This post was last updated on February 17th, 2020 at 03:03 pm
Turquoise water, white sandy beaches surrounded by impressive rock formations, tropical fish, a beautiful jungle, hills, and almost no tourists. Welcome to Koh Wai! You will find no roads or motorbikes here; no parties; no ATMs, and limited Wi-Fi and electricity. It is a paradise for travelers seeking tranquility.
Pristine Koh Wai
Islands where you hardly see any tourists are scarce in Thailand. That is why it is perhaps one of the best islands to relax. They have beautiful beaches, a laid-back atmosphere, and hammocks on every Thai island.
But it is an island where you have almost nothing. No ATM, no roads or scooters, no bars, no clubs, almost no Wi-Fi and sporadic electricity. It is an island where you can really recover from a long journey. So, have you just traveled all over Thailand or are you looking for a tropical get-away? Koh Wai is the place to be!
On Koh Wai, you only have power between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Island of Koh Wai
Koh Wai is located about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Koh Chang near the border with Cambodia. Many travelers come here as a day trip from Koh Chang. During the day it can be quite busy, but in the evening you almost have the island to yourself with some locals. Because Koh Chang is so close, it is not only easy to reach, you also have beautiful views of Koh Chang.
From Koh Chang, 2 boats go to Koh Wai every day. A ticket costs 900 baht (US $29.20) per person.
Most accommodations do not have hot water and the food options are limited. There are no cash machines, bars, shops, medical facilities, or police stations. Wi-Fi is sporadic and do not expect coverage with your phone on most parts of the island.
Fun Things to Do on Koh Wai
Many travelers come here from Koh Chang to stay for an hour or two, often as a day trip. Every day around the end of the morning until the afternoon, the beaches are filled with selfie-making tourists.
But as soon as the last boat leaves, this island changes to the wonderful, tranquil paradise that it has been for so long. Koh Chang may have larger beaches and more facilities; it does not come close to the relaxed atmosphere on Koh Wai.
1. Explore the Beaches
You will find beautiful pristine beaches here. Perfect for couples but also for people who want to escape from the crowds. The beach at Paradise Resort and Good Feeling Bungalows are the best-known and most beautiful beaches.
It makes Koh Wai an ideal island for anyone who needs a break from the “real world”.
TIP – The most beautiful beaches are at Paradise Resort, Good Feeling Bungalows, Pakarang Resort, and Ao Yai Ma (Grandmar Huts).
One of the white sandy beaches on Koh Chang
2. Water Activities
Koh Wai is a beautiful tropical island. It will not surprise anyone that you can also do fun activities on and around the water. Do not expect busy tours and beaches as you will find at Koh Phi Phi or at Koh Samui.
The best-known activities are snorkeling and diving. Snorkel gear can be rented at any accommodation for around $5 per person per day. Other activities include kayaking or just doing nothing.
3. Day Trip to Koh Rang
Koh Rang is an uninhabited island group of 12 islands. It is located in the center of Koh Rang Marine Park, just over an hour’s boat ride from Koh Chang. The main island has a ranger station, a few bungalows, and a very pleasant restaurant, with toilet and washing facilities for overnight stays.
Accommodation can be booked from Koh Chang, although people staying here are a rarity.
To make a day trip you first have to take the boat to Koh Chang (400 baht, $13). From there you can book a day tour to Koh Rang.
TIP – Ask your accommodation if they want to arrange the tour for you. Then you don’t have to search for yourself when you arrive at Koh Chang. Check the site this website for more info.
Where to Stay on Koh Wai
We recommend staying at least once on Koh Wai. The island has only a handful of accommodations and a number of resorts where you can sleep. Strangely enough, or luckily enough, it seems to stay that way because there are still few developments. Pakarang Resort is one of the best places to spend the night.
TIP – All accommodations on Koh Wai will close during the rainy season from May to October.
Making a reservation
It is wise to make a reservation during the high season that runs from mid-December to January. These are busy months and since there is little accommodation, it is quickly fully booked.
You can book the Pakarang Resort online but most of the time you have to e-mail or call. Try to find out the number on Koh Chang and call ahead.
How to Get to Koh Wai
The easiest way to get there is by taking a speedboat from Koh Rang. Speedboats leave from the Kai Bae pier and it will cost you around 400 baht (US$13) p.p.