Koh Chang has several stunning white sand beaches for visitors to enjoy. Largely
deserted, particulary in the south, guests can choose to either relax and soak up
the sun or take long strolls along the powdery sand.
Our guide to enjoying Koh Chang:
Hat Sai Khao (White Sand Beach)
This is the longest and most popular beach in Koh Chang and very wide during low
tide. It has long been a place for travellers to hang out so it is a good
place to meet other people in the many small bars and restaurants. In the evening
the local restaurants place tables at the water's edge, so you can enjoy the local
cuisine by candle light with the feel of the sand between your toes.
Klong Prao Beach
This white sand beach, where the Amari Emerald Cove Resort is located, is
much quieter and offers peace and solitude. The area is also more natural,
covered in coconut groves and wild vegetation. A small lagoon dissects
the beach, but you can walk across at low tide or at high tide, be paddled from
one side to the other in a small rowing boat for a few Baht. In the
evening, the local villagers can be seen collecting the tiny shrimps called "Khei"
to make the shrimp paste, for which Koh Chang is famous.
Kai Bae Beach
This beach is a great viewing point for sunsets and there are also some small islands,
so close that you can get there by kayak. At low tide, you can walk
out to Koh Man Nai with the water at chest level. A little further out,
Koh Yuak has a small beachfront and clear shallow waters which are a good snorkeling
Hat Ta Nam (Lonely Beach)
This is the last beach on the west coast.
For a bit more of an adventure, there are also numerous beaches to visit, tucked
away on the small surrounding islands and accessible only by speed boat.
Here you can feel like a castaway, for a few hours at least.
Very Close to Koh Chang
This island has historical significance as it was the battleground for the Thai
and French during the French colonization of Indochina. This island is a good dive
site and there are corals 10 to 20 meters deep. It is also an excellent fishing
spot with larger fish in abundance
This island with its crescent shape has two small but pleasant beaches and is a
quiet place for a day trip
Koh Phrao Nai and Nok
These islands were originally named because of the long lines of coconut trees on
the island. Both islands have beautiful white sand.
Koh Lao Ya
This is a group of 3 small islands which are well known for their long white beaches,
turquoise waters, green forests in the interior and lovely coral at shallow depths.
A wooden bridge links two of the islands and the water beneath this is incredibly
This enchanting island is only a few hundred metres of the southern most coast of
Koh Chang. The island comprises of two kidney shaped sections held together by a
narrow sand dune and with two lagoons which are excellent for swimming and snorkeling.
There is also good fishing and dolphins are occasionally seen in the area.
This is the eastern most island of Thailand, 80 kilometers south east of Trat town
close to the border with Cambodia. It is the second largest island in
the Koh Chang national park and the fourth largest island in Thailand. About 70%
of the island is covered in tropical forest and there is a breathtaking waterfall
in the interior. The island has little development and stunningly beautiful beaches.
Between Koh Chang and Koh Kood, about 40 kilometres from the main land is Koh Maak.
This is a largely flat island covered in both rubber and coconut plantations with
lovely long beaches.
Pristine rain forest covers most of Koh Chang, making the island an eco paradise.
The island appears very mountainous from the shore, with the highest peak, Khao
Salak Phet (744 meters), in the middle of the island. The rocks are
mainly granite and the slopes are rounded rather than sheer cliffs, so that trekking
is possible. Mangroves and beach forest line the shores, and the whole
island supports a huge diversity of wildlife, including macaques, monitor lizards,
pythons and barking deer. White-winged terns, nightjars and several species of hornbill
are some of the indigenous birds and many others migrate here.
Our guide to enjoying Koh Chang
Koh Chang offers scenic hiking trails that take just a few hours, particularly from
Khlong Son to Hat Sai Khao (white Sand Beach) and from there to Hat Khlong Prao.
In the south, the harder and longer Kai Bae - Bang Bao trail is a challenging experience
and passes through shady rubber and coconut plantations.
There are two different elephant treks to try in Koh Chang. The Chang Chutiman company
between Klong Prao and Kai Bae has a choice of two trekking trails, a one-hour and
a two-hour trail which go into a pomelo orchard, and then for the longer trek, into
the National Park's rain forest. The Ban Kwan Chang elephant camp in the north of
Koh Chang is supported by the Asian Elephant Foundation. There are a
forty-minute and a one-hour-and-twenty-minute treks into the island's beautiful
valley, through peaceful pomelo, durian and rubber plantations and a chance to watch
the animals bath and feed.
The mountainous terrain of Koh Chang creates some quite spectacular waterfalls in
the tropical forest. The following are some of the better known ones which can be
Than Mayom Waterfall
This is probably the most famous waterfall on the island, near the Than Mayom pier
of the east coast of the island and near the Koh Chang Marine National Park Office.
A pathway of about 400m, leads through a durian orchard, to the waterfall. The waterfall
is medium sized, with four levels and a large pool at the front. Visitors mostly
do not go to the fourth level which is quite far and used as a source of drinking
water by the locals. Swimming is allowed at the waterfall and watching sunrise from
here can be a real treat.
