Koh Chang for Digital Nomads - Full Guide - Smart Nomad Life

Koh Chang for Digital Nomads - Full Guide

What Koh Chang has to offer - Full Guide for Digital Nomads


Koh Chang for sure isn't the Nomad Spot number one and most likely won't become the next Mekka like Chiang Mai. But if you're traveling and need some time off from the endless nomad talks and dropshipping conversations, this is a good spot to spend some time while being on the road.

Evening sun at Lonely Beach, Koh Chang



Not as touristy and packed as other islands, Koh Chang has reserved lots of it's beauty yet providing a good infrastructure for the every day nomad life. Life's going a lot slower here and pretty sure the laid back island vibe will get you sooner than later.



How to get to Koh Chang

Koh Chang is an island in the South East of Thailand, basically South of Bangkok. Depending on your budget, there are multiple options to get there. Koh Chang doesn't have an airport, the only way to get there is using the Ferry. There are multiple options to get to the Ferry Pier: Most people take a plane to Pattaya or Bangkok and go with a minibus from there. However, you should also check flights to the smaller and more expensive airport Trat directly. Considering the fact that the ticket for the minibus from Pattaya to the Ferry Pier itself is around 700 THB and it's a 5 hours drive, the direct flight to Trat might be a better option for you. From Trat you can take a minibus (150THB) or private taxi to the pier.



If you go for the Pattaya aiport route, then another option is a private taxi from the airport directly to the pier, which comes at 2800 THB. I've done the minibus option for getting there, it was interesting and not too bad, we had to change twice though and it took around 5 hours. We chose the private taxi option to go back to Pattaya, it took about 4 hours and the drive was really nice.

You could also go directly from Bangkok, there are minibus and bus options available. Also you'll find a private taxi at around 3000-4000 THB, but be prepared to spend half a day just getting to the Pier.



Best Beaches & Areas for Digital Nomads on Koh Chang

All the beautiful and sandy beaches are basically to be found in the West and South, the East side is more or less dead. Knowing the kind of vibe most nomads are looking for, I'll skip the main beach areas in the north right ahead. Sure, you'll find more infrastructure, beautiful resorts and concrete buildings there, but the magic of Koh Chang and its laid back soul is to be found further South.

Klong Prao Beach - Koh Chang

More developed and busy areas. You'll find the real

Kai Bea Beach - Koh Chang

Bigger area, many restaurant options, bigger and busy main road. Good for food options at night. Family area.

Lonely Beach North - Koh Chang

Beautiful sandy beach with multiple resorts. Besides the resorts at the water, the area is dead - there are no bars/ restaurants or shops at main road. The beach little to medium crowded, one of the best beaches on the island. If you're into party, you'll find pretty good electro parties at Siam Hut Resort, which is a bit more south of that beach, so even if you live in one of the resorts you won't be disturbed by the music.

Lonely Beach North - Koh Chang




Lonely Beach South - Koh Chang

Rocky beach, busy main road with bars, restaurants and shops, cheaper area. Good cheap resorts directly at the water. (i. e. Blue Sky Resort). Good spots for pictures at the water. Good for party at night. More backpackers in this area, but the nicer type of backpackers. Don't worry, the people who come here are far away from the fullmoon party type of backpackers.

Lonely Beach South - Koh Chang



Bailan Beach - Koh Chang

Rocky beach. Some cheap resort options directly at the water. Places at the main road mostly medium good. I'd say all on Bailan Beach looks a bit better in the pictures than in reality. Don't stay at Tarzan Resort, unless you enjoy dirty rooms, loud Russians and unfriendly staff.

Bang Bao Pier - Koh Chang

No beach, mainly the Bang Bao Pier with a huge mall on the water. Few nice resorts west of that, but no great beaches. Great local places for rent at the pier, definitely cheaper, nice atmosphere. Amazing seafood restaurants in the pier mall. Local/ expat area

Bang Bao Pier Koh Chang - Great view from a fish restaurant



Klong Kloi Beach - Koh Chang

East of Bang Bao Pier in the very South of the island. Most beautiful beach of Koh Chang, small and cute awesome area. Medium priced bungalows, amazing spots at the water, great beach bars but also more quiet spots further east. Family/ couple/ chill area with a vibe between hippie and family luxury.



Internet / WIFI on Koh Chang

As usual, I don't understand why people just don't get a local SIM card for a few dollars and enjoy the super fast mobile 4G tethering from their phones. Get a sim card on the mainland as I couldn't find a place selling them when I needed one for a friend.

