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Koh Wai--A Great Get Away Vacation in Thailand--Travel Thailand Series
Pakarang Resort at Koh Wai
Photographs for video by E Jay
If you want to spend time with that special someone, family or friends while enjoying nature on a relatively untouched island Koh Wai in Thailand is where you want to be. Koh Wai is one of the 52 islands of The Koh Chang National Marine Park in Thailand. Most of the islands are uninhabited and only a few have accommodations. The remote little island of Koh Wai offers peace and tranquility and all the beauty and activity that you need a for a special get away vacation.
Koh Wai is a smaller island south of Koh Chang and can be reached by taking a five or six hour drive from Bangkok to Trat. Tour busses will take you to Trat and even to the pier that you leave from to get to the island. At the pier you can take either a forty five minute ride by speed boat or a two hour ride on a slower regular boat from Trat. The speed boat is fast, and perhaps bumpy in choppy waters, and the regular boat allows you the chance to video and experience the vastness of the Gulf of Thailand waters.
When you arrive on Koh Wai you will find yourself on one of several beautiful white sandy beaches while the rest of the island is jungle. The resorts and beaches are untouched by marketers and commercialism so vacationers are left with the company of gracious and friendly staff. A Thai beach island dog might even “adopt” you for a bit of food or attention on your part.
Room prices will probably range from 600 to 2200 baht ($19.50 to $71.50 US) and once you are settled in your room, bungalow, or other quarters there are many things to do. Playing in the clear emerald-blue water and on the beach, catching crabs, snorkeling on the shallow reefs, viewing sea life and coral even without snorkels, viewing or feeding fish from the pier, kayaking, scuba diving, fish boat tours or taking a 15 or 20 minute hike up a jungle path to the top of the island are options. Exotic flowers, banana, coconut and mango trees can be found on the island. The Pakarang Resort has loggerhead turtles in their care that you can view if you stroll to the end of a path.
If you are hungry you can head for the open air restaurant at your resort and enjoy Thai cuisine such as pad thai, fried rice, tom ka, red and green curries, seafood, and oh so much more. Fresh juices such as watermelon, pineapple, orange, banana, coconut and lemon are refreshing anytime.
With remoteness comes some considerations. Because of the remoteness it is a good idea to pack anything you might need. The island's resorts will have a small store and maybe a few essentials. Technology is also limited. One of the four resorts on the island, the Pakarong, does have computers and internet access and a TV in the restaurant area if you want to connect with the outside world. The Pakarong also has electricity 24 hours. You would surely want to make reservations in advance, just in case the island resorts are full.
In a nutshell, Koh Wai is a great vacation retreat. The island offers peace and tranquility and all the beauty and activity that you need a for a special get away time. An island of serenity so unique that it nearly defies description. Some would call it a paradise in Thailand. It offers one of the best opportunities that can be had for your next get away vacation.
RESORTS ON THE ISLAND
There are four resorts on the island. All are on the north side of Ko Wai which gives a view of the other islands, but no sunrise or sunset. Travelfish.com reviews of August 2009 indicated that the resorts run on power generators and some resorts only turn the power on in the huts from 6:00 pm to 11:OO p.m. Some of the bungalows will rent gas lamps to their guests. From personal experience I do know that one resort, the Pakarang Resort, does have 24 hour electricity. The newest resort that is advertising as being on Koh Wai, called the Koh Wai (Island) Beach Resort, does state on their web page that cable TV is available in the rooms but they do not say how long the huts have electricity.
Below are small descriptions and room costs as seen on each resort's web page in February 2011 with the currency exchange of Thai baht to US$ being at that time also. Contact information for each of the resorts is also given. When calling from the U.S. the international code of 011 would go before the number. International codes for other countries can be obtained by doing a search on the internet for <international phone codes>.
KOH WAI PAKARANG RESORT
105/21 Moo 2, Ko Wai
Tel: (084) 113 8945, (084) 113 8946
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.kohwaipakarang.com
This resort has 27 bungalows, some of which are of wooden construction. There are other buildings that are more modern and constructed from concrete. Each room has a private shower and western style toilet and they provide mosquito nets and fans. Water and electricity are available 24 hours a day. There are various room prices depending on size and whether you want hot water, air conditioning, etc. There is internet access with computers and wireless availability and a larger screened TV in the open air restaurant. Their web page listed rooms from 600 baht to 2500 baht (US $19.50 to US $81.50).
KOH WAI (ISLAND) BEACH RESORT
Moo 2 Koh Chang Tai, Koh Chang District Trat Province 23170 Thailand
Tel : +66 (0) 86 997 8085, +66 (0) 2 948 4332 (TH) +66 (0) 81 306 4053, +66 (0) 81 888 7048 (ENG) Fax : +66 (0) 2 948 4407
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Website : www.kohwaibeachresort.com
This appears to be the latest and newest resort. They have 10 townhouse style Beach Front Villas, 6 Thai Teak Houses, and Family Houses for up to 9 persons . All have bathrooms with hot shower and push-button toilet, bedroom with air conditioner, wall fans, cable TV with satellite channels, windows with mosquito screens and curtains, and private front balcony facing the sea. Newly promoted Hillside Bungalows that have one room with queen-size bed, air-condition, cable- TV and private bathroom are available along with Beach Houses. The rates are from 1900 baht to 4900 baht (US $61.80 to $159.00).
KOH WAI PARADISE RESORT
9/5 Moo 6, Koh Chang Tai, Koh Wai Island, Koh Chang District, Trat 23120 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0)81 762 2548 or +66 (0)89 672 8472
The Paradise is the westernmost resort on the island. Bungalows are built on stilts on the side of the hill, about 20m away from the beach. The restaurant is recognized as probably the most convivial on the island. A small shop there has essentials such as toiletries for about twice as much as they cost on the mainland. One review stated that the toilets are the “squat” type. Bungalows are box-like with bed and advertised for 250 baht (US$ 8.13).
GRAND MAR HUT
Moo 2 Koh Chang Tai , Koh Wai Island
Tel: (081) 841 3011 Website: kohchang2.com/rooms_grand_ma_hut_koh_wai.html
The Grand Mar Hut, formerly the Ao Yai Ma, Is a five minute walk past Pakarang Resort. It is considered the most isolated resort on the island and is situated at the very eastern tip of the island. There is excellent snorkeling at this end of the island. The beach is small but perhaps it is the most beautiful beach of all the Koh Wai resorts. Accommodations are pretty basic and the restaurant doesn’t have signs in English indicating it is mainly geared to the Thai population rather than foreigners. The website offers no description of the rooms, however a travel fish.com reviewer stated that accommodations were basically closet-sized with a mat on the floor and windows that couldn't be closed and shared bathroom. They were advertised on the website at 250 baht (US $ 8.13) with cost being 350 baht (US$ 11.38 ).