Koh Chang – “Elephant Island”

By | August 23, 2013

Koh Chang -“Elephant Island”

Koh Chang is situated in the north of the Gulf of Thailand in the Eastern Seaboard Region, it’s nearest “tourist” neighbours being Koh Samet and Pattaya Beach.

It is the largest of the 47 islands comprising the Koh Chang Marine Park Archipelago, and is the second largest island in Thailand behind Phuket !.

The islands name directly translated from Thai means “Elephant Island”, though elephants are not natives of the island.Until the 1980s Koh Chang remained pretty much unknown with only the occasional “budget backpackers” as the island’s guests. 

Koh Chang - Elephant Island

Koh Chang is a Mountainous Island with splendid waterfalls & reefs, 70% of the islands total area still virgin rainforests protected by the Thailand Forestry Department, which is why the fast-paced development of the island is strictly controlled with designs of new buildings and other infrastructure having to enhance the environment and not destroy it!.

Koh Chang is fast becoming the ultimate tourist destination in Thailand. To meet the rising need of foreign travelers, more world class facilities are being put up. There is a full range of Places to Stay ranging from budget backpacker rooms right up to 5* resorts & hotels, something to suit every pocket.

Koh Chang - Elephant Island

Getting Around the island can be a little tricky, particularly in “low season” when the normal Songthaew (Baht buses) do not run regularly, motorbikes are freely available for hire, but caution is required when riding around the island due to the nature & condition of many of the roads!.

The main attraction of Koh Chang are its beaches. The North White Sand is the most frequented beach in the island. It has the usual concrete jungle with its hotels, shops and restaurants.

The South White Sand is quieter and more appropriate if your idea of a splendid vacation is lounging on deck chairs under a beach umbrella while sipping margaritas!.

North Klong Prao is a beach lined with casurinas. The accommodations is this beach are set in a mangrove inlet. The beach is a popular spot for Europeans.

South Klong Prao is more high end. Guests dress for dinner! Kai Beach is more family-oriented while the Lonely Beach is not really “lonely” as backpackers who are budget restricted opt for this beach. Rule of thumb in Koh Chang beaches: The farther you go south, the less developed are the beaches!.

Koh Chang - Elephant Island

Koh Chang is promoted as an eco-tourism travel destination and there are a lot of activities offered as such. There is biking, elephant trekking, hiking, kayaking, and speed boat trips.

For the nature lover tourists or for those who just want to get away from the beach crowd,the waterfalls at Klong Plu is breathtaking enough with its 3-tiered waterfalls. The other waterfalls worth the view are the ones in Klong Nonsi, Klong Nueng and Kongoi. The latter boasts 5 waterfalls. The parks have trails for trekkers and hikers alike.

If you fancy a taste of the rural scene in Koh Chang, visiting the fishing village of Bang Bao one will see houses built on stilts. Fishing is the still the main means of livelihood in Bang Bao but the area is fast becoming the main set-off point for scuba divers and snorkelers!.

There are several off-shore islands that are of swimming distance. Paddle or swim away to these little gems of islands. It’s one way of getting away from the crowd and sometimes tiresome “civilization”.

Koh Chang - Elephant Island

The weather on Koh Chang is very similar to Koh Samui ,the official“Rainy Season” is June-October, but even outside the official season the island does get regular downpours throughout the year, these however are typically short sharp showers, with the sun returning to dry everywhere in no time!.

Getting There is easy, all access to Koh Chang is via ferry from Trat, you can however choose to arrive at Trat by either road, rail or air!, the choice is yours.

If you have been to Koh Chang or spent time there before, and have really great memories of places to stay, visit, or just fun things that happened, please share your Koh Chang Memories here.