How to get to the island?
Getting to Koh Chang is relatively easy and fast in comparison to many other islands. Thanks to its close proximity to Bangkok you can choose between several transit methods. As there is no right answer of traveling to Koh Chang, the mode of transport depends mainly on your time and comfort. We have selected the three main hubs from where visitors arrive from – Bangkok, Chiang Mai and even Cambodia.
If you arrive in Bangkok before noon, you can easily reach Koh Chang on the very same day. Should your arrival delay, however, book a night in Bangkok and continue the next morning.
The most convenient way to reach Koh Chang is by plane. Although you have to fly to Trat (TDX) on the mainland, Koh Chang is just a stone’s throw away and easily reachable via minibus or private car from there. There are cars and minivans outside the airport that offer door-to-door service from the airport to your hotel on Koh Chang. Prices start at 500 THB (one-way). The last ferry to Koh Chang depends on the last flight to Trat and vice versa.
There are currently three daily flights from Bangkok to Trat, all operated by Bangkok Airways, the company that also owns and operates Trat Airport. The flight takes just about under one hour.
More details: TratAirportGuide.com
There are three locations from where you can take a bus to Koh Chang: Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Ekkemai Bus Terminal and the Victory Monument in the heart of Bangkok.
Do note that most buses won’t drive directly to the pier but to the bus terminal in Trat. Take a blue Songthaew (shared taxi buses, basically converted pick-up trucks) from the terminal to the pier. The costs are 50 THB per person but the driver might charge more if no other guests are traveling.
Also known as Eastern Bus Terminal, the Ekkemai Bus Terminal is located right in the city centre between Sukhumvit 40-42 and sits in convenient walking distance to the BTS Skytrain station ‘Ekkemai’.
Hop on bus no. 999 that departs twice a day from here, at 07:45 and 09:45 and takes about five hours. The bus will travel straight to the pier. Costs are 275 THB, one-way.
Alternatively, you can drive with Cherdchai Bus Tours or Thanakawee Tours (5-6 hours) as both companies offer more departing times. These buses stop at Trat Bus Terminal from where you have to catch a Songthaew to the pier. Costs are 250 THB, one-way.
From Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK):
There are minivans and buses traveling from the airport to the pier and even to Koh Chang. After picking up your luggage, go to door 8 on the first level and look for the service desk from the tour company Suvarnabhumi Burapa Co, Ltd. You can choose between the 10-seater VIP van that offers drop-off right at your hotel on Koh Chang (600 THB, departure at 09:30am , 11:00am and 02:00pm) or the 40-seater bus that ends at Centre Point Pier (275 THB, departure at 07:50 am).
From Victory Monument
Several minibuses run from here to Trat, the pier and even to Koh Chang, costing 270-300 THB. Upon request, they can even pick you up again.
Koh Chang Ferries and onward transport on Koh Chang:
Koh Chang is serviced by two main ferry piers; both are located in the district of Laem Ngop and can be reached within only 30 minutes from Trat. Ferries depart every hour from 06:00 am to 07:30 pm, crossing time is 45 minutes. If you arrive in Trat past 07:30pm you have to look for a place to stay. If you’re coming from Bangkok, make sure to leave the city not later than 01:00pm.
Once on Koh Chang you can see Songthaews waiting by the arrival jetty. Just tell the driver your hotel’s name and he will drop you right at the doorstep. Prices range between 60-150 THB.
More information: KohChangFerries.com
The drive from Bangkok to Koh Chang takes approximately four hours, but add another 60-90 minutes for the ferry ride and the way from the jetty to your hotel. The highway conditions are great while the land is widely flat, making the drive easy and comfortable while experiencing the country from a different side. You have to leave Bangkok on the BangnaTrad Road and then follow Highway 344. The trip takes in numerous towns: Bangna – Chonburi – Ban Bung- Klaeng – Chantaburi – Trat.
Once in Trat, look out for the ferry pier signs, ‘Centre Point’ or ‘Ao Thamachat’. Ferries from both piers are able to carry cars and charge the same: 80 THB for passengers and 100 THB cars (one-way).
The majority of hotels and resorts are located on the west coast – after arriving at the pier you have to turn right on the main road and continue further on.
By Private car/minivan (w. driver):
Private transfers becoming more popular these days and are especially recommended when travelling with families, elderly or in groups. Prices depend on the number of passengers and start at 4,600 THB.
From Chiang Mai:
Although Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second largest city, there is no direct transfer in any form to Ko Chang. You have to either fly or drive to Bangkok and then follow the above steps.
If you opt for the bus you first have to go to Bangkok. All buses from Chiang Mai depart at Arcade Bus Station and drive straight to Bangkok’s main bus hub, Mo Chit Bus Terminal. Only some buses will stop at Ekkemai Bus Terminal, make sure to ask at the counter before. If you arrive at Mo Chit you can take the BTS Skytrain (5 minutes by taxi from the bus terminal) and drive to Ekkemai (20 minutes).
The costs for the bus ticket range between 450-600 THB, depending on the class and comfort you choose. Driving by bus from Chiang Mai to Ko Chang is probably the toughest journey as you will sit 15-16 hours combined.
Tip: Book the VIP bus from Bangkok Bus Lines. They have large reclining seats with TV and Internet.
There are multiple airlines connecting Chiang Mai (CNX) with Bangkok such as Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smiles or Lion Air, among several others.However, you have to make sure to arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) not at Don Mueang (DMK) in order to catch your onward flight with Bangkok Airways. Of course, you can also take Bangkok Airways from Chiang Mai, with a short stopover in Bangkok (1.5 hours) before continuing to Koh Chang.
As alternative you can also take the above-mentioned 10-seater van or 40-seater bus from the airport to Trat or direct to Koh Chang.
Koh Chang is located close to the border of Cambodia and makes up a popular first entry point to the ‘Land of Smiles’. We recommend starting the journey in the early morning, due to potential long waiting times at the border and departure of the latest ferry to Koh Chang at 07:30pm.
From Siem Reap to Koh Chang:
First you have to get to Poipet where the border is. You can reach the town via bus (about $10) or taxi (about $50). There are taxis and minivans waiting at Aranyaprathet, the Thai side of the border, ready to drive you to Trat (from 2,000 THB, depending on the number of passengers). The cheaper but longer alternative would be taking a bus from Aranyaprathet Bus Station to Chantaburi (4 hours) and from there to Trat (1.5 hours). There is unfortunately no direct service from Aranyaprathet to Trat.
The fastest way is by plane: fly with Bangkok Airways from Siem Reap to Bangkok and then to Trat. The flight leaves at 09:45am and arrives at 11:00am in Bangkok, onward flight to Koh Chang is at 11:40am.
From Phnom Penh or Sihanoukville to Koh Chang:
Several private companies offer shared minivan services from both towns. The trip takes you across the border at Had Lek (on the Thai side) and then further on to the piers in Trat (120 km). Costs are between 900-1000 THB.
If you prefer to travel independently take a public bus to the border (costs between $10-12). Once in Had Lek, take the minibus service to Trat, departing every 45 minutes and then a Songthaew to the jetty.