If it took you 15 hours to travel to a paradise island on a succession of cramped, smelly busses, minivans and boats, would you do it?
Jonathan and I answered yes to that question last week. Despite a ridiculously long journey to the southern Thai island of Koh Chang, we found it to be worth the stress. It is an unbelievably beautiful place, with 70% of the island covered in untouched rain forests. Most of the hotels and resorts on the island border the white sand beaches along the coasts. The name — Koh Chang — translates to “elephant island” because of the islands shape (elephants aren’t native here, but tourism has lead many companies to ship some in for elephant treks).
Koh Chang, not too far from Cambodia
It’s no exaggeration that it took an extortionate amount of time to reach Koh Chang from Lopburi. We were given explicit directions from a friend of how to get there, what to pay, where to catch busses, etc. It was fun but grueling, since Jonathan and I are both tall with long legs that aren’t meant to fit into seats proportioned for more petite Asians. We essentially fell into our hotel bed from exhaustion when we finally arrived on the island.
The highlights of our mini vacation mostly centered western food (food glorious foooood). While we both love Thai food and have enjoyed expanding our knowledge of the cuisine, nothing beats a good burger and fries. Or pizza. Or pasta. Give us any of the above and we tend to salivate in a way we never knew we would after living abroad few just a few weeks. At the moment, we predominantly eat Thai food for two meals a day (we eat cereal and drink tea in our apartment).
We stayed in bungalows about a 3 minute walk from the beach
I suppose there isn’t always too much to write about a beach vacation. We mostly relaxed on the shore, went swimming, read books, tried out different western restaurants on the island (I found great coffee, which made me happy. The instant stuff isn’t cutting it). It was beautiful and amazingly cheap for what we were getting. You can’t beat the value in Thailand, I can assure you that.
All in all, it was well worth the effort.