Wai Chek Beach, Koh Chang – Image courtesy of www.ko-chang.info
Introducing Koh Chang
Thailand's second-largest island after Phuket anchors a national marine park archipelago of 52 islands that provides great snorkelling and diving opportunities.
What to do and see in Koh Chang
Koh Chang is one of those tropical islands where you can do nothing at all or enjoy an amazing choice of land- and water-based activities.
Sunbathe on one of the long white-sand beaches and then go exploring on foot, elephant or mountain bike through the pristine jungle-clad hills of the interior.
Hike to the summit of Khao Salak Pet (740m), visit scenic waterfalls such as the three-tiered cascade of Klong Neung and watch as sea eagles, Andaman kites and hornbills soar overhead.
Snorkel or dive the coral reefs, explore the coast and nearby small islands by kayak or rent a car or motorbike and circle the island.
Experience local culture by visiting the Shrine of Chao Por Kohh Chang and learn how to prepare your favourite Thai dishes at one of the many Thai cooking schools.
Top things to do in Koh Chang, include…
The best dive sites are located to the east and south of Koh Chang around several small islands including Koh Khlum, Koh Wai and especially around Koh Rang.
Beginners can try shallow dives at the Southern Pinnacle, Koh Yak and Koh Laun to see soft corals, anemones, schooling fish, rays, morays, barracuda and the occasional turtle.
Experts should head to the more challenging 30m dives off Koh Rang, Koh Kra and Koh Tun, which offer some of the most pristine coral in Thailand and numerous species of fish.
Several Koh Chang dive operators provide equipment and offer PADI courses during the diving season from mid-October to May.
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Explore the coastline and pretty offshore islands or take an organised tour through the east coast's mangrove forests with the Salak Kohk Community Foundation.
Choose from several well-marked trails that criss-cross the island's densely forested peaks and often lead to scenic waterfalls such as Than Mayom and Klong Neung, which are best seen during the months of October and November – the end of the wet season.
Try the trail from Hat Klong Phraew to Klong Plu Falls, which cascades over three tiers into a natural rock basin. Or head to the Treetop Adventure Park at Bai Lan where you can wobble along walkways suspended over the jungle.
At Ban Kwan Elephant Camp you can ride an elephant on a 90-minute safari through tropical rainforest, which also includes feeding and bathing one of these gentle giants. The camp is a refuge for elephants that have outlived their working usefulness.
Best beaches in Koh Chang
Idyllic Koh Chang offers an excellent choice of gorgeous white-sand beaches most of which are located on the western side of the island, including Hat Sai Khao, Hat Khlong Phrao and Hat Kai Bae.
Sai Khao Beach
(White Sand Beach) – Discover Koh Chang’s most popular beach, a 2.5km-long stretch of palm- and casuarina-fringed powder-white sand that nestles at the foot of a jungle-clad mountain range.
Choose to sunbathe, swim, snorkel or kayak by day, then stroll to the nearby main street for the night, crowded with bars, restaurants and a variety of shops.
This is the liveliest beach on Koh Chang, with a variety of beach vendors offering fresh fruits and snacks as well as massages. There are several resorts, including Koh Chang Lagoon Resort and KC Grande Resort.
Khlong Phrao Beach
This long crescent of palm-fringed white sand offers a quiet alternative to bustling White Sand beach, which is located just 4km to the north around the scenic rocky cape of Laem Chaichet. The beach is separated into two sections by a river estuary.
Relax in the shade of a coconut palm grove, swim in turquoise waters or paddle a kayak around the adjacent islands of Koh Yuak and Koh Pli, which both offer great snorkelling.
Inland, hike to the scenic 20m-high cascade of Khlong Phlu Falls.
Hat Khlong Phrao offers a range of bars and restaurants as well as some of the most luxurious resorts and hotels on the island, including Panviman Koh Chang Resort, Barali Beach Resort, Koh Chang Tropicana Resort and Spa and Amari Emerald Cove Resort.
Kia Bae Beach
Relax on the palm-fringed white sands of this beautiful beach, with views overlooking a string of islets including Koh Yuak and Koh Man Nai, which can be reached by kayak or on foot through waist-high water at low tide.
Go swimming, snorkelling, have a massage and enjoy a picnic in the shade of overhanging palm trees. Or enjoy a range of comforts at one of the beachfront resorts such as the luxury Gaja Buri and Siam View resorts.
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Tha Nam Beach
(Lonely Beach) – Framed by jungle-clad hills, this wide, 1km-long crescent of palm-fringed white sand offers an idyllic spot for a picnic or to sunbathe, with the safest swimming found at the centre and southern end of the beach; the northern end is notorious for strong and at times dangerous currents.
Choose from a range of 4-star resorts including the luxurious Bhumiyama Beach Resort and Dusit Princess Koh Chang, where you can be spoilt with a range of creature comforts while enjoying stunning views over the bay.
A short walk south leads to Ao Bai Lan, which offers a group of good bars located in a tropical garden and on stilts over the sea. Although there is no beach here, the sea is crystal clear and offers good swimming, snorkelling and fishing.
Bang Bao Beach
Discover this palm-fringed white-sand beach, sitting 2km away from a picturesque fishing village, much of which is built on stilts stretching out into Bang Bao Bay on the southwest tip of Koh Chang.
People-watch the friendly locals, snorkel or dive the nearby coral reefs and savour tasty seafood at one of the beachside restaurants. Visit on a day trip or stay at one of the no-frills guesthouses at Bang Bao village or at a beachfront resort such as the Nirvana Resort Koh Chang.
Wai Chek Beach
Discover one of Koh Chang’s best beaches, a gorgeous 300 metre-long palm-fringed white-sand beach located around 6km southeast of Baan Bang Bao (Bang Bao Village). Swim in the crystal clear waters or rent a kayak and explore the fascinating coastline.
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Where to stay
Koh Chang offers an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following…
The Chill Resort and Spa, Koh Chang
Location: Kai Bae Beach, Ko Chang
Ave nightly price: AUD282 per room
Description: Just 8 km from Laem Ngop Pier, The Chill Koh Chang is located at Kai Bae Beach. Rooms feature a private terrace and there is free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. The stylish rooms at Chill Koh Chang offer stylish furnishings and modern decor. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with cable TV, a tea and coffee maker and comfortable bathrobes. Guests of the Chill Koh Chang hotel can dine at the beachfront Chill-Out Cafe and restaurant. It offers a varied menu and refreshing drinks and cocktails. The Chill Spa offers traditional body and foot massages and skin treatments. There is also a refreshing outdoor pool.
Panviman Koh Chang Resort
Location: Klong Prao Beach, Ko Chang
Ave nightly price: AUD126 per room
Description: Panviman Ko Chang Resort offers modern rooms on Klong Prao Beach, which is part of National Marine Park on the Gulf of Thailand. It features an outdoor pool and restaurant. Rooms at Panviman Ko Chang combine modern furnishing with traditional Thai décor. Each room is equipped with a TV, DVD player and safe. Private bathrooms have a bathtub and shower. Guests can enjoy Thai massages at the spa or work out at the fitness center. The large sun deck is great for enjoying the sun and the views of the ocean. The resort also has a children’s playroom and water sports equipment for guests’ use. Four Angels Restaurant serves Thai and international dishes throughout the day. A variety of cocktail and light meals are served at the Rocky Bar. Both dining outlets feature stunning sea views. Panviman Ko Chang Resort can be reached via flights from Bangkok to Trat, followed by ferry shuttle services to Koh Chang.
The Dewa Koh Chang
Location: Klong Prao Beach, Ko Chang
Ave nightly price: AUD105 per room
Description: The Dewa Koh Chang provides rooms with private balconies that overlook the Thai Gulf. On Klong Prao Beach, this beachfront hotel features 3 dining options and free Wi-Fi. Spacious rooms at Koh Chang Dewa feature modern Thai décor and high ceilings. Each well-furnished room has a TV with cable channels, and a spacious bathroom with a bathtub. The non-smoking resort features a 6,460-ft² swimming pool, water sports activities and a luxurious spa. Guests who would like to explore the area can make travel and sightseeing arrangements at the tour desk. Dewa Koh Chang provides free parking and is a 15-minute walk from Kai Bae Village Centre.
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Gajapuri Resort & Spa
Location: Kai Bae Beach, Ko Chang
Ave nightly price: AUD102 per room
Description: Gajapuri, which means "Elephant's Empire" in Sanskrit, offers a luxurious tropical experience with its spa and outdoor whirlpool bathtub. Its spacious air-conditioned wood cottages have free internet and flat-screen TVs. Decorated with rich wood furnishings and beautiful artwork, rooms at Gajapuri Resort feature a DVD home theater and minibar. Villas come with private pools and whirlpool bathtubs. GajaPinn Spa features traditional Thai massage, while the resort's library contains a wide selection of movies and books. Gajapuri Resort also provides a tour desk and souvenir shop. The open-air Matang Restaurant serves Thai and Western cuisine, as well as steak and seafood dishes. The Pool Bar offers a wide variety of drinks and light snacks. On Kai Bae Beach, Gajapuri Resort & Spa is a 15 minute drive from Ao Sapparod Pier. For guests who drive, free parking is available.
The Emerald Cove Koh Chang
Location: Klong Prao Beach, Ko Chang
Ave nightly price: AUD97 per room
Description: Boasting an outdoor pool with stunning views of the ocean, Emerald Cove Koh Chang is located just a few steps away from the private beach. Free WiFi, a spa and a fitness centre are also on offer here. All rooms are air conditioned and equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a refrigerator. Guests can grab a drink from the minibar and sit out on the furnished balcony. The private bathroom comes with bathrobes, a bathtub and free toiletries. An airport shuttle, a shuttle service and soothing massages can be arranged upon request at the 24-hour front desk. Other facilities offered at Koh Chang Emerald Cove include a tour desk, luggage storage and a children's playground. The property also offers free parking. Guests can enjoy dining at the on-site restaurants or have evening drinks at the bar. Room service is also available. The hotel is 5.6 km from Kai Bae Beach, 8.5 km from Koh Chang National Park and 16 km from White Sand Beach.
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Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about these and more resorts in Ko Chang at TripAdvisor.
Best time to honeymoon in Koh Chang
The best time to visit Koh Chang is during the dry season between November and March, when you can expect an average temperature of 26°C (79°F) with a night time low of 21°C (70°F). March to May is very hot, reaching up to 35°C. The wet season in this part of Thailand lasts from June to October.
For more climate info: Kon Chang Weather Guide…
Getting to Koh Chang
Koh Chang is located just off the east coast of Thailand in Trat Province – a 30-minute boat ride from Ao Thammachat and Laem Ngop, which can be reached directly from Bangkok or via the provincial capital of Trat.
Find out how to get to Koh Chang… › Koh Chang Map
Latest update Koh Chang honeymoon:
15 March, 2018
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