Ko Chang is a paradise island at just 6 hours overland from Bangkok, with jungle and waterfalls, stunning sandy beaches, great snorkeling and amazing seafood. We only stayed three nights and two days, and since there is not too much to write about our stay here, I’ll mainly let the photos do it justice.

Who made our stay special here is Paradise Palms, a quiet and hidden resort owned by Matt a very nice English dude who welcomed us and looked after us very well during our stay here. He had a very interesting life and travelled the world a lot, and of course he knows Thailand and South East Asia very well since he lived here for 15 years. It is a great spot, with the best banana pancakes I’ve ever tasted, and with a breathtaking sunset just in front of you every night. There are only four bungalows and the family run feel, and the welcome and friendly owners Matt and Tara made our stay here unforgettable.

We arrived from Bangkok after a six hours journey on a minibus with no suspensions, that was going too too fast for my liking. The driver made over 15 phone calls during the drive (I stopped counting after that) which made us wonder if he had a call centre job alongside his driver job. He also kept eating peanuts, for the entire journey, opening them with both hands every time and leaving the steering wheel loose. Not the most relaxing journey. But we forgot all about it as we arrived at Paradise Palms, had our first snorkel and our first sunset here with a beer and good company. Matt joined us for a beer, with Tara and their daughter and we met another guest staying which is a famous golf caddie. He kindly hosted us in his bungalow terrace and we got chatting. After the sun went down we checked out a local restaurant called Saffron, and treated ourselves with a delicious meal for less than £15 for the two of us. My Pad Thai was amazing (nothing like the ones in London, much much better and it was only £1.60!) and Bruce was also very happy with yet again another Tom Yum Soup!

Day 2 in Ko Chang started with the best ever banana pancakes made by Tara, and then Matt very kindly drove us to find another charger for our gadgets, since we broke the second one already. So annoying, but this chores are important to fix quickly when you are travelling for so long. The rest of the day was chilling by the beach, first by coconut beach (Klong Prao beach) where Matt dropped us off. Great sandy beach, with shallow water, and some beautiful swings hanging from the coconut palm trees every few metres. We then moved to White Sand Beach for sunset, another very beautiful beach, which felt a bit smaller but probably it was due to high tide (alta marea) and the low light. We had a great Green Curry dinner by the beach – we were particularly satisfied since we found the only place that accepts cards so far in Ko Chang. Everyone wants cash here, it’s really hard to pay with plastic despite the optimistic and encouraging view that was pictured on the Lonely Planet. After dinner we got a taxi back. The only taxis here are open back pickups with benches, where you hop on and hop off the main road as needed. We met some friendly Ukranians, and managed a sort of chat, not in English but in signs.

Day 3 was spent on a boat, snorkeling and visiting four of the islands that are part of the national park south of Ko Chang. We departed from Bang Bao jetty/pier which is a very interesting place, with floating houses and a very long market to pass through to get to where the boats depart. A good day out, we saw lots of fishes, and swam a lot, nice lunch included as well as afternoon snacks, snorkeling gear and transportation door to door either way. Decent for a £15 cost. We got back just in time for our last sunset at Paradise Palms, with our new friends, again on the terrace of one of the bungalows. We went back to Saffron, too lazy to get to town after a long day out. Early start tomorrow as we are travelling 7hrs and across the border to Cambodia… Already time to say goodbye to Thailand and enter our 5th country out of 15!


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