Are you in Bangkok and in desperate need of some relaxation and isolation? You thought about Koh Samet probably or even Koh Chang. The thing, you see, is that Koh Samet is expensive and Koh Chang is… well… busy, very busy.
So where to go? Well to Koh Waï of course! While Koh Chang Marine Park contains a couple of islands including Koh Maak, Koh Kood and Koh Waï, the latter is probably your cheapest bet and best idea for some relaxation in some beautiful turquoise water.
Stunning fish and corals near the beach that will only require a mask and a snorkel to see perfectly, nice food, (mostly) empty beaches and quiet evenings, Koh Waï has everything to charm the Robinson Crusoe in you. No road, no bikes, no electricity (only generators), it is a great island to get to in order to forget everything and relax for a week.
How to get there:
From Koh Chang you have 2 choices: speed boat and normal boat. While the speed boat has 2 departures per day, the regular ferry has just the one. Getting tickets is not much of a problem: every single company on Koh Chang will sell you one for the same price. A taxi will pick you up at your hotel and bring you to the pier in Bang Bao to catch the boat.
Prices are 300BTH/pp for the boat and 400BTH/pp for the speed boat (one way). Those boats also operates Koh Maak and Koh Kood but Koh Waï is the first stop and takes 30min on a speed boat and 1h on the wooden boat.
Koh Waï includes only 5 places for accomodations: Pakarang, Paradise, Good feeling, Aou Yai Ma & Beach resort.
Be aware that most of them do not have internet and have to be contacted by phone! You can ask at a booking office or call yourself. Try to book in advance during the high season. There isn’t much accomodation on this island so they get filled very quickly!
This hotel offers wooden & concrete bungalows for 600BTH to 2,500 BTH a night (high price if you want aircon since it runs on a generator, our advice? skip the aircon.)
In front of one of the most beautiful beaches of the island, Pakarang is special because the electricity is available all the time. Running on a generator they are also the only one offering wifi at their restaurant.
The food is nice and the staff helpful. 600BTH is the price you would pay for a bungalow in Koh Chang “Lonely beach” and, believe us, the one in Koh Waï is nicer and cleaner. The only problem? The party boats. Everyday at 3.00pm snorkelling boats come with many tourists and stay for 45min. We would suggest escaping to one of the remote beaches through the little path that covers the island for that time.
More of a Castaway feeling and also more orientated to backpackers, all the bungalows are in wood and situated in front of a beautiful white sand beach. Sunset can be glimpsed from the pier.
Prices are lower (running from 300BTH for a bungalow) but bathroom commodities are shared and electricity runs for only three hours per day. Same problem as Pakarang: the party boats join for 45min during the day, here again you can easily escape. If you are in the need to get away from technology this is the place for you!
One white sand beach, a couple of bungalows, this one looks more like a place to live in than a hotel. With a good price range, Good feeling is relaxed and will give you the feeling to belong to this island.
There the only tourists you will meet are the one staying on the island and exploring it. Easy to understand then that nobody will bother you! The electricity runs, again, for 3 hours a day.
Aou Yai Ma & Beach resort:
We haven’t been to those 2 places so we won’t be able to tell you more about them. From what we understood Aou Yai Ma also runs electricity for 3 hours a day and have cheap accomodation while Beach resort offers wifi, electricity but has starting prices for 2.200 BTH for a bungalow “mountain view”.
If you wonder what you can do in Koh Waï well it’s simple: nothing!
Okay, maybe a couple of things but don’t count on activities, bars and restaurant or diverse type of party: there isn’t any! That’s the all point: an island where you won’t be bothered by some loud music, a place where you can hear only the sound of the waves and the birds. So just take a book, lay on the beach and enjoy.
If you still want to do something you can choose from a couple of activities:
Snorkelling: you can rent for 50 BTH a day a mask and snorkel and all you need to do is get in the water and you will find fish and coral pretty quick! Snorkel here is lovely and I would highly recommend it! Easy, cheaper and probably better than a “snorkel boat trip”, your best bet for a couple of days!
Kayaking: Fancy discovering the island? Go around? In Pakarang resort you can rent kayaks and get around! Be careful though, the tide goes down quickly and you might hit the corals if you are not looking!
Hiking: It’s simple: there is only one path you can hike to go around each resort, discover hidden beaches, escape everything. Easy to tour, you will enjoy a “Robinson Crusoe”‘s feel!
Reading: Each hotel has books you can borrow but my advice: bring the books you never find the time to read and enjoy! In our time on the islands I have never read that much!
After a month touring islands in Thaïland and Cambodia Koh Waï stays my favourite island and I would certainly love to go back! So if you are near Bangkok: don’t miss it!