Ao Yai, Ko Chang (North Andaman)
Ao Yai is the main beach on Ko Chang NA. The north end of the beach is the best, during high tide there is still enough sand to lay out a beach towel and relax. On some parts of the beach, the sand changes to the black color. It’s a good 30 minute walk from the north to the south end of the beach. The more special bungalows of Ko Chang Resort are located in the south, on the cliff. Unfortunately, the beach here disappears at high tide. And at low tide the whole beach is meters wide.
Long Beach and Sunset Bungalows, both budget options, are located at the northern end of the beach. Sunset Bungalows has bamboo bungalows in a tree plantation and Long Beach has wooden bungalows in a garden. Further south we found the Cashew Resort, a good alternative on this part of the beach. Chang Thong Bungalow and the nice bungalows of Ko Chang Resort are located in the middle of the bay. Both have an internet connection. The bungalows of Ko Chang Resort are on stilts above the sea. In the back they have cheaper less attractive bungalows. The closest beach to this residence is a 100m walk away.
All accommodations have their own kitchen.
Ko Chang is a beautiful island with narrow concrete and dirt roads that lead through fields of rubber trees and cashew orchards. It is very quiet: there are no cars and almost no motorcycles on the island. Ko Chang is where visitors go to enjoy a somewhat isolated, relaxed beach with simple huts. It really is the ‘old-fashioned Thai way of beach life’.
Walking and motorcycle taxis are the main means of transportation for getting around the island. Electricity is usually only available in the evenings. WiFi is sometimes available. Yoga and tai chi classes are taught at Om Tao (www.omtao.net). There are no ATMs on Ko Chang, so bring cash.
The town of Ranong is a good starting place to reach Ko Chang. Nok Air and Airasia operate daily flights between Bangkok and Ranong. Bus services between Chumphon and Phuket stop in Ranong. A 20 minute minibus or taxi ride will take you to the pier. From Ranong Pier, several 20-minute speedboat services take you to Ko Chang (350 baht), or a 60-minute slowboat takes you to the island (200 baht). Check the internet for the timetables.
During the high season there is at least one daily speedboat connection to Ko Phayam (300 baht). Motorbikes take you to the other side of the island (100 baht). You can’t rent scooters on the island.