Ko Chang (Thai: เกาะช้าง, pronounced [kɔ̀ʔ tɕʰáːŋ], also Koh Chang) is the second largest island of Thailand (largest island in the Ko Chang Marine Park archipelago), located on the Thai east coast 310 km away from Bangkok near the border to Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. The name means Elephant Island. Ko Chang was named for the elephant shape of its headland, although elephants are not indigenous to the island. At present, there are eight villages in total. It is a mountainous island and Khao Salak Phet is the highest peak of all at 744 metres. The island is known for several waterfalls, thriving coral reefs and rainforests. The island has an area of approximately 217 square kilometers.
Klong Plu (น้ำตกคลองพลู) - the most popular, and the only one on the west side of the island. Namtok Khlong Phlu is a large and most breathtaking waterfall on Ko Chang with water cascading down 3 tiers of the cliff to a basin, with an entrance located 3 km. from Ao Khlong Phrao.
- Klong Nonsi - on the east side of the island
- Klong Nueng - said to be the most breathtaking
- Khiri Petch - medium sized, about 3 kilometers from Salak Petch village
- Kongoi - 5 waterfalls near Bangbao
- The Thanmayom - near Thanmayom pier
Ban Salak Phet (บ้านสลักเพชร) the largest and oldest community on Ko Chang located in the southern part. The villagers’ main occupation is coastal fishery in an advantageous area sheltered from winds and storms by islands and mountains. There is an old temple in front of the village known as Wat Salak Phet built in the reign of King Rama V on his royal visit to the island. Ao Salak Phet is the largest bay on the island.
Bang Bao Fishery Village at Bang Bao Beach(หมู่บ้านประมงบางเบ้า) a village of houses on stilts built into the sea with bridges connecting them together. The villagers still live a simple way of life earning their living from coastal fishery. In the vicinity there is an abundance of cuttlefish and corals.
Ao Bai Lan (อ่าวใบลาน) located next to Hat Kai Bae and accessible by a pathway across the mountain has a scenic view of mountains along the way.
Hat Kai Bae (หาดไก่แบ้) a sloping and long stretch of beach connecting with Hat Khlong Phrao, suitable for swimming.
Hat Khlong Phrao- Laem Chaiyachet (หาดคลองพร้าว-แหลมไชยเชษฐ์) a long stretch of sloping beach connecting with Hat Kai Bae where swimming is possible. The northernmost end of Ao Khlong Phrao connects with Laem Chaiyachet with a scenic rocky cape but swimming is not possible. Laem Chaichet nestling between White Sand and Klong Prao beaches is a popular place to see the sunset and admire Klong Prao’s natural surroundings. Activities to do here include: snorkeling, kayaking and fishing.
White Sand Beach is one of the island’s longest beaches that attracts a lot of visitors. At the back or the beach are orchards of coconut trees and forests.
Hiking on Ko Chang is popular due to the natural pristine surroundings including waterfalls, especially the routes Klong Son to Kai Bae and Kai Bae to Bang Bao.
Mountain bikes are available to rent at Hat Sai Khao and Hat Kaibae.
Elephant Trekking is possible at the Ban Kwan Chang Elephant Camp at Klong Son, it is supported by the Asian Elephant Foundation to provide a natural environment for elephants and their mahouts.
Canoeing through the mangrove forests is most popular.
Diving & Snorkeling
The area may not have the best diving site in Thailand but it is still worth it. There are quite a lot of courses around of various different skills. For e.g.: Koh Lond, Hin Kuak Maa, Hin Luk Bath, Hin Rap South, Hin Run Tek, Ship Wreck.
Ko Chang has plenty of spas comprising of various forms of massage, aromatherapy, herbal scrub, and reflexology. Spa service is found at many of the top resorts and hotels.
Besides its seafood, Trat province is also renowned for its tropical fruits during the months of April to July, they include: rambutan, durian and pineapples.
Located in Nam Chieo district is a cottage industry which produces ‘ngop’ (traditional Thai farming hat).
Nightlife & Drink
Koh Chang nightlife and bar scene is constantly developing, there are a number of nice bars and restaurants to enjoy at. Other than that Ko Chang is not, unlike some of the islands down south, famed for its nightlife.
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