I’m not a fan of laying at beaches where you feel packed like sardines. I also prefer to see the beach instead of a huge mass of people. After 1,5 months of travelling without a stop at a beach, I really missed the sound of the waves, the smell of the salty air, the feeling of walking through the sand and for sure stunning sunsets.
Therefore I googled to find my personal paradise and ended up on pages like “Faszination Südostasien” that recommends to go to Koh Chang island. Close to the Cambodian border and therefore easier and faster to reach from Bangkok, it was described as a nice little island and not that crowded as the islands in the South. The two smaller islands Kho Mak and Koh Kood close to Koh Chang are supposed to be little paradises as well, but offer almost only expensive resorts. Not a big choice of hostels. Therefore I decided for Koh Chang.
How to get from Bangkok to Koh Chang? I’m quite sure I found the cheapest and easiest way from Bangkok to Koh Chang. The government bus 999 leaves from Ekkamai bus terminal (next to the MRT station) directly to the ferry pier on the mainland. It takes 5-6 hours depending on the traffic, costs you 245 Baht one way and leaves at 7.45 am and 9.45 am. The tickets can only be bought directly at the bus station. I booked a hostel close to the bus station and bought the ticket one day before departure, just to be sure. When entering the bus you get a snack and water. There will be one stop for about 15 minutes.
After arriving at the pier you have to buy a ferry ticket. Pay attention! As usual they want to sell a higher priced ferry ticket + taxi. Only buy the ferry ticket for 80 Baht (one way) and get a taxi on the other side. They will wait there and charge you a cheaper price. The same bus returns to Bangkok at 2 pm from the ferry pier on the mainland.
There are many hostels or other cheap accommodations to choose from on Koh Chang island. It depends on your personal interests which place is best for you. When I chose my accommodation I looked for a place that is not in the main tourist area, close to the beach, has a nice atmosphere and good reviews, as I wanted to spend my days relaxing.
I finally found my little paradise when I found Pajamas Hostel on Koh Chang. Good location away from the tourist areas, great variety of facilities like a swimming pool and shared kitchen and close to the beach. The cheapest accommodation you can book is an 8 bed dormitory. I liked staying there as they have air condition and curtains in front of the beds for a bit privacy.
When I finally arrived at Pajamas Hostel in the West of Koh Chang, it was even better than expected. The hostel is painted all in white and equipped with colourful and cosy furniture. I liked the atmosphere from the first second I came in. The reception and shared area are created with an open space architecture that makes you feel like living in a pretty cool beach club. You can just wear your swim suits the whole day if you want. Getting up from my super cosy beanbag and jumping into the pool right in front of me was great. Everyone was so relaxed and happy.
I especially liked that the hostel is very clean and the staff very helpful. They helped me removing the ant army crossing my bed immediately. The shared kitchen is well equipped and you can do your laundry in the hostel. The shared bathrooms are modern and clean as well. 7/11, the shop to survive, is a 10 minutes walk from the hostel. But there is also a small market with lots of fruits to buy just across the street.
Just to mention: the included breakfast was awesome. It is serve in the restaurant next to the hostel and contains 2 types of toast, jam, butter, pineapple, watermelon, pancakes or waffles, fried rice or pad thai, tea, coffe and water. It was a buffet breakfast, so you can eat as much as you want.
Khlong Phrao Beach is only a 2 minutes walk from Pajamas hostel. You can hear and see the ocean from the hostel pool. The only thing that separates the hostel from the beach are a few bungalows from the resort next to the hostel. The beach was little frequented when I’ve been there in the beginning of December. It’s a nice white sandy beach and beautiful blue water. Only some joggers came along in the evening, when you watch the sunset. During day time people from the resorts laid at the beach, but not too many. The only annoying thing are the vendors at every beach, as soon as there is a resort. But still it’s a less frequented beach with places to relax underneath palm trees or watching the sea from a swing.
My favourite place
When I’m at a beach I like to have a drink in a nice bar or restaurant with beach view and acceptable prices. That place is actually 4 minutes away from the hostel. The resort Flora I Talay has a restaurant and bar right at the beach, from where I watched the most beautiful sunsets ever. A Coconut for 50 Baht or a small Chang beer for 60 Baht were well affordable. The food is a bit more expensive but very good. I watched the sunset there every evening during my 5 days stay on Koh Chang at Pajamas hostel.
Things to do
The island is not too big. You can rent a scooter and drive around the island to discover for example the East coast, where there are no tourists at all. Many tours are offered like trekking, snorkelling and diving. Depending on where you stay you can walk to some waterfalls and swim in refreshing water after you nearly died from the heat. In the tourist areas there are lots of restaurants, bars and shopping possibilities. I did a snorkel trip with 4 snorkel stops which was quite nice.
The hostel was a bit more expensive but totally worth the price. On Koh Chang I found my little paradise I was looking for: great accommodation, nice less frequented beach, drinking a coconut while watching the sunset and just feeling super happy.
Do you have any questions or have some more information to share? Then just put them in the comments.