Koh Chang - To the beach!
Koh Chang Ferry
Goodness day five already, where has the time gone! Up at 7:30am (ugh!) to pack all my stuff up, breakfast was rice soup with chicken this time. Checked out of hotel just after 9am and tried to catch a taxi to the bus station as I didn't fancy lugging my bag to the BTS station about a ten minute walk but sweaty work in this heat. The first taxi guy who approached me had been hanging about outside all morning, I noticed him there while I was eating breakfast, he was all "Ah hello my friend where you go?". He looked a bit disappointed when I said the bus station and asked if would like a taxi all the way to Koh Chang, eventually we got to discussing a price to the bus station but he countered my B50 offer with B250 and didn't seem interested in lowering his price any further. Eventually the hotel porter flagged down another taxi who agreed to take me there using the meter, a rare event when taking tourists it seems. This guy didn’t speak much English but we set off anyway down Sukhumvit road following underneath the BTS track that goes to Ekamai station when the next thing he turns off left from the main road. Well after checking that he knew where I was going we eventually arrived after doing a massive circuit about 25 minutes later. Bearing in mind on the BTS it takes about 10 minutes costs about B20 I wondered whether he was literally just taking me for a ride but he reckoned it was the one way system, who knows i certainly didn’t but I have my doubts! The fare came to B77 but I was just relieved to get there before my bus departed at 9:45, next time I’ll take the BTS.
The bus is quite posh not full and most of the passengers are European, mostly Germans and Scandinavians including the two miserable looking and I suspect slightly hungover young girls sitting in front of me as I write this.
They’ve just pulled the curtains on the window closed and gone to sleep, so much for a culturally enlightening holiday taking in the views and the scenery, the youth of today, tchh! The bus has a uniformed steward as well as a driver and he’s just come round with a box of biscuits and water (see pic), not bad for a five hour trip for only B250.
Hopefully I’ve learnt my lesson with cup holders and don’t spill this one all over myself again!!
Eventually arrived at Laem Ngob (or Centre Point) pier for the ferry to Koh Chang at 3:15pm, took a bit longer than advertised as despite being a direct bus we kept stopping to pick up and drop off various random people! We also had a 20 minute stop at the services for lunch (see pic).
At the ferry terminal we paid our B80 for the crossing and were packed onto a dilapidated cart to take us to the end of the pier.
It got a bit stuck trying to reverse up a very slight incline with all those people and their luggage on board, it was all a bit too much for what seemed like a converted moped engine pressed into service to power the cart. We made to the end of the pier where we were greeted by the somewhat dilapidated ferry.
After a 45 minute crossing we reached Koh Chang around 4:45pm where a couple of songteows were on hand to take the foot passengers to their final destinations on the various beaches. Unfortunately there were too many passengers for just two despite the best efforts of the drivers to cram as many people on board as possible. I got lucky after thinking I was going have to wait for another one to turn up and got the last available space on one which just happened to be the passenger seat next to the driver rather than hanging on for dear life off the back.
Twenty minutes later I got dropped off at my resort the Iyara which appears to be German run judging from the accent of the guy behind the reception desk and the number of German speaking patrons in the reception area. It’s set back from the road quite a way so bit of bag lugging required. Got allocated a bungalow at the far end of the resort so should be quiet at least.
Room is pretty standard resort fare with a somewhat funky bathroom, check out the shell for a tap
Unpacked my stuff and then jumped on the complementary taxi to The Iyara Restaurant which is located about a five minute drive away on the bank of the river estuary just fifty metres from the beach. A whole fish again for supper this time fried with "Three tastes" sauce, very tasty, tasty,tasty!( Ah that’s why it’s called that!) Only thing was it came to B600 including drink and tip (about £12), I guess you’re paying for the ambiance and sunset views over the estuary (and service!).
Complimentary taxi back to the hotel then took a little stroll around the local area, no beers tonight but I did fall off the wagon diet wise and treat myself to an ice cream! Then an early night, 9:30pm!