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Difference between revisions of "Ko Si Chang"

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== Understand ==
 
== Understand ==
  
[[Image:Si_Chang_1.jpg|thumb|right|350px|Ko Si Chang harbour]]
+
[[Image:Si_Chang_1.jpg|350px|thumb|Ko Si Chang harbour]]
  
Ko Si Chang makes a nice weekend outing for local tourists.
+
Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, its proximity to the shipping lanes has made it a convenient anchorage for dozens of barges which trans-ship their cargoes to lighters for the trip up the Chao Phraya to Bangkok. Ko Si Chang makes a nice weekend outing for local tourists.
  
While the beaches are not as enjoyable as those on islands further east and south, such as Ko Samet, tourists can explore the remains of a former royal palace which was built as a summer retreat for King Chulalongkorn. The royal residence was abandoned in 1893 when the French occupied the island during a conflict with Thailand over who would control Laos.  
+
While the beaches are not as enjoyable as those on islands further east and south, such as [[Ko Samet]], tourists can explore the remains of a former royal palace which was built as a summer retreat for King Chulalongkorn. The royal residence was abandoned in 1893 when the French occupied the island during a conflict with Thailand over who would control Laos. The island also has many places of religious interest and value.
 +
 
 +
Please be respectful of the local culture and wear modest clothes when visiting the temples and religious shrines. Always remove your shoes and cover your shoulders when entering a holy area. Refraining from topless or nude sunbathing/swimming would also be polite.
  
 
== Get in ==
 
== Get in ==
  
Situated in the Gulf of Thailand 12km offshore from Si Racha, its proximity to the shipping lanes has made it a convenient anchorage for dozens of barges which transship their cargoes to lighter boats for the trip up the Chao Phraya to Bangkok. Boats to Ko Si Chang leave hourly from the pier in Si Racha, taking about 40 minutes to make the trip. Price: 40 baht per person each way (as of December, 2009).
+
'''By Bus'''
  
The information counter at the pier in Ko Si Chang provides necessary information and a brochure carrying the information of five important locations of the island written in Thai and English languages.
+
You can catch a government bus from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) or Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai). Both stations have buses that leave everyday, on the hour. The trip to Sri Racha takes about 2 hours. At Mo Chit proceed to window 54 to purchase your ticket. Tickets are 92/88 baht one way from Mo Chit/Ekamai and there is no discount for buying a return fare.
 +
 
 +
'''By Boat'''
 +
 
 +
Upon arrival in Sri Racha, take a tuk-tuk for 50 baht to the pier. Boats to Ko Si Chang leave hourly (or every two hours in low season) from the pier on Ko Loy. The ferry takes about 40 minutes and is 40 baht per person each way.
 +
 
 +
The information counter at the pier in Ko Si Chang provides necessary information and a brochure carrying the information of five important locations of the island written in Thai and English. This counter may not be open in low season.
 +
 
 +
When leaving the island be careful. The ferry may leave from a different pier then you came on. It's best to ask a local motorbike taxi driver when you are close to the piers. He/she will direct you.
  
 
== Get around ==
 
== Get around ==
  
Motorcycle buffs will be intrigued by the strange motorcycle samlors peculiar to Ko Si Chang, three wheeled motorized rickshaws with outrageously powerful automobile or Harley Davidson engines. These once roamed the streets of Bangkok but were banished to Si Racha years ago. They can be hired for about 60 baht an hour to take visitors on a tour of the island.  
+
'''By Tuk-tuk''' Motorcycle buffs will be intrigued by the strange motorcycle samlors peculiar to Ko Si Chang, three wheeled motorized rickshaws with outrageously powerful automobile or motorcycle engines. These once roamed the streets of Bangkok but were banished to Sri Racha years ago. They can be hired for about 60 baht an hour to take visitors on a tour of the island.  
  
For group of tourists, one day around the island transport package can be arranged at the pier. The charge for the three wheeled motorized rickshaw, which can accommodate 5 persons, is around 250 Baht, and for the pick-up truck, which can accommodate 10 persons, is around 500 Baht. Tourists can spend their own time at each location, and the pick-up time to the next location has to be discussed beforehand (as you get down at the location) or can call the driver's mobile phone when finished at a spot.
+
For group of tourists, one day around the island transport package can be arranged at the pier. The charge for the three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuk, which can accommodate 5 persons, is around 250 baht, and for the pick-up truck, which can accommodate 10 persons, is around 500 baht. Tourists can spend their own time at each location, and the pick-up time to the next location has to be discussed beforehand (as you get off at the location) or you can call the driver's mobile phone when finished at a spot.
 +
 
