Back when I visited Thailand some years ago, my travel companion and I decided to try and find someplace remote and adventuresome to seek out. She had flown from England, and I from the United States. Prior to arriving and meeting in Bangkok, we had both done some reading up on general info regarding our Southeast Asia trip. After some discussion about the places we had researched – while sitting in the lounge of the guest house where we were staying in Bangkok, we agreed on an island called Koh Chang.
Koh Chang, Thailand is not the easiest place in the world to get to. Not even from Bangkok – the center of Siam. Nonetheless, we went for it. And the destination was absolutely worth the trip, the highlights of which are included here. Our adventure went something like this…
We took a bus from Khao San Road in Bangkok – a popular jumping off point for backpackers – for an eight hour ride to Trat Province via Rayong and Chanthaburi.
After winding our way out of the urban areas, the better part of that journey was dirt roads with vistas of rice fields, a mountainous backdrop, and villagers with assault rifles slung over their shoulders, walking the road alongside cattle. It was like being transported back in time. Then, after arriving in Trat Province, there was a 30 minute ferry ride out into the Gulf of Thailand to reach our destination.
The deck was perched right on the beach. And the temperature was a balmy 75 degrees after sundown. So I suppose there could have been worse accommodations for a night.
Finally, at sunrise, we collected our things, checked in and got our hut. It was only a few paces from the beach. Inside, the shelter held little more than a mattress with a bug net, some space along the sides to move about and stow our things, a window, and a small front porch. We slept to the nearby sound of soft waves. It was great!
So many sights are around for one to take in on a Thailand expedition such as this. There isn’t enough room here to show all of the great photographs that we took. But I have included a couple…
Koh Chang in Thai means “Elephant Island”. Rumors abound as to how it got this name. And even though there are no elephant species that are indigenous to Koh Chang, there are still plenty on the island for animal lovers to see and enjoy.
Our stay in Koh Chang lasted four days. We were only in Thailand for two and a half weeks. And there were a lot of other things to see and do. But it was a memorable visit. And I would recommend a stay on Elephant Island to anyone planning to visit that part of Southeast Asia.
Depending on your country of origin, there may be visa issues that you will need to investigate and attend to before starting your journey. So be sure and do you homework. And seeing a physician before traveling, to get properly inoculated, is a prudent measure as well. If you plan accordingly, you will have a great time and an experience to remember. So by all means, when you can, get to Thailand, visit Koh Chang, and stay in a hut on the beach.
by Ken Omega
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