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There are plenty of things to do in Koh Chang Thailand and they are mainly centred around natural attractions and outdoor activities. It is one of the larger island destinations so getting around is not the easiest.
White Sand beach
White Sand Beach is the most popular on the island attracting the highest amount of tourists. Found towards the north, some of the islands best resorts are situated here. It is considered to be one of the best beaches on Koh Chang.
Klong Prao beach
Klong Prao is 1.5 km in length and rarely feels crowded like White Sand or Lonely beaches. There are plenty of family-friendly resorts and the nearby Kai Bae beach also offers great options for families looking for a good value beachfront resort.
If you’re feeling adventurous, spending time on the southern end of Klong Prao beach or Kai Bae beach will give you a fantastic view of the closest islands of Koh Suwan and Koh Rom. You can reach them by sea kayaking in under 30 minutes from the shore. Kai Bae attracts families and independent travellers rather than package deal tourists. It is a great more laidback alternative to the developed White Sand beach.
With soft powdery sand and clear water waters towards the south of Koh Chang, you will find Lonely Beach. Most hostels, budget hotels and bungalows can be found here but they are not beachfront but instead nestled between reggae bars and cheap eateries. This area is also the centre of Koh Chang nightlife during the high season. Rarely quiet, there is always something happening here day or night.
Two kilometres to the north of Lonely beach is the popular family spot and flashpacker favourite of Bailan Bay with several cosy mid-range bungalow resorts near the centre of the small village. The area has a chilled out vibe and good fresh seafood eateries.
Klong Kloi Beach
Down towards the southern coast you will find the very laidback and gorgeous Klong Kloi beach which boasts picturesque views of the islands to Koh Chang’s south and bohemian atmosphere. Very close to Bangbao local fishing village, this area only recently starting developing a few years back and now has a paved road. Klong Kloi is the best beach to swim in during monsoon season as it is protected from strong winds and currents by the Bangbao peninsula.
Pearl Beach lacks a sandy beach and has a stony coastline and palm trees. With no sandy strip, the prices of beachfront bungalows are very affordable and there’s only one large resort.
If you’re wanting to escape the main touristy haunts and discover a more peaceful life on Koh Chang, then it’s a good idea to explore the eastern side of the island. The eastern side is less developed and more isolated than the West and the only way to explore it is via rented motorcycle as the public pick up trucks don’t generally venture that way.
Salakphet Bay is the huge u- shaped bay in the south-east and one of the other fishing villages on the island.
Part of Salakphet Bay is a tranquil 400 m sandy strip called Long Beach, with only a couple of places to stay and eat, offering a stunning place to spend the day with untouched jungle hills as a backdrop.
Mu Koh Chang National Park Viewpoint
The Mu Koh Chang viewpoint looks out across the Gulf and you can see Koh Yuak, Koh Man Noi, Koh Pli and Koh Man Nok in the distance. With 120 bird species in the park, you are bound to spot some native birds about. The entrance fee is 200 Baht for adults and 100 Baht for children.
Klong Plu Waterfall
On the Koh Chang’s west coast, a 20-minute walk through the jungle will get you to the beautiful Klong Plu falls. It is the most visited waterfall by tourists because its easy to get to and you can swim in the large plunge pool at the foot of the falls along with some other smaller pools further downstream.
Than Mayom Waterfall
On the east coast of Koh Chang, you will find Than Mayom waterfall which is a popular destination for Thai royalists and tour groups. They come to see the names of two former kings Rama V and Rama VI who previously carved their names onto the rocks. To reach the falls it involves crossing a few small river streams and there are no bridges so your feet will get wet, but once you get there you will be able to swim in the rock pools.
Klong Neung Waterfall
Klong Neung is the tallest waterfall on the Koh Chang but one of the least visited destinations because of the challenging route to arrive there which involves navigating slippery obstructed trails through dense jungle. It is not advised to go alone in case you slip and injure yourself because this place is infrequently visited by tourists. Make sure you have experience and skill in hiking routes with higher difficulty levels before attempting this trek.
Klong Nonsi Waterfall
Klong Nonsi is a four-tiered waterfall also on the east coast where visitors can swim in the first two levels but it will require some effort and skill to reach the higher tiers by only using rope rails up the rock face.
