Koh Chang Banks, Mobile Phones and Internet

Koh Chang Banks

koh-chang-banks-informationKoh Chang has branches of all the major Thai banks in White Sand Beach. Normal hours are 08.30am to 15.30, Monday to Friday, but some, such as Bangkok Bank and Krung Thai, do have weekend opening. In Chai Chet, at the front of VJ Plaza, there is a sub branch of Siam Commercial Bank with a foreign exchange counter. In Klong Prao Beach, opposite the 7/11 just before the temple, the Government Savings Bank operates an exchange and Siam City Bank has a small branch/exchange near to the 7/11 at the northern end of Kai Bae Beach.

The exchanges are normally open outside of bank hours till 20.00, 7 days a week. Lonely Beach does not have a bank as yet, but it does have a couple of ATMs on the main street in the village. Bailan Beach too now has a couple, one in the cente, one located outside the police box opposite the Mercure Hideaway. Bang Bao has ATMs at the start of the pier. Klong Son has its ATMs around the 7/11 at the central crossroads. On the east side, there is a machine outside the main hospital at Dan Mai and another one by the school at Salak Phet, which is towards the start of the road to Salak Phet Seafood.

Resorts and bungalows may also change money but their rate is not as competitive as the banks themselves. Banks in Koh Chang buy dollars but are reluctant to sell them, so if you are going to Cambodia and need dollars, then ask around in shops and resorts local to you, change money over in Trat or take baht. Koh Kood does now have an ATM, but Koh Mak is still without. Some resorts on both of those islands do offer cash off credit cards for 3% to 5%.

Koh Chang – Mobile Phones

Mobile telephone coverage is excellent across the island, with both 3G and 4G available. Using your own phone is not a problem, but it will be very expensive. If international roaming is turned on, the phone is constantly connected to the data network, meaning astronomical bills are run up in a very short space of time. Check with your carrier before you leave for the best tariff and when in Thailand, switch international roaming off when not needed and use the wifi connection for your internet.

The better option is park your number, remove your sim card and replace it with pre-paid sims or pay-as-you-go sims from companies such as Dtac (Happy), AIS (12Call) and True Move. As you emerge from Customs in Arrivals Level 2 Suvarnabhumi Airport, you’ll find them all in a line.The prices range from 50bt to 300bt for the card, with all sorts of different options, packages and credits.

Internet shops on the island will make international calls for you at 20bt to 40bt upwards per minute, depending on the country. Cambodia is particularly expensive. Another way is to use dial-around numbers, which work with either your own sim or with a new sim as above, see the respective companies websites (which have English translations) for details. AIS, for example, uses 00500 + country code + city code + number with rates at 5bt to 10bt a minute.

The dialing code from Thailand is 001 + country code + city code (dropping the zero) + number. To Thailand, it is 00 66 or +66 + city code (dropping the zero) + number. Area codes for Bangkok are 02, for Trat and Koh Chang, 039. Most mobile numbers begin 08 or 06.

Koh Chang Internet

Koh Chang now has fiber optic internet, with speeds up to 30Mbps/10Mbps but not all places will have upgraded from the older ADSL. Almost every resort has wifi in the common areas and many provide it inside your rooms, but connections and speeds, even in the luxury spots, can be poor.

There are still some internet shops on the island with rates at 1bt a minute, 40bt an hour. Printing is 5bt to 10bt a sheet for b/w, with colour maybe double. Fax machines are rare but the best place to look is within the larger hotels and resorts, which have business centres for the guests. Costs are as much as 50bt per page.

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