NEW YEARS 2017-2018
There was no deliberation of where we were going to celebrate our New Years. Koh Chang is situated in the South East of Thailand, very close to the Cambodian border.
How to get there:
To get there from Chachoengsao, we took the van to Chonburi (from Bangkok take the bus to Chonburi, or if possible, to Rayong or Trat). When we arrived in Chonburi there seemed to be a delay for the next bus, but due to the high demand of travel, a lovely large air conditioned bus arrived! Little did we know, they’d be playing trap music and drum&bass at full volume all the way down to Chanthaburi! Not the most ideal setting to sleep!
We stayed overnight in Chanthaburi, at a lovely quaint hostel called “Travellers hostel”. It was a short 10 minute trip from the bus station and only cost 60 baht on motorbike taxi. Peter was a fantastic host, and we were able to have a room to ourselves as a group for 350 baht each (1 night). I would highly recommend anyone visiting or passing through this town to stay at this hostel. The communal areas were very clean, they had everything you needed: hair dryer, cotton buds, shampoo, body wash, coffee, free laundry…FREE LAUNDRY!!!!!
We walked down by the river and found a nice place to have dinner. It was an amazing sight walking down the streets, and we were able to see straight in to people´s houses! Imagine a glass shop window, this is exactly how their houses were set up, with shutters available to close at night. Certainly no wondering around in your undies unless you want the neighbours to see! After dinner, we headed to a local bar, where we drank the local Thai whisky, Hong Thong, and listened to a fantastic band (unfortunately the power kept going out, but it didn’t stop everyone from having a great time!).
In the morning we headed to the bus station and completed our last leg of the journey via a private Songtheaw! This was a lovely way to experience the scenery, albeit a little bit scary considering how fast he was going round corners!!
We stayed in BeeSleep Hostel on Lonely beach. It turns out everywhere had definitely overbooked. When we arrived at the hostel, there was a normal amount of beds in the room, and by the time New Years crept up, there was hardly any walking space, and the communal area had been filled with beds, as well as the office turning in to a make shift bedroom!
If I had to pick my favourite place in Koh Chang, it would, without a doubt, be Siam Hut. The sunsets from here are absolutely breathtaking.
Where to eat:
I know…the question you really want to ask is, “Where should I eat?!”. Look no further than Magic Garden!
They have a variety of Thai and Western style food all reasonable priced, and anything you choose will be fantastic. I had the chicken quesadilla….twice.
They have a dining area like this, as expected, but also a benched dining area, filled with cushions (napping is very easily achievable!), and a swinging chair. A fantastic place to eat, drink (their margaritas were to die for) and relax.
We saw in the New Year back at Siam Hut. Traditional Thai dancing, Fire Show (ooo that was lovely to watch…if you know, you know), and a countdown accompanied by a DJ set and party on the beach. Quick standard FaceTime to all, shouting “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!” down the phone, when it is only U.K. 5pm! Then, off to Himmel bar we went. Personally I wasn’t too keen on Himmel as it was so busy you could hardly move! But, that is what is to be expected on New Years and I imagine it wouldn’t be as packed normally. I ended up going back to Siam Hut with a few friends and partying on the beach before heading back to the hostel.
On New Years Day we rented a bikes and drove around the island for a while. We went to White Sand Beach, and ate at Sabay Bar. Tempted by pizza, this was one of the best pizzas Ive had in a long time!
As the girls headed back to the hostel to relax, I decided to continue biking and explore more of Koh Chang. I didn’t go too far, but instead of traffic lights, I had to stop twice…..for monkeys crossing the road! I would recommend, if you are wanting to ride a bike in Koh Chang, to practice elsewhere before coming here because the roads are very steep and windy! We also headed up to a Rasta bar which had an insane view out to sea!
I absolutely loved how beautiful this place was and definitely want to go back there if I ever have the chance!