Koh Chang is an island located in the Trat Province in Eastern Thailand. It is the second largest island of Thailand. There are only about 5000 residents on this island and hence it is not very populated however tourism has increased a lot in the recent years. The name of this place means Elephant Island and it is so called because of the elephant shape of its headland. The island is spread over an area of 217 square kilometres and is home to about nine villages. Before World War II little was known about this place and was mainly famous for piracy and was also the ground for sea battles between French naives and the Thai. However, now this place is famous for its chain of white sand beaches, several waterfalls, coral reefs jagged mountains, the rich marine life and the pristine rain forests.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Koh Chang has no airport of its own. The nearest airport to this place is Trat. There are three flights in a day by Bangkok Airways from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport to Trat. It takes an hour to reach Trat and from here you can reach the island by taking a bus or a taxi. You can also travel by road. There are two main roads to reach Koh Chang that run along the east and west coast. Both of these roads start at Ao Sapparot in the north near the ferry piers. You can also take a ferry to reach here. Ferries are available from Laem Ngob in Trat town to Koh Chang.
SIGHT SEEING AND ACTIVITIES
Hat Sai Khao
Hat Sai Khao also known as the White Sand Beach is the most developed area on the island and also one of the busiest. As far as accommodation is concerned, the beach is full of thatched huts and wooden bungalows. There are also many luxury suites and duplex rooms available. There are many hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops near the beach. It has one of the best night life on the island with many bars, nightclubs and jazz clubs. However, it is not the beach for you if you are looking for some quiet peaceful time.
Klong Prao Beach
Another famous beach is the Klong Prao Beach. The northern part of this beach is busier with many three star resorts and shopping plazas compared to the southern part. This is relatively less crowded compared to the White Sand Beach. The Southern part is not very well developed but it is easy to walk along the beach and get away from the crowded places.
If you have a limited budget and you plan on spending more on food and drink rather than on accommodation then this is the place for you. There are many cheap eateries too over here. It is a perfect place for a backpacker. This is also the party capital of the island and parties go on until five in morning with loud music. So if you are the peace loving person then this place is definitely not for you.
This is one of the most famous activities on this Island of Koh Chang. It gives you a chance to glace the mountains, rivers and the beautiful forests. You also get a chance to see the forests that are packed with coconut trees and banana plants. Chang Chutiman Elephant camp offers this ride for 500 Baht for an hour and 900 Baht for two hours. For kids under the age of five it is available for free.
There are many scenic waterfalls on the island. It will cost around 200 baht to enter the national parks to see these falls. Klong Plu is the most popular and also the only waterfall on the west side of the island. This fall can be reached to via Khlong Prao. The Klong Nuend waterfall is said to be the most breathtaking waterfall on the island. The Thanmayom fall is the largest waterfall of the island. Klong Nonsi fall is another scenic waterfall locaed on the east side of the island. About three kilometres away from the Salak Petch village is a medium sized waterfall called as Khiri Petch. There are five waterfalls in Kongoi near Bang Bao which are equally scenic and beautiful.
This island is also very famous for numerous water sport activities. Snorkelling and diving are some of the most popular activities among tourists. You can see eel, coral reefs and anemones over here. If you are lucky then you can also spot a white shark which is very rare close to Hin Phrai Nam. You can also go hiking as there are many jungle treks here. There are many Thai cooking schools too which you could join as it is a great opportunity for a traveller to create their own delicious Thai food. You can spend a few hours and learn all the different types of vegetable as well as fruit carving Also you could visit the Bang Bao Fishery village. There are many fishing trips scheduled which you can join too. This is a beautiful island you can visit in Thailand away from the crowd and comparatively less known is what makes it one of the most peaceful places in Thailand.