05 May 2017
Very often people are asking me how to do if they have an early flight from Bangkok to their home country.
Leaving Koh Chang the same day is impossible if you need to be at the Suvarnabhumi Airport very early. The first ferry starts at 6:30am, the first plane from Trat airport leaves at 8:45am which means you will never succeed to leave from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport before 11:00am in the best case. You will have to sacrifice the last evening and spend it near the airport or sleep inside the airport which is not the nicest way to end your holidays.
If you want to travel with a minimum of stress, just leave Koh Chang one day before your departure from Bangkok. Travel by plane, by bus, by shared minibus or with a private driver without been obliged to look at your watch every 10 minutes wondering if you will make it.
Once at a airport hotel, just enjoy your last evening in Thailand and be as relax as you can. Almost all airport hotels offer a 24-hour shuttle service to the airport (most of the time for free).
I have already reviewed 2 airport hotels where I have stayed, Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport and Best Western Premier Amaranth Suvarnabhumi Airport. Both are nice and very close to the airport.
Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa is a 5-star and new hotel, more luxurious than the 2 previous I visited. I saw a very good deal on Booking.com and I decided to spend 2 nights and see if it was a good choice or not.
I booked a "Grande Club Room" which was named on the booking website "SPG Member Room" which included the breakfast, free Wi-Fi and other benefits. When I checked-in I was sure to not be in Koh Chang anymore, it was a completely different style and environment, you won't find backpackers in this hotel.
The Concierge brought us to our room and when he opened the door my first word was "wow". The room was very spacious, the large bathroom was opened to the room, a chic and modern decoration and a wide balcony with a beautiful view to the golf course.
It's not a cheap hotel but you get what you are paying for, even more than what you have paid. This hotel is for now the best one I can recommend close to the airport. If you can, spend more than a night, the pleasure will be bigger.
02 May 2017
Another long weekend has gone and Koh Chang is now back to the low season mood and it's again very calm.
So what has happened the last days?
Saturday early in the morning we had a big storm with very strong winds. There hasn't been any big damages except on the main road between Klong Son and White Sand Beach, just on the big hills. Huge trees went down, cutting electric cables and shutting down the traffic for several hours. But the most important is that nobody got injured and luckily this happened when there was no traffic.
Again, thank you to the volunteers of The Koh Chang Rescue who did their best to remove the trees and clean the road.
In the afternoon the sky was blue again and the good weather was back. This is Koh Chang, nobody can predict the weather and it can change very fast.
And like these trees cutting the road were not enough, there were several hours waiting lines on the mainland going to the pier.
On Sunday the weather was beautiful like nothing has happened the day before. But keep in mind that the rainy season will start soon. It can still be warm and sunny like it can rain cats and dogs.
And as always when there are long weekends or Thai holidays, people who came to Koh Chang will leave from Koh Chang which means there was again very long waiting queue in Koh Chang on Monday. At around noon, the queue was up to White Sand Beach.
Since last Saturday, Yoga courses have started again every morning at 8.00 am at Blue Lagoon Resort. This time of the day and this place are perfect for relaxation. If you want more information about the courses, contact Blue Lagoon directly or send me a message and I will forward it.
This year several whale sharks have been seen at the HTMS Chang Wreck. This is a beautiful, impressive and harmless animal.
There is still a free Padi open water diving course to win. This is organised by The Koh Chang Guide in association with BB Divers. To participate, just enter your name here: http://bit.ly/2oQ7jho
The new ferry service from Sattahip (45 minutes from Pattaya downtown) to Bang Bao in Koh Chang should start this month. This ferry will bring only passengers, no vehicles, not even bikes, just 90 pedestrians.
It has already been announced few weeks ago but there isn't any real information about the time tables and prices. The tickets should be around 1200 baht per person and it should be 3 hours faster than driving.
They will also operated trips from Sattahip to Hua Hin and the price announced is 1250 baht per passenger.
There are now different opinions. Some people are scared that the tranquility of Koh Chang disappears, locals see a good business opportunity and others think it's a good thing and will avoid dangerous road trips.
Let's see how things will progress!
