Join us on a trip to Koh Chang in Thailand and find out why you should visit the island during the rainy season.

It was with closed eyes that we chose our travel destinations in Thailand. We traveled at a time when it was the rainy season in several parts of Thailand. We found it difficult to predict where the rainy season would dominate in the country. Therefore, we let rain be rain and went wherever we felt like being.

So, after spending some time in Bangkok, we decided to travel to Koh Chang in the south, and then to Chiang Mai in the north, and finally (before heading back to Bangkok) further into the mountains northeast of Chiang Mai.

It turned out that we had chosen exactly the places where the rainy season really sets in during July. But we discovered that the rainy season has something very special about it, and it turned out to be good choices for us anyway.

The ferry sails to Koh Chang

To get to Koh Chang, we took a 6-hour taxi ride all the way to the southeastern corner of Thailand. From there, we took a boat to the island. We had no idea what awaited us in the next 7 days, and the anticipation was almost unbearable during the boat ride. We could see the large jungle-covered island in front of us, and as we approached the island, the sea became more and more jade green due to reflections from the jungle. Between the jungle and the sea, we saw yellow stripes that illuminated. Sandy beaches!

Peter and Sebastian on the ferry to Koh Chang
Peter and Sebastian on the ferry to Koh Chang

The boats we sailed with were one of two ferry options. You can either take the “Koh Chang Ferry” or the “Center Point Ferry“. The trip there was on the Koh Chang Ferry, and we took the Center Point Ferry for the return journey. Although there seems to be a big difference between the ferries in the pictures, we have no complaints. We had excellent crossings with both companies.

Both companies operate year-round from early morning until late evening, and reportedly, very severe weather is needed for them not to sail. Even during the rainy season, it is extremely rare for them not to sail as the area is sheltered from tropical storms. However, towards the end of the rainy season, in November and December, the sea can get a bit rough, but they still sail—they just take a little longer. Normal crossing time is approximately 45 minutes.

There weren’t many people on the ferry, so we got seats in the front row.

Koh Chang Ferry
Ferry From Koh Chang

Winding Roads and green-clad mountains

Sometimes it happens that we arrive at a place and immediately feel at home. That’s exactly what happened when we hired a taxi bus that took us to our home for the next 7 nights.

There is a main road that runs through the island, along the coast and at the foot of the mountains. The road twists and turns, goes up and down in steep curves. And due to the rainy season, everything we saw was clear and colorful.

Throughout the day, on our way to the ferry terminal, it had been raining heavily. Pouring down. But now, as we drove through Koh Chang, the clouds dispersed, the sun peeked out, and even though everything was dripping wet, we could feel it. This felt just right.

Sebastian swings on the beach, Koh Chang
Sebastian swings on the beach, Koh Chang

Why is Koh Chang fantastic during the rainy season?

Fewer tourists and low prices

I can’t say much about how Koh Chang is outside of the rainy season because we only experienced it during this period. But our journey through Koh Chang showed us a stretch burdened by tourism. Souvenir shops, tour operators, diving trips, and restaurants competing for space along the road. But right now, they were empty. Only the locals and dogs strolled around, chatting and enjoying themselves.

We stayed in the middle of the island, right by the water, on the west side. So we had to travel a distance, and the further down the island we went, the more local and peaceful it seemed to become.

The rainy season scares away many tourists, but those who remain experience tranquility, peace, and the lowest prices of the year. That’s what we got too.

Beautiful, green, dripping Koh Chang

The air is clean. Every day the island is washed clean, and there’s a crisp freshness in all the greenery that stands, hangs, and drips. The sea may not be as clear during the rainy season, but it is clean and delightful to swim in.

Everything smells clean. Any kitchen waste from the restaurants is quickly washed away from the roads and villages. Even the beaches were nice, clean, and mostly free of trash.

And all the greenery is so lush, vibrant, and fresh during the rainy season.

Time for reflection

There’s a reason why we don’t always mind the rainy season in our family. Rain brings tranquility and contemplation. It invites us to seek indoor activities, such as games and coziness, which hold great value when we travel for extended periods.

Back home, we live busy lives. There are many things to remember, plan, accomplish, and take care of. We’ve become accustomed to constantly moving on to more exciting and interesting opportunities, and we can’t help ourselves because it’s possible. It’s both fantastic and addicting.

We truly value silence, pauses, and even boredom. Not all the time, but occasionally. The rainy season gives our bodies and souls time to assimilate and integrate the multitude of sensory impressions we experience while traveling.

 Sebastian looks thoughtful - Sea View Resort, Koh Chang
Sebastian looks thoughtful – Sea View Resort, Koh Chang

Experience Bangbao without tourists

You can almost imagine it. A 700-meter-long pier with houses on stilts above, covered, with temperatures reaching 30-35 degrees Celsius, and hundreds of tourists. At least, I could, and I was thrilled to be one of the few tourists on the day we visited Bangbao.

Bangbao, Koh Chang
Bangbao, Koh Chang

Robinson Crusoe for a day

Who gets the opportunity to play Robinson Crusoe with their son when the sun is shining and tourists flock to the small islands?

It was quite an adventure we had when we kayaked out to the little island that lay off our beach. The water was crystal clear, and beneath us, corals glided by, leading us to the mysterious island. No one lived there. Except for the hermit crabs, who scurried up and down their little holes in the sand, creating beautiful star patterns.

Only an old, decaying swing reminded us that we probably weren’t the first ones on the island. That was okay.

On that day, we left the first footprints – pretending to be a father, mother, and child surviving on a deserted island.

Vi leger Robinson Crusoe på den lille ø, vi havde sejlet i kajak ud til
Vi leger Robinson Crusoe på den lille ø, vi havde sejlet i kajak ud til

How much does it actually rain on Koh Chang during the rainy season?

The rain on Koh Chang can be quiet and drizzling, but it can also be heavy. It can come with intense thunderstorms and powerful lightning.

Approximately 3,000-4,000mm of rain falls on Koh Chang each year, with the majority of it occurring during the rainy season (for comparison, Denmark receives an average of around 712mm of rain per year).

The rainy season starts in May and continues until October. It rains every day. Some days it’s not much, while other days it can be quite heavy. Most rain showers last a couple of hours. Often, we experienced rain throughout the night, accompanied by lightning and thunder, followed by the sun appearing during the day.

The rainy season provides different experiences, such as impressive lightning shows and splashing around in the runoff water from rooftops. It offers peaceful beach walks and atmospheric evenings, mornings, and afternoons.

And when the sun finally breaks through, the puddles dry up, your hair dries, and you once again reach for the sunscreen for your nose.

 You can still enjoy a beach even if it's raining. Koh Chang
You can still enjoy a beach even if it’s raining. Koh Chang

Rainy season or not

I could have written this post and told you about all the other things you could do when it’s the rainy season on Koh Chang. It could be, for example, visiting one of the island’s waterfalls, which are particularly beautiful to see during the rainy season. Or going on hikes. Or perhaps joining cooking classes, exploring bars, clubs, and other entertainment activities.

The possibilities are many, and yes, you can certainly go on a boat and find great snorkeling and diving spots even during the rainy season.

But that’s just not what we did. We simply just wanted to be.

On Koh Chang. Rainy season or not.

– and we liked it.

Peter, Koh Chang
Peter, Koh Chang


-> Koh Chang Ferry Timetables
-> I am Koh Chang

  Koh Chang, Thailand