When we arrived in Thailand last year we were faced with the same problem many tourists find themselves faced with when planning a trip to Thailand. We wanted a relaxing beach to go to that wasn’t too far away from Bangkok, that wasn’t too touristy (you can cross Pattaya off your list straight away) and not too expensive (that cancels out Koh Samet too!) Where could we go?
Asia is a continent of wonder to me, having grown up in England, and despite visiting on holidays in the past I felt compelled to spend longer here to immerse myself in the many different cultures within. About a year ago my partner and I decided to quit our jobs in London to explore the world, determined to find the most beautiful and secluded spots that have to be seen to be believed. For four hot months we hopped around South East Asia soaking up as much culture as we could; eating delicious food, learning the language, and trying to understand the histories that made these countries great.
I love to research and find the highlights for the counties I visit before I get there, and it was clear that the first three countries on our itinerary, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia, all had impressive ancient temples to explore. I’d heard great things about Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex, and a few travellers who like to go off the beaten track had mentioned the wonders of Myanmar’s Temples of Bagan and Thailand’s Sukothai Archaeological Zone. I couldn’t wait to explore all three sites and see for myself what each place had to offer and which one I would love the most.
Koh Chang is a popular destination for pretty much every type of tourist because of its close proximity to Bangkok. Backpackers, flashpackers, honeymooners, families and Thai tourists all make the 5 hour bus journey or 2 hour flight and ferry trip here searching out sun, sea and sand. Choosing the right place to stay is of paramount importance here though, as each beach or village has its own personality, something you realise quickly when you explore the island on a motorbike as many tourists do.
Luckily I’ve done that for you and have put together my candid guide of what to expect and where to book your next holiday. I’ll start by the pier and move round in an anti clockwise direction, as all the developed areas are on the west coast. The east coast is great for exploring with a motorbike to find some lovely hidden gems, and worth looking into if you want to stay somewhere isolated, a few resorts have started popping up.