Living the good life – relaxing on Koh Kood

Our time on Koh Mak had to come to an end at some point (unfortunately). Next stop: Koh Kood. We took the speed boat (400 TB) and the cruise was anything else but fun. The wind was strong and so were the waves. The speed boat hit the water very hard and you could feel it in every bone – but after some time we arrived safely.

We stayed at Soneva Kiri and we were excited to see this resort which is famous for its ecological and sustainable style. Every guest has an own “butler” (Mr. or Mrs. Friday) who assists you with anything you could imagine.  Our Mrs. Friday (her real name was Jane) showed us around. With a golf car. No more words needed, right?!


Exploring Soneva Kiri 

Soneva Kiri is huge and every villa has an own garden and pool. We were lucky and we even had our own little piece of beach. Our house was beautifully decorated. Very simple and it felt like vacation immediately. The best part: Our “bathroom” which was outside in the jungle. It felt so nice being outside, having a shower, taking a bath or brushing the teeth. Very adventurous 😉

We explored the resort and we immediately liked the chocolate room with tons of chocolate (open 24/7 to reduce the chocolate cravings) and Moritz really liked the ice room with loads of ice cream. We could have stayed there forever, but we had a tour with the leader of the eco-center who wanted to show us how Soneva Kiri produces fruits and vegetables. One of the most interesting facts we have learned on the tour: pineapples grow on little bushes and every plant carries only one pineapple per year. Did you know?! It’s incredible!


Dinner at “The View” and Halloween

In the evening, we had a sunset cocktail with an amazing view at the sea and some smaller islands. Wow that felt so nice. Afterwards, we went to the restaurant and we had a great table right at the edge. It was very romantic with a lot of candles and nice decorations. However, we were not too excited about the food. It was European and it did not have the taste you would expect from such a great place. However, nothing could beat the view!

We nearly forgot that it was Halloween. But an international resort like the Soneva Kiri made sure, we would remember 😉 we visited the “Haunted House” which was decorated by the staff and the children who stayed in the resort. It was really cool and the even the costumes were on point. We saw a creepy nun, a spooky witch and a lot of other characters. 

When we came back to our house, we went for a swim in our own pool and then we took a bath in our jungle-tub. Living the luxury life at Soneva Kiri 😉


The Nam Tok Klong Yai Kee waterfall and the Benz restaurant

At Soneva Kiri we wanted to try as many of the activities as possible. Unfortunately, our snorkeling trip was cancelled due to heavy wind. Just as the possibility to take a boat to the so-called North-Beach. Instead, we walked to the nearby Nam Tok Klong Yai Kee waterfall. The beautiful thing about the waterfall is that you can easily climb on top of it and even jump down. What is really great!


Relaxing in the TreePod and in the wellness area

The afternoon at the Soneva Kiri should stay eventful. First the TreePod was booked for us where we were served an afternoon snack. The TreePod is a kind of bird nest with chairs and a table, which can be pulled up to the tree top. High up in the tree tops, we enjoyed our afternoon snack and the sea view.

After the TreePod, we went to the wellness area of Soneva Kiri for and absolutely great and relaxing massage. The wellness area is beautiful designed in-between high trees and bamboo. Because of the circuitousness of the Soneva Kiri Resort, absolute silent is guaranteed and one can super relax.


Dinner in the Klong Yai Kee mangroves 

The Benz restaurant is beautifully in the middle of the Klong Yai Kee mangroves. For dinner amazing Thai food was served. The Benz uses only locally grown ingredients as well as fish caught by local fishermen. The portions were so delicious and large that we were super full afterwards. If you want to enjoy incredible Thai food in an super nice atmosphere, the Benz restaurant is definitely a good choice. 


The Klong Chao waterfall

Before our departure from Koh Kood the next day, we wanted to explore Koh Kood a little more. The fist stop was the Klong Chao waterfall. From the parking area, you have to walk for another 10 minutes before you arrive at the waterfall. The Klong Chao waterfall is definitely worth a visit and the nice thing about it is that you can take a swim in the pool in front of the waterfall. Compared to the sea you can get a well deserved cooling as the water is relatively cold.

After the waterfall, we spend a couple of hours at the beach before we headed back to Bangkok with the hotels own jet.


