The tall, green peaks on the island of Koh Chang were covered in gentle mists when we arrived at the pier. It was just before dawn. We had taken a late afternoon bus to Bangkok from Lopburi the day before, navigated the city and waited around for a late coach to the ferry. Overall it took us the best part of twelve hours to get to this point, and there was still more travelling to do.
We boarded the ferry and the mists melted away as we sailed across the gulf with the sun rising behind us. Forty minutes later we set foot on Koh Chang.
Song Taou taxis run frequently up and down the road that hugs most of the coast. We hopped in one with little delay, sensing our journey was nearly over.
Lonely Beach is a popular location for foreigners. It came highly recommended by a few teachers we had talked to so we were eager to get there. After a lengthy trip down the western coast, we arrived to be somewhat surprised.
Visions of pristine, sandy beaches and dainty Thai restaurants were replaced with rocky beaches and bars. We took a walk down a street that lead to the beach. I don’t exaggerate when I say at least half of the buildings we passed were tattoo parlours. Indeed, we had come to the go-to party destination of the island. It’s one I’d gladly visit on another journey, but I had my mind set on something a bit more relaxing this time around.
After some discussion, we decided to look for accommodation elsewhere and eventually settled a bit north in Kai Bae. It’s roughly twice the price (500 – 700 Baht a night for a simple fanned room with toilet) but the hub sits a short walk from a beautifully long sandy beach.
It was from here we rented a three man kayak and made our way to a small island that sat just off shore. After running aground and joining the other few castaways, I had my first taste of tropical sea.
I spent some time just floating in the shallows of the warm water and watching the small fish flicker about. The sun was starting to get low so I admired the scenic view of Koh Chang across the water once more before heading back.
Later we had dinner at a lovely Thai restaurant and it’s at this point I remembered my lack of sleep. I went to bed looking forward to a fun day of snorkelling. I imagined myself thoroughly enjoying it, and I was most certainly right.