For the first time traveling to Ko Chang, many people will go buy a package deal at Khao San Road. Yeah I did that too cos I thought it would be a lot easier that way and I would not have to worry about getting myself a boat ride etc. And yeah actually it wasnt bad and I would not complain a thing if it didnt take me almost the WHOLE day instead of 5 hours to get there.
Im not sure if its all the same for other tour companies or not but I would not take it as a whole. So this is just a warning.
First off, the van was one hour late. The van should have got to Khao San at 8am but we didnt see our van till almost 9am. Then the driver would go round picking up more people at a few different places nearby. Worse than that, I was buying a package to Ko Chang but in the same van, there were people going to Ko Samet also. So that means we would have to drop people off at Rayong for Ko Samet and then went to drop us off for Ko Chang. And eventhough it was more or less on the way to Trat, it was a waste of time(!). Also, there would be a few stops along the way for toilet , gas, snacks.. So instead of leaving BKK around 8am to get to Trat around 1pm. We got to Trat at 4pm(!!!!) And we had to wait 1 hour for the last boat arriving at 5pm..taking 1 hour to Ko Chang... SO I wasted pretty much all the day time on the road.......
Ask them whether the van will drop some people off for Ko Samet or straight to Ko Chang.
From June-September the tides off of Koh Chang are very strong. When I was there in July/August 2002 there were 11 reported deaths from drowning. It is recommended not to go swimming in deep waters (past your chest). There are also a lot of very sharp jagged rocks on some of the sides of the beaches, so be careful!! (I got cut from stepping on a sharp rock in the beach, so really look where you step and I recommend bring sandals to the beach to protect your feet.
Malaria still exists on the islands. Since the island is humid and has a large tropical area, it is a great breeding site for mosquitos. If you plan to stay on the island or the area for a longer period of time, please see a physician for recommended anti malaria doses if necessary. Mosquito repellants highly recommended.
Upon arriving down the slopes onto Kai Bae, on the left side is a large sign informing arrest for drug trafficking and usage. The sign is dingy, but the law is not.
Most bungalows are ill equipped with safety locks and may draw thefts to your door steps. Keep valuables away in a safe place and lock doors at all times. (this is not a serious threat ... yet)
Ko Chang is one of the only parts of Thailand apart from the North where there is Malaria though it is not very common. Could take Malaria tablets if you want to make sure you will be ok or just try using repellants and keeping over mosquito nets while u sleep.
Dont leave things on your balcony at night or they are likely to be lifted by scamps. Left half a bottle of Sangsom out 1 night and it disappeared. A couple of nights later half a big bottle beer which was left open on the balcony went missing.
U could always have some fun with these thiefs leavin half a bottle of whiskey filled with somethin else.
Maybe its jsut me but when i'm on a beach and i see a small rock or island just out to sea i have to get to it. On Kaebae beach there are about 3 or 4 out to sea and i chose the nearest one to walk to, however it is a little risky. There is a coral reef out there so its trecherous to walk but also harmful to the coral. You must also be careful about tides - you dont want to be stranded on an island.
The beach has very strange waves patterns and in places you can be hit from both sides by waves.
When visiting the waterfalls here on Koh Chang, care must be taken to avoid slipping, either on the trek to/from or while swimming.
There are many sections during the hike that are steep, root or rock covered, and moist. While at the falls the rocks leading into the water are very slick, and you need to be cautious when entering or exiting the area.
All a person needs is something decent on their feet, not like me (my sandles got caught a few times), and this should help from tripping or falling on the rocks, as you explore the site.
As long as you watch where you are going a person should be ok, however the rocks near the falls look less slippery then they are for sure.
We had been joking about the coconuts falling down for a while. Just imagine to get one drop right on top of you!
It did! One evening, it was already towards total darkness I was walking towards my chair carrying something while suddenly it hit me...a coconutleave banged on my head with the heavy part hitting me hard. It was more the shock than actual pain. It was a slightly discomfortable feeling though. After that, everynight if I had to use the toilet I would walk fast and zig-zag a little.
Maybe in high season coconuts and their leaves don't fall since the wind is not so strong, I don't know.
Afterwards I sure thought it was funny that it would land exactly on my head :-)
When at waterfalls watch out for slippy rocks. When tryin to find a place to sit i slipped down into the river and swept downstream. Photo shows me tryin to hold onto rocks instead of helpin me my girlfriend takes a photo.
If you dont like dogs stay away from secluded areas and beach resorts out of the way from people. There will be dogs everywhere but the further you walk the more dogs that will follow. They are harmless.
Rainy season in Thailand is normally between May and November where there will be heavy storms around 2 to 3 times a week. If planning trips make sure the day looks good or you can be caught. Fortunately the rain won't last too long.
During the late summer, early fall time period, the monsoon can make Ko Chang a very windy, rainy place. If you expect to go snorkel around the small islands, you may want to reconsider,
I decided to try the boat trip to snorkel around the small islands south of Ko Chang. The wind was a little strong and there was a light chop on the water as we left the harbor. Once we got in open water half way between Ko Chang and the small islands to the south, we were in 1 to 2 meter seas. The tall 45 ft, boar began to rock. A crew member said to me, we will soon hear the sound of the seasick Chinese tourists in 20 minutes. Right on cue, they grabbed the plastic bags and filled them with breakfast. I had no problem.
The usually clear water was turbid with sand. Visibility was about 1.5 meters. Not good!
We headed back in the afternoon through the waves and the rain started, Now we were cold. Overall, it was a bad day. I would recommend that you look at the waves at the beach near your hotel. If the water is stirred up, don't take the snorkel tour!