Koh Chang: Island Paradise of Beaches and Rainforests
Trat in eastern Thailand’s Chantaburi Province, close to the border with Cambodia, is the gateway to Koh Chang, Thailand’s second largest island known for beaches and rainforests.
Around 52 smaller islands, some of them offering great snorkeling possibilities, surround the rainforest-covered island. These forests cover the mountains of Koh Chang’s interior and offer options for hikes to waterfalls, as well as arguably one of Thailand’s most popular activities: elephant interactions.
A coastal road on the island connects a string of beautiful, uncrowded bays. The most famous is the aptly named White Sand Beach. Koh Chang also has some nightlife and quite a number of shops and restaurants in the area of White Sand Beach. The next bay is the long Klong Prao Beach, famous for its gorgeous sunsets. Beyond the quiet Klong Son Beach one finds Kai Bae Bay, with great swimming opportunities and views over pretty islands.
After Kai Bae, the road climbs into the mountains, offering great views, before it descends into the fishermen’s village of Bang Bao. This is the departure point for snorkel and dive trips, as well as day tours or ferries to surrounding islands, such as Koh Kam, Koh Mak and Koh Rug.
A couple of days relaxing on Koh Chang before or after a visit to nearby Cambodia are definitely recommended. There is a coastal road, open for traffic year round, via the Had Lek border crossing into Cambodia. This overland route passes the foothills of the Cardamom Mountains to Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh.
There are daily flights between Trat and Bangkok, operated by Bangkok Airways. Alternatively, regular buses make the drive to Bangkok in six hours. Khiri Travel can also arrange private land transfers.
For more information on how to arrange a booking for the lovely, uncrowded beaches of Koh Chang or for combining trips to Koh Chang and coastal Cambodia please contact [email protected]