Koh Mak – The quiet getaway

Koh Mak is a small island south of Koh Chang, which is known for its caoutchouc plantations. We bought our tickets to Koh Mak one day in advance in one of the many tourist tour stands. We bought a speedboat ticket which costed us 600 TB per person. There also cheaper ticket from Koh Chang to Koh Mak but then the ferry ride also takes longer. Included in our ticket price was a pick up from the hotel – really convenient.


Arrival on Koh Mak

The Koh Mak pier is right next to a beautiful white sand beach with crystal clear water and palm trees. We immediately liked Koh Mak!

At the pier, we were again picked up by our hotel because there is no public transport on Koh Mak. The only ways to get around the island is to rent a scooter or bike at the hotel. A bike is not that bad a choice because Koh Mak is really flat and not as close as hilly as Koh Chang. Koh Mak compared to Koh Chang is also much quieter and almost without other tourists – a perfect place to simply relax for a couple of days.

In the afternoon, we rented a scooter from our hotel and drove a few kilometers to nearby beach where we spend the whole afternoon, reading, walking along the beach and drinking coconut milk. Riding a scooter on Koh Mak is relatively easy because the roads are flat and in great conditions and also traffic is barely existing. So also, perfect for beginners!


Kayaking on Koh Mak

Also on Koh Mak, we went kayaking again and kayaked to a small island in front of the coast of Koh Mak. We took again the scooter and drove through the caoutchouc plantations to a small village in the southwest of Koh Mak. There we rented the Kayak right at the beach and kayaked to Koh Rayang Nai. On the way, it was again very windy again as already a couple of days earlier on Koh Chang. But this time we arrived!

On Koh Rayang Nai, there is a small bay with a beautiful sand beach. We were compeletly alone on the island and spend the afternoon with reading, snorkeling and swimming. Sadly, the underwater world is pretty destroyed around the island.


After two days on Koh Mak, it was already time to move on for us. Next, we were heading to Koh Kood, an island even further south.


Scooter tour on Koh Chang

After a few days, we moved to a new hotel further north on the west cost of Koh Chang in the little town Kai Bae. Because we could first check in afternoon, we decided to rent a scooter that. In Kai Bae, there are plenty of places to rent a scooter. We found a place just a couple of meter down the road of our new hotel. For one day, the rent was 200TB. Koh Chang is a very hilly road and therefore the streets a quite steep and winding. But already after a short while you get used to it and the street conditions good. On the east side of the island the streets are also flatter and there was almost no traffic.


Than Mayom waterfall


Our first stop was the Than Mayom waterfall on the east coast. It was a beautiful small waterfall with no other tourist around. To get to the waterfall you have to pay an entrance fee of 200 Bat and then take small walk for about 15 – 20 minutes. If you want you can also take a swim in the river but don’t get too close to the waterfall otherwise the guard will stop you. The cold water was a blessing, because it was so warm. It was really hard leaving the waterfall to continue our tour around the island.


Mangrove forest – Ban Salak Kok


We continued along the ring road towards the mangrove forest Ban Salak Kok. On the way, we drove through little charming villages and palm tree forests. The ride was just so calm and peaceful – it was simply amazing. It was the complete opposite compared to the west side of the island. The reason for this are simply the lack of hotels. Hopefully it continues to be this way but every now and then we passed a sigh introducing a new planed hotel.

At some point, we left the main road and turned on a little gravel road. After a while, we parked our scooter and continued by food. The first            goal was to find a restaurant, which was not hard at all. On a small peer, we found a little Thai restaurant. To get to the restaurant you have to walk of sometime through the narrow streets of the villages, which allows you to get some insight of the daily lives of the families living here.

After our delicious meal, we decided to head back to our hotel because dark clouds were gathering at the sky. We should not have arrived one minute later at the hotel because just when we arrived it started to rain cats and dogs. When the rain moved on, we went to the beach and tried to photograph lightning.

For dinner, we went into town again and ate whole grilled fish, half a kilo of shrimps and some rice. What a dream! Why can’t every day end like this?!


Tips for a scooter tour on Koh Chang

  • Check your scooter carefully before you start and show the damages to the rental agency
  • Insist on a helmet! We saw some accidents on the way.
  • Take the time and drive to the East Cost of Koh Chang – it’s really worth it! The roads are empty and driving is really relaxed.
  • If you are unexperienced ride a scooter than it is better to drive during the day because at night the roads are not lighted.
  • Remember to bring an international driver’s license, it might be required when renting a scooter.

