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legag

Planning to go for vacation

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Planing to go for vacation there. Any helpful tips or info? Heard it's 5 hours by bus and a few hours by plane. Don't mind paying more but from the airport do I have to go how far to get a ferry??

Accomodation: Can I walk in without reservation?

Girl friends went there after x'mas for a few days and recommended Koh Chang for vacation. Beaches are nicer than Samet, way way .. way far cleaner and hotels are reasonable price.

Edited by legag

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From the airport to the ferry point takes about 20 mins, and the journey on the ferry about half hour. Normally there is some resort available bungalow etc, as for hotels they are pretty much booked over the xmas new year period. Lived there for a year in Kie Bae which in my opinion is the best place for the choice of beaches. White sands is a little more commercial but is very popular.

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Looks good. I am thinking of driving there next month, for about 3 nights, I think will take about 5 hrs or so [takes me just under 4hrs to drive to the other side of Rayong] ...... is there a car ferry? Price? is it worth taking the car over? which part is best?

someone told me that 'white sands' is in fact NOT a sandy beach at all is this true?

Anyone know of a nice place to stay? not into busy places or night life, just somewhere by the beach that is not over priced, 2 places I had bookmarked as nice are both full till end of March :o

Edited by ignis

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Kie bea has quiet and a variety of beaches, it has bars but not quite like pattaya which white sands is heading in. There are 2 ferry points, one you just pay per car but the ferry journey is nearly 1 hour, the other you pay per person at 60bht each, and 100 for the car. Kie Bae resort is worth looking at and has great views. There is a mixed style of bungalows starting at 500-2000bht.

Edited by TommyGun

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forgot to mention. If you go by car be careful, the roads are very bad and there is an accident without fail dailey. In rain the island is best avoided by car. When you get on the island its worth turning left and touring that area. It is exremely quiet but worth a look around. If you go to the very end of the island, you will require a 4x4 as the roads are broken

Edited by TommyGun

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Looks good. I am thinking of driving there next month, for about 3 nights, I think will take about 5 hrs or so [takes me just under 4hrs to drive to the other side of Rayong] ...... is there a car ferry? Price? is it worth taking the car over? which part is best?

someone told me that 'white sands' is in fact NOT a sandy beach at all is this true?

Anyone know of a nice place to stay? not into busy places or night life, just somewhere by the beach that is not over priced, 2 places I had bookmarked as nice are both full till end of March :o

We went to White Sands just before Christmas. Stayed at a place called Aiyapura resort, outside the main town, hotel was a reasonable standard, quiet, relaxing and value for money.Can't remember exactly how much it cost but was around 5K a night. There is a free water sports centre. Think they also had a dive boat. Spend most of the time by the pool and in the kids play room. When we did venture into town found the beach to be "sandy".

No point taking the car if you can get a flight, hotel picked us up form the airport.

Edited by dsys

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Planing to go for vacation there. Any helpful tips or info? Heard it's 5 hours by bus and a few hours by plane. Don't mind paying more but from the airport do I have to go how far to get a ferry??

Accomodation: Can I walk in without reservation?

Girl friends went there after x'mas for a few days and recommended Koh Chang for vacation. Beaches are nicer than Samet, way way .. way far cleaner and hotels are reasonable price.

Personally I don't think the plane is worth it. It only saves you about an hour or so - consider the time to get from your accommodation to the airport in Bangkok, to be there an hour or so early for check-in, then the hour flight, then the half hour baggage claim / general messing about on arrival, then the bus to the ferry and hour long ferry journey over to the island, all adds up to 4 hours or so, only an hour less than getting the bus all the way and probably 10 times as expensive.

There is loads of accommodation all over the island, so you will be able to walk-in somewhere. If you're doing it backpacker-style, head down to Lonely Beach on the south west tip of the island, where you will find dozens of cheap, 150 - 200 Baht beach huts. If you're more up-market, better to book through a travel agent anyway as it'll usually be cheaper.

Edited by dantilley

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Looks good. I am thinking of driving there next month, for about 3 nights, I think will take about 5 hrs or so [takes me just under 4hrs to drive to the other side of Rayong] ...... is there a car ferry? Price? is it worth taking the car over? which part is best?

someone told me that 'white sands' is in fact NOT a sandy beach at all is this true?

White sands beach is a very nice, and very sandy, beach.

Contrary to another post here, I'd highly recommend taking a car onto the island - the roads on the west coast are all sealed and in reasonable shape. There are a few steep-ish hills, but nothing like the rollercoaster hills you get on Pha Ngan, for example. Quality of roads is generally fine, except on the east coast, but there aren't really many attractions on the east coast to warrant going down there. I've been to Koh Chang a few times and never seen or heard of one accident.

Having a car gives you great freedom to visit the many beaches on the west coast at your leisure and without having to mess about with the taxis (songthaews). Plus you can drive to the interesting village on stilts over the sea at the far south-eastern tip of the island.

