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Koh Chang

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  • Koh Chang

    I have been to Koh Chang Twice and it is a good change of pace from the busy pace elsewhere in Thailand. I had provided some information on one of my trip reports but thought it would be good to have a dedicated thread.

    Koh Chang is a Thai National Park and is also the largest island in the Gulf of Thailand. However it is on the opposite side of the Gulf from the other more touristy islands, very close to Cambodia. Koh Chang means "Elephant Island" and there is a couple elephant camps there even though they are not actually native. There is plenty of wildlife on the island including tons of monkeys.

    Motorized boats are generally not allowed near the island other than ferries, scuba outfits and official business. So you won't see the jet skis and para sailing and speed boats like other locations in Thailand. As such the beaches and water are crystal clear. In the off season the beaches are downright deserted, however the main beach called "White Sand Beach" is alway quite busy.

    To get to Koh Chang you can drive about 4 hours from Bangkok and take the ferry, or you can fly to Trat which is nearby then grab the ferry from there. There is transportation at the main docks that will take you to your accommodations.

    There is ladyboys to be had here but nothing dedicated to them. You will find a few in the bars and discos and some that work in the local lady bars. It is also a great place to take you LB for a good quiet get away.

    The first time I went there was on the off season at the end of August and beginning of September so there was a fair amount of rain but the hotel prices were fantastic. Here is a map and pictures of the ferry ride out. The first time I went with my GF. The guy waving on the ferry was yelling at me that he was a famous Thai porn star, so I guess it is ok to show his picture here.


  • #2
    Centari Tropicana Resort Koh Chang

    So I booked a Villa at the Centari Tropicana Resort. We had a car so it was about a 15 minute drive from the docks. This place was beautiful and secluded. There was hotel rooms closer to the road and out Villa was just steps from the beach and first pool. I paid about 1700 baht on Agoda but wasn't sure what to expect at first. Turns out it was a fantastic private Villa that had an outdoor bathtub and shower right off the main shower room. All surrounded by perfectly maintained trees, flowers and gardens. Every tree seemed to have a band of purple orchids growing in a planter wrapped around the trunks and there was ponds with goldfish and walkways through the jungle. It was pretty rainy when we first got there and the entire beach was absolutely deserted. This resort and many near it had private lounging areas on the beach. The beach in it's entirety was public to walk down.
    Attached Files


    • #3
      Later in our stay of one week the sun came out and there was a few more people around. Still the beach front restaurant and other places where still covered up in case of flash monsoons. Being from Canada these rain storms didn't bother me at all since it is always warm and you can still walk on the beach. There was one swimming pool right near the beach with a volleyball net beside also. They had kayaks and other stuff you could borrow, I saw many people using kayaks to get to the many small islands nearby then they had their own private beach.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        More Tropicana Resort

        There was also a larger pool with cabanas and a big in pool bar, it was further away from the beach and closer to the front where the check in and hotel rooms are. The hotel rooms were super cheap but super empty at this time, everyone was missing out for sure. This place had everything. Unfortunately the bar was barely open due to the off season crowds but the good thing was I had the pool to myself. Someone would come around very occasionally to check on you for a beer or something during the day. Over all this is a fantastic resort and very romantic too if you like that. (that was part of my plan)
        Attached Files


        • #5
          Where to find Ladyboys (and ladies) on Koh Chang.
          This island does not have the ladyboy scene like other parts of Thailand and there is no bars specific to them. However you will find a number of ladyboys on the island.
          The first place to look is a bar complex called "Little Pattaya" which houses about a dozen beer bars under a common roof. It is located in White Sand Beach and just past the main part of town if you are coming from the docks. It is actually exactly across from the Chang Buri Resort.

          Some of the bars in this complex have a ladyboy on staff, at lease sometimes. One bar in the back has a ladyboy as their permanent bartender and the other bars have ladyboys on call for when it gets busy. If they are not on staff, they often will show up when the bars get full. If you don't see any ladyboys, you can just ask and some should magically appear.

          The best bar in this complex is called Pearler Bar, owned by a guy who has a shop selling pearls downtown. It has an outdoor beer bar with an indoor air conditioned party room next door (including a private toilet!) Definitely a fun bar to hang out at.

          The difference with the bars here in Koh Chang is they are supposed to close at midnight. However it really just means they have to turn down the pounding music at 12.
          Most of the bars will stay open as late as they have customers though with the music and noise turned down.

          There is also a larger disco on the island which was called "One". The name has changed over time but this disco always seems to have a few ladyboys in the crowd, especially when they have special events like hip hop performers.


          • #6
            Excellent report Crag! Another option that many lb lovers do, is bring their own for a Koh Chang holiday. If you have found a nice lb with good chemistry, it may be worthwhile to have her accompany you to Koh Chang.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by rxpharm View Post
              Excellent report Crag! Another option that many lb lovers do, is bring their own for a Koh Chang holiday. If you have found a nice lb with good chemistry, it may be worthwhile to have her accompany you to Koh Chang.
              It is far easier to get to from Bangkok or Pattaya than getting to Phuket, Samui or that area. Plus now that I have been to Phuket it is the zoo I heard it was. Koh Chang is very quiet and they don't allow most motorized boats around the island because it is a National Park. So you don't have jet ski's or power boats. Just ferries, scuba outfitters and shrimpers will have powered engines. Lonely Beach is a little known haven for the "backpacker" types, other such locations in Thailand have be over run with would be backpackers.
              It is also more of a favourite of Thais and Cambodians.