The three-step Than Mayom Falls, the first of which is less than an hour's walk
from Tha Than Mayom, is well worth hiking to. Rocks on the first and third steps
bear the engraved initials of Kings Rama VI and Rama VII, and Rama V respectively.
Klong Plu Waterfall
This is the most popular and frequently visited of the waterfalls as it is close
to both Klong Prao and Kai Bae beaches. It is about a 20 minute hike to the waterfall
which is on 3 levels. Most visitors stay on the 1st level as the 10 metre fall here
is already an impressive site and it is quite a slippery climb to get up to the
other two levels.
Located in the north of Koh Chang, Nang Yom is a small-sized waterfall with several
cascades. You can get there by following a path from Ban Dan Mai near the Koh Chang
sub-district police station and the trail is about one hour long.
Khiri Phet Waterfall
This medium sized waterfall is about 2 kms from the Salak Phet community, in the
south of Koh Chang. During wet season the fall can look as if it is
a two-storey waterfall of about 5 meters high, but in the dry season you can climb
up to the 7th level. There is water in the falls all year round and
a pool to swim in at the first level.
Klong Nueng Waterfall
Not far from Khiri Phet, this is the tallest in Koh Chang and an excellent place
to take a dip in the chest deep pool, once you have made the hour's hike there.
You have to climb across a huge boulder, which blocks the trail, to see the sight
of the water cascading down the ravine.
Part of the charm of Koh Chang is the relaxed atmosphere and traditional lifestyle
which still carries on. Guests can enjoy a feeling of how the local people live
and the area's scenic natural beauty. The following excursions can be arranged:
Full Day Tours
A Drive Around the Island
All island tours, stop at a Chinese style temple, Chao Po Koh Chang or the Godfather
of Koh Chang in the north of the island which has particular significance for the
inhabitants of the island.
The east of the island should also be visited, it has dramatic rocky beaches rather
than the white sands of its western counterparts. Here, there is little
development and life continues on the island much as it has for decades, with people
living from fishing and small scale farming. Fruit bushes laiden with rambattans,
for which the province is famous, bloom at the roadside in season. In the far south,
a fishing village, Salak Phet, is nestled in the mangrove with boats lined up waiting
to go out to sea and others awaiting repair. Everywhere there is the rhythmic sound
of hammering, as essential work is carried out on the boats. Aboard small crafts,
women deftly repair the nets, whilst the men store the fish traps on the jettys
for use the next day.
A short distance away as the crow flies is Bang Bao, a photogenic fishing village
built on stilts and extending out over the water. However, since the
roads on the east and west coasts don't yet join, it is not possible to drive completely
round the island and you have to reach the village from the western road enjoying
the roller coaster of a drive with dramatic views down the shear drop at the side
of the road to the beach below.
An island tour could also include a stop at one of the island's waterfalls, with
a chance to have a swim and cool down.
Island Hopping and Snorkeling
The many small islands surrounding Koh Chang provide many opportunities for a variety
of boat trips to different white sand beaches for picnics and snorkeling. Highlights
could include a stop a "Koh Nok" or "Bird Island" which has wonderful coloured corals
in very shallow waters.
Half Day Tours
Lunch or Dinner at A Fisherman's Village
Bang Bao is the best place on the island to enjoy seafood, with a great selection
in the restaurants, which has been freshly caught that day. The restaurants also
have large tanks as you walk in, filled with different types of live crab, king
prawns and other crustacians for you to select. It's a relaxed place
to enjoy simple but delicious cuisine and watch the breeze gently blow through the
homemade shell mobiles, which are hung from the wooden beams of the restaurants.
Trekking on Foot
Treks of varying lengths and difficulty and be arranged into the rain forest in
the island's tropical interior with a local guide.
A great way to explore the interior of the island is by the island's namesake, a
"chang" or elephant. Actually, the island was so named because of its
shape, and elephants are not indigenious and have, infact, only been recently brought
to the island. Nevertheless, it is a pleasant way to spend an hour or
two and there is a choice of two starting points for treks. One takes you through
a rubber plantation and into a pomelo orchard where the elephants have a fabulous
time pulling the fruit from the branches, seemingly unconcerned if the pomelos are
ripe or not! The second route is longer and takes you into an inland valley in the
north of the island, where the elephants can enjoy bathing in the water from the
Nang Yom waterfall.
Catamaran Cruise, Supercat
Enjoy the bright blue sky and emerald sea with a touch of luxury on board Supercat,
a custom-built catamaran. Cruise in comfort, including catering, all through the
Koh Chang National Marine Park archipelago, with the assurance of an expert captain
and crew, who will take good care of you. Supercat follows different routes around
the islands and stops off on some idyllic shores. There's chance for snorkeling
and exploring, and you may get a chance the feed the primates of Monkey Island,
as well as enjoying the sunshine and working on your tan.
(Supercat tours are subject to weather conditions and generally take place from
late October to April - ask staff for details.)