Getting to Koh Chang first requires a trip to Trat province, and then form there, you’ll need to take a ferry to the island from one of the three piers.Please note that the information regarding rates and schedules given here is effective at the time of writing and should serve as a guide only.
There’s more than one route to get to Trat. The most common route, a total distance of 315 kilometres, passes through Bangna, Chonburi, Ban Bung, Klaeng, Chantaburi and then Trat. First take Highway Number 3 (Bangna-Trat Road) until you reach the Chonburi bypass where you can either take the normal road or the elevated Bangkok-Chonburi tollway. Exit from the main road and follow the Chonburi bypass that says Pattaya-Rayong. Follow the Rayong route until you reach the Ban Bung-Klaeng-Chantaburi and the Bang Saen-Pattaya signboards. After that, take the Ban Bung-Klaeng-Chantaburi route, then take the right route at Ban Bung-Klaeng junction and head for Klaeng until you reach the Chantaburi-Rayong junction. Turn left to Chantaburi and keep on going until you reach the Sa Kaew-Trat junction. Finally, take the right turn to the town of Trat.
If you want to go directly to the piers without having to pass through Trat, just look for the Laem Ngob signboard at the Laem Ngob-Trat junction. There is a prominent PTT petrol station on your left just after a police checkpoint. Turn right to Laem Ngob, which is Highway Number 3156 (Laem Ngob-Sahn Tung Road). You will then reach Ao Thammachat, the Centre Point and Kromluang Chumphon Piers respectively.
Another alternative is to start from Rama IX Road or Srinakarin Road, then exit after paying the second toll that leads to Ban Bung, Klaeng, Chantaburi and finally Trat.
Air-conditioned buses to Trat are well-supplied as they leave from three different terminals in Bangkok. The Ekamai Bus Terminal, located only a few minutes walk away from the BTS Skytrain Ekamai Station, is the main terminal for all eastern provinces from where Trat-bound buses leave almost every hour everyday. There are a few bus companies available, each offering different departure times. Cherdchai Tour has newer buses and offers the most trips to Trat. Most buses will drop you off in Trat town, from where you have to take a ‘songtaew’ (pick-up truck taxi) to the piers. If you want to head directly to the piers and save some time, hop on the 99 Tour bus which takes you directly to Laem Ngob and Centre Point.
Another bus terminal where you can get a bus to Trat is at The Northern Bus Terminal (New Mo Chit), located at Kampaeng Petch Road, Chatuchak. Currently there are only two companies that offer the service. Generally, one-way fare costs 250 baht, and round trip around 480 baht. The trip takes approximately four to five hours. If you’re traveling to Bangkok by plane, you can catch a bus to Trat from the Public Transportation Center at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Make your way to the counter with the bright orange sign that says ‘The Transport Co., Ltd.’ This is a government-owned company so it’s quite reliable. The bus schedule and fare (one-way ticket is around 250 baht) are prominently displayed on the glass window. It’s best to get the bus before 13:00 to ensure that you’ll make it in time for the last ferry (usually at 17:00). If you happen to miss it, you can either hire a speedboat to the island (prepare to pay up to 5,000 baht) or spend the night in Trat town and get the ferry the next day.
Cherdchai Tour Contact: +66 (0)2 391 2237
Suparat Tour Contact: +66 (0)2 391 2331
99 Tour Contact: +66 (0)2 391 6846
Mo Chit Terminal:
Cherdchai Tour Contact: +66 (0)2 936 0198 Suparat Tour Contact: +66 (0)2 936 3939
There are many vans from Bangkok to the three piers in Trat. Departing daily from Khao San Road, the van takes about four hours. The fare depends on the season, but expect to pay around 500 baht for a one way.
By private car/minivan
Direct private transfer from Bangkok to a resort on Koh Chang is increasingly becoming a popular option, especially if you’re traveling with your family or a group of friends. The transfer can be arranged to pick you up from one of the airports (Suvarnabhumi or Don Muang) or from any city centre hotel. The cost depends on the number of passengers. For one-way transfer, expect to pay around 4,800 baht in total for one to five passengers and 5,200 baht for six up to nine passengers.
If you’re not thrilled by the prospect of spending five hours on the bus, your best alternative is, or course, to fly there. Unfortunately, as there is no airport on Koh Chang yet, the plane will land in Trat, at Trat Airport. It is, however, the most convenient way to travel as the travel time is significantly reduced to mere 40 minutes. Owned and operated by Bangkok Airways, Trat Airport is located on the mainland near Laem Ngob. Passengers from Bangkok will need to catch the flight at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport.
From Trat to Koh Chang
If the bus takes you to the market in Trat town, you’ll have to take a ‘songtaew’ (pick-up truck taxi) to one of the piers. There are three piers, Ao Thammachat, Center Point and Lam Ngob piers. You can either wait until there are enough people to fill up the songtaew space (ticket costs 50 baht), or pay 200 baht (total) to rent it privately if you don't want to wait around. Ferry tickets can also be bought from the ticket stalls here. The trip to the ferry pier takes about half an hour. Please note that if you arrive at the bus station after 17:00, you might need to rent the taxi as private transfer to the pier as there are fewer people. The rental price is around 300 baht.
Ferries The ferries depart every hour during high season (October to April) and on long weekends from the three piers. There are three main ferry operators, Koh Chang ferry (from Ao Thammachat to Koh Chang Dan Mai Pier), Centre Point Ferry (from Centre Point Pier to Koh Chang Dan Kao Cabana Pier) and Ferry Koh Chang (from Thammachart Bay Pier to Koh Chang Sapparod Bay Pier).
The best pier to get a ferry to Koh Chang from is Ao Thammachat because it takes the least time (around 20 minutes). Unless you’re planning on going to other islands other than Koh Chang (Koh Mak, Koh Kood, Koh Laoya and Koh Kham), Lam Ngob pier should be avoided because the trip can take up to an hour due to its slow converted fisherman boats. The fare is 50 baht per person and 150 baht per car for a one-way trip. Travelling time is approximately 25 minutes from Ao Thammachat, and about 45 minutes from Centre Point pier.
On arrival at Koh Chang, you will find several ‘songthaew’ (pick-up truck taxi) ready to take you to anywhere on the island. The fare is from 40 to 80 baht per person depending on which beach you’re heading to.
Koh Chang Ferry Contact: +66 (0)39 518 588
Ferry Koh Chang Contact: +66 (0)39 518 528
Centre Point Ferry Contact: +66 (0)39 538 196