Koh Chang— Motorcycles, Massages, Moonlight & Monkeys!

April 9th—11th, 2019

Koh Chang is an island of variety and freedom within the wilds of a humid jungle setting surrounded by the Bay of Thailand.

After staying on Koh Chang for a week we have experienced the following: many different beaches, warm oceans and pools, some wonderful places to eat, deep massages for 300 Baht/hour, birds and monkeys, tropical plants and vegetation, daily fresh fruit, seafood, friendly locals, temperatures in the high 30’s with humidity, taxi rides on curvy roads, and endless motorcycles/scooters!

Motorcycles everywhere! Safety?

More of our favorite places to eat… (Buddha View was listed in a previous blog post). Another awesome outdoor restaurant with ambiance is El Greco on the Bang Bao pier. The menu includes Greek, Thai, and Korean food choices. A local fisherman paddled by beside our table, with his daily catch visible in his tiny boat.

El Graco—Bang Bao pier

Another pleasant spot for coffee or breakfast is Arabica Cafe opposite the Bang Bao pier 7-11 store.

Road to pier & Arabica Cafe

If you travel to Lonely Beach area we really enjoyed Ka Chapura Restaurant. The service was great and the Thai food was really delicious —especially the crab according to the rest of my travel partners.

Lonely Beach— Koh Chang

Also in Lonely Beach our bodies were submitted to a second experience with deep and effective massage! For only 300 Baht an hour all 3 of us could enter and exit together departing renewed and revitalized. Afterward we were given tea and a banana. My masseuse even wanted to have a photo taken together before I departed the shop!

Lonely Beach —Talented masseuses!

Returning to the southern end of Koh Chang in the open backed covered trucks they call (taxis), we regularly spotted Macaques monkeys playing on power lines as we zipped past on the curvy, bumpy, narrow roads.

Macaques Monkeys at Tranquility Bay

We were quite surprised to discover a favorite location for some of these monkeys was on the roof of a building directly across from Tranquility Bay resort. We watched the adults and baby Macaques monkeys swing on the power lines and run across the road near our condo. We often heard their calls in the mornings too. Although fascinating… we knew to keep our distance!

Tranquility Bay Coconuts

We truly enjoyed our week at Koh Chang staying at Tranquility Bay resort. The grounds here are glorious and treated so lovingly by the gardeners. When the gardener was removing coconuts from a palm tree near our condo I was watching in fascination. He offered me two beauties but without the tools… we couldn’t crack them open! 🥴

Goodbye Koh Chang!

Our week is over at Koh Chang. It’s time to get back in the van en route to Trat via the ferry, then northward to Bangkok. Our next adventure is to experience Thai New Year—Song Kran— in Bangkok!

Koh Chang—4 Islands Snorkeling Day Trip to Koh Rang National Marine Park

April 8th, 2019

50 Waterproof Sunscreen (check). Hats (check). Water (check). Swimsuits (check). Rash shirts (check). Watershoes (check). Underwater camera (check). Change of clothes & travel towel (Check). Tickets & Cash (check). We’re off for another adventure exploring and snorkeling around 4 islands in Koh Rang National Marine Park!

4 Islands Snorkling Trip Koh Chang

We pre-purchased our tickets at the Bang Bao pier for the Sattra 4 islands day trip. The Price was 650 Baht each (plus 200 Baht each for Government marine park fee). This price included pick up and drop off at Tranquility Bay, lunch and snorkeling gear. We were informed that Monday in “off season” should be a smaller group… but it wasn’t!

We arrived to discover a packed vessel —both floors were full to the 100 person capacity and people quickly claimed their seats and life jackets! We started up top but discovered the available seating was lacking sufficient airflow, and the heat and humidity resulted in 3 wilting tourists!

Slide show video of 4 Islands Snorkling Trip

Downstairs we discovered 3 seats immediately behind the stairs. The view wasn’t fabulous but it was cooler! This was our base for the 10:30–4:00 pm trip on the Gulf of Thailand (Siam). From this location we received our masks and snorkels (fins were an extra 100 Baht we discovered), and our afternoon food (skewers of bbq chicken, pineapple, and peppers) and trays of fresh watermelon and pineapple. Lunch was a line up buffet style. We also used this vantage point to conveniently drop over the side of the vessel into the ocean for each of the 4 snorkeling or swimming locations!

We saw some amazing different types of coral in 2 locations, abundant supplies of black Sea urchins, and lots of colourful tropical fish in 2 of the 4 locations. But… after snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef we have been spoiled with the abundant variety and colors found elsewhere in this amazing planet of ours! Underwater photos from our waterproof camera will be added after we return to Canada!

Can’t wait to get back into the water!

However, the ocean temperature was like a warm bath and the visibility was mostly good. The 4 locations we visited on our tour were too busy for our liking—with multiple tour boats at the same locations. The tranquility of observing fish in their coral habitat was regularly interrupted by someone’s flippers or arms. But we love new experiences and seeing new areas, so we are grateful for spending this day on the ocean.

We thought we were well protected from the sun and UV rays, but clearly the sun is extremely powerful here and the intense sun burns we received only showed their true colors later in the day! It’s been a daily ritual of aloe vera treatment since then 🥵 Next blog post… Monkeys!

Koh Chang—Klong Kloi Beach & Tranquility Bay!

April 6th, 2019

Heading East over the hill and down to the ocean we explored a new area. Only 1km east from Bang Bao pier is Klong Kloi beach. It’s a pretty area starting to be discovered for its beauty, yet still far enough from the bustle of Lonely beach closer to the ferry terminal.

Klong Kloi Beach near Tranquility Bay

Some of the road had been eroded during a recent storm (also eliminating our internet for the first few days). We passed bungalows tucked into jungle by the beaches… several offered yoga or smoothie bars! Then came the beach front massage locations.

The road between the two areas

Once we hit the sand we continued walking past beach bars and a lengthy row of beach chairs. Around the corner was more private and less congested. We located a fancy outdoor bar with swings and chairs. This was our base for several hours. The ocean was refreshing yet warm with such high salt content that we all floated carelessly bobbing on the waves.

Klong Kloi Beach bar!

After returning to our Hotel we opted for swimming pool water and relaxing under umbrellas at our beautiful resort. When the temperature is 30 plus 80+ humidity it feels close to 40 degrees!! Regular quick intervals of immersion in the water then hiding under shade with lots of sun protection was a perfect fit.

Tranquility Bay resort pool & view

The grounds at Tranquility Bay resort are stunning and every day during this intense heat male gardeners were busy maintaining their beauty. From bamboo hedges and palm trees to multiple species of local flowers this flora enticed a wide variety of bugs, amphibians, reptiles (we didn’t see any snakes there), Song birds, and Macaques monkeys!

Beauty around Tranquility Bay resort

We really were on the edge of a jungle here.