 +
'''By Motorcycle''' By far the most popular to get around the island is by renting a motorcycle, usually priced at around 300 baht/day. While there are a few steep hills, the island is easily navigated by a novice motorcycle driver. Motorcycles can be rented at the pier, or at many guest houses or rental facilities along the main road
 +
 
 +
'''By Foot''' For visitors who have more time or want to see the island at a slower pace, the island is easily navigated by foot. All of the island's main attractions can be seen in one day, and you can get pretty much anywhere on the island in less than an hour.
 +
 
 +
For an excellent map of the island visit this link: http://www.kohsichang.net/map-of-koh-sichang.html
  
 
== See ==
 
== See ==
  
Also of interest is the large cave known as Tham Saowapha which is said to extend over a kilometer into the limestone interior of the island. Another cave, the chimney-like Tham Chaprakong gives access to the view from the top of the hill. Other caves on the island are home to meditating hermits, so visitors should take care not to cause any disturbance. Also on the island is San Jao Phaw Khao Yai, a venerable multi-level Chinese temple high on a cliff with a spectacular view back toward the mainland.
+
'''Sunsets''' The island offers beautiful sunsets seen off Taam Pang Beach or Chom Kao Kard. The latter location has a nice walkway, benches and gazebos built onto a hill, all offering great sunset views for free. The walk from the road to the lookout point is quite nice.
 +
 
 +
'''Caves''' Of interest is the large cave known as Tham Saowapha which is said to extend over a kilometre into the limestone interior of the island.  
 +
 
 +
Another cave, the chimney-like Tham Chaprakong gives access to the view from the top of the hill. Other caves on the island are home to meditating hermits, so visitors should take care not to cause any disturbance.  
 +
 
 +
Many of the temples on the island also have caves used for worship which can be explored as long as you are being respectful.
  
 
== Do ==
 
== Do ==
  
 +
'''San Jao Phaw Khao Yai''' Located northeast of the piers this venerable multi-level Chinese temple is up a high on a cliff and has a spectacular view back toward the mainland. The temple has many rooms and caves to be explored. To the right, just before entering the main hall, you will see stairs leading up to Buddha's footprint.
  
 +
'''Buddha's Footprint and Lookout''' Accessible from the main road, or from San Jao Phaw Khao Yai, this lookout offers amazing views of both the island and the small lake known as Buddha's Footprint. The lookout has a shrine and a bell. If you wish to notify the spirits that you are visiting, you may ring the bell three times.
 +
 +
'''Wat Tham Yai Prik''' This large temple on the hill includes a giant golden Buddha visible from the ferry, as well as many other Buddha statues. The temple has a great view, caves, and many buildings to explore. The local monks will be happy to show you around and offer a blessing for a modest donation.
 +
 +
'''Rama IV Summer Palace and Gardens''' Located half-way down the east coast are the remains of this 19th century palace. You can spend an hour or two wandering around the old buildings, gardens, the pier, and the small beaches.
 +
 +
'''Taam Pang Beach''' The only real beach on the island offers nice swimming and good snacks. Beware of rubbish which can find its way onto the beach when the tide comes in.
  
 
== Eat ==
 
== Eat ==
  
* '''Pan and David's''' - a good mix of Western and Thai food. The green curry is simply just heavenly, the homemade ice cream and smoothie will keep you coming back for more. The eatery at the beach is also very good as well with reasonable prices.
+
* '''Pan and David's''' - A good mix of Western and Thai food. Recommended are the green curry, burgers, home-made ice cream and smoothies.
 +
 
 +
The restaurant at the beach is also very good as well with reasonable prices.
 +
 
 +
'''Krua talay Sichang''' is a well-known seafood restaurant. They offer great food at a fair price. VIP karaoke rooms are free of charge.
  
 
== Drink ==
 
== Drink ==
Line 37: Line 71:
 
== Sleep ==
 
== Sleep ==
  
=== Budget ===
+
* '''Ban Khun Ning Sichang Resort''' A nice place to stay on Ko Si Chang. Built in Thai residence style, It offers guests large and comfortable rooms. Air-con, hot showers, free Wi-Fi, coffee/tea, and cable TV for 600 baht per night [http://www.sichang-hotel.com].
  
=== Mid-range ===
+
* '''Jeff Bungalows''' - Spotless rooms with DVD/cable, free coffee/tea/soft drinks, 600 baht.
  
