Ko Sichang

Ko Si Chang (เกาะสีชัง) is a small island, population 4,500, near Si Racha.

Understand

Ko Si Chang harbour

In the Gulf of Thailand, Ko Sichang's proximity to the shipping lanes has made it a convenient anchorage for dozens of barges which transship their cargoes to lighters for the trip up the Chao Phraya to Bangkok. Ko Si Chang makes a nice weekend outing for local tourists.

While the beaches are not as enjoyable as those on islands further east and south, such as Ko Samet, tourists can explore the remains of a former royal palace which was built as a summer retreat for King Chulalongkorn. The royal residence was abandoned in 1893 when the French occupied the island during a conflict with Thailand over who would control Laos.

The island has many places of religious interest and value. Be respectful of the local culture and wear modest clothes when visiting the temples and religious shrines. Always remove your shoes and cover your shoulders when entering a holy area. Refrain from topless or nude sunbathing/swimming.

Get in

By bus You can catch a government bus from Bangkok's Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) or Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekamai). Both stations have buses that leave everyday, on the hour. The trip to Si Racha takes about 2 hours. At Mo Chit, go to Window 54 to purchase your ticket. Tickets are 92 baht from Mo Chit, 88 baht one-way from Ekamai and there is no discount for buying a return fare.

By boat Upon arrival in Si Racha, take a tuk-tuk for 50 baht to the pier. Boats to Ko Sichang leave hourly (every two hours in low season) from the pier on Ko Loy. The ferry takes about 40 minutes and is 40 baht per person each way.

The information counter at the pier in Ko Sichang provides useful information and a brochure identifying five important locations on the island, written in Thai and English. This counter may not be open in low-season.

When leaving the island, be careful. The ferry may leave from a pier different from the one you came in on. It's best to ask a local motorbike taxi driver when you are close to the piers, and he will direct you.

Get around

By tuk-tuk Motorcycle buffs will be intrigued by the strange motorcycle samlors peculiar to Ko Sichang, three-wheeled motorized rickshaws with outrageously powerful car or Harley Davidson engines. These once roamed the streets of Bangkok, but were banished to Si Racha years ago. They can be hired for about 60 baht an hour to take visitors on a tour of the island.

For groups of tourists, a one-day around-the-island transport package can be arranged at the pier. The charge for the three-wheeled motorized tuk-tuk, which can accommodate 5 persons, is around 250 baht, and the pick-up truck, which can accommodate 10 persons, is around 500 baht. Tourists can spend however long they wish at each location, and the pick-up time for the next location can be agreed as you get off at each location or you can call the driver's mobile phone when needing pick-up.

By motorbike By far the most popular way to get around the island is by renting a motorbike, usually priced at around 300 baht/day. As there are few steep hills, the island is easily navigated by novices. Motorbikes can be rented at the pier, or at many guest houses or rental facilities along the main road

By foot For travellers who have more time or want to see the island at a slower pace, the island is easily navigated on foot. All of the island's main attractions can be seen in one day, and you can walk to most places in less than an hour.

For an excellent map of the island

See

Do

Eat

The cafe on the beach is very good, with reasonable prices.

Sleep

Stay safe

Be careful at night. As you move away from the more popular areas, the street lighting is poor or non-existent. If you are planning on walking around the island, a torch would be helpful.

Go next

Be careful when leaving the island. Your departure pier may not be the same as your arrival pier.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.