Just over two years ago I was spending my days backpacking around Southeast Asia. It’s crazy to think about how much time has passed, but with the news about some close friends and family who are about to embark on what I once did, I can’t help but look back on my travels. Then I realize what a lazy blogger I once was and how I missed so many opportunities to share some of the most amazing things I discovered: one of those being Koh Chang—an island in Thailand.
It just so happens that while I spent a week on this Thai island, I also spent much of that time writing in my Moleskine notebook. Koh Chang was the perfect place at the time for contemplation and some serious mind-wandering.
Located far and away from Thailand’s heavily trafficked islands in the south, Koh Chang was relatively easy to get to from Bangkok. If I was smart, I would’ve planned my itinerary so I would continue from the island into Cambodia, but I wasn’t and I didn’t. Instead I just used the island as an escape from loud (but lively) Bankgok.
I spent my time at the hippie getaway, Lonely Beach. I specifically remember my Lonely Planet guide having a sort of heavy affection with the beach. The book described it as a backpacker-friendly area, so I was keen to visit for myself. Especially because of the horror stories I’d heard about Thailand’s southern islands (too crowded, too expensive). Of course, I’d just arrived in Thailand via some of the world’s most beautiful (and cheapest) beaches in India, so I was looking for “cheap but beautiful.” Lonely Beach was pretty much exactly what I needed.
My days at Lonely Beach were spent enjoying fresh food either on the beach, or from one of a handful street food vendors in the town. Afternoons on the beach and then evenings in the town. Several of the tourist restaurants showed films or had happy hours—basic backpacker necessities. I did what I tend to do when on a tropical island: read a lot of novels.
For me, the beach’s name lived up to what I was looking for. I wasn’t lonely on Koh Chang, but the break away from reality was exactly what I needed. And it’s something I’m thinking about more and more these days.
A note: I’m sorry for publishing content in a seemingly random order. But sometimes you just start to look through old photos and suddenly you realize: hey—this was a spectacular place, it’s stuck with me in my memory and while I may have written my experiences down in my journal, it’s also something I want to share with others. So there you have it.