Koh Chang – Kayaking and beach life

After a delicious breakfast, we rented a kayak at the hotel and started kayaking along the cost to the East. We wanted to go a small hidden beach about 6km away from where we started. But that day it was windy and also wavy. We kayaked for an hour and then decided to turn around because it was very tiring and we still had 1/3 of the way ahead of us. Under good weather conditions, it is a really nice day trip and the beach should be easily reachable by kayak.

In the afternoon, we relaxed on the beach, drunk coconuts, read and slept. It was just amazing.

For dinner, we went into town and had a lovely Thai dinner on the pier in Bang Bao. If you want to take a taxi on Koh Chang after sunset it can be very expensive. For the way back from Bang Bao to our hotel they wanted to charge us 200 Bat, which is only a 5-minute-drive. We decided then to walk back to the hotel – which was a little scary because of some roaming dogs that followed us.


Kayaking at the West Coast and Diving on Koh Chang

Today we rented a kayak at our hotel to go to the small island Koh Suwan, which is approximately two kilometers away. The sea was flat and there was nearly no wind which made it so much easier to paddle than the last time. A little bit south of Koh Suwan is another rocky island which one can also go to by boat, but it was difficult to land there.

It took us around 45 minutes to get to Koh Suwan from Kai Kae Beach. Probably you can go there faster, but we weren’t in a hurry at all.

Right after we landed on a small beach at Koh Suwan, we grabbed our snorkeling gear and jumped into the water. However, we were disappointed, because there were nearly no fishes and all the corals were destroyed. We continued snorkeling along the coast line heading north and then, the farer away we got from the “main” beach, we could see some fish and plants.

By the way, another island which is easy to reach by kayak is Koh Man Nai. You better start at the south end of Kai Kae Beach and then it is only about a kilometer to Koh Man Nai. There are also islands which are accessible for experienced kayakers. They are called Koh Yuak, Koh Pli and Koh Man Nok. But they are around 4 kilometers away and should only be accessed by experienced paddlers.

After our kayak tour, we got a lovely massage at the beach. Just walk along the beach and you’ll find a massage place. Listening to the waves of the sea make a massage double as nice. Massages in Thailand are really a must do!


Here are some tips for a kayak tour on Koh Chang:

  • Have a look at the weather – windy conditions can make it double as hard and can also be very dangerous
  • You should definitely take some water! You cannot buy it on the way
  • Take some snacks to enjoy during break time (fruits are perfect!) but don’t forget to take your garbage
  • Don’t forget sun screen
  • Bring snorkeling equipment to explore the underwater world (but take care not to destroy anything)
  • Bring a waterproof backpack for your camera, mobile, books and other equipment

Diving on Koh Chang

We definitely wanted to go diving, although it wasn’t the best season for it. In Bang Bao there are some different diving schools. We decided pretty fast that we wanted to go with BB divers, as they made the best impression and we can say that we were more than happy with our choice!

We went two days diving with BB divers and we went three times each day. On the first day we took a short refresh course because it was already some time ago that we went diving.

On both days, we had a dive instructor named Chris from South Africa and he did such a great job. Before the different dives we always talked in detail about the route where we would go diving and what we would see. Moreover, the pace was simply perfect for us – we felt very save and completely contented.

Our personal highlight was the first dive on the second day, where we went to a ship wreck (HTSC Chang). There were so many fish – simply amazing! Unfortunately, the sight wasn’t that good, because we went diving in the end of the rain season. Nonetheless, we had six really nice dives where we saw sea turtles, barracudas and other beautiful fish.

The next day we even saw a video on BB divers Facebook page that they saw a whale shark directly where we went diving the day before. So, if you are lucky, you can also see whale sharks on Koh Chang.


How to get from Bangkok to Koh Chang?

How to get from Bangkok to Koh Chang? Flying is definitely fastest, but unfortunately also most expensive. Therefore, we decided to take the bus.

We left the hotel at around 7am and took a taxi to the Eastern Bus Terminal. From Sukhumvit it was only a few minutes to the bus terminal. At the bus terminal, we bought the bus tickets for the next bus. Luckily, we only had to wait for 30 minutes. There are plenty of busses to Trat from the Eastern Bus Terminal each day, so there is no need to buy the tickets in advance.

