Car hire and motorbike rental are a popular way to explore Koh Chang, giving you that extra freedom to do things at your own pace and at a time of your own choosing.
Indeed, practically speaking, the songthaew taxis will only head over to the east coast and far south east of the island on an expensive private charter, so hiring a car is the perfect solution.
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Car Hire on Koh Chang
Saloons (Jazz or Vios), larger family cars (Innova and Fortuner), Isuzu 4 door pick-ups and converted army jeeps 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, 1,700bt to 2,000bt for the jeep and 1,800bt 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.
We can set you up with a 1/2 day or full day tour 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.
With a guided east coast tour, you can drop in at local villages, the waterfall and take a paddle around the Salak Khok mangroves – price at 2,100bt per person.
Motorbike or Scooter Hire on Koh Chang
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. You sign a contract on rental and wil need to leave some form of ID, be it passport, driver’s licence or their copies.
The bikes come with helmets, wearable by law, though a law normally flouted. That said, there are now frequent police checks, with the fine at 200bt each for both driver and passenger for non-compliance. 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. You will also find two 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, with Koh Chang no exception. Inexperienced drivers find themselves on a very steep learning curve so accidents are very frequent. Unfortunately, deaths on the roads are far too 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. The rainy season or brief showers in the dry season can make these hills unbelievably slippery in a blink of an eye.
Much of the driving on the island is very poor with little adherence to generally accepted traffic laws. In many places, lighting at night is poor. Drink driving is commonplace. Our advice 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.
Standard bicycles can be rented in all the major areas at 100bt to 150bt per day. The models used are mostly for local pottering but you will some decent ones for hite too – try Koh Chang Cycling in Coconut Plaza, Chai Chet.
Once you get over that White Sand Beach mountain (and only the proper dedicated cyclists will manage it), the east and south east coast is great to explore. Here’s a little tour idea for you – Chek Bae – A Cycle Tour.
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