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Koh Chang

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Attractions in Koh Chang in Thailand

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Bird Eye View of Koh Chang  

This island's status on the world's tourism barometer has risen a few degrees in recent years because of its stunning natural beauty, and the fact that its once-rickety infrastructure has been solidified. More than 70 percent of the mountainous island is still covered in untouched rainforest, and there are many secluded beaches, complete with that vital tropical isle trinity of white sand, palm trees, and warm blue water, where you can really get away from it all and leave your troubles on the mainland.

Koh Chang, or Elephant Island, is part of the Mu Koh Chang National Park. This national park is comprised of an archipelago of 52 islands, of which Koh Chang is the largest. Some 429 square kilometres in size, Koh Chang is, after Phuket, the second biggest island in the Kingdom. Wealthy with greenery, wildlife, and marine creatures, its most scenic beaches are located along its western flank.

Moving from north to south, the beaches are generally more secluded, less crowded and pricey, with the aforementioned Diamond Sand towards the northern tip, and Hat Khlong Phrao and Hat Kai Bae, in the middle. Further south is a lively backpacker's enclave at Lonely Beach, or Hat Tha Nam, where you can stay in a tree house.

Other than swimming and sunbathing, the island offers inland adventures such as rainforest trekking. Or you can ride a lumbering elephant into the primeval jungle, populated with wild boars, Javan mongoose, barking deer, and more than 60 different species of birds.

Many of the bungalow operations around Hat Sai Khao and Hat Kai Bae have kayaks, boogie boards and mountain bikes for rent. Booking a day trip, or an overnighter, to nearby islands is another attractive option.

 

Hat Khlong Phrao

 

Hat Khlong Phrao

 

Laem Chaiyachet

 

Hat Kai Bae

 

Ao Khao

 

Bang Bao Fishing Village

 

Bang Bao Fishing Village

 

Naval Commemoration

 

Koh Mak

 

Ao Khao, Koh Mak

 

Resort in Koh Kut

 

Koh Kut

 

Koh Kut

 

Snorkeling at Koh Kham

 

Ao Phrao

 

Koh Kut

 

Klongprao Beach

 

Hat Khlong Phrao

 

Koh Chang

 

Thai Cooking School

 

Bird Eye View of Koh Chang

 

Attractions in Koh Chang

Ban Salak Phet and Ban Rong Than

These fishing villages are located on the southwest of Koh Chang. Secluded Salak Phet has long provided a shelter for storm-lashed fishing boats to batten down their hatches. Nowadays, the village is popular for its abundance of fresh seafood and home-stay accommodation, where visitors can get a real feel for living (and fishing) like a local. It's also possible to charter inexpensive boats to go out exploring or snorkeling.

Hat Sai Yao

This scenic spot is situated in the south, not far from Ao Salak Phet. Hat Sai Yao is a long sandy beach ideal for swimming. There's also a great vantage point which overlooks the Koh Chang Naval Battle and other islands such as Koh Laoya and Koh Wai , as well as the fishing hamlet of Ao Salak Phet.

Namtok Khiri Phet

Located 3 km. through a rubber plantation from the Salak Phet community, this single- tier waterfall is the centrepiece of a verdant tableau embroidered with wild orchids and Thai herbs.

Namtok Khlong Phlu

The entrance to this triple-tier waterfall is about 3 km. from Ao Khlong Phrao. From there it's a 500-metre jaunt through the forest. The most beautiful spot is up at the top, where there's a large pool for visitors to cool down by taking a dip.

Namtok Khlong Nonsi

Situated in the north of Koh Chang, you have to pass through Ban Dan Mai, rubber plantations and orchards to reach this small waterfall. Visiting this crystalline cascade is not recommended during the hot season when it dries up.

Hat Khlong Phrao and Laem Chaiyachet

This long beach connects with Hat Kai Bae and Hat Sai Khao and comes well equipped with many bungalows and resorts, and offers swimming and sunbathing opportunities galore. The north of Ao Khlong Phrao is connected to Ao Chaiyachet and Laem Chaiyachet, a rocky cape stretching into the sea, while Laem Chaiyachet is an ideal and romantic spot to watch the sunset, though swimmers should exercise caution.

Hat Kai Bae

Connected with Hat Khlong Phrao, it has a sloping beach suitable for swimming. Visitors should also take note that the cape has an excellent spectrum of bargain bungalows and more expensive resorts.

Hat Kai Bae

 

Namtok Than Mayom

Among the island's waterfalls, Than Mayom, which has three separate cascades, is particularly photogenic.

