Koh Chang is located on the east side of the Gulf of Siam, not far from Bangkok, near the border with Cambodia. The island is Thailand's second largest. The landscape of Koh Chang is characterized by large rain forest, but the beaches are beautiful white and is among the softest sand beaches in Thailand.
But most of the island is still unspoiled wilderness, so on Koh Chang there are still many white spots where you can feel like an explorer. The small islands in the south of Koh Wai, Koh Kham and Koh Mak offers alluring crystal clear water and amazing beaches. Even further out in the blue is the island of Koh Kood so far away and of itself that people seem to have forgotten that it exists at all (go there).
Thailand's former prime minister, Thaksin (who was overthrown in a bloodless coup in 2006) caught the smell of fast money and made plans to Koh Chang for a new Phuket. So far there have fortunately not been examined and the most extreme plans have fallen. But many of the simple beach huts have given way to lavish spas and resorts. Travelers have taken over the role as the main nutrient in fish, coconut and rubber.
There is almost not a travel agent today who have not been traveling to Koh Chang. The easiest way, and often the only way, to get to Koh Chang is via Bangkok, although there are some flights which also goes by other cities such as direct London. From Bangkok you can travel on to Tratprovinsen and Laem Ngop by bus and then continue by boat to Dan Kao on Koh Chang. The boat trip takes about an hour and costs about 50-60 baht.
There are buses from the Eastern Bus Terminal in Bangkok several times a day. Trat has a new bus terminal just outside the city center where you can easily find a taxi to the port of Laem Ngop. The simplest is to book the whole trip with Jade Travel to get a more optimized overall price, I usually do and although it is more adventurous to do everything yourself it works usually better with Jade in all.
Taxi from Bangkok to Trat cost otherwise about 3000 baht. Bangkok Airways has 2-3 daily departures from Bangkok. The flight to Trat takes 50 minutes and costs 3000 baht. The airport is 40 km from Trat town center. Easier and above all much cheaper to take the bus from Bangkok, in other words.
Songthaew, collective taxi, is the only provision of local transport in Koh Chang. Traffic is limited and usually custom departures. To and from the port in the north, it is rarely trouble finding Songthaews.
It's worse if you are going to the beaches to the south or the east side of the island. If you are lucky you will come across a vacant Songthaew that will drive you there, but expect that it can be quite expensive. So expensive that it may be worthwhile to hire a moped or car, motorcycle, moped and mountain biking. These can include hiring at White Sand Beach. For Songthaew, always agreeing on the price before departure.
During the tourist season there are boats from the fishing port of Ban Bang Bao in the south of Koh Chang to Koh Gull (50 minutes, 400 baht) and Koh Kood (1 ½ hours, 600 baht).
White Sand Beach
Hat Sai Khao, 2 mil south of the main town Khlong Son is the 'great' beach, White Sands Beach, and is several miles long and covered with soft white sand. Palmer surrounds the beach and behind it a wall of jungle. The sea is shallow and the place is very child friendly.
Coconut Bay / Hat Khlong Phrao
Barely half a mile south of White Sand Beach. There is a broad white sandstrandoch several bungalows if you want to live there.
Lonely Beach / Hat Thanam
/ Lonely Beach. Those who remember Koh Chang before mass tourism will say that it was something like this: quiet and trouble with simple bungalows. Lonely Beach has certainly been more exploited by ordinary tourists, but is still backpacker's favorite on Koh Chang.
Hat Bai Lan
Vegetation, sea and sand. Not close to anything, apart from the fishing port of Ban Bang Bao. Perfect if you want peace and quiet.
You can still rent a cheap bungalow, but they become more rare in Koh Chang. In recent years, Koh Chang received several more sophisticated accommodation with air conditioning and a whole bunch of different hotels and spas. Here are some that are good:
Minimalistic, simple and super-cheap bungalows are not entirely without its charms. 50-10 minute walk inland from the beach, White Sand Beach.
Price: Cheap, Tel. 081-000 39 38th
Cool place to Hate Thanam / Lonely Beach. A collection of cottages that look as if they consist of debris and "flower power".
Price: Cheap, Tel: 081-761 76 55
Coconut Beach Bungalows
Beautifully situated on a small promontory at the northern corner of the White Sand Beach. Nice bungalows in various price ranges.
Price Range: Moderate-expensive, Tel: 01-949 38 38.
Hotels in White Sand Beach / Hat Sai Khao, but also a restaurant with a good reputation and table service on the beach. Here you can really enjoy the sea breeze.
Located on the main road south of White Sand Beach. Indian cuisine at the Thai way.
Salakpet Seafood Restaurant & Resort
Exquisite restaurant in Ao Salak Phet. Probably the best on Koh Chang.
The most popular excursion destination known as "The Four Islands" and is sold everywhere. Take Songthaew the fishing port of Ban Bang Bao in the south and from there go by boat to Ko Wai, Ko shovel and some smaller islands.
Nam Tok Khlong Phlu located on the west side of the island, barely two kilometers inland from the White Sand Beach. Here you can swim so do not forget swimwear. Actually it is the jungle above the waterfall, which is the major attraction, however.
Nam Tok Than Mayom is the name of the large waterfall on the east side of the island. It is not often Songthaews is where scooters are really the only option if you want to get there.
On the streets selling fake designer clothes at very low prices. Thai silk is among the finest in the world. Order tailored suit of a tailor at very low prices. Agree on price before you order and then spray it down a bit.
Gold, silver and jewelry
Low prices, but be aware that there are many counterfeit goods in circulation. Use your common sense.
There is low crime in Thailand, but otherwise you should always look after your valuables. Remember that you can not leave the country without a passport (go to the embassy in Bangkok if you lost yours). Never walk along the road at night, take a taxi. The highway around Koh Chang is actually not lit at night, especially outside the villages, so there it is pitch black. Please include a reflector for safety's sake if you are traveling as families with children. As Ko Chang is located near the border with Cambodia, there may be a risk of malaria, but it is very small unless you spend the night in the rainforest. Use mosquito repellent during the day and mosquito nets at night if you are worried.