Koh Chang Thailand
Koh Chang Thailand is one of the largest islands in Thailand and sits alongside the east coast in the Trat Province. The island is a refreshing, less commercial option for an island stay compared to the likes of Phuket or Koh Samui. The bright white sandy beaches are peaceful, clean, and often totally deserted.
How to Get to Koh Chang
The easiest way to get to Koh Chang is either by bus or minivan. Local buses depart Bangkok, from Ekamai and Moh Chit bus stations, as well as Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). The journey takes around 5 hours and costs around 250 baht. Minibus tickets aimed at tourists can be purchased at any travel agent in Bangkok and often cost a little more than the local buses but are also more comfortable.
Transport on The Island
Due to its large size, getting around Koh Chang can be more expensive compared with other islands in Thailand, not to mention taxi and songthaew prices being significantly higher than most other areas of Thailand.
There are several small village areas set up along each of the main beaches, each with a mix of hotels, guesthouses, small restaurants and a mini-mart, so if you are happy to stay in the one area for most of your stay then transport isn't an issue. If you are keen to check other areas of the island, then hiring a motorbike is an easy and inexpensive means of transport between the villages and beaches.
The island offers a range of activities from scuba diving, snorkelling, trekking, bicycle tours, charter sailing boats, kayaking as well as many beautiful waterfall and jungle treks and beach areas. With the many different areas to stay on the island, I have outlined some of the main beach areas to give you a bit of an idea as to which beach would be best suited to you.
North White Sand Beach
This beach is one the busiest beach areas on the island, with many hotels, restaurants, bars, clothing shops and tour agents along the main road. The area is friendly, and the beach is bright white and often dotted with people tanning in the high season.
South White Sand Beach
This area is quieter than the north, and accommodation here is less expensive than that of the north. The beach along this stretch is not as nice, with a rocky outlook meeting the waves.
North Long Prao Beach
This area is home to many hotels and less expensive smaller resorts and guesthouses. The beach is clean and there are fewer travel agents and clothing shops set up in the area.
South Klong Prao Beach
If your looking to stay in a large, upmarket resort then the South Klong Prao Beach area is mostly best suited to you. The beach here is wide, and usually fairly deserted, and there are mini-marts, clothing stores, as well as temples all within a short distance from one another. The crowd here is more upmarket, couples, and you won't often see backpackers in the area.
The lonely beach area is popular with backpackers due to its large range of budget hostels and huts. The streets are lined with inexpensive open are restaurants, bars, clothing shops and tattoo parlours and the vibe here is laid back and welcoming.
Koh Chang is a relaxing and refreshing stay and lacks that overly commercial feel that the islands in the South of Thailand have. With the weather being similar to that of Bangkok, the best months to go are between November and February (March to May is the hottest season, and June to October is the wet season). The beaches are some of the least crowded in all of Thailand, even in the high season, you find an area all to yourself.
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