PERFECT FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS: WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE ISLAND
Koh Chang is called many different names – Elephant Island, Cheap Island, the Friendly Island. Whilst all these are very true statements, I’d like to rename it as the island Perfect For Solo Travellers.
Plenty of beach destinations I’ve visited in Southeast Asia are full of couples and families, but not so many have single people travelling solo.
It’s not that I dislike couples at all, it’s just I have felt a little out-of-the-loop at times and Koh Chang was the other place where I didn’t feel like this. It really is perfect for solo travellers like me.
Koh Chang is full of young people, hippie types, and big enough so that everyone can find what they’re looking for there, whether it’s a backpacker haven or fancy white sand beaches. I guess I like free-spirit types and I found them here.
I travelled to the island initially with two of my friends but they only stayed a couple of days and then moved on to pastures new in Indonesia. I was looking to give Koh Chang a little more of my time and really find out what the island is all about. We arrived to find beautiful beaches, reasonable prices, great accommodation options and beautiful sunsets. The vibe of Koh Chang was just different compared with Malaysia and Vietnam. Locals hung out with tourists, and were incredibly friendly, especially in Lonely Beach, the backpacker area.
Sure, Lonely Beach and Koh Chang in general may no longer be the best kept secret, but it’s still an affordable, beautiful slice of paradise with a vibe all its own. Not to mention, the party scene is pretty good without being out of control like other Thai islands such as Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. Each night just one of the bars in Lonely Beach would be going off, meaning everyone in the area who felt like going out would be at the same bar. It was pretty cool seeing the same friendly people out and about each night. It meant that you had a chance to build up a friendship and share your travel stories with them. I even arranged to meet up with some of the solo travellers the following day at the beach, just to chill.
It’s easy to talk to people on the island, many of whom spend a month or longer just on Koh Chang. I always know that if it’s the kind of place where people stick around long-term, it’s a darn good sign. I mean, why would you stick around if you didn’t enjoy the atmosphere, food, prices, accommodation and more importantly the people.
It’s also absolutely beautiful, with bath-water temperature water. There’s plenty to do, from motorbiking around the island to snorkeling and scuba diving, to trekking. It’s the second biggest island after Phuket, so there’s always something new to explore and experience. Best of all, it truly is a cheap island, and won’t break the bank. Being so close to Bangkok and other countries, it’s a great location if you don’t want to have to travel too far to catch a long haul flight or renew your visa.
If you are single, love travelling and are looking to meet similar people, Koh Chang really should be your top choice; it’s perfect for solo travellers.