Getting to Koh Chang, Koh Kood and Koh Mak during the May to October rainy season is actually not that different from travel during the high season dry months, but there are a few timetable changes to look out for. We’ve rounded things up for you, so you know what to look out for and can plan accordingly.
Rainy Season – Private Transfers, Buses and Minibuses
Private transfers run as normal, though we do sometimes suggest earlier pick-ups to allow for traffic and rain on the roads, especially if heading to Laem Sok for the Koh Kood boats or if returning from Koh Chang back to Suvarnabhumi (BKK) or Don Mueang (DMK).
Hotel to hotel share minibuses which run between Bangkok and Koh Chang are as scheduled during the rainy season, with morning pick-ups from central Bangkok hotels and morning and afternoon minibuses going back the other way. However, that afternoon service off the island is sometimes dropped due to low numbers, so best to always plan for a morning departure.
The Khao San Road VIP Bus to Centerpoint Pier with ferry ticket and 999 Bus, from Ekamai via Suvarnabhumi Airport Bus Station to Ao Thammachat and Centerpoint Pier, continue as per their normal timetables, no changes. You can use that 999 Bus for Koh Mak, by taking a taxi to Laem Ngop Pier from its final stop at Centerpoint Pier. It takes about 10 minutes, 40bt per person.
The Suvarnabhumi Bupara Co bus/minibuses direct from Door 8 Level 1 Suvarnabhumi Airport to Koh Chang are similarly as scheduled, though the 09.30am from the Airport and the 19.00 back the other way, do not run May to October.
All these services promise to use buses as advertised in the rainy season, not switching to a minibus when numbers are down.
For public buses and public share minibuses, check arrival and departures times at Ekamai and Morchit Bus Stations or at Victory Monument, normally no change throughout the year.
All timetables and details are here.
Rainy Season – Flying into Trat Airport
Throughout the year, Bangkok Airway operates 3 daily arrivals and 3 daily departures between Trat Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport. When booking using their website, do look out for any rainy season variations in timings from our published times here.
You should also check timetables carefully for your connections if travelling onto Koh Kood and Koh Mak, as the number of boats running to and from each island is reduced during May to October. Morning arrivals, PG301, will make boats to Koh Kood and Koh Mak, the lunchtime flight, PG305, Koh Mak only. Coming back the other way, morning boats off Koh Mak are very tight for the morning flight, PG302, but in lots of time for the lunchtime flight, PG306. Boats off Koh Kood are cutting it fine for that same PG306 flight, see below for more explanation.
The evening flight, PG307, only useful for Koh Chang, will always make the last ferry.
Rainy Season – Koh Chang Ferries
Koh Chang ferries run as scheduled in the rainy season, every 45 minutes to an hour each way. Centerpoint Ferry does often move its last ferry to 19.00 from 19.30 for a couple of months from June onwards.
High waves or a particularly bad storm may lead to an occasional cancellation, but this is very rare indeed. Full ferry timetables can be found here.
The rainy season timetable for Koh Kood boats from Laem Sok Pier does change, with Boonsiri Catamaran in particular down to just one a day, at 12.30pm. It is joined at that time by the Koh Kood Princess, while the Koh Kut Express departs at 13.00. All companies return at 10.00am and yes, that is correct, just one time per day only. The speedboat, Koh Kut Express Siri White Speedboats does not run at all from May to October. You may be able to charter it privately if conditions allow, but the starting price of 13,000bt will likely put a dampener on that idea.
Catching the lunchtime flight back to Bangkok, PG306, is tight, with the boats docking, if on time, at 11.15am to 11.30am and a 45 minute private transfer (the only way) from Laem Sok Pier to Trat Airport. Not impossible but maybe think of returning to Bangkok by private car or minibus instead.
The Boonsiri boat/bus combo is a cheaper option of getting between Bangkok and the pier. During the rainy season, it leaves daily at 06.30am from the Khao San Road area, with the return setting off from their office at Laem Sok at 12.00pm, (10.00am boat off Koh Kood).
Update: 4th August 2016. Boonsiri is closed for maintenance in September, so no boats and no connecting bus from Bangkok.
If coming out from Cambodia to Koh Kood, you may just make the 12.30pm or 13.00 boat with a very early start, say 05.00am from Siem Reap. Over-nighting in Trat maybe a less stressful option. If you do stay there, the boat companies run their free daily shuttle taxi from Trat to Laem Sok Pier as normal. Pick-up from your guesthouse or Trat Bus Station is around 11.00am.
Full boat details here.
Rainy Season – Koh Mak Boats
For Koh Mak, adjusted timetables are here but bear in mind, adverse conditions, big waves basically, may cause the the suspension of the service. The Boonsiri does not operate its Koh Mak shuttle from mid May to mid October.
If coming out from Cambodia to Koh Mak, you should make an early start, say 06.00am to 07.00am, but you will make the afternoon boats with time to spare.
Rainy Season – Between The Koh Chang Islands
The inter-island boats, Bang Bao Boats, Kai Bae Huts Speedboat stop from mid May to late October, so bear this in mind if thinking about visiting more than one spot. You have to return to the mainland, travel to the respective pier and then take the boat out from there. Our advice here would be stick to Koh Chang and one other of Koh Kood or Koh Mak, not both.
For Koh Chang to Koh Kood, the best and most convenient option is a private transfer. There is a service sometimes offered by agents on Koh Chang, which uses a share minibus option to the PTT Garage just outside Trat. Once there, you wait for the free boat taxi transport coming out from Trat itself, which calls in to pick you up on its way to Laem Sok.
For Koh Chang to Koh Mak, take a taxi to either ferry pier and then the ferry. Once crossed onto the mainland, then jump in a Trat bound songthaew taxi from the ferry pier, asking the driver to drop you off at Laem Ngop Pier for Koh Mak.
On their way from Koh Mak back to Laem Ngop, Panan Speedboats does also offer an option to drop you at the Than Mayom Pier, way down on the east coast of Koh Chang. You would then need a private collection from there, please do contact us if this is of interest.
For Koh Kood to Koh Mak, you’ll need to use private transfers between the piers.
Rainy Season – Koh Wai
Koh Wai is very quiet indeed during the rainy season, so you must ring ahead to check if your bungalow choice is open. Speedboats from Laem Ngop Pier to Koh Mak will call in at Koh Wai if there are at least 2 people, If it’s just you, you pay double.