Koh Chang sees 2.5km ferry queues as holidaymakers flood island
Songkran holidaymakers flocking to Koh Chang in Trat province have jammed port roads with queues that stretch back 2.5 kilometres.
Trat Port Authority reports that from Tuesday to Thursday, a total of 23,874 people in 4,271 vehicles took ferries to Koh Chang, the province’s biggest island and a tourist hotspot during Songkran.
Covering an area of 213 square kilometres, Koh Chang is Thailand’s second biggest island after Phuket and belongs to the Mu Koh Chang National Park, famous for protected coral reefs, diving spots and rich marine life.
“Tourists waiting to get on ferries to Koh Chang have caused traffic congestion in the province,” Koh Chang Police Station chief Wallop Kangtharathip said on Friday.
“The Pineapple Bay Pier, for example, has reported a 2.5-kilometre queue of cars waiting to get on its seven ferry services, which run to Koh Chang from early morning.
“Some tourists said they had to wait more than two hours to get to the island,” he said.
Holidaymakers leaving the island also face a wait of up to two hours in the ferry queue, he added.
Wallop said police officers and volunteers are working around the clock to facilitate traffic flow in Trat and on Koh Chang, as well as handing out free drinking water to tourists stuck in traffic under the hot sun.
Dusit Samutrakaphong, chief of Mu Koh Chang National Park, said tourists were visiting the park to swim in the Klong Plu and Than Ma Yom waterfalls, and to see the coral reefs of Koh Chang and other islands.
The park is enforcing strict Covid-19 rules to prevent outbreaks among tourists, as well as a ban on all plastic waste.