Alone on a deserted island…

RTW: 2007-2008, Southeast Asia, Thailand — By on June 24, 2008 9:11 AM

There have been many times in my life when I have longed to be alone on a deserted island. I just spent five very relaxing days on the beautiful island of Koh Chang, which was exactly what I mind as I wanted nothing more but to be alone in a quiet and beautiful place. Koh Chang is one of Thailand’s least visited islands, located southeast of Bangkok. To get to the island, I took a seven hour bus ride to the town of Trat, where I took a one hour boat ride to the island. Once on the island, I jumped in the back of a truck (taxi) filled with many others, and asked to be taken to Kai Bae Beach. The majority of people got off at White Sands Beach, which is known to be the most touristy of all of the beaches.

My good friend Anne, from San Francisco, had spent some time in Kai Bae and suggested a place I should stay. Unfortunately, the place she suggested was closed, which I didn’t realize until my taxi had left. It’s a good thing my backpack is small, because I ended up walking several kilometers before finally selecting my accommodation. I briefly stayed in one cabin until I realized the door to my open air shower didn’t lock. I did not feel safe as anyone could jump over the wall and enter my room. I had to argue to get my money back but I was successful and eventually landed a great room at Nang Nual Resort. I stayed in a private cabin with ocean views and an awesome pool! I literally had the pool completely to myself each day! The water in both the pool and the ocean was warm, but still very refreshing from the very humid days.

I loved Kai Bae Beach as it was very laid back with a small village feel. The entire island was pretty quiet, which was exactly what I wanted. Upon arriving I had decided my time spent on the island would be for me to relax and take a vacation from my vacation! I spent my days lying on the beach, swimming in the ocean and pool, reading books, getting massages, and practice yoga and meditation. I took three days of yoga classes with my Thai instructor, Dada. The truth is I am horrible at yoga…I can’t even touch my toes! This is one of the man reasons I have decided to take up yoga, because I need to improve my flexibility, balance, and posture. I find yoga extremely challenging, but I plan to stick with it! It was great to have a one on one teacher and I did see improvements in myself by the end of my last session.

I got my first Thai massage on the beach for 250 baht ($7). The massage lasted an hour and was very intense! This little Thai lady amazed me with her strength as she literally climbed on top me, pressing her elbows and knees deep into my body, causing me to scream out a few times! Overall, the massage was awesome, just very intense as I tend to be a wuss when it comes to massages. There were signs for massages all over the beach including a sign advertising a “viagra massage.” I wonder what that is all about???

I rented a motorbike for a day to explore more of the island, as the beaches are very far apart from one another. I seemed to be the only person on the island to wear a helmet, but I knew if anyone was going to crash it would be me! In the first five minutes of driving, a giant dragonfly like creature flew into my face and got trapped between my ear and the helmet strap! It was flapping it’s wings violently as I screamed and felt helpless as I could not let go of the handle bars for fear of crashing! It eventually freed itself of my helmet without any damage to either party.

I drove the motorbike to Klong Plu Waterfall and did a short hike to the fall where there were several people swimming. I then drove up to White Sands Beach where I had lunch and a nap on the beach. White Sand Beach is said to be the most touristy beach on the island; however, I did not find the island to be very touristy at all. It is less popular of a destination compared to the other well know Thai islands. It is also considered “low season” at the moment, and attracts less tourist to the country due to the rainy weather. Even though it is monsoon season, I did not see a drop of rain during my time on the island. I was the only patron in every restaurant that I ate and many restaurants were closed with signs saying the owners were on holiday and would return in October. I enjoyed the quiet serenity the island offered.

I wanted to trek through the jungle in the center of the island and figured what better way to do it than on an elephant’s back? I decided to go on a 1-hour trek with elephant Thongyacht. He was a huge elephant and I felt so high up off the ground! We trekked through the jungle which was lush and green with tons of grapefruits within my reach to pick from the trees. It was a beautiful view from the top of the elephant, but also a little scary at times! A wild pig showed up in our path causing Thongyacht to stop in his tracks until the pig moved out of our way. On the way back, my guide insisted that I ride on the elephants neck. I was a little scared of falling off at first, but it was a really cool experience! The elephants skin was very tough, like leather, and the hairs on his head so prickly that I felt much discomfort on the journey back. Every once in a while the elephant would raise his trunk up to me and I feared he was going to spit on me! The guide told me that he was hungry and was only hoping I would feed him.

I spent my last evening on the island by watching the sunset over the ocean. It is moments like this that I wish I were traveling with a significant other, as I find sunsets so romantic.

Cost Summary for 5 days/4 nights on beautiful tropical island!

Round trip transportation, bus/boat: $500 baht
Accommodation (4 nights, includes breakfast): $2800 baht
Motorbike rental, 1 day: $200 baht
1-hour Thai Massage: $250 baht
Elephant Ride: $400 baht
Yoga classes: $600 baht
Food/drink: $1000 baht
Cute red dress: $200 baht
TOTAL: $5800 baht /$180.00

After a long bus ride, I am now back in crazy Bangkok. I am meeting up with my friend Nicole tomorrow and we will pow wow about our future travel plans. Be sure to check out Nicole’s blog as well: RANGE COMMANDER

I have only know Nicole for a few months as I met her through my friend Lauren. We both desired to see much of Southeast Asia and thought it would be fun to travel together!

To see all my photos of Koh Chang, CLICK HERE!

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1 Comment

  1. Natalie says:

    Hey Girl! It’s your high school friend Natalie B. from good old Georgia! Just wanted to let you know I’ve been keeping up with your blog. Stay safe! I worry about you when I read you are alone on a deserted island! 🙂

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