Koh Chang is the largest Thai Island in the Gulf of Siam. This deeply forested and mountainous jewel covers some 429 Square Kilometers. There are many fine beaches and plentiful marine life. Koh Chang is also rich in natural resources with multiple hills, forests and waterfalls. The many freshwater streams feed acres of fruit orchards. The best beaches and scenic bays are found on the western side of the island. A road meanders down the west coast enabling access to Ao Klong Son, Hat Sai Kao (white sand beach),Hat Klong Phrao, and Hat Kai Bae beaches. A nature trail leads on to more beaches and the Ban Bang Bao fishing community. The picturesque village is built on stilts and contains opportunities to sample freshly caught seafood.
Koh Chang was historically only lightly inhabited and used as a safe haven during Monsoon season and a source of fresh water supplies. It was well known to Hai Lam Chinese and Vietnamese Pirates. During World War 2 when Thailand was under Japanese occupation, Koh Chang was the scene of a naval skirmish between the Thai Navy and a Vichy French squadron resulting in a major defeat for the Thai Navy.
Koh Chang has now become part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park. Only since 1980 has Koh Chang steady developed as a back-packers dream. A very rapid development since 2000 has seen the island become a very popular tourist destination for Thai and Foreign travelers. Whilst the quiet Natural beauty of this idyllic paradise remains; the infrastructure and quality of Hotels and Resorts has improved greatly. In the last few years it has become possible to circum-navigate the entire island , and to find all the expected modern amenities and telecommunication systems.
The biggest cluster of resorts and hotels on the island are now concentrated in the burgeoning town of White Sands Beach. You will find our recommended hostelries in the main accommodation section on this site. The resorts range from 500- 12000 Baht per night. The average price of about 3000 Baht will get you a clean beach view, with facilities like Wi-Fi and swimming pool.
Thai hospitality is widely evident with resort staff on hand for room service or a cool drink by the pool at most hours. You may be surprised that some of the staff seem to understand English better than Thai. Economics (or greed) has increasingly encouraged the owners to hire forign staff (mainly Cambodians) whose salary requirements are less. Don't worry they are just as friendly and service oriented as their Thai counterparts.
The National Park
The Koh Chang Mu national park includes all 60 islands in the Koh Chang archipelago. Many of these are now being developed for tourism and can be reached by boat from Koh Chang, Laem Nob or Ao Tammarchart.
The largest of the offshore islands is Koh Kood. Kood is not as mountainous as Koh Chang but is filled with virgin forest and wonderul clean beaches. The best beaches are at Thakian,Caho and Phrao. Inland there are many rubber plantations as well as waterfalls and jungle paths to explore.
The most visited waterfall is the Klong Plu Waterfall.
Klong Plu Waterfall
Tickets to walk to the Klon Plu falls can be obtained from the visitors center. There are some Thai eateries surrounding the car park where you can get a cheap parking ticket before your trek . The walk to the falls will take about 20 minutes dependent on fitness levels and follows the stream through a thick forest with ferns and other interesting vegetation. Take care to check before starting off as to the water level. It can be disappointing making the trek to find that the falls have been reduced to a trickle, as often happens in the dry season.
If you are fortunate to come across the beautiful falls when the level is high, you will witness a three staged torrent into a pool at their base. The cool water in the pool is perfect for a plunge, and the smooth rocks surrounding the water are great to relax and dry off on before making the return journey.
A not to be missed Koh Chang experience.
There are many beaches and bays along the coast of the island some are slowly shelving with white sand, others are a mix of sand and rocky prommentaries, and some are fringed with mangroves or feature reddish sand.
The principal beaches are:-
White Sand Beach (Hat Sai Khao) The longest, and by far the busiest beach on the island ,fringed with Coconut trees and many resorts like the Remark Cottages Resort.
Ao Klong Phrao. The next crescent bay south of white sands and slightly quieter as one moves away from the town .Ao Phrao features some of the best resorts on Koh Chang , including the Koh Chang Resort and Spa.
Kai Bae. Moving further south we meet Kai Bae beach which also has many resorts.
By Road:- There are many minibus Tour companies in Pattaya who will deliver you to the Koh Chang Ferries. They will normally take three to four hours from Pattaya. Alternatively you can hire a car and make the drive to the Car ferry at Ao Thammachart.
Ferries:- Koh Chang lies off the coast of Trat province. Ferries ply the sea between the mainland and Koh Chang on a regular basis. The car ferry pictured here leaves Ao Thammachart every 1hr 30 mins from 0800 until 1900 and is a 30 Minute trip to Ao Sapparod on Koh Chang. The fare is 30 Baht per person and 150 Baht per Car. Other passenger ferries leave Laem Ngob Pier hourly from 0700 until 1900 costing 30 Baht per person and takes 40 Minutes to reach Dan Kao on Koh Chang.