Koh Chang Ferries
There are two car ferry companies running regular services to Koh Chang from piers on the mainland. These are ‘Ferry Koh Chang’ and ‘Centrepoint Ferry’ that run from piers about 5Km apart near the village of Laem Ngop. Also on the same stretch of coastline is Krom Luang pier which is used by the speedboats to Koh Mak. The ferries dock on Koh Chang at two different points. Ferry Koh Chang has the shortest crossing and heads to Ao Sapporot pier on the northeast coast of the island whereas Centrepoint ferry moors at their pier in Dan Kao, a couple of kilometres south.
Buses from Bangkok to Laem Ngop will drop passengers off at both the ferry piers. Trat town is roughly 20 Kilometres away but there are ‘songtaews’ (shared pick up truck taxis) available from both Trat bus station and the town centre to the piers for around 50 – 60 Baht per person. These don’t run to fixed schedules and will depart when they are full.
Flying to Koh Chang? Read this Guide to Trat Airport
Ferries operate from early morning until the evening 365 days a year. There are no days off. They run on Sundays on Christmas Day and even on Thai holidays.
Centrepoint Ferries run to an hourly schedule which is printed and on display at their piers.
Ferry Koh Chang runs every 45 minutes or more frequently at busy periods. They have a rough schedule which is commonly known to locals but this isn’t written anywhere. Presumably, that way, their boats can never be late. 🙂
Even in the rainy season cancellations are extremely rare as the sea between Koh Chang and the mainland is sheltered from any tropical storms that may blow up. the only time the strait gets choppy is in November – December, following the end of the rainy season, when strong northerly winds sometimes blow. This slows down the crossing time from Koh Chang to the mainland and it can be a bit bumpy at times.
Both piers also have restaurants, minimarts, public toilets and car parking. If you are driving there is no need to leave your car on the mainland as the roads on Koh Chang are virtually all paved and in good condition. However, they are steep and winding in places, so drivers need to take care on some stretches of road, especially in the north of the island and the southwest.
Ticket prices are roughly the same and Centrepoint sells return tickets. However, for foot passengers, Ferry Koh Chang is more convenient for most tourists and there are more buses and minibuses using this pier for trips back to Bangkok. So I don’t recommend buying a return ticket as that severely limits your options when heading back to Bangkok.
In the old days, pre-2007, there was a wooden boat service from Laem Ngop, where travellers caught an over-crowded passenger boat (a converted wooden trawler) to Koh Chang. These have long since stopped running. Everyone now uses the larger, safer, vehicle ferries.