* '''Jeff Bungalows''' - spotless rooms with DVD/cable, free coffee/tea/soft drinks, 600 baht.
+
* '''Sichang View Resort''' Set in a large, pretty tropical garden near the sea in a prime cliff-side location on the west coast of the island. There are good sunset views. There are 13 air-conditioned rooms and a restaurant which serves Thai, Western, and Chinese food. Wi-Fi Internet access from the rooms or the restaurant.
  
=== Splurge ===
+
* '''Tham Phang Beach Resort''' is not the cleanest or cheapest accommodation but it is on the island's only real beach. +66 38 216179.
 +
 
 +
* '''Malee Blue Hut''' is a guest house built in an old Moroccan-style mansion called "Dracula's Castle" by the locals. Air-con rooms go for 1,200 baht/night, including cable TV and breakfast. [http://www.maleeblue.com/]
 +
 
 +
* '''Charlie's Bungalows''' A centrally located guest house. Air-con, hot showers, and cable TV for 900 baht per night. [http://www.kohsichang.net/charlies-bungalows-koh-sichang.html]
 +
 
 +
'''* Villa Dragon's Den'''- A tastefully-styled villa,located on the east side of the island. The large sun terrace, with Jacuzzi, offers a nice view of Kam island, the mainland, and the shipping activities in between. The villa is quietly located away from the main road. Rooms are air conditioned and have en suite bathroom (wash basin, shower, toilet). Free Wi-Fi. Contact: dragonsdenvilla@gmail.com
  
 
== Stay safe ==
 
== Stay safe ==
 +
 +
Be careful at night. As you move away from the more popular areas the street lighting is either poor or non-existent. If you walk around the island a torch would be helpful.
  
 
== Get out ==
 
== Get out ==
  
 +
As mentioned above, be careful when leaving the island. The ferry may leave from a different pier then you came to. It's best to ask a local moto-taxi driver when you are close to the piers. He/she will direct you.
 +
 +
* [[Bangkok]]
 +
* [[Ko Chang]]
 +
* [[Ko Samet]]
 
* [[Pattaya]]
 
* [[Pattaya]]
  

Revision as of 13:14, 7 January 2013

Ko Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง) is a small island near Si Racha, population 4,500.

Contents

Understand

Ko Si Chang harbour

Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, its proximity to the shipping lanes has made it a convenient anchorage for dozens of barges which trans-ship their cargoes to lighters for the trip up the Chao Phraya to Bangkok. Ko Si Chang makes a nice weekend outing for local tourists.

While the beaches are not as enjoyable as those on islands further east and south, such as Ko Samet, tourists can explore the remains of a former royal palace which was built as a summer retreat for King Chulalongkorn. The royal residence was abandoned in 1893 when the French occupied the island during a conflict with Thailand over who would control Laos. The island also has many places of religious interest and value.

Please be respectful of the local culture and wear modest clothes when visiting the temples and religious shrines. Always remove your shoes and cover your shoulders when entering a holy area. Refraining from topless or nude sunbathing/swimming would also be polite.

Get in

By Bus

You can catch a government bus from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) or Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai). Both stations have buses that leave everyday, on the hour. The trip to Sri Racha takes about 2 hours. At Mo Chit proceed to window 54 to purchase your ticket. Tickets are 92/88 baht one way from Mo Chit/Ekamai and there is no discount for buying a return fare.

By Boat

Upon arrival in Sri Racha, take a tuk-tuk for 50 baht to the pier. Boats to Ko Si Chang leave hourly (or every two hours in low season) from the pier on Ko Loy. The ferry takes about 40 minutes and is 40 baht per person each way.

The information counter at the pier in Ko Si Chang provides necessary information and a brochure carrying the information of five important locations of the island written in Thai and English. This counter may not be open in low season.

When leaving the island be careful. The ferry may leave from a different pier then you came on. It's best to ask a local motorbike taxi driver when you are close to the piers. He/she will direct you.

Get around

By Tuk-tuk Motorcycle buffs will be intrigued by the strange motorcycle samlors peculiar to Ko Si Chang, three wheeled motorized rickshaws with outrageously powerful automobile or motorcycle engines. These once roamed the streets of Bangkok but were banished to Sri Racha years ago. They can be hired for about 60 baht an hour to take visitors on a tour of the island.

For group of tourists, one day around the island transport package can be arranged at the pier. The charge for the three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuk, which can accommodate 5 persons, is around 250 baht, and for the pick-up truck, which can accommodate 10 persons, is around 500 baht. Tourists can spend their own time at each location, and the pick-up time to the next location has to be discussed beforehand (as you get off at the location) or you can call the driver's mobile phone when finished at a spot.

