When thinking of a place to relax during weekends, the first choice comes into your mind must be the sea (isn't it?). Everyone likes beautiful sea and clear sky (or not?). Last year I had trips to several islands in Thailand, more than 10 to be counted. Most of them are in southern part. But this trip, the first destination is not very far, "Koh Chang" in Trat province which is 1 of 12 must-visit-city of TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand). However, the objective of the trip is to go on day trip for snorkeling at "Koh Rang". Koh Chang is only a place to stay. So, I would like to review only what I intend to do.
I have to say that this is my fourth time to snorkeling at Koh Rang. The excitement somehow decreases. There might be some missing photos or details. I apologize for herein mistakes.
Before going, let's get to know about Koh Rang. It is one island of Mu Koh Rang in Trat gulf which located in the middle of Koh Chang and Koh Kood, near Koh Mak. The entire Mu Koh Rang is in Koh Chang National Marine Park. There is no concession for accommodations, so the island is purely natural. Koh Rang is the largest island among Mu Koh Rang, with the size of 2.6 SQKM. You can imagine how big it is.
The best way to travel at Koh Rang is buying one day trip at Koh Chang. There are plenty of travel agencies providing normal and speed boat trip, so called "Snorkeling 4 Islands Trip" (Koh Yak, Koh Lon, Koh Rang, Koh Waii or some agencies may add Koh Mapring as the fifth one) The mentioned islands are located in same area, not too far from each other.
There are many ports for speed boat but the main one is at Ao Bangbao port. At the south of Koh Chang, same place for every tour. After checking the price, ticket for speed boat is equally at 900 THB per person and 650 THB for normal boat. Each type of boat has different pros and cons but I select the cheaper one.
I choose the trip of "Koh Chang Boat Trip" because the last experience was okay, not very good but not too bad. I call for reservation since I am at Koh Chang. They inform that my accommodation, at Klong Son, is not in area of shuttle services which I don't have any problem with that. I have planned to ride a motorbike anyway. Accommodations located on Saikhao beach and onward are under shuttle services, for every touring provider.
End of introduction. Let's get on the sea.
The trip starts at Ao Bangbao, 30 minutes on motorbike from Klong Son. The road on Koh Chang is quite steep. Need to be more careful.
According to the program, the boat is supposed to leave at 9AM., but it actually leaves at 9.30AM. It is late as usual. So, I am the first passenger that got on board and have to wait for half an hour for the boat to depart. There are 2 Thai groups, including me, and the rest are western & Chinese tourists.
It takes around an hour to arrive at first location for snorkeling, "Koh Yak" or "Yak Yai". During the way, the sky is not very clear but fortunately the sun shines upon our arriving. It is so magnificent that I have to say "Wow!!". I pick up the camera, instead of snorkel equipment, and nonstop take photos before the sun stops shining. The sky is cloudless. I guarantee the real place is much more crystal clear.
I move to under the sea now, after satisfying with photos above the sea. Diving here is quite nice but still cannot be compared to southern gulf of Thailand.
They leave us snorkeling for around 40 minutes and it is nearly noon by the time we come up. We have easy lunch on the boat. The menus are stir fried vermicelli, omelet and green curry. The taste is okay but I didn't take photos. Because it's not my type (LOL...)
During the meal, we get to second destination, Koh Rang, at "Sanchao Beach" (because there is a shrine, called Sanchao in Thai, on the beach). Speed boat can access to the beach while large boat cannot, have to swim little further to the shore. If you are bringing camera, better to have waterproof bag. This time I am well prepared since previous trip I didn't have it. I could only photograph on the boat, did not step on the beach.
Though this time I can get to the shore, I have to sit disconsolately again. Because the sky is cloudy. Beauty of the sea suddenly disappears. So, I barely take any photos (sad...).
Walking around Koh Rang for a while. Then it's time to move on another island which is very near, "Koh Yak Lek" or "Koh Lon". Upon arriving, the sun doesn't shine yet. So, I decide to swim, very fun and relaxing. This place is slightly more beautiful than the first spot.
I get back to the boat by given time and it is about to leave. However, the sky is unexpectedly clear. Sun light makes the sea look superb. I quickly grab camera and take photos. I get few photos but enough to make me feel better. On sunny day, the sea at Trat looks magnificent.
After leaving from Koh Lon, the sky is very clear. Our boat is on the way towards Koh Chang but the destination is "Koh Waii", the fourth and last island. Snacks are provided during the way; chicken barbecue, steamed corn, watermelon and pineapple. All of that is gone in a second.
We finally get to Koh Waii which located in National Marine Park (but not apart of Mu Koh Rang). It is slightly smaller than Koh Rang. There are few resorts on the island. On my first two trips, I came by speed boat that it dropped me at front beach of Koh Waii Resort. But last trip and this trip, the large boat moors at Koh Waii Prakarang. Both beaches have red-brown sand but I prefer Koh Waii Prakarang.
Neap tide provides generous area for tourists to enjoy taking photos until it's time to go. There are few accommodations on the island, not luxury and reasonable rate. I hope to stay here, in the middle of the sea, next time.
We get back to Koh Chang in the evening. Joyfully ends one day trip at Mu Koh Rang though the sky is somehow not pretty clear. (LOL...)
During the way back from Koh Chang, on following day, I receive new information that the National Park has built accommodation on Koh Rang. If you would like to stay overnight at the island, you can contact with any day trip providers to drop you at National Park and pick up on the other day. It is the same method as Mu Koh Ang Thong and some islands in southern sea. Try contacting with touring agencies and National Park, if you are interested.
For me , I firstly thought this would be the last trip for Koh Rang since this is my fourth time. But this new information makes me come back in few years for sure. (LOL...)
No matter where your destination is, on this summer, I wish you enjoyed the trip.
If you are interested in other reviews, inquire any information (if I have) or invite for a journey, I'm very pleased.