Khiri Phet Waterfall
Khiri Phet waterfall is on the way to Koh Chang Marina and easy to reach with swimmable pools so its a good option for families with children. The route to reach the higher tiers involves climbing some rocks but they’re slippery and it’s an easy climb.
Day Trips to Koh Mak and Koh Kood
It’s popular to take day trips to go island hopping. The most common destinations are Koh Mak and Koh Kood.
Bangbao is a peaceful fishing village in the south with long pier and lighthouse. It’s the best place to stay if you plan to go diving with many diving company offices situated in this area. Most people visit for some local fare and souvenir shopping.
Diving in the Koh Chang Marine Park
Koh Chang is popular for dive sites, offering some great diving around a sunken wreck as well as around rock walls and pinnacles, coral reefs and rich marine life at dive sites in the Koh Rang National Park.
Visit an Elephant Camp
Elephants are a common sight on the island as there are several elephant trekking tours in operation. There are currently six elephant camps on Koh Chang. The elephants live within their natural environment and feed on native plants but live in captivity. Visitors can visit to learn more and also have the opportunity to feed and bathe them. It is not recommended that you ride an elephant but rather support the camps by learning about these gentle giants instead of making them work on treks.
There are a few official hiking trails where you can go on your own and a few lesser-known ones where you will need the assistance of a local to take you there. Salak Phet is the highest mountain on the island situated in a national park and its summit offers some spectacular panoramic views, but it’s not the easiest to reach so beginner hikers beware! It is a challenging 744-metre climb to the viewpoint that will leave you breathless both from the gruelling effort to get there but you will be rewarded by the breathtaking vistas. There are a number of jungle trekking day tours that help you navigate the climb, generally taking 5 hours to ascend and 3 hours to descend.
Treetop Adventure Park
Visit Koh Chang’s popular eco-friendly jungle adventure course and challenge yourself in the tree canopies with zip-line circuits, plus a Tarzan swing and tightrope walks for kids and adults.
There are plenty of things to do in Koh Chang Thailand and they are mainly centred around natural attractions and outdoor activities. It is one of the larger island destinations so getting around is not the easiest. There is a main coastal road but it doesn’t extend around the entire isle. The mountainous and lush landscape of the interior (about 70% of the landmass is occupied by jungle) makes it difficult to build roads so there are some parts of the Koh Chang that are inaccessible by car or motorcycle. There are a number of other waterfalls scattered through the national park. Nature lovers will revel in hiking through the dense jungle along a boardwalk through twining green mangroves or to discover dramatic waterfalls. There are plenty of dive sites in and nearby with good visibility and rich with marine life.
There are tons of things to do in Koh Chang such as taking a day trip around the scenic Koh Chang Archipelago or a chartered yacht trip around the island is the ideal way of getting a different perspective of the island.
Koh Chang is one of the most popular destinations for families travelling with kids who can enjoy visiting the Treetop adventure park, elephant camps, going snorkelling and swimming, taking day trips by boat, sea kayaking, and visiting waterfalls.
Given about 70% of Koh Chang is covered in rainforests, mountains and beaches, visitors come to the island to enjoy its natural beauty.
Taxi transportation on the island tends to be expensive because there is very little in the way of public transport and due to the size of the landmass, travelling on foot or bicycle is not recommended. Local public pick up trucks do not drive all over the island so if you want to explore other off the beaten track places especially towards the east coast, you will need to rent a motorcycle. Accommodation tends to be reasonably priced in the mid-range level. Food options are also reasonably priced. Koh Chang isn’t the cheapest island in Thailand but it certainly isn’t the most expensive like Koh Kood or Phuket. It would be more somewhere in between.
The rainy season is undoubtedly the best time of year to visit the islands beautiful waterfalls because they will be in their full glory overflowing with water.
The general consensus is about 3 to 5 days to explore the island, with the longer timeframe allowing enough time for chilled beach time combined with 1 or 2 days trips to the neighbouring islands.
Driving from downtown Bangkok to the port in Trat can take up to 5 hours. The ferry journey onward to Koh Chang takes around 40 minutes. Or you can take a one hour flight from Bangkok to Trat airport. From the airport its a 20 km drive to Trat pier to transfer by boat to Koh Chang.
A return ticket on the ferry from Trat port on the Thailand mainland and costs 140 baht per person (AUD6.25).
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