Juanito’s Travels 50 yr backpacker – Koh Chang, Lonely Beach, Massages & Koh Chang Seafood pt25

Koh Chang Seafood, Thailand

I’m having a chilled day in Pakbeng, Laos on the slow boat journey from Huay Xi to Luang Prabang, using the day to rest and catch-up on my blog.

In my last Juanito’s Travels post I spent more time on Ayutthaya than I did on Koh Chang. So now, Koh Chang.

Koh Chang - Lonely Beach

We stayed at Lonely Beach, at the Oasis Koh Chang, up a very steep hill, in amongst some wonderful nature. It’s towards the southern part of the island on the West coast where most of the tourist spots seem to be. Lonely Beach has a bit of a reputation for being a party place. On the short ferry crossing from the mainland we saw some young Germans coming off the barge smoking joints looking as though they hadn’t had much rest in days. The place does have its share of bars and the like but we were in bed by around 9 pm so couldn’t tell you much about that. At breaky I did see some tourists walking around who’d I’d seen the night before who looked like they’d been up all night on mushrooms or something. Weed is plentiful in the area, and I think mushrooms are not uncommon. Later in the day, a lady boy who was having a massage next to me on Lonely beach, who was as high as a kite at the time, pulled out a few bags of tiny white mushrooms that she showed to the masseur, not ones I’d seen before, somehow reminded me of the blue meanies from the Beatles song I can’t recall, or was it the Yellow Submarine movie. There was something Beatlish (circa the late 60s) about them.

We live 800 metres from one of the best beaches in the world on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The beaches on Koh Chang, if you are into beaches at all, may disappoint a little. At the least ones we saw weren’t that amazing, but there’s a few that have their charm. On our first day we explored the island a little going up to Klong Prao Beach. It cost us maybe 200 baht to get up there, and we got dropped off at one of the resorts on the coast which we had to walk through to get to the beach. Up that way practically the only way to get to the beaches is through the resorts. The beaches were very average and we could see some nicer, sandier ones further north, so we walked along the beach in the 33/34 degree C heat which felt just as intense as the 38s and 39s we’d had in Bangkok, only to find there was a river in the way. We could see a nice looking bunch of restaurants across the way so we tried to find ways of early traversing the river but could not so we hired another taxi that we flagged down at a nearby resort to take us around to the restaurant area for another 150 baht.

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The beaches weren’t great around there either. The water, at that time of year, was as refreshing on a hot day as one of those warm wet clothes they give you when you get onto a plane. You go from what feels like 38 degrees to what feels like 37.5 degrees. If you wade around a bit you find a few cooler currents that refresh for a few minutes. Getting wet does help with the heat. Underwhelmed by our swim, though happy to have finally gotten into the water, especially me who made my wife walk all that way in the heat to try and find a nice spot on the beach, we smoked a quarter of a joint and made our way to Koh Chang Seafood (ร้าน ๒๔๘๘ 21/80 ทางเข้า Ko Chang District, Trat 23170, Thailand), which is just by the river. The seafood there was worth the hike. I had a seafood Tom Yum and my wife had the fish with Thai herbs. The Tom Yum was f*cking amaaaazing, and the restaurant was in a nice little location on the inlet, so really worth a detour to get there. I’m going to give it two Michelin stars, because of course I am authorised to do that. After a superb lunch, and my wife satisfied that we’d gotten wet and fed, we walked further up Klong Prao Beach, as there was a little town area we’d seen on the map where we could get more Baht. Although a little nicer, it was also disappointing up that way as well as every bit of beachfront was taken over by resorts so none of the usual massages, bars and restaurants that I previously remember in Thailand. Mind you, the last time I’d been on a Thai island was back in 1995, where I stayed at Koh Samed (or Koh Samet), that was a pretty little island that I might try again some day. Don’t know if this place still exists but it was in a pretty spot with nice beaches and turquoise water in the north. Not super developed in 1995, I suspect it’s changed a bit since then.

tuk tuk Koh chang

Anyhow, after we struggled with several ATMs to work out which account we had money in with one, Bangkok Bank saying we had no money. We got charged like $2 AUD each time we stuck a card in, and were afraid we’d spend all our money on fees before we got any actual cash, but we ended up working out we had to do a balance enquiry first to work out which account the ATM thought we had money in, could be credit, could be default, I think once it was in the savings account. We got enough baht for the rest of the trip once we’d figured all that out and then made our way back up to Lonely Beach by another taxi – more or a tuk tuk, shared taxi thing with bench seats and a little roof overhead to shade us and chuck luggage up on when needed. It cost us maybe 150 baht more, so apart from the Koh Chang Seafood restaurant I didn’t see a point in ever going back to Klong Prao Beach ever in my life again. I won’t bother with Koh Chang ever again either but there’s a few charms to the place, nothing worth going out of the way for though, in my opinion.

Once back at Lonely Beach we made our way to the beach area there. It was around high tide, but just like Klong Prao Beach we had to access it through one of the resorts. But unlike Klong Prao Beach there were beachside bars and restaurants and most importantly several massage places. So we should have saved the taxi fares and just wandered down to Lonely Beach, and then gotten a taxi direct to Koh Chang Seafood. Go to Koh Chang Seafood though! It’s worth a detour and they don’t give me any money for that endorsement for what it’s worth!

It was high tide so the back looked pretty nice. There were rocks along the shore you had to navigate, but once over them it was fairly shallow and calm, at least on the day we went. The water was the same, hot with a few patches of slightly cooler water. We hired ourselves a few beach chairs for 50 baht each and sat drinking beers and soft drinks. I got myself an hour-long Thai massage with oil for 350 baht I think. Next to the lady boy who had some sort of half day face treatment, massage and the works. Being stoned the massage felt good, no happy endings, but got a good all over rub. The mattresses we had were hard as rocks so it was good to get some neck action in the end. The lady boy wouldn’t shut up, but she was more entertaining than annoying. Super funny.

massage lonely beach Koh chang

After getting our 50 baht’s worth from the beach chair and settling our bull with the massage place for the soft drinks, waters and beers, we maybe smoke a little more weed, who knows, and walked up the beach 15 metres to a restaurant and had some pretty decent Pad Thai, and maybe something else, I think I might have convinced my wife to get a Tom Yum. Yeah, a bit stoned, but hazy on details but remember nice food. We watched the sunset from the restaurant before heading back to the hotel for a swim, catching up on social media, another shower, and then bed.

lonely beach Koh chang Thailand