Koh Chang Island
Koh Chang, situated in the Gulf of Thailand, just a short hop from Bangkok, is one of the country’s best kept tourism secrets. An island of idyllic beaches, first-rate hotels and typically sumptuous Thai cuisine, Koh Chang is a paradise surrounded by emerald waters and kissed by stunning sunsets.
The largest island in the Koh Chang National Marine Park and unknown to even a lot of Thai nationals, the second largest of the country’s islands after Phuket is the very definition of unspoilt. Koh Chang’s tourism industry is driven by a commitment to conservation of the natural beauty of the surrounding area and visitors can really get a feel for this approach on any of the island’s pristine beaches.
Koh Chang remains a paradise of quiet, clean beaches framed by coconut trees and clear blue waters. The ongoing development of the island as a tourist destination means that building work is present, but not intrusive. Koh Chang’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage site has ensured that commercial growth has not been at the expense of the island’s natural beauty.
The perfect white sand beaches, verdant mountainsides and deep blue sea of Koh Chang provide a stunning backdrop for a holiday, which can be as active or as downright lazy as you like. Koh Chang is home to wonderful water sports, with the emerald waters providing inspirational scuba diving while a fun and different way to see the island is by kayak or canoe.
In addition to the natural beauty of its marine park, Koh Chang offers some fantastic days out and activities which contrast with the peace and quiet of its perfect beaches. Several pretty inland waterfalls are easily accessible while elephant trekking among the island’s central mountains is a fun excursion for all ages. For the gourmet, Koh Chang is also home to two highly-rated Thai cookery schools which offer basic and advanced courses to suit chefs of all abilities.
Access to Koh Chang is by a short ferry ride from nearby Trat on the mainland, home to the province’s airport. The fact that the island can only be reached by sea adds to the feeling of exclusivity and privacy that visitors enjoy on the paradise beaches here. Entry to Thailand is via Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, which serves flights to destinations worldwide.