To get to Koh Chang from Bangkok you first have to take the Bus from the Eastern Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Trat (230 Bat). It takes around 5 ½ hours. In Trat you have to take a Tuk Tuk from the bus station to the ferry port (70 Bat). The ferry from the mainland to Koh Chang costs 150 Bat (return ticket) and takes about 30 minutes. On Koh Chang, we had to take a mini bus to Bang Bao, which took about an hour (1 hour). In total, it took us around 10 hours to get from Bangkok to Koh Chang. Even though you have to change from bus to tuk tuk and ferry a couple of times, it is impossible to get lost, because most tourist heading to Trat, are going to Koh Chang and therefore, the locals know where you can buy the tickets and which busses or tuk tuks you should take.

In Bang Bao, we were dropped off at the main taxi stand from where we were picked up by someone from the hotel. We stayed at the nice bungalow resort ‘Changpura’ close to the beach and with lovely bungalows. Finally, we made it to the beach!


Taling Chan & Wat Arun

Today we wanted to get up early again and continue exploring Bangkok. The alarm went off very early – as nearly always during our stay. But then we saw that it was raining outside and we were happy to postpone getting up.

We really wanted to see and visit a floating market. However, we did not want to use half the day for the transport. We did some research and found the small floating market Taling Chan.


Taling Chan – How to get there


We took the MRT as far as possible till Hua Lamphong and then we took a taxi for the rest of the way. The MRT line should be extended, so it might be good continue on the MRT a little longer if possible.

Our taxi driver was so great! He was a huge Germany fan and talked a lot about Rudi Völler, Lothar Matthäus and Michael Ballack. He also made fun of the fact that Christiane bought way overpriced Coconuts at Sukhumvit station. He gave us some hints how we could go back – such a nice driver.


Taling Chan – The floating market


The floating market was really small. There were just enough boats to be called a floating market. Nevertheless, it was nice market with a lot to see. Around the market were also a lot of “normal” booth where you could buy a lot of different stuff.

We bought some really delicious Prawns (300TB) and took a seat at one of the plastic tables to watch the crowds passing by. So, if you don’t want to drive so far and still want to visit a floating market, Taling Chan is definetly worth a visit!

Afterwards, we walked to the temple on the other side of the river. There were also some stalls where we bought a Thai black tea (buy one, so tasty!) and a mango smoothie. At first, we wanted to take the taxi and train back to the city center, but then we thought it would be nice to take the boat back to the city. So, we asked a little around and the tea guy found a boat driver who could bring us to the city for 500 TB.


Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn


After passing a floodgate and some really nice temples, we arrived at the temple Wat Arun. It is incredible how many boats are arriving and leaving to bring all the people to this beautiful temple. Remember to bring a scarf or a shirt to cover your shoulders! The temple was really nice. Thousands and thousands of small stones make this temple so special. We walked around for some time and decided then to head back to the hotel. We took the tourist boat to China Town and from there a taxi back to the hotel.

We finished the day in a tasty Indian restaurant (in Sukhumvit it is so difficult to find Thai cuisine!), before we headed back to the Continent hotel to pack our bags – the next day we left for Koh Chang!


Ayutthaya in one day

The original plan for today was to visit a swimming market but most of the swimming markets are located outside of Bangkok and it was already quite late. Apparently, the best time to visit the swimming markets is in the morning because in the mornings people are buying the fresh fruits and vegetable for the day. Therefore, we decided to take the train to Ayutthaya. But not before having a great breakfast with an awesome view in the 39th floor.


We bought the train tickets to Ayutthaya directly at Bangkok railway station. One ticket for the third class without seat reservation was 20 Bat. In the end, a seat reservation would have been very nice because it was very hot in the train and the 3rd class was pretty crowded so we ended up standing the whole two hours of the trip. Tickets for the 2nd class are not much more expensive and are more comfortable. However, we had some nice conversations with others in the train.


Getting around in Ayutthaya


On the train, we also met Mosu, and together with her we rented a Tuktuk in Ayutthaya. We read before that you should not take the Tuk Tuks directly in front of the train station, as the drivers want more money for the tours. We went a little further and we bargained at little with the driver and agreed on 900 Bat for 4 hours. In the end, we paid 1500 Bat for six hours. And it was really worth it! Ayutthaya is simply a sightseeing dream and four hours were definitely not enough time to visit the temples we wanted to see and even in six our we only saw a few of the temples in Ayutthaya.