26 April 2017
There are 2 more places I would like to recommend you in Koh Chang.
The first one is Suncity View, located in Lonely Beach, it's a new restaurant owned and managed by Miss Kiekie, a lovely woman whose big passion is cooking.
Her food are very good and not expensive at all, from the traditional Pad Thai to the Western Burger, and all re-visited in her own way and style.
The restaurant is opened daily from 10.30 am to 10.30 pm and there is free Wi-Fi.
I like the relaxing atmosphere, inside the restaurant or outside on the beach. Evenings are fantastic, watching the sunset, and enjoying the food and drinks. Drinks are awesome, whether for the Thai style milk ice tea, the shakes, the smoothies or her special Breezer cocktails.
And the most amazing are the Snow-ices, a huge mountain of flavoured ice covered with sweet sauces, ice-creams and other delicious toppings and surrounded by home made cakes and fresh fruits.
For about 360 baht you will get a huge dessert. It may sound a bit expensive but you will get for your money and if you succeed to eat it all, you won't need another one.
And for about 50 baht you can get a dish with crab salad rolls and an omelette for example, which is quite cheap.
The second place I would like to recommend is in a totally different style and area. It's Baum's Restaurant & Butchers Shop, more exactly knows as Restaurant & Metzgerei Baum. This place is owned by Holger Baum, a Bavarian butcher who has also a big passion for his work and has an old and long experience.
The restaurant is located in Klong Prao, on the road to Klong Plu waterfall.
Holger is doing himself all kind of sausages, hams, bacons, schnitzels, meatloaves and other German specialties, using only natural and fresh ingredients. You can eat at his restaurant or buy and take away. Meat lovers will enjoy this place!
If you feel comfortable to drive in Koh Chang, Holger has also 2 cars which can be rented per day, per week or per month.
If you want to get in touch with Holger, you can contact him from his Facebook personal page or call him on 092 597 1665.
24 April 2017
Songkran fever has gone. The island has been like every year, very busy and noisy during this long weekend but now everybody has left and the calm is back.
Beaches are totally empty and resorts have started to propose lower rates. Look at the links below, you may find some very good deals.
The weather is now very hot, cloudy with a burning wind and it's the time of the year where tides are very low making the beaches very wide.
Danny Tattoo from Lonely Beach is renting a fully furnished room with aircon and a motorbike. The rent can be per day, per month or even per year. Located on the main road, close to all Lonely Beach activities and at only 50 meters from the beach.
If you are interested, please contact Danny directly on his Facebook page or send me a message or email and I will forward it to him.
The excellent Koh Chang Guide is now organising, in association with BB Divers, a lottery to win a PADI Open Water Diver Course (or two Discover Scuba Diving courses, or 4 free two tank fun dives, no cash equivalent) to be taken before June 30th 2018.
How to participate? Nothing more easy, just enter your name here: http://bit.ly/2oQ7jho
12 April 2017
Another resort has been added to my recommended list. Nature Beach Resort is located on the south part of Lonely Beach. It's a resort for budget travellers who are looking for some comfort but also for a beautiful beach front, a swimming-pool, a bar, a restaurant and lots of fun.
They have different types of bungalows spread in their natural tropical garden. The Rocks bar and restaurant are famous for their good and cheap food but also for the location, right in front of the beach. DJ parties are organised during the high season attracting hundreds of people.
Tomorrow will start Songkran which is the biggest water fight festival in Thailand and the traditional Thai New Year.
It will be celebrated from the 13th to 15th of April. It was originally celebrated as a way for the Thai people to sprinkle water on their family members and elders for good fortune and pay their respects to images of the beloved Buddha. Today, the festival has transitioned into 3 days of water play fun, splashing locals and visitors alike with buckets of water, water hoses and super soakers as they gather in the streets.
If you are visiting Thailand for the first time and haven't heard about Songkram, be prepared. If you go outside, protect all which is not waterproof like your passport, camera, phone,... into plastic bags or waterproof bags. And remember, it's just fun!
Songkran is not all about water fights out on the streets. There is a more traditional side of the new year festival that is celebrated inside temples. This involves the bathing of Buddha images and monks with scented water. Unlike the water fights with big guns and buckets, in temples a small bowl is used to gently pour water onto the hands of the monks.