Your options are basically TRUE, AIS or DTAC.I found the mobile internet for the provider TRUE to be amazingly fast and reliable all over Thailand. Download speeds easily average 20-70Mbps. If you're on a tight budget, go for the unlimited plan with AIS which comes at around 500 THB per month and provides download speeds of up to 5 Mbps. There might spots directly at the beach without the greatest reception, but let's face it: you'll take your digital nomad insta pictures there to please your followers, but no one really works at the beach. So as soon as you move back closer to the main roads you'll be you can post your coconut pics.

Besides that, you'll get free WIFI in pretty much every Coffee place, restaurant and apartment/ bungalow place.



Staying healthy on Koh Chang

With fresh sea food and tropical fruits available everywhere you'll find yourself in healthy food wonderland.

When it comes to going to the gym, I found this cool half indoor/ outdoor gym in the South Lonely Beach area: www.gymkohchang.com

If you want to go for a run outdoor, enjoy running at the beach preferable in the earlier morning hours. Lonely beach North and Klong Kloi are great areas to do so. Do not expect to find any other running route, there is basically only one road that goes around the island and you really don't want to share this road with the crazy local taxi drivers.



Transportation on Koh Chang

There is one taxi company offering white pickup van taxis that go up and down on the one road along the coast. The drivers know every resort and hotel name by heart, prices vary from 20 to 140 THB depending on the drop off location and number of other passengers. It's a convenient to get around or from from beach to beach - to be more flexible you should definitely rent a scooter for about 200 THB per day. Never leave your passport as a deposit and offer them a cash deposit plus passport copy instead. Make a video of all scratches and damages for your record.  There are ferries also, going from pier to pier and also connecting further islands around Koh Chang - as the timetable seems to be changing quite regularly it's best to check directly at the pier.




Restaurants/ Cafes/ Bars on Koh Chang

Dang Seafood + Fruit Stand in front of dang seafood
Typical Thai big outdoor seafood place at the main road. This became our every-day standard restaurant while we were there due to the huge selection of fresh seafood and Thai food.

Lisca Beach
Small Italian owned hipster chill out beach bar & restaurant with its own private beach. Very hidden and great spot with an amazing atmosphere. Long waiting time for food. Most southern part of Bailan Beach

Nature Beach Resort Restaurant
It looks like an standard westernized Thai overpriced resort restaurant, but it is way more than that. The food was in fact incredibly good and surprisingly cheap for what was offered. We went multiple times and tried all kinds of Thai and sea food variations. Try tom yum coconut and พล่ากุ้ง (Shrimp salad with lemon grass and mint) and you'll never want to eat anything else again! Great western style location to just chill at the beach at night also.

Siam Hut Resort
Lonely Beach North. Good electro parties at the beach

Blue Sky Resort Restaurant
Great place to chill/ work on outdoor terrace at the water. Located at Lonely Beach South

Blue Sky Resort Restaurant



Sightseeing on Koh Chang

Koh Man Nai Beach
Small Island in front of lonely beach close enough to go there with a kayak. Look up Nature Beach Resort, from there walk up the beach direction north until you find a kayak rental run by a cool french guy, who will charge you 100 THB/hr. Make sure you don't go there too late, as you need to be back before sunset which is early in Thailand.



South-Eastern part of Koh Chang: there is a beautiful beach (Long Beach), but you'll have to go around the whole island to get there which takes around an hour.

Klong Plu Waterfall: very mainstream but worth it. Great spot for swimming, since most Thai tourists don't swim the water isn't too crowded. Make sure to go during the week.

Get a ferry to one of the smaller islands around Koh Chang - the beautiful and untouched beaches are worth a day trip!

Eastern/ Northern Part of island: dead. Don't go there.



Accommodation on Koh Chang 

Apart from countless beautiful resorts and bungalows that I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for on booking.com, here is what I would do: get yourself a place to stay for the first few days, then get a rental scooter and drive around to explore. As usual, the good deals and places aren't to be found online. We stayed at a Seascape in the Bang Bao Pier area at 500THB/ night (8000 per month).

Other great options are the simple concrete beach front bungalows at Lonely Beach South (i.e. Sunset Hut, Blue Sky Resort), they come at around 1000/night and I am sure you can talk them down if you stay longer. Each beach front bungalow comes with their own small wooden balcony seating area just above the water.



I hope this helps you planning the trip. If you find any other hidden and cool places, please share them with me!

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