Car hire and motorbike rental are a popular way to explore Koh Chang.
With your own set of wheels, you gain that that extra holiday freedom to do things at your own choosing, as well as avoiding the songthaew taxis and their complicated pricing system.
It is also especially useful for heading over to the more local east and south east of the island, where those same songthaew taxis are far less frequent.
Car Hire on Koh Chang
Saloons (Jazz or Vios), larger family cars (Innova and Fortuner) and Isuzu 4 door pick-ups are just some of the options offered for car hire on the island.
Rates start at 1,300bt per day for a sedan or pick-up, 1,600bt for an Innova or 1,900bt for a Fortuner. There are reductions given for hire of 4 days or longer. A limited number of child seats are also available.
You will need to leave your passport for the duration of the hire or a copy of your passport and a 15,000bt cash deposit. Insurance is at 15,000bt excess.
New for 2019-20, it is also possible to rent an army jeep, 1,700bt to 2,000bt per day depending on the model. Rental contracts are similar to above.
Motorbike or Scooter Rental on Koh Chang
Renting a motorcycle is the best way to see the island and there are dozens of outlets in every area offering automatic 100-150cc scooters, powerful enough for Koh Chang’s road and suitable for two people.
Daily rental (24 hours) is from 200bt to 450bt depending on the model and beach, with discounts given for weekly and monthly deals. Generally, the owners are fair, but the apparent saving on longer deals is sometimes clawed back by payments for previously unnoticed damage, when the bike is returned. A contract is signed on rental and some form of ID, be it passport, driver’s licence or their copies, is taken.
The bikes will come with helmets, wearable by law, though it is law that is normally flouted. That said, there are now frequent police checks, with the fine at 200bt each for both driver and passenger if you are not wearing one. Keep the receipt in case you are stopped again on the same day.
The motorbikes use gasohol at around 50bt a litre, which is sold in recycled bottles outside every other shop and there are PTT gas stations in Klong Prao Beach and Klong Son, where the price is cheaper.
Dangers of Motorbikes on Koh Chang
Riding a motorbike anywhere in the world is dangerous and Koh Chang is no exception, with inexperienced drivers especially on a steep learning curve. Accidents are very frequent, with deaths, unfortunately, quite common.
The two mountains between Klong Son and White Sand Beach and Kai Bae Beach and Lonely Beach have some very difficult ascents, descents, curves and hairpins, with the rainy season or brief showers in the dry season particularly treacherous, as the hills become impossibly slippery.
Much of the driving on the island is very poor with little adherence to generally accepted traffic laws, poor lighting at night, and driving after drinking. Sensible advice from experienced island bike riders is stick to the laws you know to be right, keep your speed down and be very aware and cautious of other road users at all times. That way, you are minimising the risks and there should be no problems.
Bicycles can be rented in all the major areas at 100bt to 150bt per day, but most are only for local pottering. There are now some serious cyclists and cycling clubs both on the island and coming from the mainland, in particular over on the east side.
You can also organise 1/2 day and full day tours around the island either solely on the east coast or the west coast or a combination of both.
Prices are from 2,000bt upwards for private cars or 3,500bt for private minibuses with a driver (limited English). A specially chartered songthaew taxi is perhaps slightly cheaper. Food, drink and entrance fees to waterfalls are not included.
A guided east coast tour, where you can drop in at local villages, the waterfall and take a paddle around the Salak Kohok mangroves is priced at 2,100bt per person.