Today is the day, the day we get out from under the bed covers and see what Ko Chang really have to offer. Why today I heard you ask? Well for the first time since we arrived the sun is shining and there is hardly a cloud in the sky. The day turned out to be fabulous, great for photographing and exploring the island.
Our first stop was to the Kai Bae point where there was a really nice TRAT sign that made for a cracking photo. The view was fantastic, it really is amazing now much difference it makes when the sun is shining and the sea is made a turquoise blue.
Jumping back on the bike we now had the long drive up to the far north of the island so the uncharted territory of the east coast. It was immediately apparent that the west side is the tourist side. The east has absolutely nothing, just perfectly smooth twisting roads that provides and amazing ride linking beautiful bays to bays You do seldom pass a small resort, I guess for people who like to get out of the main area and just relax by a pool all day, I hope their restaurant is nice or they are a bit stuck!
Our destination was the very south of the east coast, not an easy feat but we could see there was a war memorial down there and had to check it out. Luckily we brimmed the tank at the north of the island, you are not going o get fuel down here. Tackling some of the steepest and twisty roads we have ever encountered we was really enjoying the adventure. That was until the road turned to dirt! We pushed on, even after a puncture scare that would have left us in serious trouble miles and miles from anywhere, or anyone!
Finally, we made it to a quite little beach at the very southern tip of Ko Chang. The war memorial was is two in two distinct parts. One was the memorial itself and the other, I think, told the story of what happened. Unfortunately everything written in Thai, but based on the pictures we concluded that there was a big navy battle off the southern and a lot of Thai ships, and lives, were lost.
Don’t let us put you off going in high season, there are resorts down there, they were just all closed for the rainy season.
Making it back up the to the main road we both made an audible sign of relief and pushed on to the small marina for dinner. The restaurant we chose was overlooking the marina and was a small glimpse into out future travels, moored up is some small town enjoying a nice meal. The Pad Thai we ordered was delicious but our whole lunch was ruined by the fact that I had a phone call to say one of our properties had a water leak! I was on the phone the entire time I was eating. Not the relaxing lunch I was hoping for.
However, all was soon forgotten as we jumped back on the bike and was cruising, uninterrupted, all the way back along the beautiful east coast to the popular White Sands area on the north west coast of Ko Chang.
White Sands is the largest and busiest area on Ko Chang and because the sun was still shining we took the opportunity to explore by walking along the beach and then looped back around to check out the shops. I can see why it’s so popular, you have everything you could need all in one area but it just depends if that’s what you are looking for. If you want to get a little more of a local experience head further south to Bang Bao which is a beautiful little fishing village on the south west of the island. It had a spectacular pier full of floating accommodations and restaurants, it’s huge!
The rest of our days here will be spent locking in our room so what better time to give you our summary of Ko Chang and most of all, should you go? We both really enjoyed Ko Chang and its up there with one of the best “all round” islands Thailand has to offer. To really enjoy it you do need transport such as a bike or car (cars can be taken over on the ferry) because everything is so spread out and taxis cost a fortune. Our weeks bike rental (£24) was less then one couple paid to get to and from a single restaurant Owch. There is not much to do in terms of getting a real Thai experience, and much better beaches can be found elsewhere. So Ko Chang is probably not the best place for your first Thailand experience but should definitely be considered if you want to go somewhere you have not been before, or you want to mix Siam Ream and a beach holiday in one