Ko Chang – About Ko Chang in Thailand

Ko Chang, in eastern Thailand, is an amazingly beautiful island, still unspoiled as of today. It continues to offer the traditional Thai vacation experience – uncrowded pristine white sandy beaches and exotic natural surroundings. You have a variety of vacation activities, including swimming, snorkeling and diving at the beach, or hiking through the jungle to learn about Koh Chang’s amazing animal life. With all these attractions, Koh Chang is on the verge of becoming one of Thailand’s biggest tourist towns. Now is the time to visit this as yet relatively undiscovered island, before it is thronged with hordes of charter tourists.

Thailand, Koh Chang Koh Chang in Thailand
 

Although backpackers from North America and Europe began visiting Koh Chang in the 1970s, the island is still slowly developing into a vacation area filled with hotels and resorts for tourists. Koh Chang is a great destination, full of activities to suit all kinds of travelers. Families with children will appreciate the beaches with shallow water where the kids can splash happily. Koh Chang is part of a marine park in the area which comprises 40 or so islands.

Getting there

There are several ways to get to Koh Chang. From Bangkok, you can get one of the twice daily Bangkok Airways flights. A less expensive option is to take a bus from Bangkok. There are 2 buses a day, both in the morning, for this 5 hour trip. The buses go as far as Laem Ngop, and from there you continue to the island by ferry. Many visitors come to the island via an alternative route, leaving from Trat, the capital city of Trat Province in southeastern Thailand on the Cambodian border. The trip by bus and ferry is fairly inexpensive and convenient. If you’d like to pay a premium price of several hundred baht per passenger for even more convenience, you can take a minibus from Trat Airport straight to your hotel on Koh Chang. Minibuses are a useful means of transportation between various locations in Thailand; for helping arranging a trip, you can always go through a local travel agency.

You will have quite a selection of accommodation on Koh Chang. There is everything from exclusive luxury hotels through less expensive budget hotels to simple bungalows on the beach. Don’t worry if your funds are somewhat limited; there are plenty of inexpensive places to stay. Generally speaking, the further you are form the beach, the lower the price of the accommodation. The best deals tend to fill up quickly, especially on weekends, although you will still find a choice of last minute accommodation.

Beaches

Koh Chang is quite a big island, the 3rd largest in Thailand, so it has a lot of beach areas, especially on the western side. If you love music and good times, check out Hat Tha Nam. Although it is called the Lonely Beach, this doesn’t mean it’s deserted. In fact at night it is usually full of revelers playing music and partying until the early hours of the morning. If you have come to Koh Chang for a peaceful vacation listening to the sound of the ocean waves, the area of Hat Tha Nam is not for you. To the south there is a beautiful sandy beach by the name of Bailan Beach, used mostly by guests of the local resort. Also in the southern part of the island is Bang Bao Bay, worth checking out for its seafood restaurants, alternative accommodation and diving center. Tan Mayom Beach is a fantastic example of a lovely unspoiled beach. There is not much here in the way of tourist facilities, but that simplicity is part of its charm.

Thailand, Koh Chang Koh Chang in Thailand
 

Restaurants and Bars

Koh Chang’s restaurants offer a choice of traditional spicy Thai food or international cuisine. Naturally most menus on the island feature delicious fresh caught seafood. Dining at a beach restaurant is a very relaxing and romantic experience, particularly in the evening when the sky is full of stars. If you feel after dinner that the night’s activity has just begun, you’ll want to visit a few of the local bars and pubs.

Activities

Vacation life on Koh Chang focuses around the water. There is nothing like a leisurely dip in the balmy Gulf to melt away all your cares. You can also try some more vigorous activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking or swimming with the dolphins. Inland, you can trek with a group atop an elephant’s back, hike through the lush rain forest to one of the magnificent waterfalls, or climb the challenging cliffs and mountains of Koh Chang. Fishing and golfing are other popular sports. Or pamper yourself with a traditional Thai massage. The variety of activities is what you will love about Koh Chang.

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