              You are right it is great for a romantic get away. This is what I asked Cake is where we could go for a quiet romantic beach holiday together. With about a 3 hour drive from Bangkok we were at the ferry, and it is just over 2 hours drive from Pattaya. This beats trying to go to the expensive and over crowded south islands, plus no airport involved unless you prefer to fly to Trat. However most limos will take you right over the ferry to your hotel, so flying doesn't make much sense.

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              • #8
                So I went back to Koh Chang a few months later by myself. Since I was on my own I wanted to stay closer to town in White Sand Beach. The first time we stayed at the Tropicana but this was a bit of a drive to town. Being alone I wanted to be close to the action in town.

                I ended up choosing the Chang Buri resort which is directly across from Little Pattaya bar complex. While it is handy to the bars my room was facing the bar complex and there was a long glass hallway I had to walk across to get there and back. When the girls were at the bars they could see me walk the hallway and would all be hooting and hollering sexy man and the usual bar lady cat calls. It was amusing at first but a little annoying later.

                The rooms at the Chang Buri were nice but most likely i wouldn't stay there again as is too close to the bars. It is ladyboy friendly for sure as the front desk is disconnected from the hotel and they are closed after midnight anyway. One night I cam back to my room without a date and the security guy was concerned at my loneliness, he offered to bring me girls and when i refused that, he offered boys.

                The rooms at the Chang Buri resort are nice and clean and large. I paid about $2200 baht for a deluxe king room with partial sea view. Well when I went out on the balcony I could only see specks of ocean through the trees. They had a nice pool here but they had alot of these chirping frogs nearby here that made sitting by the pool hard, it is really annoying and gives you a head ache. They had some really nice villas down by the pool and beach but I wonder how they area with all the frogs creaking constantly. There was not really a beach at this hotel because it is located on a rocky area of the main beach. So really they just have a stairway into the ocean for swimming. Over all there is alot of hotels and resorts nearby here that have a better beach attached and less frog noise. This resort is a decent hotel in an ok location but I'd probably pick another place in White Sand Beach next time.

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                • #9
                  The maids really liked to make fancy designs on the bed. As you and see they have a fake beach and boardwalk at the back. Then when i go to the cool beach restaurant next door you can see the big sea wall they have built behind the Chang Buri Resort. You have to climb down the rock stairs to get to the ocean and the sea bed is quite rocky. The restaurant on the beach was great and a nice spot to sit. I forgot my money and they weren't worried about me going to get it. The sand beach continues for kilometers from this restaurant but everything from my hotel the other way was rocky cliffs for several kms.



                  • #10
                    Here some pics from Lonely Beach around sunset. I hooked up with one of the ladies from Pearler Bar and we went to eat at lonely beach with her friend who we picked up at some hut in the jungle. (These are not ladyboys in the pics). Lonely Beach is the backpacker spot on the island where there is a small village and a nice beach. It is one of the furthest places to drive on the island and the big hills on the road make it slow going. Not to mention there is monkeys everywhere you have to watch out for. Here is some of the cheapest places to stay and I think many just sleep on the beach. Run down Villas can be found for 300 baht and up. There is some ok places to stay but mostly it is hostel type accommodations. This is where the real parties happen on the island and the full moon type parties are common, beer is really cheap and it is quite a young crowd here.
                    We ate at the restaurant and took a walk on the beach on this trip, enjoying the sunset at Lonely Beach.

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                    • #11
                      The next night we went to 15 Palms Restaurant and Bar on White Sand beach around sunset for some drinks and snacks. This is a really nice location to watch the sunset. The tide is going out and it gets really shallow here. You can see from my pictures that I have walked very far out from the beach. They had just thrown a huge stranded barracuda off the sand bar just before we got there. They are setting up tables and bean bag chairs on the beach as the tide goes out and it starts to get busy with people coming to hang out on the beach. This is an awesome place to hang and relax but is still near all the action of the main town. There is a number of clubs near here.
                      The KC resort is right next door with a night club and it is supposed to be a very good resort, right on this same type of beach. Down the other way there is many more bars and restaurants along the beach and Sabay bar has live Filipino fire dance shows on the beach after dark.
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                      • #12
                        Some more pics at 15 Palms on White Sand Beach.

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                        • #13
                          Here is a few more pictures from various places around the island. I definitely recommend this place for quiet relaxaion and possible romance.

                          Attached Files


                          • #14
                            Looks like an excellent place for a holiday and the hotel room is not bad as well

                            Can tips if there are ladyboy bars so that evenings can be meaningful. If there are bars, i would love to stay here for 3N in peace with some sexy LB's.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by girish View Post
                              Looks like an excellent place for a holiday and the hotel room is not bad as well

                              Can tips if there are ladyboy bars so that evenings can be meaningful. If there are bars, i would love to stay here for 3N in peace with some sexy LB's.
                              As I said there are not any ladyboy bars on Koh Chang.
                              This is a good place to bring a nice ladyboy from Bangkok or Pattaya.

                              There is ladyboys to be found many at the Little Pattaya bar complex as I have described already here:

                              This is not really a ladyboy destination but a nice quiet beach resort.
                              Like all of Thailand there is some ladyboys to be found.