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Check out these popular cities on Koh Chang

When the afternoon rolled around, we grabbed our towels and Kindles and wandered down to the beach. This was a time for relaxation: sunbathing, swimming, and reading, drinking fresh coconuts and waiting for the sun to set.

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The final third of our day was for working. Putting off a visit to our former paradise, however, quickly proved to be a mistake. Still, as we weaved our way south along sweeping curves, we chatted about the restaurants we used to eat at, and laughed at the time I drunkenly attempted to show off my rap battle skills after one too many sips from a bucket. We then spent the next half an hour wandering in circles in search of it.

One of the first lessons I learned while travelling is to make the most of any situation that arises. The best thing I could do was to take advantage of this opportunity. I grabbed us a couple of Singha beers, ordered some chicken wings and fries, and laid back on the deck to gaze out at the nearby islands. After lunch, we laid out on the beach to read, interspersing our time on the sand with swims in the water, all while I kept the sharpest of eyes out for any wretched jellyfish.

While I was splashing around, I tried to remember how it felt to be in this exact spot six years ago. How I was brimming with wonder to finally be in Thailand. We returned to Klong Prao that evening to pack our bags and prepare for ten days of island-hopping. My second visit to the island had been far calmer this time around, with no hangovers to sleep off, no rap battling to cringe over, and no banana pancakes to indulge in.

You can book this advance from 12Go Asia. Obviously you should always wear a helmet. Stand on the side of the road and when you see one of these pick-up trucks heading your way, flag them down, tell the driver where you want to go, and then squeeze in the back with the rest of the passengers.

Thailand Retreat | Trat | KCCB Koh Chang Cliff Beach Resort

There are no metered taxis on the island. They had great fruit smoothies, cold beer, and excellent Thai and Western options. I loved the Penang curry and also the — lol — bacon baguette. The massaman curry and tom yum soup were both excellent — this is probably the best restaurant in this area. My favourite bar in Klong Prao was Malibu Bar. A run-down reggae-themed hangout, I loved their strong cocktails, great music, friendly staff, and laidback vibe.

It sounds like the revisit was definitely my kind of travel nowadays! How do you make sure that your valuables are secure when you leave them in your room?

See the Best of Koh Chang Beaches & Resort (Elephant Island) HD

Do most hostiles have a lock box or do you take other measures? Dorm rooms will have lockers to keep your stuff safe in, so no need to worry about that. We will have to put Koh Chang on our list.

Pros & Cons of Thailand's Koh Chang island & its beaches

When I returned earlier this year, I was afraid we would hate it for all the reasons you mention. But it still held a real charm for us. We walked for miles every day, got lost down side streets in the old quarter, and found cute little coffee shops with nary a digital nomad in sight. Maybe give it another try? Koh Chang sounds wonderful, and keeps my Thailand dreams alive!

Reading this from Mam Kaibea beach in Koh Chang. Will definitely spend time on the other islands having read your post. Thank you! Complaining about their reasons for being there in this case, being a trendy digital nomad or complaining that there are too many of them. All while being part of the problem yourself. Oh, the irony. Chiang Mai has always been full of tourists — and I loved it for many years. A lot of the digital nomad behaviour I witnessed was rude and embarrassing, and it was unpleasant to be around. Lauren Published on November 27th, Koh Chang was the first Thai island I ever visited.

It was I was giddy with joy as I worked hard on chasing down the life I had always dreamed of. The same coach service also collects passengers at the bus terminal of Suvarnabhumi airport. It is advisable to book tickets, including the return journey, in Bangkok or run the risk of not finding a seat on the way back. There are almost no beaches on the this side of the island but there are spectacular sunrises and tranquility. The resort is popular with Thai families, many of whom have been regular visitors for more than a generation. Rooms and the restaurant itself are built on stilts over the water.

The resort can organise boat tours to private beaches on Lao Ya Nai and other uninhabited islands of the Mu Koh Chang national park, which covers the region. More demanding treks to the dramatic Khlong Neung or Kheeri Phet waterfalls are also close by. The cuisine is fresh and well-balanced and the spa treatments and herbal steam bath are indulgences open to everyone. As the crow flies, Bang Bao and Salak Phet, both in the south, are not that far apart, and, indeed, the plan was for them to be connected by a road that would ring the island.

The road was never finished, so the only way to drive from one to the other is to circle the whole island through the north. Or check prices for a private transfer at your hotel or with Explore Koh Chang see below. Now there are shops filled with T-shirts and trinkets, and seafood restaurants serving nearly identical, and largely unremarkable, menus.

Stay in Koh Chang's best hotels!

Despite encroaching on mainstream tourism, Bang Bao still has lots to recommend it. Book through one of the resorts featured here to avoid excursions that follow the day-tripping crowds and make multiple stops designed to sell passengers beer and soft drinks.

Koh Chang Weather

The beach of Khlong Kloi is about 2km from Bang Bao proper. The latter may not have a gorgeous pool and gardens but both hotels share the same white sandy beach — great for sunbathing or paddling off to explore by kayak. At the edge of the water, the hotel offers a view of the Bang Bao lighthouse, a small pool and a free shuttle boat to Bang Bao. After 20 years, the wooden bungalows were in serious disrepair and many were replaced last year by new rooms and villas.

Compact and relatively flat, Mak is well suited for cycling hire at the resort. Much of the island is still covered in plantations of rubber trees and Areca palms that produce betel nuts actually seeds — the mak that give the island its name.

Scattered around the island are odd statues depicting anatomically improbable women and whimsical animals, the work of late sculptor and local legend Khun Mr Somchai, who produced an oeuvre praised as art brut by some, dismissed as raunchy by others. Try the raw prawn salad or a fiery clear curry. A luxury resort project ground to a halt recently, leaving a haunting, nearly completed, construction site to explore.