A Boat trip out to the islands of Koh Rang is one of the must-do Koh Chang activities.
Offered by several different companies, the 4/5 island snorkeling tour is the most popular day out on the water. The boats, either converted wooden fishing boats or speedboats, head out from Bang Bao or Kai Bae Beach down to the Marine Park at Koh Rang.
Koh Rang is encircled by various tiny rocks and outcrops, with the ones at the southern end in particular, home to some terrific little coral reefs.
Our favourite is Mr Khai Tours, who have a fleet of wonderfully colourful wooden boats, with the larger one normally used for the 5 island boat trip.
The package at 875bt per person includes snorkel and mask, transfer to and from your resort, a simple lunch, water, coffee and tea. You can buy soft drinks on board.
There is also a 200bt fee per person (100bt for kids under 12) for entering the Marine Park, collected by the rangers once you arrive on site.
The Trip Down to Koh Rang
You are picked up fron your resort by Mr Khai’s own songthaew truck taxis from 08.00 (White Sand Beach), 08.15 (Klong Prao Beach), 08.30 (Kai Bae Beach), 08.45 (Lonely Beach). The boat trip itself starts out at around 09.30 from Bang Bao.
First up, you pass the large island of Koh Klum. Up until 2020, this was uninhabited but a small resort, Koom Nangphaya, has now opened at the far southern end. From Koh Klum, it is a further 45 minutes or so till you reach Koh Rang, passing other islands such as Koh Wai along the way.
Mr Khai’s boat has an large upstairs seating area, with canopies and sun chairs, plenty of space to kick back and relax.
Koh Rang – 4 Island Boat Trip
Surrounded by smaller satellite islands at its northern end, Koh Rang is home to Marine Park buildings, a couple of bungalows and some camping.
Mr Khai usually moors up with several other boats at the first little island, Koh Yak. This gives you around 45 minutes to snorkel around the the island. The whole area is nicely sheltered, so snorkeling is never too much effort, not that it would matter too much as the coral and fish are a fabulous distraction.
Back on board, meanwhile, the boat boys lay out lunch – fried chicken, rice, noodles, omelette, fruit, nothing fancy but perfectly tasty.
Next stop is just a 5 minute chug a few hundred metres further south. Here, the boat trip parks up so you can swim ashore to the beach but as other boats will be doing the same itinerary, things can get busy. You may choose to stay on board and watch. Mr Khai tends not to hang around too long anyway before heading back to another small island, Koh Yak Lek.
The water here is deeper than at Koh Yak, so you get to snorkel over some steep coral drops-offs, which in turn attract the fish – it’s teeming with them of all shapes, sizes and hues. With this stop at around an hour too, you could also take time out for some serious deck-diving. Work up to the very top tier from the lower decks, it will seem considerably less nerve-racking!
With the afternoon drawing on, the boat trip now neads back to Koh Klum for a spot of fishing, using rudimentary hooks and lines. There are usually a couple of rods lying about too, but none of this part of the day is overly serious. The boat boys, though, do manage to haul the small fish aboard in much greater numbers than the guests but given they promptly fry them up, no one is complaining.
Monkey Rock – Boat Trip with Mr Khai
The so called Monkey Rock, just before Bang Bao, serves as the final stop of the day for the boat trip. Whatever’s left after lunch goes the monkeys’ way and given the other boats returning to harbour are following suit, that makes for one busy feeding hour for the troops dropping down from the trees.
You arrive back at Bang Bao around 16.30, with Mr Khai’s taxi dropping you back at your resort.
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