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Contrary to another post here, I'd highly recommend taking a car onto the island - the roads on the west coast are all sealed and in reasonable shape.

I also agree, taking a car is the best option. 4x4 if you have one, there are some steep sections and a few 180 hairpins that cold be unsettling in a normal car, although this does not stop the locals (?) thrashing the nuts out of a Jazz etc. There are some tracks and dry river beds to play with, but keep a close eye on the weather as a heavy spot of rain can screw the novice in Thailand very quickly.

I travelled down out of season so had no problem finding a hotel (Amari) room, there is a lovely beach here.

I seem to remember posting on TV within the past few months about KC, in that post I also mentioned this guy's web site, very very useful.

White Sands is now (IMHO) quite a down market resort, lots of European back-packers with out of date Lonely Planet guides seeking "The Beach" experiance etc etc.

Ferries run every hour or so, about 300 Baht for the 20 minute crossing, no need to book (season?). But I suggest you time your arrival to get to the ferry early. From your timing to Rayong I guess you are the other side of BKK or Central Thailand, consider an overnight stop in Trang or leaving home in the early hours and drive through the night, that is my choice when doing a long run here.

Oh. BTW we took a DVD player and a collection of discs with us, pleased we did.

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White Sands is now (IMHO) quite a down market resort, lots of European back-packers with out of date Lonely Planet guides seeking "The Beach" experiance etc etc.

Where would you recommend as the best beach these days on Koh Chang, if not White Sands?

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Looks good. I am thinking of driving there next month, for about 3 nights, I think will take about 5 hrs or so [takes me just under 4hrs to drive to the other side of Rayong] ...... is there a car ferry? Price? is it worth taking the car over? which part is best?

someone told me that 'white sands' is in fact NOT a sandy beach at all is this true?

White sands beach is a very nice, and very sandy, beach.

Contrary to another post here, I'd highly recommend taking a car onto the island - the roads on the west coast are all sealed and in reasonable shape. There are a few steep-ish hills, but nothing like the rollercoaster hills you get on Pha Ngan, for example. Quality of roads is generally fine, except on the east coast, but there aren't really many attractions on the east coast to warrant going down there. I've been to Koh Chang a few times and never seen or heard of one accident.

Having a car gives you great freedom to visit the many beaches on the west coast at your leisure and without having to mess about with the taxis (songthaews). Plus you can drive to the interesting village on stilts over the sea at the far south-eastern tip of the island.

You've got to be kidding me!!. We've been visiting Koh Chang twice a year for the past five years. In that time we've had 3 motorbike accidents, and not because we are bad drivers. The amount of building work going on on the island has bought an influx of large construction vehicles which spew oil all over the roads. This has been one of the many reasons for a large spate of accidents on the Island. Not only that, you get the typical drunk Thais and backpackers who seem to think they are indestructable after a few drinks on their way home.

On our recent trip....October, we heard of 1 death and 7 accidents in the space of 3 days. The roads on the western side of the Island are like a rollercoaster but only from Kai Bae as far as Bang Bao, which is roughly half the length of the east side. On the eastern side, the roads ar nice and flat up as far as Salakkok Bay, but once you turn of these roads and head down towards long beach or lonely beach backpackers, you will encounter the worst roads in your life. These roads are a very badly eroded with 12" deep grooves cut in the roads from rain and landslides. In many parts, we both had to get off of the motorbike and walk. Definately a need a 4x4 if you are heading this far. Its worth it as the scenery and views are breathtaking.

Koh Chang has an accident rate on par with other tourist hotspots. In spite of this Koh Chang is a lovely Island, as are many of the surrounding smaller Islands.

I would definately recommend the link that Cuban posted. The guy's name is Ian and he comes from the UK. He is a very helpfull and knowledgeable guy and his bunglaows are the best on the island. And no, I havent stayed in them, just seen them.

PLEASE LOOK OUT FOR THE OIL ON THE ROADS. EVEN THE DRY PATCHES. Would hate to hear of any TV members ending up as just another number.

Guemlum

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You've got to be kidding me!!. We've been visiting Koh Chang twice a year for the past five years. In that time we've had 3 motorbike accidents, and not because we are bad drivers. The amount of building work going on on the island has bought an influx of large construction vehicles which spew oil all over the roads. This has been one of the many reasons for a large spate of accidents on the Island. Not only that, you get the typical drunk Thais and backpackers who seem to think they are indestructable after a few drinks on their way home.

Nope, not kidding, I've found the roads to be fine compared with most other Thai islands and I've never seen or heard of an accident on the island. Sealed, paved roads all the way and relatively low volume of traffic. I agree with you about the east coast though, but there's no real reason to drive round there anyway, and you can access Lonely Beach and Bang Bao very easily from the west coast roads.

However, having said all this, the bottom-right picture on post #2 on this thread would seem to suggest otherwise...! :o

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White Sands is now (IMHO) quite a down market resort, lots of European back-packers with out of date Lonely Planet guides seeking "The Beach" experience etc etc.

Where would you recommend as the best beach these days on Koh Chang, if not White Sands?

Last hotel we stayed at was the Koh Chang Cliff Beach. Had a beautiful private beach... and IMO much better than the beach in Klong Prao, or Whitesands. There are lots of superior beaches to those that have been mentioned, but they obviously belong to hotels. Remember, you can always walk into most of the hotels and use their services, or failing that, just say you want to have a look around as you're thinking of visiting another time. Another option which we have done many times is to rent a private speed boat and visit some of the smaller Islands, such as Koh Maak, Koh Wai etc. Beautiful beaches and depending on the time of day, you get the beach to yourself.

On another note and back to my original post, that picture is one of mine. Lorry rolled backwards after hitting oil...lost road grip and ended up in a ditch. Happened only 50 yards from the ferry point.

You are lucky not to have witnessed any accidents on the island or to be involved in any.... however, I'm very surprised you've not heard about any. They happen on a daily basis. Just look at the number of farrang sporting huge scabs and cuts on their arms and legs. They are not called Koh Chang tattoos for no reason.

I'll quote an article written on www.iamkohchang.com

Motorcyclists. "There are two kinds of riders on K.C. The bad farang riders and the bad Thai riders. Their traits differ however, the Thai rider will more often than not be a danger to other road users because he places all his faith in not having an accident in the small amulet his grandfather gave him rather than following any rules of the road. This amulet gives him superhuman powers and makes him indestructible. Think about it, how fast would you ride if you thought you had eternal life? Farang riders pose an equal threat, not through speed, more through lack of it. Lobster tanned couples wobbling around on a 100cc scooter and eventually stalling and falling underneath the wheels of a pick-up when attempting to climb a hill are an all too common cause of tailbacks".

Roads. "An asphalt road almost circles the island. Around the east coast the road is flat, on the west coast there's a very step climb between Kong Son & White Sand Beach, from there it's flat road until you leave Kai Bae and the road becomes a mini rollercoaster until you reach Bailan. The 11km between Salakphet and Bangbao is a dangerous, narrow gravel topped road for motorbikes and bicycles only . . .or it would be if the central section had actually been completed. As it is, the road just stops in a dead end in the jungle after a couple of kilometres. A lot of complaints are made about the roads on Koh Chang being too narrow but plans have been approved to add footpaths and widen the road in certain places on the west coast. In early 2005,there were a lot of surveyors out on the west coast roads, apparently deciding where to put footpaths . . .I don't need a troglodyte to know that adjacent to the road would be a good place to start. And by mid-2006 the road was widened from White Sand Beach to Kai Bae to include an additional footpath / bicycle lane / parking area / area for setting up market stalls".

"Garbage is piling up on the hillside and along the road. Wastewater is being discharged from hotels and construction sites to the seashore, where tourists sunbathe and swim. The 70km road, the only main road on this resort island, is in terrible condition. Without street lights, the number of road accidents continues to rise".

And another from another well-known Koh Chang website...

"When you arrive at Koh Chang, the first precaution is to drive carefully. Koh Chang is very safe place where the most trouble is self-inflicted with drink driving. Most accidents are fairly common so you should always wear helmet and shoes; most of the roads are concrete now so they are crucial, jeans and jacket are advisable. The sharp curves are mostly around Klong Son, White Sand Beach, Lonely Beach and Kai Bae Beach. Except Klongprao where is almost plain area. Theft is uncommon, but if it does happen, go to police station and get a report for your insurance.

And from another...

Roads - A two-lane tarmac road circumnavigates 90% of the island. Sections of it are very hilly, so it pays to be cautious- especially at night as fatal accidents do occur with increasing frequency.

The list go's on.

Regarding the OP's original message, don’t hesitate in taking a car or renting a motorbike on the island. Just be aware that Koh Chang is no safer than any other island or town/city in Thailand. You may be the best driver in the world, but then there's always the other driver. And more often than not, accidents are a daily occurrence on Koh Chang. Please drive with care if you do visit Koh Chang.

Guemlum

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They are not called Koh Chang tattoos for no reason.

Hmm, I though they were "Koh Pha Ngan tattoos" - or maybe that's a slightly different design...

Edited by dantilley

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Saw a German guy in a ditch only yesterday. He had come off his bike after sliding on loose soil/sand that had fallen off the back of a truck. Stuck him in the back of the pick-up and took him to the local clinic where they patched him up. He wasnt drunk and had ridden bikes before, but the back wheel just went from under him on a corner and there was nothing he could do about it.

Best to drive the largest vehicle you can afford to, and if that's a small scooter then ride as though you expect everyone else on the road to kill you. That way you'll stay alert.

Guemlum & Cuban - thanks for the mention of me & the site.

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