Favorite thing: Koh Chang is a national park with mountains and rainforrest. The mountains makes the weather unsteady and very rainy during the monsoon months. I was there in July 2007 and have never seen so much rain before. The road beside White beach was loaded with 10-15 cm water, and the shops around were flooded.
Shopping for better quality clothing in the markets was fun, but our favourite spot on the island was a restaurant situated a few meters from the sea on Dan Kao Beach. A meal, or simply a pot of delicious coffee enjoyed at Funky Hut - the most mellow of settings - was perhaps the most romantic experience we'd ever enjoyed in public.
Fondest memory: That's easy, the quietness is what we'll miss most - we stayed on the Eastern side of the island, with friendly hosts and staff who made us feel like members of the family. Ko Chang remains the only Thai island upon which I have driven a vehicle (pick up) and I was surprised to find it was not nearly so hair-raising as riding a motorbike on the likes of Samui or Tao.
We're looking forward to returning.
I spent 10 days on Koh Chang in November and found this magazine both extensive in its coverage and handy in terms of size: Koh Chang, Trat & the Eastern Islands, published quarterly by White Sand Publications Company Limited.
Free of cost at major hotels and tourist info stands.
Their web site is useful for planning: www.whitesandsthailand.com . All this white sand stuff stems from Whitesands, which is a place on Koh Chang.
You can get to many other smaller Islands by boat from Koh Chang .Most guesthouse or hotel offer day trips so you can spend a day snorkelling and exploring these white sandy beaches.
Fondest memory: Swimming,snorkelling ,exploring
Klong Prao beach is another popular area to stay on Koh Chang .The sand here is not as white and powdery as whitesand but the beach is quiet.It is better to swim here during high tide as the bay is really rocky.Ouch!
Fondest memory: Uncrowed long beach
Whitesand beach on the weststern side of Koh Chang is a lovely long stretch of beach with aqua blue sea .Most of the resorts and huts are located in this area.However ,if you head down towards Whitesand resort at the end of the beach you will still find uncrowed beach.Pefect for swimming ,laying around,long walks and watching evening sunsets.
Fondest memory: Swimming ,walks and sunsets.
Earthlink on White Sand beach, Koh Chang, offers high speed internet. There are several internet cafees, but I enjoyed this one. New computers and fast access at 100 BATH an hour. This is the going rate most places, but many other cafees don't have air con and "clean" computers. Earthlink also has "happy hour" in mid day and cameras on their computers.
It's situated in the north end of the beach strip, next to 7/11.
The island of Ko Chang, meaning elephant island, is Thailand's second largest island after Phuket. Ko Chang is situated in the province of Trat in the east of Thailand close to the border with Cambodia.
Ko Chang is a tropical marine national park. It consists of over 70% virgin rainforest. The island of Ko Chang is a very scenic island with white sandy coves and beaches, pristine rain forests and abundance of wildlife and marine life, coral reefs, high mountain peaks and , several scenic waterfalls.
When I visited Ko Chang for the first time it was an unknown destination. Nowadays the accommodation on the island ranges from simple beach huts and bungalows to luxury villas, suites and apartments. I reads that you can hire motorbikes, jeeps and cars to take you to any of the beaches along the coastal roads and that there are are plenty of restaurants, live music bars and nightclubs.
Fondest memory: My first visit to an unspoilt island in the 80s.
On my previous trips to Thailand I never did get a chance to visit Koh Chang, but on this one I made sure it was my first stop.
I enjoyed a few activities here, even on a short stay, but exploring the waterfalls would be a main highlight. It was a short ride to the entrance to see them, and then about a 15-20minute walk. But after you arrive the sight is very rewarding, it was nice and green with cool water to swim in.
Fondest memory: Well because it was my first time on Koh Chang I have many fond memorie. I guess the beach, waterfalls, and spending a great time with my girlfriend and her friends, are all things I will miss the most.
The good time to go to Ko Chang is from November - May since its a dry season. The rest of the year, rain is expected. Anyway, the good has its not-so-good side as well. The peak season, everything is more expensive. The accomodation is like double priced. Beaches can be too crowded.
My personal advice:
If possible, consider June or October.. cos In June, its just the beginning of the rainy season so it should not be too wet. And October is like the last month for the rain.. I went to Ko Chang mid October. It was raining a little bit for about half an hour and that was it. The next day was all sunshine. Plus, the price was not yet doubled.
The first time I was at Koh Chang was very special, being almost on our own. The second time a lot had changed, there are ATM's now, internet everywhere, and even 7eleven opened up here. Still there are not too many tips on Koh Chang on VT yet. Therefor here a few links that can help you a lot further on accomodation and things to do on Koh Chang.
Koh Chang Online Guide
Favorite thing: Koh Chang has two basic seasons: monsoon and hot. The monsoon season starts in early June and works its way into October. For the rest of the time, visiting Koh Chang will be blue skies and hot, not that it will not be hot during the monsoon season. If you plan on visiting Koh Chang during the monsoon season GO! Mansoon doesn't mean that it will pour rain all day. For the most part it won't even rain during the day, maybe an hour so so in the afternoon. However, it normally rains at night, and rains hard at night. I was there in July and the begining of August and it was a great trip.
Koh Chang is now a cheap retreat for Thai people and backpackers. It gives beautiful beaches to the people who cannot afford suck places as Phuket, Koh Samui, or Pattaya. Right now Koh Chang is protected as a national park, but this may change soon. I heard from an American organization working in Koh Chang that the Thai Government has plans to turn Koh Chang, one of Thailand's last natural unspoiled paradises, into an expensive tourist island. This is quite scary, to be honest. We must save out Koh Chang!
Contact the Koh Chang Group for more info and to help at: email@example.com
This island off the eastern coast is a good alternative to Samui and Phuket if you are looking for beaches that are more low-key in nature. Also it is closer to Bangkok than the southern beaches.
There is no air transport to this island, so the only way to get there from Bkk is by bus. It is about 5 hours to Trat, and then you have to take a ferry across to the island. So, it isn't a quick trip (flying to Samui is faster), but for those of you who have more than a couple of days, Koh Chang is an excellent place to spend it.
Koh Samet is closer to Bkk (maybe 3 hours by bus plus the ferry (it is off the coast of Rayong)), but it is more crowded, esp on weekends when the Bkk crowd lets out. On long weekend, it is packed and you will be staying in a hired tent if you don't reserve accommodation.
Trat, by the way, is one of the 2 provinces in Thailand that does have malaria. So take precautions (repellents, mosquito nets). I don't recommend anti-malarial drugs - see my Thailand page under Warnings or Dangers.
Fondest memory: Please read my Koh Chang homepage for the latest news - Koh Chang as we know it may soon just be a memory. The Thai government has some big plans for this quiet island.