I was thinking about holiday escapes, when a colleague recommended Koh Chang to me. The largest island in Thailand, Koh Chang is 60% untouched jungle forest and a national park. This did not surprise me as we drove south east from the pier at Dan Khao and headed towards The Spa Koh Chang Resort; the looming mountains were on the right as the coast stretched out towards the sea on my left.
I chose this resort for two reasons: it is nestled away from the beachy crowds and has a very healthy menu (did I mention there is daily yoga, massages, an outdoor gym, great swimming pool, free bike rental and free daily trips?) However, The Spa Koh Chang Resort is mostly popular for hosting Yoga training classes and their Detox programs.
When I first arrived, I was surprised to see how secluded the resort is and its efforts to be eco-conscious. The resort itself was built in 2006 and has three types of rooms: Oriental (cheaper), Lower Hill (ideal for friends travelling together) and Upper Hill (beautiful!). The whole resort is nestled in a mangrove forest and uses natural woods and colours to fit in.
But let’s get to the important stuff – the food!
- On my first night I had the Som Tam Salad with a side of brown rice (120thb)
- Breakfasts were included with the room price, and there was a nice mix of veggie and egg options. Some of the stir fried items used soy sauce, so I had to stay away from those. As well, if you are really craving carbs you will need to bring your own, as the oatmeal and pancakes are definitely not gluten free!
- The omelettes on the menu came with a small salad and side of potatoes, which tasted delicious because the chef used sweet basil leaves in them.
- But it was wonderful to start the day off with a smoothie or fruit juice before hitting the yoga mat. Most mornings I had fresh fruit, salad and hard boiled eggs. I also tried the Susie Yoga breakfast with two poached eggs and boiled greens.
- Stir-fried Red curry with veggies and brown rice (120thb)
- Pad Thai and coconut (160thb)
- Lemongrass soup with veggies and prawns (150) brown rice (30) and Vietnamese spring rolls (80) – This was after my day of exploring the area around the resort – in the rain! I was exhausted and starving!
There were a couple of Indian places I found, one in Kai Bae and another, Indian Hut, in White Sands Beach (Hat Sai Khao). Both had delicious menus, dishes ranging from 150-250 each. I wanted to head out to try these places, but unfortunately, the rain for 2 days stopped me traveling by motorbike.
While stuck inside because of the rain, I did try to conduct some research on gluten free travel in Koh Chang. I found this review on Trip Advisor about the Emerald Cove.
Similar to many other 4/5 star hotels, if you inform them in advance about a food allergy, they will usually do everything they can to accommodate you. It’s in their best interest to do so, otherwise, they will lose your business!