I love Koh Chang island, BUT I dread the journey there. Some 300+ km from Bangkok is not an easy trek on the road. There’s an airport in Trat Province, however, the flights are extortionate and quite frankly not that much of a time saver when you consider check-in and the other things that go with it . So the next best option is to go by taxi, minivan or bus. I prefer the latter because of road safety in Thailand. 🙂
On my previous trip to the island, I took a bus from Ekkamai Bus Terminal, transferred to a songthaew at the terminal in Trat to take me to the pier, and finally got on the ferry to the island. Oh, and that’s not it. You still have to find your way to the resort on the island, unless you’ve made prior arrangements.
This trip was a little different. I was looking for an easier option, and thanks to a Google search, I found quite a few. I chose the all inclusive option of the bus that departs from Tanee Road (near Khao San Road). The bus I traveled on was clean, had safety belts, and a USB charging port. There’s also a toilet on board.
It departs at 7:30 a.m. sharp (with an expectant arrival on the island at 4:00 p.m.) and takes you to the Boonsiri ferry meeting point in Trat province. Once there, you’ll have a final transfer to the ferry (not the high speed catamaran as advertised) which takes under one hour to Center Point Pier on Koh Chang Island. It’s 600 Thai Baht (±20 USD) per person one-way.
Once on the island, you can take a songthaew (an adapted pickup truck) for a cost of 80-120 Thai Baht per person. You’ll be sharing the ride with other travelers, so it might take longer, but it’s for a fraction of the price you would pay privately.
As soon as you disembark from the ferry, there are a few shops and motorbike rental shops. This is quite convenient because you can ride all the way to your accommodation and drop it off when you leave the island. They usually ask for a deposit of 5000 Thai Baht and some form of identification. Just make sure you’re confident with riding motorbikes because there are many up and downhills along the way. Also, if it’s monsoon season, you’d be better off renting a motorbike near your accommodation. Only because if it rains (especially when you’re leaving the island) you’ll most likely get soaked on the way back, and the roads are very slippery.
However, if you prefer Boonsiri to take care of everything from the your starting journey, they have an all inclusive package from Bangkok right to your hotel for an extra small fee. And when you leave the island, the company can also arrange transportation to pick you up and take you back to the pier, mainland, and then to Bangkok’s Khao San Road or Suvarnabhumi Airport Link meeting points.
For more information, you can visit their website.