Why Koh Chang Island Has No Airport

Trat_Airport

It should be noted that Chang does not have its own airport. How come - tourists are surprised - it's an island, how to get to it? Especially since the place is well-known and popular with Europeans.

Content:

  • Why isn't there an airport in Chang?
  • What is the nearest airport to Chang?
  • What flights fly to the airport?
  • How to get from the airport to Ko Chang?

No big deal: the lack of an airport makes the island less accessible and keeps it from becoming another Phuket.

Why isn't there an airport in Chang?

  • Reason #1. Environmental. 

Chang Island is a protected area. All activities that pollute the environment are forbidden here. For example, it is forbidden to use watercraft with internal combustion engines at sea: only paddling is allowed. The exception is ferries, but their routes are clearly defined. The second exception is motor transport.

koh-chang

  • Reason #2. Economic. 

Ko Chang, despite a number of advantages, is still not a top tourist destination. It is mainly aimed at young people who want to rest in a budget style. There are also expensive options for high level accommodation, but they are few. In general, no one wants to build an airport to hang out on the island with a couple of hundred ravers.

In general, the tourist capacity of the island is small. Chang is inferior to Phuket and Samui, which have airports.

What is the nearest airport to Chang?

The island is administratively part of the province of Trat. It is a border area and, until recently, of little tourist interest in Thailand. Relative proximity to Bangkok (about 300 km or 5 hours by road) allowed local residents to do without flights.

trat ko chang airport

Although Chang became famous among young foreigners in the 1970s, it remained an underground place until the late 1990s. And the underground, as you know, doesn't offer much comfort. But gradually a more serious audience began to visit Trat, which, having heard about Chiang's protected status, practically all followed to this island.

It was not until 2003 that Trat built its first and so far only airport. It is located in the west of the province, in the district of the same name.

Since the main purpose of this airport (if we talk about passenger traffic) is to serve the needs of Chang, often, for example in Bangkok Airways, Trat airport is called Chang Airport, and when booking tickets displays the inscription "Trat (Koh Chang).

What flights fly to the airport?

Direct flights are only to Bangkok:

From BangkokFrom Trat.
8.3010.10
11.4013.10
17.1018.40

The travel time is one hour. The cost of a one-way ticket is about $70.

If you need to fly to another destination in Thailand, you must make a connection in Bangkok. In popular destinations, flights are frequent and connection times are always minimal.

Here are some options (1 transfer in Bangkok):

RouteTravel time, minApproximate cost, $
Trat to Phuket3:00130
Trat to Samui3:30200
Trat to Chiang Mai3:35110

All flights are operated by Bangkok Airways.

How to get from the airport to Ko Chang?

The airport is:

  • 17 km from Ao Thammachat;
  • 20 km from Centrepoint Piers.

Both locations have piers from which the ferries to Chang depart. From Ao Thammachat the ferries leave every half hour, from Centrepoint Piers once an hour. There are two different piers that are docked on the north side of the island.

The road, therefore, is made up of the following segments:

  1. The way to the piers - from 20 to 30 minutes (any bus - 100 baht - $3);
  2. Sea route - 25 to 45 minutes (ferry - 80 baht - $2.5);
  3. The way to the hotel on the island - up to 30 minutes, depending on the distance to the piers.

Shuttle to:

  • White Sand Beach - 50 baht - $1.4;
  • Kai Bae Beach - 60 baht - $1.7;
  • Lonely Beach - 100 baht - $3;
  • Bang Bao - 150-200 baht - $4-6.

Total: 380 baht maximum. 

It's a tough road, isn't it? Bangkok Airways would not be the national carrier and universal Thai pride if it had not thought things through in advance so that its passengers would not have such a difficult transfer experience. As a result, the following scheme was devised:

  1. Minivans await all arriving passengers at the airport exit.
  2. For 500 baht ($15) minibuses:
  • take passengers to the ferry;
  • take the ferry (the fare is included in the general ticket);
  • On arrival in Chang, they take passengers to their hotels.

Despite the fact that Bangkok Airways notes that they purposely adjust the schedule of planes to the ferry traffic, you have to admit that they are deceiving. Only one of the three flights (the latest) arrives 50 minutes before the last pier leaves at 6 p.m. Passengers on the first two flights still have to wait at the piers for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Those who want to make airport transfers even easier should take a cab. Prices start at $25 per person. For $60, if both sides are willing, you can bargain for the whole car. Plus pay extra for the ferry. But if the destination is much to the south of the island, the cost of such a trip will increase.

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