Hat Sai Khao

A long beach with powdery white sand and perfectly safe swimming conditions, the island's prime piece of real estate and relaxation boasts an incredible range of accommodation. You can have all the luxury and amenities you want, but still enjoy the idyllic, palm-fringed beaches, and serene water.

Ao Bai Lan

Next to Hat Kai Bae, about 1 km. if you take the bike trail winding along under cliffs and mountains, this bay offers some fantastic scenery. Ao Bai Lan is also an ideal place for getting some peace and tranquility. If you're looking for more affordable accommodation, this is the place for you.

Hat Tha Nam (Lonely Beach)

In recent years, the name of this beach has become a misnomer. It's now filled with younger travelers looking to party and stay in some strange accommodation like tree houses. During the rainy season, however, from May through October, it gets a lot more solitary.

Bang Bao Fishing Village

This is an atmospheric village built on wooden stilts jutting up out of the sea. All the houses are connected by wooden walkways. The fisher folks' lifestyle and all the succulent seafood arc two lures for tourists. Nowadays, you can really wade in for some cultural immersion by booking a home-stay with the villagers . Another bonus is chartering a vessel to cruise around the archipelago.

Naval Battleground

Situated on the south of Koh Chang near Ao Salak Phet is the Naval Battleground. On 17 January, 1941, the Thai and French navies battled over a border dispute. Even today, there are buoys showing the position of the sunken Royal Thai Navy's ships. Each year, during the festival to commemorate the Thai victory, government agencies make religious merit by floating garlands on the sea in bonour of those who perished during the battle.

Diving Opportunities

For water sports, snorkeling and scuba-diving reign supreme. Some of the most popular dive sites in the area are off the island's southern tip. Between here and Koh Kut, the underwater explorer will find much of interest, like seamounts abounding with coral, and a Thai warship sunk by the French during a territorial dispute over these waters back in 1941. The ever-growing number of dive shops on the island can also tutor you in scuba-diving, and provide different PADI courses. To get certified as a diver takes around three to four days, and costs 10,000 baht. If you'd prefer not to splash out that kind of money and time, then try one of the all-day snorkeling trips to Koh Rang (renowned for its shallow reefs and diversity of fish); they range from 400 to 600 baht.

Several dive operators located at the island's famous beaches such as Hat Sai Khao, Hat Kai Bae, Hat Khlong Phrao, and Ban Bang Bao offer a variety of courses and day trips, as well as renting and selling equipment.

 

Other islands of interest

Koh Mak

The island may only be 16 square kilometres, but its natural attractions loom large in the eyes of visitors. Indeed, this sand- fringed island makes for a great, romantic hideaway. The majority of the resorts are located on the island's northwest and southwest bays, where the most breathtaking beaches are located. Since it does not have the mountainous topography of Koh Chang, the island also boasts many coconut and rubber plantations.

For accommodation, visitors must book a package tour, usually three days and two nights . Besides the more ritzy options. like Koh Mak Coco-Cape (Tel. 0 2711 2058)with bungalows in the 3,000-baht-a-night range, there are some places with basic, inexpensive huts and mid-range bungalows, such as TK Huts (Tel. 0 3952 1631) which has lodgings for 100 to 350 baht. These operations are more amenable to non-package tourists.

Koh Mak

 

Koh Kut

This is similar to the former island in that it's mostly for upscale tourists who have already pre-booked a package deal, though several mid-range bungalow operations opened in 2004. Its geography, however, is much more like Koh Chang: humpbacked with hills covered in lush rainforest. The island also has its fair share of pleasant beaches, and the visually appealing Namtok Khlong Chao, the beautiful waterfall which has a pool at the bottom where you can swim in the midst of verdant jungle to the melodies of birdsong and insect chatter.

The accommodation on this island is largely devoted to package tourists, pre-booking several nights at a time, which also saves you about 30 to 40 percent on the normal walk-in rates. Most of the resorts offer similar facilities for similar rates, around 2,500 per night, if you book in advance. Try Peter Pan Resort and Captain Hook Resort, Tel. 0 2966 1800; Ko Kut Cabana  Tel. 0 3952 2955; Kut Island Resort Tel. 0 2374 3004; or Khlong Jaew Resort Tel. 0 3952 0337.

Koh Kut

 

Koh Wai

The island beckons for a more castaway kind of beach experience, offering two sun-splashed beaches and basic hut-like accommodation. Most beaches are full of stones. But there is some great snorkeling to be found on the shallow reefs off the beaches. The island is also the best source for fishing. And for sheer, easy-going, hassle-free contentment, this enchanting island is hard to beat.