The driver took us from one temple to the next and was waiting for us outside. It was really convenient to have a driver to get to the different temples because the distance between some temples were rather far. It is also possible to rent bikes in Ayutthaya but for us this was not an option because we were only for one day in Ayutthaya and wanted to see as much as possible. On the other hand, it was also very hot and biking would have been quite hard.

For lunch, the driver took us to a very expensive tourist restaurant, where all the tourist ate their lunch. But at least the food was good. After lunch, we continued our sightseeing and visited some more temples. At the end of the day, have visited about 8 temples but it never got boring because the temples are all very different.

It is possible to buy a combi-ticket for 6 of the temples for 220 Bat to save some money. But it only saves money if you plan on visiting all six of the temples.


Back to Bangkok


Before heading back to Bangkok, we had dinner together at a very nice restaurant just on the opposite side of the train station entrance. The food was really cheap and absolutely delicious. It was a perfect end for our trip to Ayutthaya.

Because we were very tired we definitely wanted to have a seat reservation for the train back to Bangkok. We then bought tickets for the 2nd class with seat reservation for 65 Bat each. Still a very reasonable price.

We had a wonderful day in Ayutthaya and we can definitely recommend going there!


Bangkok, here we come!

Finally, it was time to leave Austria and head to Thailand. After a full day at work we took the train to Zürich Airport and flew with Oman Air to Bangkok. The flight and entertainment system – yes, it is important for Christiane – were great and times flew. We had a few hours stop in Oman and the sunrise over the sandy landscape and the beautiful mountain made us curious how this country must be like.

But not this time. We took the next flight (another 6 hours) and finally arrived in Bangkok at around 6PM. Immigration took us nearly 1 ½ hours but then we could take the cab to the city center. We booked a meter taxi at the arrival hall and paid around 450 TB to Sukhumvit Station.


First Evening in Bangkok


We had a warm welcome at our hotel “The Continent”. Our room and the view were simply amazing! All the lights and the traffic looked pretty stunning from the 26th floor. But we did not rest for a long time because we wanted to grab something to eat. Although it already was 9 o’clock it was still very warm and humid. Surprisingly, it was not easy to find a food stall, because the district seemed like a business area. However, in the end we found some different food stalls with tasty and spicy food. Because of the jetlag we were not that tired yet and therefore, Christiane decided to get a foot massage and pedicure. The massage place was really nice and relaxing. Afterwards, we took a swim at the rooftop pool at the 37th floor of the Continent hotel.


Nice views at Golden Mount


After a nice sun rise and a great breakfast we took the Sky Train (BTS) to Victory Monument. From there, we took a bus to Golden Mount. When we had a look at our map, a woman at the bus stop asked us where we wanted to go. She was so nice to point out the right bus for us – it even was a bus free of charge. Another woman overheard our conversation and was so nice to explain to the bus driver’s assistant where we had to get off. Otherwise we would had been pretty lost. That was a really nice experience how helpful and kind people we met. However, at the same day we also experienced the opposite. When we stepped off the bus and had a look at a beautiful building, a man came over and asked where we wanted to go. When we said that we wanted to go to Golden Mount he said that Golden Mount was closed at this time and that he knew a way more interesting temple. He said that he knew someone who could drive us there and because it was a special day the government allowed us to go anywhere in the city for 10 TB. That was when we got suspicious because we read about situations like that in our travel guide. So, we said no thanks and the man got really angry.

We continued to Golden Mount and it was open. We climbed all the stairs to the top and the view was really beautiful! But it was incredibly hot. We had to buy so much to drink. After Golden Mount, we went by Tuk Tuk to Thewet Peer, because we wanted to do a canal tour. But it was very expensive. Therefore, we decided to take the normal ferry to Peer No. 6 to have a look at China Town.


China Town and Thai Cuisine


China Town was crazy! So many people and so many different stores where you could buy anything you want. The streets were really narrow and people were trading and shouting.

We enjoyed a really nice curry and then headed back to the hotel by taxi. We were invited by the hotel to have cocktails and dinner in their fabulous restaurant and we did not want to be late.

The view from the open window of the restaurant over the city was incredible and the food a mixture of modern and traditional Thai cuisine – So delicious! We had a really nice evening and were looking forward to the following weeks in Thailand.