If you can, come to visit Wat Klong Prao (Klong Prao temple) even if you are not Buddhist. The temple is celebrating Songkran and is looking like a small fair. The evening is the best time for the visit and just nearby is a small market where you can buy all kind of street food as well as clothes, shoes and all kind of "fashion" accessories.
There are other rituals and merit-making rites that people engage in at Songkran. In addition to the traditional cleaning of the home and bidding the old year adieu, these include making offerings to local temples and to the monks. The offerings include preserved foods cooked dishes, fresh fruits and new robes for the monks. People build also sand piles on the temple grounds and these sand piles represent personal pagodas built as part of the merit-making ritual.
(pictures: Songkran 2016 in Koh Chang)
09 April 2017
This week the weather has been up and down. There has been heavy rains but also sunny and hot days. Koh Chang has been very quiet and beaches were empty. But with Easter and Songkran the island is getting more visitors this weekend and next week. After that the calm will be back.
As you can see on the pictures below taken from Nature Beach Resort's bar in Lonely Beach, one day the weather was grey and the day after the blue sky was back.
Yesterday after a hot and beautiful day, we got another beautiful sunset. The sky turned from pink to purple then to orange and red.
The only private transport I recommend is Ing Taxi (www.ingtaxi.com), all the people who have travelled with him have been very satisfied by his services. It's now possible to book him online straight from his website or just to ask for a price. Just fill the form and he will answer you as fast as possible.
05 April 2017
It took time but here they are, the 47 guesthouses, hotels and resorts awarded this year by TripAdvisor. Congratulations to all of them!
To make the list clearer I dispatched those places in different areas and in a random order:
- Klong Son with only one resort this year.
- White Sand Beach with 3 resorts.
- Pearl Beach with with 3 places.
- Chai Chet with 2 resorts.
- Klong Prao with 13 places.
- Kai Bae with 8 places.
- Lonely Beach with 6 places.
- Bailan with 2 places.
- Bang Bao with 5 places.
- The East Coast with 4 resorts.
If you own or manage a place that I have forgotten or if you notice a mistake, please contact me and I will correct it.
25 March 2017
Few years ago I decided to inventory all the resorts, hotels and guesthouses which have been awarded by TripAdvisor. It's a good advertising for those places and a reward for them for the good work they have done but it's also a good motivation for the others which are not in the list. But I did it more for you than for the resorts and hotels. If you have never been on Koh Chang and don't know the island, it will give you a large choice of "trusted" places and avoid bad surprises.
Searching all the places which have been awarded is not the easiest thing like they are more than 200 on Koh Chang. On top of that it's changing every year. You can imagine it's not an easy work but it's fun to do it and I know that it will help some of you.
This year there has been 47 places awarded by TripAdvisor if I didn't forget any. For now I added 25 in the list. It may look a bit messy but don't worry, I will update the map and add categories.
For now you can find this list here.
Meanwhile Koh Chang is getting quiet, beaches are deserted and resorts have started to propose lower rates. It has been raining this week and of course when it starts to rain roads are very slippery and all the time there are some accidents. Please be careful if you are on Koh Chang when it's raining.
And yesterday BB Divers organised freediving on the HTMS Chang ship wreck. Here are today's short news!
(Pictures copyright: BB Divers Koh Chang)
19 March 2017
Abella Cuisine is one of my favourite restaurants on Koh Chang. It's located in Chai Chet, at Coconut Plaza.
The place is very calm, slightly away from the main road. The staff is always helpful, the service is fast, you don't have to wait hours to be served and the food are not expensive at all.
I like almost all what they are proposing in their menu, Thai or "Italian" food. You can't expect to have the same pizza or lasagne than in Italy but what is doing Abella is very good, and it's fresh. They do their own pastas as well as pizza bases, nothing industrial and frozen like some other places.
This time I just ordered a seabass with lemon butter and of course I couldn't leave without the banana split :)
Trash Hero Koh Chang
Cambodian Kids Care Center
Happy Dogs Koh Chang