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Sagely advie needed on the best route from Siem Reap to Koh Chang?

  • allykat

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd November, 2009
    Posts: 24

    Hi,
    I am planning a trip and once again need to draw on all your sagely advice :) I was planning to head from BKK to SR and from there to Koh Chang.

    Bare bones of it is we fly in to BKK on 8th Feb around 1.30pm and fly out for SYD on 3rd March departing aroung 12.30pm. This gives us 23 days in total.

    It will be my boyfriend (36) and me (30) , both chefs and we are looking for some relaxation, chances to check out local food and produce, maybe a cooking class or too and to experience some culture.

    I was thinking of 2 nights in BKK, train to Aranya, bus to SR. 5 days inSR, then to Koh Chang.

    Which is the best what to get to Koh Chang from SR?
    Are there still direct buses?

    And also we would like to visit Kanchanaburi for 3 or 4 days. Is it plausable in this time period? Would it be better to visit there first or after going to Cambodia?

    Sorry for all the questions but I have hit information overload :) and really need some advice from people who have done the trip

    Thank you in advance

    #1 Posted: 7/10/2010 - 14:28

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  • caseyprich

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd March, 2010
    Location China
    Posts: 1234
    Total reviews: 53
    Places visited:
    At least 48

    A Travelfish Feature Story:

    http://www.travelfish.org/feature/111

    #2 Posted: 8/10/2010 - 11:24

  • eastwest

    Joined Travelfish
    17th December, 2009
    Posts: 771

    Casey is right and plenty can be found here. Also if you scroll down you'll find related threads about SR to Ko Chang .

    Kanchanaburi is fine for a few days. The town itself dídn't do much for me but I thought some hotels/guesthouses outside of town (some on a river) were very nice for relaxing and scenery.

    If it was the choice between ending my trip on either Ko Chang or Kanchanaburi, I'd choose Ko Chang. Otherwise there's not much difference if you go before or after Cambodia.

    #3 Posted: 8/10/2010 - 13:15

  • JessandScott

    Joined Travelfish
    7th December, 2008
    Posts: 34

    Hi Allycat

    My hubby and I did the same trip in 2009 - Bangkok for 4 days, then bus to Aran, tuk tuk to the border and cab to Siem Reap (arriving at about 7pm after leaving at 8am or so). We then had 5 days in Siem Reap (should have given ourselves longer, it was our fav place of the trip) and returned to Thailand.

    We cabbed it to Aran (about 2 hrs, left at 7am), crossed the border (took about an hour from memory), got a Tuk Tuk into Aran (only about 10 mins) then waited for ages for a bus to Trat that didn't materialise (despite many reassurance it would). We ended up jumping on a bus bound for Bangkok (having given up) and then seeing a bus bound for Trat while our bus was stopping somewhere to pick up passengers... we jumped buses, and ended up making it all the way to one of the Trat piers by about 5 or 6pm, in time to see the beautiful sunset. We then waited another few hours for the ferry to arrive (apparently the timetable is more of a guide) and took it across to Koh Chang, where our lovely and patient guest house owner (Ian from Baan Rim Nam) was waiting. We arrived at our guest house at about 9.30pm... so it was a very long day of travelling!

    Aran was a pretty awful place to spend a few hours to be honest. We were really fortunate in that the bus driver of the Trat bus let us jump on with no tickets and we fixed him up when he stopped at Chantaburi to pick up passengers (we jumped off and got some cash out). The second bus was lovely - all locals, everyone really nice... such a relief after a horror couple of hours in Aran.

    So... it's possible, but you need to be prepared for a long day :). Koh Chang was beautiful by the way - the beaches weren't as jaw dropping as some other islands, but the sunset is unbeatable (the whole side of the island faces the sunset) and the pace and ppl are lovely. We also spent about 5 days on nearby Koh Mak and heartily recommend it (stunning!). We can recommend the Big Easy and Ah Pong (not sure of spelling, sorry) on Koh Mak and Baan Rim Nam on Koh Chang.

    I hope that helps! :)
    Jess

    #4 Posted: 9/10/2010 - 11:16

  • allykat

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd November, 2009
    Posts: 24

    Thanks heaps everyone! There is so much info to absorb and I just wanted a little clarification on the actual logistics of doing and how long it REALLY takes.
    And yes I had read the feature story and lots of the other posts. Just so much to sort through and organise in my poor little brain :)

    #5 Posted: 9/10/2010 - 16:08

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