Day 56 - Crossing back into Thailand and on to Koh Chang!

Koh Chang Travel Blog

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One of the transport boats across the river on the way to the Thailand border. Yes ... your eyes aren't deceiving you .. it is 3 boats strapped together
Well after just relaxing back in Phnom Penh watching DVD's on the lakeside, today we were back on the road again. We were to get a taxi to the bus for Koh Chang at 6:30, another very early start! At this stage I was kinda wondering if the "Boulevard Of Broken Backsides" would of been worth the trip now. This is our second day of traveling and another early start ... the trip straight from Siem Reap to the south of Thailand couldn't of taken this long in total! When we arrived at the bus we found out that the we would have 4 or 5 bus changeovers before we even got to the ferry crossing to the island of Koh Chang. This was a little confusing to me ... as why would we need to change buses this often .
The boat that took us from the mainland of Thailand to Koh Chang
... it was all to become apparent later on in the trip!

The first bus was a nice 24 seater coach and it only had about 12 people on it in total so everyone had a seat to themselves and could relax a little on the journey! This first leg of the journey lasted about 3 hours in total, until we got to what looked like a perfectly new bridge .... that hadn't been officialy opened yet. Everyone had to get off te 24 seater coach, grab their luggage and walk across the bridge themselves, where we were to get on another bus for the next leg of the journey!

We got on to a small minibus then, with the luggage stacked in the back of it and spent another hour on this bus before we got to our next break point. We had come across another new concrete bridge, this time not totally finished, so we turned off down a small side road to get onto a ferry to take us across the river.
The walk across the first bridge .. that was finished ... but not open to traffic!
To be honest it wasn't really a ferry, it was more like 4 small boats all held together with strapping and some planks. Take a look at the photos to see what I mean.

After getting across the river and back onto the minibus, we spent another hour on the road until we got to another river crossing, again a place with a parially constructed bridge over the river, off down the side road again and onto another Ferry. This was becoming quite relaxing at the positive thing out of the stops was that we got regular breaks out of the small bus!

After several more legs of the journey on and off buses we finally made it to the border of Thailand, we passed through immigration on the Cambodian side, walked about 300 meters down the road and passed through Thailand immigration.
How to pack a Toyota hiace van!!!
Here we were again ... crossing back into Thailand, and back to the Thai Baht money that we had frst used on the trip! At this point, i was quite able to convert between most of the currencies we had in very strange ways. I would convert riel to dong to kip to baht and then back into euro ..... i'm sure  had lots of rounding errors ....but it seemed to work out ok. Now i was back to the normal Baht to Euro conversion again so it simplified things a little!!

We all climbed back onto a Thai minibus and started out journey to the port of Trat. As part of the multi-leg ticket we had the boat trip included as well. Again with all the entrepreneurs that here exist in Southeast Asia, we were brought to a quiet jetty, where we got on a day trip snorkeling boat for the 45 minute trip across to the island of Koh Chang.
The crowd on one of the boats across the many rivers
The boat was more that adequate for the trip across and we did have a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the island .. so it wasn't all that bad!

On the other side we were dropped off at a small pier behind a house ... it was more or less a private pier and this was was the first time in the entire rip that we weren't being harassed by taxi-drivers, motorbike taxi's or any other form of transport! There wasn't any!! None ... one woman did show up on a scooter, and told the people who has started walking away from the pier to turn back that the taxi would be there in a few minutes! It was strange .... not to be met by groups of people looking for your business!

Well the taxi arrived and we all squeezed onto the taxi, there were about 16 of us as well as baggage on a taxi that was designed for probably about 10 people .
The cabin of the river crossing boat. It had full live in facilities .....
.. but we made it. We were driven down to the main beach in Koh Chang, White Sands! It took us about 25 minutes from the boat pier on the other side of the island but it was worth it when we arrived!

White Sands is one of the nicest cleanest and most developed beach on Koh Chang. When we arrived it was dusk and the street running parallel to the beach brought back the familiar view of Thailand .... 7-Eleven stores, stalls selling beach shorts, sun glasses and any other touristy memorabilia! We jumped of the taxi, took a brief walk down onto the beach to look for accommodation but found most things to be very expensive. Breach huts near the beach were costing about 1000 BAHT. So we took a walk back up to the main street of white sands and found a simple but suitable beach hut off the main street for 400 BAHT.
Another of the bridges along the journey ... this one was almost finished as well!


After briefly settling in to the beach hut .. that wasn't exactly on the beach ... but close enough ..... we made our way across to the actual beach to find somewhere to have a drink! It was there that we discovered the KC bar .... a bar with matts and rugs on the beach and litle tables and candles .... a real beach bar. We sat and enjoyed the fireshow that hapened twice while we were there! I'll try and upload some videos of it too! We spent quite a while there, watching the tide roll in and out ... and the people smoke all sorts of weird tobacco pipes, while listeign to an eclectic Bob Marley collection ....  before finally heading back to our 'almost' beach side bungalow!!

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One of the transport boats across …
One of the transport boats across…
The boat that took us from the mai…
The boat that took us from the ma…
The walk across the first bridge .…
The walk across the first bridge …
How to pack a Toyota hiace van!!!
How to pack a Toyota hiace van!!!
The crowd on one of the boats acro…
The crowd on one of the boats acr…
The cabin of the river crossing bo…
The cabin of the river crossing b…
Another of the bridges along the j…
Another of the bridges along the …
Koh Chang ... taken from the mainl…
Koh Chang ... taken from the main…
A maritime museum at the boat cros…
A maritime museum at the boat cro…
A torpedo on display at the wartim…
A torpedo on display at the warti…
An artistic one of the sunset over…
An artistic one of the sunset ove…
Sunset over the island of Koh Chang
Sunset over the island of Koh Chang
Me relaxing at the KC bar on the b…
Me relaxing at the KC bar on the …
Koh Chang
photo by: Kju