By Motorcycle By far the most popular to get around the island is by renting a motorcycle, usually priced at around 300 baht/day. While there are a few steep hills, the island is easily navigated by a novice motorcycle driver. Motorcycles can be rented at the pier, or at many guest houses or rental facilities along the main road

By Foot For visitors who have more time or want to see the island at a slower pace, the island is easily navigated by foot. All of the island's main attractions can be seen in one day, and you can get pretty much anywhere on the island in less than an hour.

For an excellent map of the island visit this link: http://www.kohsichang.net/map-of-koh-sichang.html

See

Sunsets The island offers beautiful sunsets seen off Taam Pang Beach or Chom Kao Kard. The latter location has a nice walkway, benches and gazebos built onto a hill, all offering great sunset views for free. The walk from the road to the lookout point is quite nice.

Caves Of interest is the large cave known as Tham Saowapha which is said to extend over a kilometre into the limestone interior of the island.

Another cave, the chimney-like Tham Chaprakong gives access to the view from the top of the hill. Other caves on the island are home to meditating hermits, so visitors should take care not to cause any disturbance.

Many of the temples on the island also have caves used for worship which can be explored as long as you are being respectful.

Do

San Jao Phaw Khao Yai Located northeast of the piers this venerable multi-level Chinese temple is up a high on a cliff and has a spectacular view back toward the mainland. The temple has many rooms and caves to be explored. To the right, just before entering the main hall, you will see stairs leading up to Buddha's footprint.

Buddha's Footprint and Lookout Accessible from the main road, or from San Jao Phaw Khao Yai, this lookout offers amazing views of both the island and the small lake known as Buddha's Footprint. The lookout has a shrine and a bell. If you wish to notify the spirits that you are visiting, you may ring the bell three times.

Wat Tham Yai Prik This large temple on the hill includes a giant golden Buddha visible from the ferry, as well as many other Buddha statues. The temple has a great view, caves, and many buildings to explore. The local monks will be happy to show you around and offer a blessing for a modest donation.

Rama IV Summer Palace and Gardens Located half-way down the east coast are the remains of this 19th century palace. You can spend an hour or two wandering around the old buildings, gardens, the pier, and the small beaches.

Taam Pang Beach The only real beach on the island offers nice swimming and good snacks. Beware of rubbish which can find its way onto the beach when the tide comes in.

Eat

  • Pan and David's - A good mix of Western and Thai food. Recommended are the green curry, burgers, home-made ice cream and smoothies.

The restaurant at the beach is also very good as well with reasonable prices.

Krua talay Sichang is a well-known seafood restaurant. They offer great food at a fair price. VIP karaoke rooms are free of charge.

Drink

Sleep

  • Ban Khun Ning Sichang Resort A nice place to stay on Ko Si Chang. Built in Thai residence style, It offers guests large and comfortable rooms. Air-con, hot showers, free Wi-Fi, coffee/tea, and cable TV for 600 baht per night [1].
  • Jeff Bungalows - Spotless rooms with DVD/cable, free coffee/tea/soft drinks, 600 baht.
  • Sichang View Resort Set in a large, pretty tropical garden near the sea in a prime cliff-side location on the west coast of the island. There are good sunset views. There are 13 air-conditioned rooms and a restaurant which serves Thai, Western, and Chinese food. Wi-Fi Internet access from the rooms or the restaurant.
  • Tham Phang Beach Resort is not the cleanest or cheapest accommodation but it is on the island's only real beach. +66 38 216179.
  • Malee Blue Hut is a guest house built in an old Moroccan-style mansion called "Dracula's Castle" by the locals. Air-con rooms go for 1,200 baht/night, including cable TV and breakfast. [2]
  • Charlie's Bungalows A centrally located guest house. Air-con, hot showers, and cable TV for 900 baht per night. [3]

* Villa Dragon's Den- A tastefully-styled villa,located on the east side of the island. The large sun terrace, with Jacuzzi, offers a nice view of Kam island, the mainland, and the shipping activities in between. The villa is quietly located away from the main road. Rooms are air conditioned and have en suite bathroom (wash basin, shower, toilet). Free Wi-Fi. Contact: dragonsdenvilla@gmail.com

Stay safe

Be careful at night. As you move away from the more popular areas the street lighting is either poor or non-existent. If you walk around the island a torch would be helpful.

Get out

As mentioned above, be careful when leaving the island. The ferry may leave from a different pier then you came to. It's best to ask a local moto-taxi driver when you are close to the piers. He/she will direct you.



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