Photo: A Ko Chang hideaway.

Ko Chang is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Chang as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Chang’s different areas.

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Set at the northwestern tip of Ko Chang, all that most travellers see of Khlong Son are a few nondescript shops as they cruise south to the more popular beaches. Yet for anyone seeking peace and quiet and the intimate atmosphere that’s reminiscent of Ko Chang’s old days, this low-key village and its scenic eastern surrounds are at least worth a day trip.

It’s true that, along the main road, Khlong Son village itself is nothing to write home about. There’s a small "bus station," a 7-eleven with an ATM, a couple of not-so-inspiring long-stay hotels and a string of open-fronted shops slinging cheap curry and rice, grilled meats, noodles and som tam.

Head straight west from here and a winding road ends up at Aiyapura, a somewhat tacky Thai-style luxury resort on the west side of Khlong Son Bay (aka Chang Noi Bay). Peacocks roam the grounds and Thai billionaire-turned-prime-minister-turned-fugitive-in-exile, Thaksin Shinawatra, owns a property at Aiyapura, not that he can use it at the moment. The resort does have an excellent spa, however, so it could be worth a trip for some pampering.

On the other side of the bay lies Khlong Son beach, a long and secluded crescent of light baize sand that’s shaded by tonsai trees. Although low tide reveals mud flats and the water is murkier than the beaches further south, this is a lovely sheltered beach, which is probably why a Swiss-managed housing development known as Siam Royal View popped up here in recent years. Though we’re not keen on more development on Ko Chang, the Thai-style houses are rather elegant and the new neighbourhood is home to an intimate upscale resort in Little Sunshine.

Our coverage of Khlong Son also covers the northern ferry piers, the Chinese temple that houses the sacred shrine to the "Grandfather of Ko Chang", and a couple of outstanding midrange resorts on the island’s northeast coast -- Amber Sands and Blessed Residence.

Also included is the inland valley road that leads from the heart of Khlong Son to the long-running bungalows at Jungle Way, Baan Kwan Chang elephant camp and the small but refreshing Khlong Yom Waterfall at the road’s end. With majestic mountains rising up on either side of pomelo, bamboo, rubber and banana groves, this is one of Ko Chang’s most scenic roads.

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