The dense mountainous interior, white sand beaches and glimmering, turquoise waters of Koh Chang make for absolutely picturesque views. However, that’s just on the surface. What lies beneath the waters and inside the mysterious jungle and bustling city life is truly captivating.
Koh Chang, meaning Elephant Island, receives its name from its large landmass that’s reminiscent of an elephant’s head. As the second largest island in Thailand, this gentle giant of an island – despite its booming tourism industry – retains its beautifully rugged charm and character. With its stunning views, lush rainforest, abundant wildlife, rich marine reserve and thriving nightlife Koh Chang attracts many a traveller to its warm and inviting shores.
While it may not have as many sandy beaches as some of Thailand’s other islands, Koh Chang remains one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in the country. The patches of sand that do adorn the island make for spectacular lounging spots. The west end of the island boasts some of the best beaches as well as an array of accommodations and much of the island’s activity. White Sands beach is the most popular, the longest and the biggest. Here, party animals revel in the eclectic night scene and take advantage of the beach’s many small shops, restaurants and thatched bungalows.
Nestled between two towering peaks is Khlong Prao beach. Its mixed terrain of white sand and rugged rocks houses most of the luxury resorts where sunbathing is the favourite pastime. Lonely Beach is the party epicentre for backpackers and young travellers and locals. The bounty of budget-friendly accommodations, bars and restaurants make this beach a far cry from the solitary atmosphere that the name implies. Bang Bao Beach is a small fishing village and a great choice for those who are looking to experience a quieter side of the island.
Undeniably, the draw of Koh Chang is its pristine rainforest. With 70 per cent of the island shrouded in diverse flora and fauna, beautiful hidden treasures and thrilling excursions await. Hikes on the southern end treat visitors to sightings of monkeys, snakes, lizards and various birds, while those on the north lend itself to beautiful fruits and plants. Throughout the island lies a series of dramatic waterfalls. Nam Tok Mayom and Nam Tok Klong Phu on the east and west, respectively, are some of the many beautiful falls featuring plunge pools and scenic climbs.
The crystal clear waters and rich coral reef of the sea, make for superb diving, snorkelling and kayaking conditions. The best dive sites are located in the south where divers are treated to close encounters with dolphins, sting rays, turtles, eels, barracuda, king mackerel, puffer fish and a variety of other creatures. And, for those who can afford it, yachting is a great way to experience the tranquil waters and breath-taking scenery. Although oh Chang is named after the much-revered elephant, the animal is not native to the island. However, there are elephant camps and opportunities for visitors to embark on elephant treks through the forest and swim with them.
Ban Kwan Chang is considered the best of the island’s three camps. Known for its balmy nights and even hotter beach bars, the nightlife on Koh Chang is perhaps is its biggest selling point. The bars and restaurants are always full of friendly locals and excited tourists. The island’s nightclub, One, is also a popular hangout. Much of the night scene consists of live music, copious libations and non-stop dancing.
With its white sand beaches, mysterious coves, verdant rainforest, diverse corals and alluring culture, Koh Chang is one of the most praised and sought-after holiday destinations in Thailand. While still developing, this large, rich island welcomes visitors with open arms and endless adventures.
Koh Chang features a rugged terrain, picturesque beaches, and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere that is ideal for those looking for both a relaxing and activity-packed getaway. Between the land and sea, there are plenty of excursions and fun diversions. Diving, elephant treks, sunbathing and non-stop partying are just some of the many offerings.
Things to do in Koh Chang
For more information about Travelbag’s custom holidays to Koh Chang, please contact us at 0871 703 4713 Costs 13p/min + network extras and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable experts.
The hot and humid climate found on Koh Chang makes for very pleasant holidays. With sunny skies and little rain in the high travel season (November to February), it’s wise to pack lightweight, beach clothing and comfortable shoes for hiking. A light sweater or jacket may be needed at night.
The sun here is strong, so bring plenty of sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to prevent sunburn. In terms of medicine, a small emergency kit is always beneficial. Be sure to include water purification tablets, rehydrating solutions antibiotics, pain relievers and other necessary medications. Insect repellent and mosquito nets are also crucial, as the humidity attracts mosquitoes.
Since this is a beach destination, it may be beneficial to bring snorkelling gear and other beach accessories. A small torch and pocket knife always come in handy, while waterproof bags are good for protecting cameras, phones and other personal belongings from the rain harsh, natural elements.
At 10 degrees north of the equator, Koh Chang boasts a beautiful tropical climate. The island has three distinct seasons – cool, hot and rainy. The cool season is the best time to visit, it is between November and February. Sunshine is guaranteed and the average temperature is between 27°C to 30°C, with cooler nights averaging 16 °C to 20 °C. During this time, the calm seas and warm, clear waters are highly conducive to diving and snorkelling.
The hot season runs from March to May and experiences highs of 30°C and above. The extremely warm temperatures and high humidity can make for uncomfortable weather. However, this doesn’t stop tourists from visiting, especially the Thais.
May to October marks the rainy season, with the heaviest downpours occurring towards the beginning and end of the season. The temperatures are still warm and blue skies are visible throughout parts of the day. Unfortunately, the water conditions are temperamental and visibility is low.
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