Category: Islands and beaches


Just back from my short trip to Koh Chang. This time I left Pinky and Tack at home as I wanted to take the motorbike for a spin. Actually I cheated a bit by taking the overnight train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and took the motorbike on the train with me. Arrived in Bangkok around 7:30am and manged to get out of Bangkok before the worst of the traffic clogged up the roads. The drive from Bangkok to the ferry port at Laem Ngob, Trat was around 300km, arrived in Laem Ngop around 2pm and I was kicking back on the beach by late afternoon.

I was kind of lucky with the weather, I was expecting rain with it being the low (and wet) season in Koh Chang however I had 4 good days of sunshine. This was the quietest I have seen Koh Chang, I noticed this when I sat on  Klong Prao beach, I guess this beach must be around 3km long and I pretty much had the whole of it to myself for the day… nice!

Advertisements

As thing were quiet with business in Chiang Mai we thought we would escape the heat of the city for a few days and get a bit of beach time in on Koh Chang.

My first time in Koh Chang was 11 years ago now and I remember staying in a bamboo bungalow on White Sand Beach for a couple of hundred Baht a night. Things have changed a lot in Koh Chang and the last of the bamboo bungalows on White Sand Beach have finally gone replaced by upscale resorts. A few years back a few girly bars had moved into to the south part of White Sand, on this visit I notice that these are also on the increase. Anyway, yes things have changed on Koh Chang but I still love this place and along with Koh Phangan is one of my favourite island destinations in Thailand. As for bamboo bungalows and other rustic beach side accommodation there is still plenty  around on the beaches heading south.  However on this trip Tack and I did stay in a relatively plush resort, this was mainly for the convenience of having wifi  internet in the room as I did have a couple of hours of emailing everyday.

Just got back to Chiang Mai from our short holidaiy in Hua Hin. Tack has wanted to take her parents away for a short holiday for some time, so we all (including Tacks sister and nephew) headed down for a few days by the beach. Hua Hin wasn’t my first choice of beach destination (I wanted to go to Koh Chang) but Tack hadn’t been to Hua Hin before and her parents were quite keen on Hua Hin so I was well out voted. as for Pinky it was her first time on the beach and she couldn’t care less where she was as long as she had the sand and sea to play in, which she enjoyed very much.

While in Hua Hin we stayed at a hotel called G house which was kind of nice. We pre arranged (and pre paid) for their transfer service from Hualumpong Train Station in Bangkok to their hotel in Hua Hin as we wanted to make things easy. Anyway they managed to mess this up and no one was at the station to meet us. After a few calls to the hotel they finally managed to find a car to collect us which wasn’t much good as there were seven of us and luggage! In the end we arranged our own transport. This wasn’t a great first impression of G House Hua Hin. Anyway G House was a nice place to stay the place was brand new and well run with very friendly and helpful staff. It was quite a way from the beach but they had a free taxi service into town and to the beach at set times. Outside of these times the charge was 100 baht each way which wasn’t bad considering there were seven of us. They had a reliable free wifi service which was one of the reasons we chose the place as I still had a bit of work to catch up on. Our room was just by a wifi access point so the wifi signial was excellent but I could see they had the whole hotel well covered. I have stayed in so many places which advertised wifi and the coverage or reliability has so often been crappy, but no complaints at G house.

We needed to catch an earlyish flight back to Bangkok from Krabi so we decided to spend a night in Krabi town. Stayed at the Krabi River Hotel (600 Baht/night low season price) We made it out to Railay for a bit of beach time then headed around the headland to catch the spectacular sunset from Ao Nang beach….best see the pics.

Koh Lanta

On my travels over the last 10 years I must have passed through Krabi about 15 times, I’ve been to Phuket about 6 times, Phi Phi 10 times and out to Railay beach and Ao Nang on more occasions than I can remember. But I have never made it to Koh Lanta, so while Tack and I were in the south we thought we would get over there for a few days to check it out. We stayed at Lanta Long Beach bungalows in a beach side bungalow which usually goes for 2,500Baht/night in the high season however we got a low season price of 600 Baht, a real bargain for a new bungalow with air-con, cable TV and hot water and it was only a stones throw from the beach! Lanta Long beach Bungalow also has a swimming pool which looked great but we never got around to using it as we preferred to play in the waves. We had a good few days there and hung out with an English couple (Ian and Ruth) who were way to Oz to start a new life.

Overall impressions of Koh Lanta were good. We visited in low season which was very quiet with very little nightlife and few other tourists so a good place to come this time of year if you want to escape the crowds on Phuket, Phi Phi etc. My main complaint will be the cleanliness of the beaches the large waves this time of year wash up a lot of flotsam and garbage. In the high season most beach side bungalow operations would clean the beach in front of their resorts however as it was low season and they didn’t have many guests they probably thought is wasn’t worth their while.