Koh Chang: Lost in Paradise, Again
Starboard Dream Team Rider Daniel Hasulyo, our photographer, Georgia Schofield and friends from Bangkok HQ took some time and headed to Koh Chang Island in the southern part of Thailand for a fun weekend of exploring and enjoying the great outdoors in this “Koh Chang: Lost in Paradise, Again” story by Daniel.
“Thailand is the among the most amazing countries of the world, being home of not only one of the biggest metropolis of modern civilizations (Bangkok) but also one of the most diverse ecosystems of our planet, a real cultural and natural treasure box ready to be discovered.
The past 4 years, working with Starboard at the HQ in Bangkok, gave me the chance not only to be able to live in first person the incredible mechanism of production behind the best water sports brand in the industry but also to travel, discover and experience, the real Thailand, of thousand islands, of untouched jungles, of hidden cultural secrets and undiscovered waterways.
Just 4 and a half hours from Bangkok, plus a 30min ferry ride, lies an incredible archipelago made of over 50 islands, with the main island being Koh Chang (Elephant Island, second biggest Island of Thailand after Phuket).
The island is known for several waterfalls, thriving coral reefs and untouched rainforests. Koh Chang is a National Park, which preserves its beauty and guards the wildlife both on water and land.
We had chosen Koh Chang as our location for the preparation of this year’s SUP 11 City Tour, and after the 3rd consecutive victory, in a row, we feel that the island has been designed to be discovered by SUP.
Furthermore, when SUP Station Thailand, opened their second centre on Klong Prao beach, we knew that we are in the right location.
My girlfriend Sai, became manager of a new activity affiliated with SUP Station, Koh Chang Sailing Yacht, a full day Charter on beautiful catamaran cruising around the archipelago mixing an exclusive private adventure with snorkelling, SUP tours of the boat and picturesque views of the National Park, it really wasn’t a question to try it out and experience the thrill of sharing amazing moments with amazing people.
Coming back from California, we gave a call Georgia, asking if she was available for a photo shoot, gathered our friends from Bangkok and decided to leave the big city for a couple of days and get lost in paradise once again!
In the morning, we packed 2 inflatable boards (an iGO Tikhine and an iGo Zen), my 14″ race board (as I was at the time training for the upcoming ISA Wolrd Championship), a brand new Starboard Hyper Foil (including wing set), 4 paddles, Georgia’s complete camera gear (with drone and tripod) and luggage for 4 people. It was a lot!
Our group included P’Aom from WeSUP Thailand (possibly the best Female Thai paddler), Georgia, Sai and myself – with our dog Maggi – all squeezed into our Mini Countryman – I must say, I was surprised how comfortable we were to have fit everything in the car, we had hit the road for our adventure, 2 days of total freedom following the winds and our imagination, combining good times with good actives with our friends that have joined us at our arrival.
Fah and her friends had also driven down from Bangkok and once the team had all arrived, we were ready to set the sails and head out to discover the smaller islands, fish, beautiful corals, mini reef breaks and sparkling emotions!
Being a National Park, Koh Chang is among the cleanest islands I have visited in Thailand by far. Their maintenance might be connected to the presence of Trash Hero, but I also believe that the local communities truly respect nature as they learned how to live in symbiosis with it. The corals are incredible and they are around every little island.
We have taken off with Madame Cholet, from Sup Station Koh Chang situated in the middle of the island facing the Gulf of Thailand and have decided to sail out to our first destination only 5kms from us, a breathtaking little island holding their own little ecosystem. Once we took our boards and snorkelling gear, we got blown away from the amount of life we found in the water!
After the whole day on the water, we waited for the sun to go down and exhausted by happiness, we all collapsed ready to repeat again the day after.
I can’t repeat enough how blessed I feel to have the chance to share moments like this with my loved girlfriend and my friends from all around the world and also I also feel truly inspired by locations and Eco-experiences such as Sailing and SUping in a National Park, for a better, greener and more conscious future for our planet!
Thank You, Koh Chang Sailing Yacht, Mini Thailand, Sup Station Koh Chang and Starboard for another amazing adventure!”
– Daniel Hasulyo