Koh Kham

It takes two and a half hours to get to this small island beside Koh Mak. Its allure is based on the tropical trinity of greenery, white sand, and clear water. It also has a wonderful coral reef for fish-spotting. In addition, visitors can rent boats to go to Koh Mak.

Koh Kham

 

Koh Ngam

The island is situated to the south of Koh Chang and consists of two floating land masses connected by a huge sand knoll. The little bay formed by the two arms of a mountain stretching into the sea is especially picturesque and protects the area from storms. By boat, it takes two hours to get here from Laem Ngop.

Koh Phrao

Off the southern flank of Koh Chang sits this pretty island, located some two hours from Laem Ngop. Koh Phrao is noteworthy for its calm atmosphere and serene seaside, not to mention it's lush with coconut groves. There is one resort, Long Reach Island Resort, and it only offers full-board packages.

Koh Kra and Koh Rang

Situated to the west of Koh Mak, these islands boast some deep coral reefs, and striking underwater rock formations. Many islanders also make money from concessions for swallows' nests, sea turtle eggs, and bat guano. A number of officers from the Mu Koh Chang National Park are stationed here.

Koh Kradat

Another green gem in the island's tiara, Kradat has a long beach encircling the island, and water that has a wealth of sunken, sight-seeing pleasures in the form of coral reefs. Its name taken from a plant in the Aracaea family, the island is only such one to have had a land title deed since the period of King Rama V, when the French were colonising Southeast Asia, and attempted to seize Kradat as well, but failed.

Koh Man Nok/Koh Man Nai

These small islands have no accommodation available, but are worth a stopover on a watery day trip. During low tide, beaches appear around the islands, the water is quite shallow, and there's plenty of golden seaweed. The two islands are located opposite Hat Kai Bae on Koh Chang's western coast.

Koh Chang Noi

To the north of Koh Chang is its tiny twin, which makes a splendid spot for snorkeling. There is no accommodation on the island as construction is forbidden, but you can still charter a boat to visit here.

 

Koh Kut

Accommodation in Koh Chang

Koh Chang offers accommodation in all price ranges, from luxury resorts to basic bungalows. Visitors stay in beautiful big bungalows in a coconut grove, wooden huts on a rocky outcrop surrounded by beach, some eye-catching bungalows with a sauna, Jacuzzi, and many healthy services, or at boutique resorts. A list of hotels and resorts can be obtained from the TAT Central Region Office: Region 5 Tel. 0 3959 7255, 0 3959 7259-60 or Website: www.tourismthailand.org

In front off Cliff Cottage, Ko Chang

 

Koh Chang

Restaurants in Koh Chang

You've never starved for eating choices on any of these islands. Almost every single resort has a restaurant attached to it, and the mixed menus of Thai and Western cuisine are usually pretty similar. In fact, these resorts usually make more money off the restaurants than the rooms. So expect to pay more than you would on the mainland, but all in all , the prices are on a par with other islands like Koh Samui and Koh Samet. For a change of diet, try the Invito Italian Restaurant on Hat Sai Khao, which has a wood-fired oven for making pizza. They also do deliveries within the area. Tel. 0 3955 1326. For delectable Indian dishes, try the first such restaurant on the island, Spices of India, also on Hat Sai Khao. Another classy choice is the Salakphet Seafood and Resort, which overlooks the bay of the same name.

Finally, if you'd like some hands-on practice at cooking up Thai staples and delicacies, book a class at the cooking school in the Blue Lagoon Khlong Phrao.

The island's nightlife is nowhere near as pulsating as it is on Koh Chang's more developed cousins like Koh Samui and Phuket, but it has picked up in recent years, mostly around the more popular beach areas, while younger travelers prefer the revelry down on Lonely Beach, or Hat Tha Nam. For live music, head over to Oodie's Place on Hat Sai Khao. Koh Chang also has a lot of superb seafood restaurants and a wide variety of eateries specialising in Western and Thai dishes, too.

 

Medical service in Koh Chang

Koh Chang International Clinic

The clinic offers hotel calls, medical evacuation, and an ambulance service. It is located on Hat Sai Khao, opposite the Ban Pu Resort, and open 24 hours. Tel . 0 3955 1151-2, or for emergencies Tel. 0 1863 3609.

 

 

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Thailand private tours, Bangkok private tours, Chiang Mai private tours, Ayutthaya..., ..., Thai private tour guide,
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