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.
Each of Ko Chang’s notable beaches has a distinct character with varying degrees of scenery, crowds, remoteness, accommodation and activities. Whether you’re a backpacker looking for a place to crash on the sand, a family in need of calm and shallow water, a high-roller seeking a plush beach-side spa treatment, or a perfectly normal person who happens to sleep with your snorkel, you’ll find ... Read more about Beaches .
An idyllic, deserted beach with no road access — this was how the Ko Chang tourist map described Haad Wai Shak. Yet satellite maps revealed a thin ribbon reaching into the far southeastern corner of this vast and mountainous island, and we decided to give it a shot. Anyone who says Elephant Island is too crowded or developed has never come this ... Read more about Ko Chang's east coast .
Unlike most Thai islands, Ko Chang boasts pristine mountains and waterfalls in addition to its beaches. In fact, large scale tourism wouldn’t have been possible without the mountain water sources that feed the island’s eight notable waterfalls. Some of these are easy to reach while others demand some effort, but each has its own ... Read more about Waterfalls .
The most popular activities on (or off to be precise) Ko Chang are boat trips to the surrounding islands. These come in a range of styles and prices. Most focus on snorkelling, though some are centred on fishing, kayaking, yachting or just plain cruising. The most common boat trips are usually dubbed Five Island excursions. These generally include pick up at your hotel, lunch and snorkelling ... Read more about Boat trips .
The most humane of these is supposedly Baan Kwan Chang, which is supported by the Asian Elephants Foundation. While its remote jungle atmosphere in Khlong Son certainly beats the other camps that are set up close to the main roads, reports suggest that Baan Kwan Chang's elephants carry up to three people on relatively long treks several times per day, which any true friend of these sensitive ... Read more about Elephant camps .
A cross-island trail connects Khlong Plu and Than Mayom waterfalls, taking you up and over the island's rugged centre and past the highland source of Than Mayom. It's possible to hike this trail independently -- just be sure to register with the park rangers at either end before you embark. The trail is a full-day excursion, so it's wise to set out early. Most choose to explore the jungle ... Read more about Jungle treks .
Group classes are held in a lovely open-air kitchen, in a tranquil setting near the lagoon. The experienced teachers explain all about Thai spices and other ingredients before letting students get their hands dirty. The school claims to use organic ingredients, and relies on banana husks and other natural implements rather than plastic. While the usual curries and mango with sticky rice are ... Read more about Thai cooking classes .
Ko Chang is no Ko Tao when it comes to scuba, but the area does offer several worthwhile dive sites and is a fine place for anything from a resort dive to a full PADI course. While there are some interesting pinnacles and swim-throughs near Ko Chang, the best diving is around Ko Rong. Here you'll find some majestic coral reefs, although some have unfortunately been damaged due to dynamite ... Read more about Scuba diving .
With decades of experience, the gym's five coaches have competed at the top muay Thai venues, including Bangkok's Lumpinee and Ratchadamnoen stadiums. They offer courses by the hour for 600 baht, by the day for 2,000 baht (for four hours), by the week for 6,500 to 9,500 baht, and by the month for 24,000 to 32,000 baht. Anyone from beginner to pro is welcome, and special courses are offered ... Read more about Koh Chang Thai Boxing Centre .
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.