi ride through mostly flat, straight roads and at such comfort for a price of 4900 baht (RM 590), with several stops along the way. We thought it was very convenient. There is a flight to Trat from Bangkok, but only one which departs at 11am, so we missed it. Flight tickets costs approximately RM329 per person. The ferry ride from Trat to Ko Chang takes 30 minutes, and we paid 120 baht (RM14) for the four of us.
When you return to Bangkok, ensure the taxi takes the right ferry, as the wrong one could add hours onto your return! If you’ve got time, please take a few days to explore the city, famous for its great shopping, vibrant nightlife, and weekend markets. More ideas for visiting Bangkok with children here.
We were happy to notice that there are no longer any covid restrictions upon entering Thailand. Just arrive, show your vaccines certificates and enter the country. If you don’t have vaccine certificates, you may have to show your PCR or RTK test. Conditions are always changing, so please do check the Thai immigration website for more info.