Koh Chang is Thailand’s second largest island, located in Eastern Thailand some 300 kilometers away from Bangkok. When translated, it means ‘elephant head’ because the shape of the island resembles an elephant’s head. The island is the largest in the Koh Chang Marine Park archipelago. The island and nearby areas are great spots for snorkeling, diving, swimming and hiking. If you are looking for a quiet island escape not too far from the capital city, then you have surely found the island in Koh Chang. The island is home to evergreen jungles, mountains, beaches, corals, unique fauna and island serenity. What are you waiting for?
What puzzles many including Thais is that Koh Chang, Thailand’s second largest island (behind Phuket) is still relatively untouched (compared to Thailand’s other major islands) despite its close proximity to the capital. There is an estimated 5,000 or so permanent residents in the island, so it is not heavily populated.
Koh Chang has an area of approximately 430 square kilometers, with rainforests, beaches, waterfalls, mountains and cliffs making up most of the topography. Since the majority of the island is a part of the Ko Chang Marine Park, most of the island is protected under the jurisdiction of the Forestry Department of Thailand. This surely explains the abundance of beautiful virgin forests and spotless sandy beaches as well as the island’s limited development and commercialization.
Because of the island’s size, walking from beach to beach can be quite far, so it is important to find the location best suited for your holidaying purpose. Here are some of Koh Chang’s locations:
• White Sand Beach – White Sand Beach can be easily divided into north and south. If you want to be a part of the ‘action’, then North White Sand Beach is for you. This is Koh Chang’s most developed and busiest beach with hotels, shops and restaurants dominating the area. South White Sand Beach is the place to be if you want to be in a quieter place than the north but still not be too far from it.
• Kai Bae Beach – Busy, but not as much as White Sand Beach. Ideal for families with children who are looking to stay in a boutique resort or bungalow rather than a hotel environment.
• Bangbao – This is the starting point for diving and snorkeling trips in and around the area, with tour agencies, dive shops and souvenir stores. Kongkoi Waterfall is not too far away.
• Klong Praow – Klong Praow is divided by a river estuary, which separates it into northern and southern halves. The northern section contains more resorts and shopping plazas and is generally busier than the south.
• East Coast – This is perhaps the quietest part of the island. If you are looking to get away from it all (as shops and bars are few and far in between here), then this is the spot for you. Klong Nonsi Falls is on this side of the island.
• Salakkok – The bay here is the beach’s main attraction. Canoeing is great, as canals meander past fishermen’s homes. A great way to see the real Koh Chang.
• Salakphet – A rather quiet area, this is the place to go if you love sailing. There are some fishermen’s villages and some small waterfalls nearby.
Koh Chang is definitely one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands. Click on Exotissimo’s tailor made page and combine your stay on the island with one of our suggested trips on our Thailand tours page. While in Koh Chang, we recommend staying in Aana Resort & Spa on Klong Praow Beach. The resort is surrounded by tropical mountains on one side and an endless stretch of crystalline waters on the other, with each of the 71 contemporarily designed rooms featuring a private balcony and modern amenities. There are several holistic and wellness options, making your stay at the tropical island soothing and refreshing. A truly memorable Thai trip awaits you!
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