Thailand Koh Chang Guide
Koh Chang is not just the third largest island in all of Thailand, but one of the best places to be for a variety of reasons. If not for the perfectly formed coral reefs, which provides one of the best sights, then for the fantastic White Sand beaches that have become synonymous to this location. If Thailand is known for its elephants, Koh Chang should be credited as one of the homes to the high mountain ranges that house these giant marvels of nature. The scenic Koh Chang also features an array of waterfalls set up to wow the most introverted of persons and sweep you off your feet, quite literally. It is not heaven – but Koh Chang should come close to what real paradise looks like.
Koh Chang is located in the Trat district of Thailand. The island enjoys the abundance of land that it is debatable whether it is the third or the second largest island in the country. Shaped almost like the national symbol of the country, Koh Chang benefits so much from having a seat on the Gulf of Thailand itself. That awards this location much magic – from the vast presence of jungle greens to the abundance of waterfalls and such other natural phenomena.
Translated loosely as the Elephant Island, the presence of those large mammals is not the only big thing about this location. From a slew of restaurants and amazing accommodations to the beautiful beaches on this island, tourists are sure to get an overwhelming experience. Koh Chang threatens to cancel out every fun event you have on your holiday bucket list – from snorkeling to exploring ancient ruins. You can also expect jungle trekking amid wild monkeys, and selfies from spectacular viewpoints. Complete with a rewarding nightlife and quiet villages with distinct characters, there is just so much to see in one single place.
Even though it finds itself in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Chang has the weather much identical to the one in Bangkok. Thus, the region is hot and humid for most parts of the year. During the winter, though, you can get a break from the scorching sunshine. That considered, October to May is a good enough window to visit and enjoy your time on the island. Likewise, we don’t recommend traveling in April, since that is the time when Thailand hosts its New Year festival. At this time, the island is always very crowded with visitors from Bangkok, and you might not get the best experience.
Koh Chang is a large island making the choice of where to stay among the thousands of accommodation options quite challenging. Once you know what you are looking for, though, the choice becomes more natural. Koh Chang’s most popular lodging area is around White Sand Beach. While crowded by local standards, it is still a great place to relax. Klong Prao Beach is known for its more luxurious accommodations and finer dining. If you are looking for relatively undeveloped areas, then your choice should be Kai Bae as well as Lonely Beach that is regarded as a backpacker destination. Finally, if you are looking to island-hopping day trips – then stay in Bang Bao Bay where most diving and snorkeling tours around Koh Chang depart from.
A trip to Koh Chang is never complete without a look at what is obtainable in nearby beaches. Looking not only in terms of proximity but for the experiences you stand to gain, too, it would be worth your while to seek out the trio of Koh Kood, Koh Mak, and Koh Rang. There are also a lot of scenic islands nearby Koh Chang, which you will undoubtedly visit during a typical island-hopping day trip. These include Koh Ngam, Koh Wai, Koh Klum, and the “Turtle Island” Koh Bai Dang.
Koh Samui is an excellent holiday destination on its own, but Koh Chang wins for those looking for the road less traveled. Koh Chang has been developed for tourism, no doubt, but nowhere near the overdevelopment that has happened over at Koh Samui. That awards Koh Chang a different charm, allowing tourists to have a better feel of their natural environment while having tons of fun.
There are more similarities than differences here. Both islands are mountainous, have magnificent rainforest to explore amid wild monkeys and elephants, as well as enjoy the presence of a variety of beaches. That is not to mention the wealth of accommodation options and an abundance of snorkeling locations. For all the love they share, though, Koh Chang is quieter than Koh Lanta – even though the former place is not that quiet. However, Koh Lanta wins in its proximity to sensational island hopping destinations within easy reach, including Phi Phi islands and Koh Rok.
Although nowhere near the size of Koh Chang, Koh Kood houses some beautiful beaches that would give those on Koh Chang a run for their money. More things come together to make Koh Kood a memorable holiday destination in Thailand. While less developed, Koh Kood offers plenty of charming Thai-style resorts, over-the-water fishing villages, spectacular waterfalls, and a relaxed feeling island-wide.