Mini Van & Bus to Koh Chang
Catching a mini van or bus to Koh Chang from Bangkok is the most economical way to get to Laem Ngop Pier (where you board the ferry for Koh Chang) You can take a 1st class bus #999 from the Eastern (Ekamai) Bus Terminal in Bangkok direct to Laem Ngop piers. The bus fare is roughly 275 THB one-way (520 THB return) and takes just over five hours to reach the pier. Departures from Ekamai are at 07:45 & 09:45 hrs, and return at 14:00 hrs. Subject to seat availability, this bus can also be boarded at Chanthaburi and at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
There is also a bus service #392, starting from the airport bus terminal (make sure to take the free shuttle from the main airport to the airport bus terminal) at 07:30 hrs and returns from Koh Chang at 12:30 hrs.
Hoppa Minivan Service (Outward journey)
There is also the option to pay for the hotel to hotel Hoppa Minivan Service. Getting to Koh Chang this way is probably one of the easiest options as they literally transfer you from door to door. This service can be booked to pick you up from your hotel in the main central tourist areas at Silom, Sathorn, Khao San Rd, Pratunam, Sukhumvit and Suvarnabhumi Airport hotels on the day of your choice. Prices are approx 900 THB (one way) per person to all beaches on Koh Chang, with your ferry ticket included. Pick-up can be anywhere between 08.00 hrs – 10.30 hrs, depending on your hotel location.
Hoppa Minivan Service (Return journey)
Return trips, with the same company, are offered at approx 800 THB per person with your ferry ticket included, (if booked with the outward journey) to any central Bangkok hotels. If you wish to go direct to an airport in Bangkok instead, the price will be either a little higher or lower depending which airport you wish to travel to. All Hoppa Minivan services have a morning departure, leaving from Bang Bao Beach (the far end of Koh Chang) at 08.00 hrs and working its way down the island to the ferry at 09.30 hrs. There is also an afternoon service, 13.00 hrs from Bang Bao Beach with the ferry at 14.30 hrs. In total the trip takes about 5-6 hours.
Alternatively, there are 1st Class (approx. 5 hrs, around 250 THB) and 2nd Class big bus services from both the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai) and Northern Bus Terminal (Moh Chit) direct to Trat province, and frequent songthaew services from Trat to Laem Ngop pier (approx. 30 minutes, 50 THB per person).
Travelling via Bangkok from other regions
If you happen to be travelling by bus from southern Thailand, the #511 air-con bus can be used to connect directly between Bangkok’s Southern (Sai Tai Mai) and Eastern (Ekamai) bus terminals. Getting to Koh Chang from pretty much any direction, including cross-borders, is pretty straight forward and easy, easpecially when you plan ahead and book all your travel tickets in advance. If, however, you do find yourself just turning up at the departure point without a pre-paid ticket, you can sometimes pay for your ticket on the day, direct to the driver or travel company. We wouldn’t suggest doing this though as many buses fill up well in advance and you could end up waiting around hours for the next available seat.
There are direct minibus services to Laem Ngop Pier from Pattaya, Ban Phe (gateway to Koh Samet), and Bangkok’s Khao San Road and Victory monument (in front of the Payathai hospital). They, however, are less comfortable and spacious than public buses, and you may be charged significantly more by travel agencies selling tickets to these, as often with any tourist-oriented transportation in Thailand. It may also be possible to proceed directly to Laem Ngop by minibus or songthaew from the Hat Lek / Koh Kong border crossing with southern Cambodia, depending on the time of year, time of day, etc – enquire locally. Price around 120 THB (one way) from the border to Trat bus station.