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Guide for the best time on Koh Chang!
Koh Chang is one of the largest Thai islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It’s arguably one of the least visited places we found in Thailand. Steep jungle-covered peaks, hiking trails, water falls and unspoiled beaches are more than reason enough to visit Koh Chang. We came on the recommendation of our friends from home who said this was their favourite place! It’s very spread out, so its remote ruggedness is maintained; even though this place is slowly creeping up the tourist list. If you’re after a proper slice of Thailand, not the Koh Phangan tourism craziness, Koh Chang is definitely your place.
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Also read: How to Get to Koh Chang
Where to Stay – Hippie Hut
Our friends recommended this place to us and we raised HELL with them when we arrived! Our room wasn’t what we were expecting at all, and let in all the elements! We stayed in one of the concrete huts, not with a sea view. We looked at the sea view huts which were A LOT nicer with little porch hammocks. Unfortunately they were all booked up. The place itself is really cute, with lots of little huts in the jungle. The communal area is really cool with lots of art on sale and reggae vibe. We’d definitely recommend this place if you can get a sea view bungalow. The concrete huts are REALLY basic but they do have nets so you’re safe from mozzies at night. It’s quite far from the main area in Koh Chang but has a couple of really cool bars close by. If you’re wanting to explore Koh Chang you’ll need to rent a bike, which you can also do here.
Bang Bao Fishing Village
Bangbao is probably the furthest point out from the ferry port where you’ll get dropped off. However, it’s the best place if you want to get away from touristy bars and experience a more authentic side to Thailand. It’s still pretty touristy but it has a proper rustic feel and the bars and restaurants definitely feel more authentic! You can expect beach shacks, palm trees, sandy beach and proper relaxation.
The pier in Bang Bao feels like a little village in itself! It’s jam-packed with restaurants, diving shops, trinket shops and of course, the freshest fish! Your trip to Bangbao won’t be complete until you’ve visited the pier.
Ido Ido Bar
About 8 minutes from Hippy Hut, you’ll stumble across one of the best bars EVER! Complete with its own tiny beach to spend your afternoon lounging around. We ate and drank here a lot and everything was exceptional. We had Thai Green curry served in a fresh coconut, fresh scallops, so many beers and lapped up all the sun. Ido Ido is a must!
If you need a break from the sun, or just a change of scenery, head over to Rasta View. This place makes amazing cocktails and as the name suggests, provides you with a beautiful view! Low tables and cushions on the floor, you can’t get much more laid back than that. The owners are great and you’ll be leaving here with new friends 100%!
The Lonely Beach area is by far the most popular area for backpackers/ party goers. There’s a lot more going on in this area in terms of bars and restaurants (more touristy)! It’s a great day trip and boasts amazing sunsets. However, if you’re after authentic Thailand and to get away from the world, then Bangbao is the place to stay. If you like a more lively scene (still no where near as lively as Koh Phangan), Lonely beach is your best bet. The moped ride is ~15 mins, or an hours walk. We’d definitely recommend biking it; Koh Chang roads don’t have many street lights so the walk could be a bit dangerous after sunset.
Lonely Beach is a lot bigger than Bangbao (which isn’t difficult, Bangbao is tiny). It’s ideal to catch the sun ALL DAY, so bring your sun cream! There’s a couple of small establishments on the beach for refreshments. Most places offer beach chairs if you buy food or drink from them. Lonely Beach is the best place for a beautiful, unobstructed sunset, you’ll feel like you’re in the lion king! Be sure to bring some warm clothes to change into if you’re coming from Bangbao; it’s a bit of a ride and it gets pretty chilly on the bike in the evening.
As we said, the Lonely Beach area has a lot more to offer on the restaurant front. We chose to dine at Dang Seafood as it was the busiest, which usually means the best! They have so much Seafood on offer at a really reasonable price. We had salt and pepper squid, BBQ’d King Prawns and Seafood noodles they tasted so fresh and so delicious!
Koh Chang is still not top of the tourist list, so the sooner you can get to this beautiful green island the better! There’s so much more to explore here! We were at the start of our Thailand travels so didn’t stay long, but made the most out of relaxing! From what we saw (Bang Bao and Lonely Beach) and the way we spent our time, Koh Chang is amazing for travellers and holiday makers alike! Check out our post on how to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok.