Koh Chang

On The Boat Again

All good things must come to an end.
By day 11 on Koh Chang, things in Bangkok were shaky enough that I was advised to reconsider my plans of heading back to the city to figure out my transit south. I was faced with the decision of extending my stay on the island, accompanying my new friends up north to Chiang Mai so we could eat our way through my favourite city in Thailand, or to take the bus directly to BKK and fly somewhere south, closer to the Malaysian border. The decision was tough, but ultimately this trip is about experiencing the unknown so that night I bought a $50 flight to Krabi, booked myself onto the same airport-bound minibus as my friends, joined them for one last fried white snapper, and packed up once again. 7AM pickup.

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Koh Chang

Sunset In Paradise

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After four days of relaxed reclusion in Bang Bao, I headed up to the more populated and confusingly named Lonely Beach. A traveler I met in Vietnam had recommended a placed called Paradise Cottage, which he described as a “chill place on the water with loads of hammocks, decent food, really good music, and bungalows for under $15 a night.” Paradise indeed.
I did very little over my six days here. Koh Chang is the type of place where your main stress in life is figuring out where you would be watching the sunset from. My hours dissolved under the heat of the sun and into the pages of books. Distractions consisted of having to stop reading to watch fishermen wade out at dusk and launch their hooks attached to fishing line threaded around recycled pop bottles, or taking out your phone to Shazam the amazing remix that the owners/DJs of Paradise Cottage dug up from who-knows-where.
Ripping yourself away is the hardest part.

Koh Chang

Paradise Cottage

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I just want to take a moment to acknowledge Thai seafood as one of the best types of food in the world. The food on Koh Chang was generally mediocre apart from our oft-visited “Thai Mama” Oan, but I was able to satiate my constant search for good food with the help of a trio of english teachers living in South Korea. If my brief stint in Seoul taught me anything, it’s that people in South Korea are serious about eating and are perfectly happy sharing big dishes, which is perfect for tackling a big plate of BBQed scallops, wok-fried rock lobsters, mangrove crabs, or my all-time favourite: a whole fish fried in its entirety seasoned by the simple trio of garlic, chilies, and fish sauce. Sadly, no fish pictures turned out since we’d half-way through devouring it before anyone remembered to take a picture, a testimony to its greatness.

Koh Chang

Thai Seafood

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My first destination on Koh Chang was a place named Cliff Cottage in Bang Bao, at the southern-most tip of the island. The description on Hostelword.com warned that it was “not a place for people who are looking for a party” so I knew it was the right place for a dorm-weary traveler, tired of being woken up at 3am by drunkards stumbling to find their bunks. The resort/campground is affiliated with a dive shop so I was able to get a basic bungalow for 350 baht ($12) a night if I did some fun dives with them. Hard life.

Koh Chang

Cliff Cottages & Bang Bao

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Koh Chang

Time for a little R&R on Koh Chang

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