Kok Chang is an island located at the east of Bangkok (about 200 to 300km). It’s located about 65km off Chandapuri (a town famous for its gemstones). There is an airport at Trat that you can take a flight to, from there, you can go to the Kok Chang pier via taxi. You need to get to Kok Chang by ferry, followed by a sawngthaew (small van taxis) for about 50 baht to the hotel that you wish to stay in. There are many hotels, inns and guesthouses to choose from.
What do you get:
- White sand beaches
- Probably not as crowded as other beaches (sorry, I’ve not been to other island in Thailand)
- day tours to visit surrounding islands and diving through beautiful corals
- dophin shows and elephant rides
- jungle hiking/riding with big motorcars
- renting a motorbike/car and riding round the island on your own- saw a number of tourist doing it (but according to the locals, the price will cost almost the same if you are travelling using sawngthaew as bike rental are quite expensive compared to other places like Chiang Mai). Still, the feeling of wind blowing across your face and hair-total freedom and bliss.
For me, I only went there to relax at the beachside and did not venture to any tour.
Tips for travellers (low to medium budget)
This is for travellers who are not travelling in luxury, like me, who often travel budget style:
- Kok Chang is a tourist island, so hot dishes will be slightly more expensive compared to Bangkok. Dishes aside, you need not buy snacks or water- as there are a number of 7 Elevens (opened 24hrs a day) in the island- selling snack food, bread, water and even travel essentials at reasonable price.
- A number of locals there can speak at least a little English
- Renting a motorbike will cost about 200 to 250 baht per day, excluding gasoline
- Don’t carry a trolley bag- use a backpack. This is because if you go to Kok Chang, the passagers are seated upstairs, which is accessible via a staircase. Carting a trolley bag up and down the stairs can be quite a challenge. Furthermore, if you travel in a sawngthaew, it’s hard to cart up and down. Anyway, if you are travelling from low to medium budget, it’s always good to invest in a good backpack.
- If you like to travel light, you may be bringing fewer clothes. If you intend to wash your clothes, then bring along a small plastic container, big enough for your clothes to soak in. You can use it as a makeshift luggage compartment sorter. You can easily buy soap powder from any grocery stores or 7 Eleven. Portable clothes line and a hanger or two may come handy. I normally prefer to wash my clothes during travel because my travel duration, especially to Thailand are relatively long and I do not want to carry too much clothes. (picture from left: my Prickly Heat powder- available at any 7 Eleven, soap powder and Felton container where I mix my 3-in-1 coffee- generally I prefer coffee from Malaysia so I bring my own 3-in-1).