It’s relatively easy to book transport from Bangkok to Koh Chang, whether through your hostel or one of the many travel agent booths on/around Khao San Road. Our hostel (Laksameenarai Guesthouse) did a good deal of 450 baht each (tenner) for the 7 hour journey (supposedly) by coach with air con and then ferry, but we didn’t set off till around 9am (was supposed to be 8) by the time all passengers had been collected from their hotels and brought to the bus, and then the traffic out of Bangkok was crazy. We didn’t get to the harbour until 3:15 so we had to wait for the next hourly ferry at 4pm, which took 45 minutes to get across to Koh Chang and we then had to jump in a white taxi (which fits approx 10 passengers and their luggage) to get to Lonely Beach; we had pre-booked 3 nights in a bungalow at Little Eden (450 baht, less than a tenner, per night) on Lonely Beach, which took about 30-45 minutes to get to for 100 baht each. We therefore weren’t settled in our room until 6pm and had missed the day’s sun, but we were able to wander over to the beach (15 minutes) for wonderful views of the sunset over the beach.
Sleeping in the bungalow was an interesting experience; a large part of Koh Chang is jungles meaning there are millions of mosquitos, so our bed in our hut comes complete with a mosquito net around it – as someone whom will undoubtedly get bitten this was great, but I still had to invest in some tougher insect repellent than the “natural” one I had brought with me. The bungalows also have a bathroom with shower and a”patio” area complete with bench and hammock. I actually had one of the best nights sleep on the entire trip so far.
Despite thunder and rain during the night we woke to perfectly blue skies. We headed our around 11am, stopping for some freshly made shakes (passionfruit for me and banana for Jason) on the way to the beach. We found a lovely spot, I applied my factor 30 sun cream and we spent the next few hours lazing around and swimming in the sea. We ventured off for some food at 2:30/3 and this was when I realised I had been completely burnt all over; clearly my sun cream hadn’t worked. That evening was the worst nights sleep I have ever experienced; after walking back to our hut I felt as though I was going to faint, throw up or both. I couldn’t even sort my things out, I just had to get into bed, but even that wasn’t comfortable because of how burnt my skin was and how hot I was.
I probably slept for a total of 3 hours and, when I woke, found I couldn’t walk without the skin on my legs burning or me coming close to fainting. I had to have an assisted-shower by Jason, with me sitting on the toilet floor, just to cool off, and spent the day laying in the hammock as I literally couldn’t move. There had been severe thunder and lightning in the night so our power at gone, and it was raining during the day, too, so not being able to get anywhere and having to rest wasn’t so badly timed, especially with a hammock to laze around all day in. However
the lack of power at the start of the day did make it tricky to find food and meant I couldn’t even crack on with uploading my blog posts. Oh the injustice! The hardest part, though, was how being so unwell made me really miss my mum – the person I still go to for comfort and love (and cuddles!) when I’m poorly – and home in general. It’s difficult not having your creature comforts and familiar surroundings when you feel so vulnerable (and if I feel vulnerable due to being unwell I then feel emotional, too, so doubly vulnerable!)
The sunstroke/heatstroke/whatever-it-was wiped me out so badly (and was so painful) that we ended up booking another night in Koh Chang to give my energy levels a chance to pick back up before we took the long journey back to Bangkok and then up to Chiang Mai. It was good to slow down and take some time out and it wasn’t the worst time for it to happen (especially as one day just rained anyway) but it was just a shame to not make the most of Lonely Beach’s bars and nightlife and, most importantly, beaches! The fresh banana shakes you could get round the corner for 30 baht (60p) nearly made up for it…
On our last day I still felt pretty wiped out, dizzy, hot and in pain, and now the heat from my body was giving me a headache (along with, I’ll admit, the tears from the pain and feeling homesick) – having up til now held off from “drastic” measures due to money and, most likely, embarrassment, after face timing my mum & step dad and taking onboard their words of parental wisdom, I (with the help of Jason) laid down and draped a cold, wet towel over my whole body in a bid to cool the skin and sent him to the pharmacy to pick me up some dioralyte, Coca Cola (when my mum first suggested “Coke” I thought she meant something completely different, but apparently “full fat” Coke acts in the same way as dioralyte) and Kerolone; a liquidy lotion that apparently helps with severe sunburn. The sopping towel was my favourite part and, naturally, I took a selfie…
I felt alive enough to venture out for some food on our last evening and we chose Siam Hut; a restaurant and accommodation venue where you can sit cross-legged on the decking to eat your food and listen to the waves lapping up against the side. The Stars were out in full force and it made me feel slightly better about life (only slightly, of course). Not a bad way to end a trip to Koh Chang that otherwise hadn’t been quite what I hoped.
The following morning we left at 8:40 for a minivan, ferry and coach ride back to Bangkok (arranged with the travel agency next door for 450 baht – a tenner – each) to spend a night there again before taking the overnight train to Chiang Mai, as I’m still in recovery…
[See next post: Bangkok 2]
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