Koh Chang Travel Guide

Koh Chang Overview

Spreading across 429sq km, with hills of forest and jungle and endless stretches of sandy beach, Koh Chang is Thailands second largest island just off the coast of Trat. Perhaps not as idyllic as it once was, Koh Chang is still largely undiscovered and fighting hard to fend off the overdevelopment that has taking place at Phuket and Koh Samet. Consequently, with idyllic secluded spots and good selection of entertainment, the island today is a steady medium between the rowdy party islands and the smaller remote islands of the Trat region.

 
In fact Koh Chang almost perfectly fits the bills as appealing to all types if traveler. For the budget backpacker, Lonely Beach offers cheap digs and lively late night beachside parties. Klong Prao, on the west, is somewhat more serene with a long stretch of beach and a good spot for families. White Sand Beach at the north-western tip is the place to go for the ultimate in beach resorts and perfect for those with money to burn. Moving inland away from the beaches, the island is a wonderful playground for nature lovers with a wealth of fauna and flora, spectacular waterfalls and numerous hiking trails to explore.
 
Koh Chang is reached by boats departing from Laem Ngop, 17km from Trat, and take between 25 and 45 minutes, depending on which service is chosen. Throughout the peak season ferries also run to and from the neighboring islands of Koh Mak and Koh Kut. Once stepping foot on the island, taxis are available to transfer visitors to the various beaches.
 
Although lazy days on the beach are the favored activity, for those that wish to see a little more cars and motorbikes are available to rent. If driving then do so with a degree of caution as the twisting and uneven hill roads can often prove to be a challenge.

Things to do in Koh Chang

Koh Chang Beaches

White Sand Beach (Hat Sai Khao) - With a 2.5km stretch of pristine palm fringed beach bordered by forests and orchards, White Sand Beach is one of the islands favoured spots and ultimately most commercial. There are no shortage of bars, restaurants, resorts and, at the northern end, a good amount of budget lodgings promoting the blissed out backpacker vibe.
 
Hat Tha Nam - Dubiously named Lonely Beach is a small and vibrant beach that has progressively become Ko Changs chief party town with numerous bars and restaurants selling cheap booze and pumping out music until the early hours. Beach huts and bungalows line the streets of the village where every backpacker vice is slowly becoming available. Take care when swimming as currents are notoriously strong and known to be fatal.
 
Hat Klong Phrao - Long sweeping beach that is yet to witness the influx of commercialism and development, therefore clinging to its traditional roots with plenty of stilted homes and locally ran seafood restaurants.
 
Bang Bao Village - Classic Thai floating village where all houses are built on stilts in the ocean, with a series of bridges connecting each one, and the residents make their living from fishing. A few of the homes have opened their doors as a guesthouse and to experience the life of a traditional village. Seafood and fish dinners are a major attraction here.
 
Scuba Diving Koh Chang - Although not quite on par with the reefs of the Andaman, the waters of Ko Chang throw up many rewarding diving and snorkelling opportunities and can be explored all year round. BB Divers, Ko Chang Divers and Scuba Zone all offer competitive tours.
 
Koh Chang Waterfalls - With a mountainous terrain, Ko Chang is home to numerous spectacular waterfalls which all make for an enjoyable day out of exploration. Klong Piu, the most frequented and walking distance from Klong Prao, is a 3-tier cascade with pool suitable for swimming at the base. Than Mayom is perhaps the most famous, with 4 levels and reached via a trial leading through an orchard.

Hotels in Koh Chang

Hotels White Sand Beach

Star Beach - Basic huts with ensuite rooms at the northern end of the beach. Tel (66) 87 142 8534.
White Sand Beach Resort - Comfortable beach accommodation commanding uninterrupted ocean views. Tel (66) 81 863 7737.
KC Grand Resort & Spa - Range of excellent beachside bungalows or deluxe hotel rooms with great facilities. Tel (66) 3955 2111.
 
Hat Khlong Phrao
Tiger Hut - One of the last surviving out and out budget backpacker lodgings with vibrant terraced restaurant and bar. Tel (66) 84 109 9660.
Klong Prao Resort - Stylish family friendly resort which comes at a cost. Tel (66) 39 551 115.
Amari Emerald Cove Resort - 5-star resort and the cream of the crop at the south end of the beach. Tel (66) 3955 2000.
 
Lonely Beach (Hat Tha Nam)
Siam Hut - Pleasant resort clinging on to the islands laidback legacy with cheap beachside bungalows. Tel (66) 86 609 7772.
Siam Beach Resort - Former backpackers lodge that has recently been turned into a 3.5-star resort. Tel (66) 84 524 4321.
Bhumiyama Beach Resort - If the money is available then this resort should satisfy all luxury desires. Tel (66) 81 860 4623.

Koh Chang Weather

Koh Chang Travel Resources

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This page was last modified on 18 Mar 2011 by Matt