I had never heard of the island until I was offered a job as an Addictions Therapist for DARA – a luxury drug and alcohol rehab situated in the jungle and towards the farthest and least touristy end of this little piece of heaven.
One of my favourite places to visit was White Sands.
This I found to be the biggest and most tourist-laden town on the island. Yet I loved the beach here. Its wide expanse of space, emerald waters and plentiful restaurants dotted along the beachfront, to sit at and enjoy a little downtime, marveling in the view. Although the food is a little bit more expensive – a small price to pay for a gorgeous seaview I say! Yet in the evenings you can find the street food vendors lined up outside the shops with really cheap snacks and tempting treats to enjoy. If that’s what you prefer.
Here I enjoyed staying at Kacha Resort. My room was beach side and although I had no beach view, the accommodation was really comfortable, although a touch dated.
I did enjoy the minute stroll to the pool which did have an amazing sea view. The cool clear fresh water was a refreshing difference to the salty sea and I made the most of my weekends off from work, by wandering into the hotel and using their facilities (naughty I know but it just had to be done) after a slow and enjoyable breakfast further along the beach at Apple Beachfront Resort. The food was delicious and the accommodation looked good. The pool nice and shady and more boutique in style that the large sprawling complex of Kacha. I think I would definitely try out Apple next time around and there will be a next time!
I think my favourite hotel though, was in Kai Bae. A little village home to my friend Saji and where Vince and me enjoyed our last couple of nights together before he returned home. The AWA.
The first time I stayed here it was to celebrate my birthday. I had been on the island for 19 days. My husband and children were in England. I still had culture shock and realise now that even on my return four months later, although I was settling in, it still hadn’t really gone. It was a little piece of contemporary heaven with a cobalt blue swimming pool. The whole place was inviting. The bed huge – the concrete rooms cool-simple and located in the centre of the little village, very close to the beach and surrounded by lovely little restaurants and shops. It was the perfect location. I was close to but at the same time snugly enclosed and away from the world. The coffee was good here with breakfast also.
We stayed in Paradise Bungalows which was a lot cheaper than The Awa, when Vince first came out for his holiday. It overlooked the elephant camp. Which was a nice view to wake up to in the mornings. Still really close to the beach and with a lovely bakery just across the road. It was also really good value – if you go in january it will cost around £68 for three nights and that is in peak season.
Our third stop on Vince’s multi-resort stay was in the heart of the jungle, in Bailan at Elephant Bay. This is where he saw his first cobra and we experienced the joys of an outside shower of our little villa. The beds here were comfortable. The food delicious, although it took a little while to be served, so we knew not to wait for hunger to strike before ordering and again it had a pool with a seaview and cracking sunsets. One of the best places on the island to see them and when you walked out of its gates and up into the village, you were in the heart of the jungle.
I will always remember the scooter ride I experienced coming back to my work accommodation at DARA, after a pleasant evening spent saying goodbye to my work colleagues, who had welcomed me into the facility. Endrico drove and I sat behind,looking up to the sky, watching the stars twinkle in the jungle rooftop, as the wind blew my hair and the warm breeze of the night, grazed my cheeks. It will always stay with me as a happy memory.
I think probably the worst place we stayed was in a gorgeous hilltop location. The owner wasn’t very friendly. Although I may let him off as there was a typhoon the nights we were staying there. Which could have accounted for some of his bad mood.
It was a very windy weekend and I found it all a tad scary and we were meant to stay in a tent perched on the cliffside. Nice and romantic was my thinking at the start. I was glad when he put us up in the clifftop villa. All the trees they thought would fall, already had and it was certainly a windy night. One I will remember for a long time. The tents looked great. The facilities minimal but if it had been really clean it would have been a beautiful location to camp. There was a great little shortcut through the jungle to the pier at Bang Bao where the restaurants were. It was an exciting little amble made in the dark after a trip to find food at Buddha View.
On Golden Beach, one of the best beaches on the island. There was plentiful accommodation and I was told Yu Yu’s was good.
Even though I was living on a little tropical island. It was still important to remember that my wellbeing had to be front and centre in my life, to ensure that I could function optimally within my role and stay connected with my family. Self care is one of the most important gifts you can give to yourself and it doesn’t cost a penny. Insight is all it takes. Yes folks. A little belly button gazing is needed but don’t let anyone tell you that’s a bad thing. Getting to know yourself and your needs is one of the most important things you will do in your life. Everything else is a forward movement!
If you’d like any more info on accommodation or the island. Contact me on my site or on wild about wellbeing’s facebook page.
With Koh Chang only being a 40 minute flight from Bangkok. You can be there in no time.