Although Koh Chang is best known for its white beaches and crystal-clear water, the island also offers eco-friendly highlights that transport guests back to a century-old ambience. Located about 20km east of the ferry port, Ban Salak Khok is an old fishing village well-known for its eco-tourism programs.
Among the programs the community offers is a river cruise in a vintage boat called a “ruea mard”. Known locally as a “Thai-style gondola”, the boat resembles a Venetian rowing boat. Made from an Ironwood tree, the origin of the boat can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period when people dug out their own boats to commute along the river and canals. With an attempt to bring back the good ol’ days, the locals joined hands to set up Salak Khok Community Tourism Club to offer gondola cruises along the river flanked with dense mangrove forest.
To facilitate tourists, the boat cruise has a paddler who also dons a traditional Thai custom dating back to the period of King Rama V, imitating the time when the King visited Koh Chang more than 100 years ago. The boat also features a rectangular table with seats for up to four passengers shaded by a large umbrella. During a one-hour boat ride, guests can relax and take in the sights and sounds of the nearby fishing villages and green mangrove forest while the boat slowly cruises along to Salak Khok bay.
For more information on our Explorer Koh Chang – Full Day programme, visit the Agent Hub.