Saturday, 8 September 2012

Koh Chang

Jessica's first trip to Thailand was during October 2007 when she was only 7 months old. Her Grandmother and Aunty who live in Chiang Mai in the north of the country, wanted to see her, as you can imagine, as did the rest of the family.

Anyway during this trip we had planned to have a few days in Koh Chang, which is a small island, famous for it pristine white beaches, clear blue sea and unspoilt coastline.

As eight of us were travelling we decided the best course of action was to hire a minibus and travel through the night to avoid most of the traffic, which can be a nightmare in Thailand.

We left at 6pm in the evening. The driver stopped at various points of the journey to stretch his legs, grab a bite to eat and drink and to freshen up. It also gave us a chance to take a break from the boredom of the journey (well those of us who couldn't sleep) like me.

koh chang
A fishing boat catching the evening meal
The journey went as planned and we reached Trat (where we would catch the ferry) about 8am in the morning. We had a short wait for the ferry ride which took us about half an hour to reach Koh Chang. As we approached the island from the ferry it look absolutely beautiful and we couldn't wait to get there.

After a short drive over some hilly terrain (with great views of the sea) we finally reached the hotel, the KC Grande Hotel and Resort. We booked the beach huts or bungalows which are only a few metres from the sea. The resort is located on White Sand Beach (Haad Sai Khao) which is lined with palm trees and is one of the most popular beaches on the island.

Koh Chang

Having visited Phuket and Pattaya it was clear that Koh Chang was much more tranquill and lacked the hustle and bustle of the other two. However this was OK with us as we only planned on some gentle relaxation as my wife wanted to spend time catching up with her family, and they of course wanted to spend time with Jessica.

Koh Chang did offer some excursions, especially over the border into Cambodia. For those who like a little bit of adventure there are places that cater for scuba diving, speed boating and elephant trekking too. Information on these activities is available from the tourist kiosk in town or from the hotel reception.

koh chang coastline
This was the view of the coastline just a few paces from
our beach hut
We spent the days generally relaxing laying on the beach and going for the occasional swim in the sea, although the hotel did have its own swimming pool. The sea was great for swimming as it was very calm and relatively quiet as I think most people must have opted for the pool.

There was a beach restauarant close to the hotel, which we used most of the time. The menu included many Thai dishes plus a range of continental dishes so there was something for everyone. As you can imagine seafood was very popular here.

The restaurants where we went for our evening meal
During the evening we took a stroll along the beach, stopping at various bars for a drink and a restaurant for our evening meal. The tables are all set up on the beach. There's something magical about having your meal on the beach at 9pm with the temperature in the mid 20s, with soft music and the sound of the sea in the background, especially when you come from the UK.

The view from the ferry as we left Koh Chang
After a few days we headed to Kanchanaburi, where we stayed a coulpe of days before we returned to Chiang Mai for the remainder of the holiday.