It is still low season here on Koh Chang and we often have Lonely Beach almost to ourselves.
Our Garden Bungalow
We moved into a new bungalow with a lovely garden view. There is no air conditioning but with the windows open, there is a nice breeze and it is very comfortable inside. There are tiny frogs living in the water barrel in our bathroom. The wifi works most of the time and when it doesn’t, there is a cafe a short distance away. It costs 300 baht a night in low season.
I’m sad to say that the owner of these bungalows has not been the most pleasant. After staying for one night, we took the owner up on her offer of getting one night free if you pay for 7 nights in advance. We were really happy with the room and thought this was a good deal. Yesterday, I was taking a shower and had just set my shampoo down on the sink, when the entire sink collapsed. The wood was rotten from the constant exposure to water. We called the owner over and she quickly moved us to a new bungalow and then presented us with a bill for the sink! What could we do? If we refused to pay for the sink, we would lose what we had paid for the room and would have to go in search of new accommodation. In the end, we talked the amount down a bit and decided to stay and try to not let the incident ruin our trip. The owner has been very unpleasant after this and refuses to look at us in the face. I read the reviews on Trip Advisor and charging guests for pre-existing damage looks to be a common practice.
Greedy landlady aside, we are loving every second of our time here on Koh Chang. Every morning we wake up happy and go for a leisurely breakfast at Stone Free. The early afternoon is spent working online at a small coffee shop on the main street. After that, it’s time for a swim! Micheal bought himself a snorkel set but I’m happy to do nothing but float on my back with my eyes closed. The sea is as warm as bathwater and the water is crystal clear. There is something very cleansing about salt water. All the stress I had been feeling over the sale of the bar and our future has melted away. Things seem easier, our path is more distinct.
Restaurants on Lonely Beach
There is a good variety of cheaper restaurants in the Lonely Beach area. There are several Thai restaurants, a Mexican and of course there are the backpacker staples like banana pancakes and pizza. If you want more variety, or something more high-end, you will need to go back toward White Sand Beach or Kai Bae Beach. We found a great Indian place near Kai Bae.
Exploring Koh Chang
Taking a songthaew taxi from Lonely Beach to one of the other beaches was expensive. Most people we saw chose to rent a scooter. The roads are often steep and have sharp turns. I would not recommend it for inexperienced riders. That said, we tried it anyway rather than pay for a taxi anytime we wanted to go somewhere.
The scooter rental place gave Micheal a quick 10 minute lesson and then we were off, with me on the back. I’m sure that my cursing and gasping did not help Micheal’s concentration but we survived the experience. We saw more than one person wipe out along the road. Fortunately, the injuries seemed to be minor cuts and scrapes but be very careful around the sharp turns.
Koh Chang means Elephant Island and there is elephant trekking on the island, which is something that I choose not to support. We saw this sweet baby penned along the side of the road. There are also non-elephant jungle treks available but I am still getting used to the heat and prefer to spend my time on the beach. We did explore some of the other beaches but none of them are prettier than Lonely Beach. They do have larger hotel resorts and better restaurants but I’m happy where we are.
After sunset, we decided to go for dinner in the Bang Bao Fishing Village. Somehow we got very lost and missed the turn to the pier. We rode around in the dark, trying to avoid running over scorpions the size of your hand before deciding to head back to Lonely Beach. We will have to try again during the day.
I think that I could stay here happily for several months but we have a friend to meet in Cambodia and will be leaving for Sihanoukville in a few days. But I know that we will be back one day.