Our 4 days on Koh Chang island was equally relaxing and adventurous. After recovering from our jet lag in Pattaya we headed off on our first adventure, Koh Chang. Phil, our courageous driver took to the roads and got us to the ferry in under 4 hours. The ferry journey was quick, maybe 45 minutes, however, very different from any ferry I have ever been on. It was an adventure though and beautiful to see the island come into view. When we arrived we drove 20 minutes to our hotel, Gaja Puri and checked ourselves in. This part of our trip was our relaxation at a resort kind of time and it was just that. The resort was beautiful and on the ocean, check back this week to see more about it!
The next day we decided we should check out one of the waterfalls on the island. We decided to visit the largest, Khlong Phlu waterfall. It wasn't too far of a drive from our hotel, after paying the national park fee and parking we headed in. The walk isn't difficult and is quite short, just 15 minutes or so. If you don't mind swimming in really cold water, pack a towel and swimsuit to jump in. I did not do this, but everyone else did (except my dad too.) The waterfall cascades into a plunge pool which feeds into the river. We went earlier in the day because we had been told it gets quite busy later on, and that was very true. So if you want that beautiful photo aim to be there around 10am that way you can enjoy your walk, the view and a swim before heading back to relax for the afternoon like we did.
The next day we decided we wanted to see a different part of the island. Dave and I had read about a nature walk through the mangrove forests on Koh Chang. However, when we arrived we couldn't find this walkway and instead ended up taking a boat ride and I am glad we did. It was such a beautiful way to see another part of the island. There were three of us in each boat so we had to take two. We were able to see how the mangrove forest grows and how they drop their seeds into the water to grow new trees. We went all the way out to a lagoon where you could see a fishing village and where the lagoon opens out to the sea. Once we got back to the docks we decided on a fish filled lunch since it couldn't have been more fresh and it was delicious! Once again we headed back to our hotel to relax, swim and attempt at getting a sun tan.
After filling up on delicious Thai food most evenings we still managed to find space and head to our favourite food vendor for her roti pancakes. This was our new obsession and I still miss how good they were. Watching her was fascinating and entertaining as she often had a massive line behind her which made her work extremely quickly. You could have your roti stuffed with whatever you wanted from: mango, banana, pineapple, egg and milk with different flavoured syrup on top. A change from the usual crepe stands, the roti had a crispier taste to them and I am pretty sure we had one every single night we were on the island.
Our final day was spent snorkeling around the islands surrounding Koh Chang. Dave was very adamant about us going and my mum really wanted to join so the three of us headed out in the morning for a day on the boat. We decided it would be more fun to take a smaller speed boat, although I regretted it a little bit once we hit the open water and we were crashing against the waves. It was still a lot of fun though. We stopped at 5 spots throughout the day, 3 where we jumped straight off the boat into an area just for snorkeling and 2 where we went onto islands and snorkeled off the beach. We also were fed lunch in the middle of the day which helped us with our energy levels. I have to admit I am not much of a swimmer, I can do it just not confidently. So a few stops along the journey I opted to not get off the boat, whereas Dave was jumping off the second the boat stopped. Once I did get the courage to get in and put my head in it was truly amazing. So many colourful fish and sea urchins everywhere. I am really glad Dave forced my hand at it and made me try something new and adventurous.
Like most of our trip in Thailand I really enjoyed every minute of it but was also saddened by the garbage everywhere. From the floating plastic we saw on our tour of the mangrove to the polluted beaches my mum and I walked (and tried to clean up.) It seems like a real problem that I hope the country will realize soon and make an effort to clean it up. Or else the beautiful fish we saw, may not be there in years to come.
I loved our few days we had on Koh Chang and really enjoyed seeing the different places around the island. I would highly recommend visiting it and definitely staying a few days to soak it all in.