Located at 330 km southeast of Bangkok and 80 km west of Cambodia border, Koh Chang or “Elephant Island” is the third largest island in Thailand. As a part of Mu Chang National Park, Koh Chang is among popular sites but less touristly than Samui or Phuket. To help you plan out your trip easily, I would love to give you a quick ultimate travel guide to Koh Chang. This is the most basic things you need to know before travelling to Koh Chang, Thailand.
Ko Chang means “Elephant Island”. Actually, elephants are not indigenous to this island. This name came from the fact that the island’s headland is in shape of an elephant.
How to get to Koh Chang
There are numerous transport options to Koh Chang. The quickest but most expensive option is to fly. Bangkok Airways offers 3 flights a day Trat Airport. On the other hand, the cheapest option to get to Koh Chang is to take a bus from Ekkamai Bus Station, Bangkok to one of the mainland piers in Laem Ngop. The fare on an air-conditioned bus is around 260 Bath.
In addition, private transfers by car or van are becoming more popular and easier. This means of transportation is suitable for couples, groups or families. Ferries to Koh Chang run daily from 06:00 – 19:30. You can find out more about timetables, etc on KohChangFerries.com.
If you are on a budget, you can take regular bus services from Ekamai Bus Station, Bangkok to the mainland ferry piers. Or instead, you can share a minibus with other travelers and you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Bangkok or Pattaya and then you’ll be dropped off at your hotel on Koh Chang.
Where to stay?
Accommodation in Koh Chang ranges from luxury villas to backpacker huts and hostels. All of these can suit every need and budget.
Luxury resort: KC Grande Resort located on White Sand beach with direct access to the beach is made for anyone who wants a high standard of accommodation. If you’re not a fan of big resort, then you may love luxury bungalows like Gajapuri on Kai Bae Beach. Some more recommendations: Emerald Cove, Awa, Dewa or Mercure Hideaway.
Mid-price resort: Warapura Resort on Lonely Beach may be a good choice if you don’t want to spend too much but it’s still nice and stylish.
Small resort: When it comes to small and cosy resorts, Amber Sands Beach Resort on Dan Kao Beach will be on the top list. Besides this, The Spa Ko Chang, Nest Sense and Little Sunshine Resort can also be taken into consideration.
Guesthouse: Little Eden, Oasis Bungalows, Lazy Republique, Baan Rim Nam, etc.
Cheap bungalows: Cottage and huts are popular for backpacker when travel to Koh Chang. Some recommendations: Tiger Huts, Hippy Hut, Cliff Cottage, etc.
What to do on Koh Chang?
Koh Chang is the world of white sand and sea. So, the first thing you have to experience is to stroll around its stunning beaches, take a sunbath and swim for sure.
Scuba Diving: This lovely island is home to many tropical fish and beautiful coral reefs. Taking a diving trip here will be worth of the money. Also, you’re always guaranteed a good visibility around 10-15m. Following are some best sites to dive: Hin Luk Bat (30 minutes boat journey southwest of Bangbao pier on Koh Chang), Hin Rap (couple of kilometres further south of Hin Luk Bat), Koh Wai and Koh Kra (shallow dive). Besides scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking are also a great fun.
Waterfalls: Koh Chang is also famous for its various wonderful waterfalls which are easy to access. Following are the most well-known ones to discover: Klong Nung (the tallest of all, challenging to approach), Than Mayom (easy to access, popular among tourists, entrance fee: 200 BHT for adults; 100 BHT for children), Klong Phu, Kiri Phet, Klong Nonsi.
Jungle trekking and bird watching: More than luxury resorts and stunning beaches, this “Elephant Island” has a lot to offer. Jungle trekking and bird watching are among the most popular activities. You should hire a guide or join in a group tour. Prepare to bring shorts or swimsuit because you’ll pass by a small waterfall on the way. Some trekking tours also include elephant riding.
Cooking class: A half-day cooking class will give you a solid introduction to Thai culinary culture and a hands-on experience of Thai cuisine. Don’t miss out on this when you’re travelling to Koh Chang!
Hopefully my travel guide to Koh Chang will give you the most basic ideas for your Koh Chang vacation. I’ll focus more on details of where to stay and things to do in other travel guide posts. Enjoy your holiday!
Refer some other Thailand travel information here: