Koh Chang: Discovering The Natural Beauty in A Paradise for Beach Lovers

Koh Chang: Discovering The Natural Beauty in A Paradise for Beach Lovers

Koh Chang is a large island located in the Gulf of Thailand, near the border with Cambodia. It is part of the Trat Province in eastern Thailand and is known for its beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests, and diverse marine life. Koh Chang is the second-largest island in Thailand after Phuket and is a popular tourist destination for those looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway. The island is easily accessible by ferry from the mainland and has a range of accommodation options, from basic guesthouses to luxury resorts. The island’s beaches are regularly ranked among the best in the world, with crystal-clear waters and white sand.

Short History

The history of Koh Chang can be traced back to the Ayutthaya period in Thailand’s history, when the island was used as a base for naval operations against the Khmer Empire. During the 19th century, the island was used as a prison for political prisoners, but was later abandoned due to its remote location.

In the early 20th century, Koh Chang was discovered by French colonial officials who established a rubber plantation on the island. After World War II, the island was returned to Thailand and the plantation was abandoned.

In the 1970s, Koh Chang was discovered by backpackers and became a popular destination for budget travelers. The island’s tourism industry continued to grow throughout the following decades, with new resorts and restaurants popping up to cater to a more upscale clientele.

Today, Koh Chang remains a popular tourist destination, known for its natural beauty, pristine beaches, and laid-back vibe.


Koh Chang is not particularly known for its architecture, as it is primarily a natural paradise with a focus on eco-tourism. However, there are still some interesting examples of architecture on the island, such as traditional wooden houses and shops, as well as modern concrete buildings that have been built to accommodate the island’s growing tourism industry.

One notable example of traditional architecture is the Ban Salak Phet village, located on the southeastern coast of the island. The village is known for its wooden houses built on stilts, which are a common feature of many traditional Thai villages.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards eco-friendly architecture on the island, with a number of hotels and resorts designed to blend in with the natural environment. For example, the Siam Beach Resort, located on the northern tip of the island, is built using sustainable materials such as bamboo and thatch, and features open-air bungalows that allow guests to feel connected to the surrounding jungle.

Overall, while Koh Chang may not be known for its architecture, visitors can still appreciate the unique blend of traditional and modern styles that can be found on the island.

Museums and Galleries

Unfortunately, there are no museums or galleries on Koh Chang that are dedicated to the island’s history or culture. As mentioned earlier, the focus of the island is primarily on natural beauty and eco-tourism. However, visitors can still find a number of interesting activities to do on the island, such as hiking through the lush rainforest, exploring the many waterfalls, and enjoying the pristine beaches. In addition, there are a number of local markets and street vendors that offer unique handicrafts and souvenirs for visitors to take home as a memento of their time on Koh Chang. While there may not be any museums or galleries to visit, the island’s natural beauty and laid-back vibe make it a perfect destination for those looking to relax and unwind in a tropical paradise.

Landmarks and Monuments

Koh Chang is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, and while it may not be known for its cultural or historical landmarks, it is still home to a number of interesting sites and attractions that are worth visiting.

  • Khlong Phlu Waterfall – one of the most popular waterfalls on the island, with a stunning natural pool for swimming.
  • Than Mayom Waterfall – a series of waterfalls and natural pools, surrounded by lush jungle.
  • Klong Prao Temple – a Buddhist temple located in the heart of Koh Chang’s largest village, Klong Prao.
  • Salakphet Bay – a picturesque bay with calm waters and scenic views, perfect for swimming and boating.
  • Bang Bao Fishing Village – a traditional fishing village built on stilts over the water, with shops, restaurants, and boat tours available.
  • Mu Ko Chang National Park – a protected area covering most of the island, with hiking trails, waterfalls, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Koh Chang Naval Battle Memorial – a monument commemorating a battle that took place between the Thai and French navies in 1941.

While Koh Chang may not have many historical or cultural landmarks, its natural beauty and scenic attractions make it a must-visit destination for those looking to experience Thailand’s tropical paradise.

Parks and Green Spaces

Koh Chang is a lush island with a diverse range of ecosystems and natural beauty. Here are some of the parks and green spaces worth visiting on the island:

  • Mu Ko Chang National Park – covering most of the island, this park offers a range of hiking trails, waterfalls, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  • Klong Plu Waterfall National Park – home to the stunning Klong Plu Waterfall, with a natural pool perfect for swimming.
  • Than Mayom Waterfall National Park – a series of cascading waterfalls and natural pools surrounded by lush jungle.
  • Salak Phet Seafood and Mangrove Conservation Centre – a park and conservation area dedicated to preserving the mangrove forests and marine life in Salak Phet Bay.
  • Klong Prao Beach Park – a small park with a scenic beach and picnic areas, perfect for a relaxing day out.
  • Bang Bao Fisherman Village Park – a traditional fishing village built on stilts over the water, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and boat tours available.
  • Chai Chet Beach Park – a small park with a peaceful beach and greenery, perfect for a stroll or picnic.

Koh Chang’s parks and green spaces offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the island’s natural beauty and learn about its diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Whether you’re looking to hike through the jungle, swim in natural pools, or relax on a scenic beach, Koh Chang’s parks and green spaces have something for everyone.

Shopping Districts

Koh Chang is not known for its shopping, but there are a few areas where visitors can find souvenirs, clothing, and other items. Here are some of the shopping districts worth visiting on the island:

  • White Sand Beach – the largest and most popular shopping area on the island, with a range of shops, markets, and street vendors selling everything from souvenirs to clothing to local crafts.
  • Kai Bae Beach – a smaller shopping area with a focus on local crafts and souvenirs, as well as some clothing and convenience stores.
  • Bang Bao Fisherman Village – a traditional fishing village built on stilts over the water, with a range of shops selling souvenirs, clothing, and local crafts.
  • Klong Prao – a quiet area with a few small shops and convenience stores, perfect for picking up snacks and essentials.
  • Lonely Beach – a backpacker area with a few shops and markets selling clothing, souvenirs, and other items.

Overall, shopping is not a major draw to Koh Chang, but visitors can still find a range of souvenirs, clothing, and local crafts in these shopping districts. White Sand Beach is the largest and most popular area, but visitors looking for a more traditional shopping experience may enjoy exploring the smaller shops and markets in Kai Bae Beach and Bang Bao Fisherman Village.

Food and Drink

Koh Chang offers a variety of food and drink options, from traditional Thai dishes to fresh seafood caught right off the coast. Island is known for its unique cuisine, which features a variety of local specialties too. Here are some of the must-try foods and drinks on the island:

  • Seafood – Koh Chang is known for its fresh seafood, with a variety of restaurants offering dishes like grilled squid, fried fish, and steamed prawns. For example, seafood curry, made with fresh fish, shrimp, and a variety of spices and herbs.
  • Pad Thai – a classic Thai dish made with stir-fried rice noodles, vegetables, eggs, and a sweet and savory sauce.
  • Tom Yum soup – a spicy and sour soup made with shrimp, lemongrass, and other aromatic ingredients.
  • Green Curry – a spicy and flavorful Thai curry made with coconut milk, green chilies, and a variety of herbs and spices.
  • Massaman curry – a mild and flavorful curry made with beef or chicken and a variety of vegetables.
  • Grilled squid – a popular street food snack on the island.
  • Mango Sticky Rice – a sweet and refreshing dessert made with fresh mango, sticky rice, and coconut milk.
  • Chang Beer – a popular beer in Thailand, known for its crisp and refreshing taste.
  • Coconut Shake – a refreshing drink made with fresh coconut, ice, and sugar, perfect for cooling down on a hot day.
  • Thai Iced Tea – a sweet and creamy tea made with black tea, condensed milk, and sugar, served over ice.

Koh Chang offers a variety of food and drink options that are sure to satisfy any taste buds. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some fresh seafood and classic Thai dishes while enjoying the island’s beautiful scenery.


Koh Chang is easily accessible from Bangkok, with regular flights and buses running to the island. Once on the island, there are a variety of transportation options available, including motorbikes, taxis, and songthaews, which are open-air trucks that operate as public transportation. The island is also small enough to explore on foot or by bicycle, making it easy to get around and explore at your own pace. There are some ways to get around Koh Chang, explained in more detail:

  • Motorbike: Renting a motorbike is a popular and affordable way to get around the island. The roads on Koh Chang are well-maintained, and a motorbike allows for flexibility and the ability to explore at your own pace.
  • Taxi: Taxis are readily available on the island and can be a convenient way to get around if you prefer not to drive yourself. Taxis are generally priced by the destination and can be negotiated with the driver.
  • Songthaew: These shared trucks are a common mode of transportation in Thailand and can be a fun and inexpensive way to get around Koh Chang. Songthaews typically operate on set routes and can be flagged down from the side of the road.
  • Bicycle: Renting a bicycle is another option for those who prefer a more eco-friendly mode of transportation. While the terrain on Koh Chang can be hilly, biking can be a great way to explore the island and take in the scenery.
  • Private Car: If you prefer a more comfortable and private mode of transportation, hiring a private car or driver can be a good option. This can be more expensive than other modes of transportation, but can provide added convenience and comfort.

The best way to get around Koh Chang will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Whether you prefer to drive yourself or rely on public transportation, there are plenty of options to choose from.


Overall, Koh Chang is a safe destination for travelers. Crime rates on the island are relatively low, and most visitors have a trouble-free experience. However, as with any destination, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety.

Some tips to stay safe in Koh Chang include:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded or touristy areas.
  • Keep your valuables, such as your passport and money, in a secure location.
  • Use caution when swimming in the ocean and follow any posted warnings or advisories.
  • Avoid excessive drinking or drug use, as these can increase your vulnerability and impair your judgment.
  • If you plan to rent a motorbike, make sure you are comfortable and experienced with driving one, and always wear a helmet.

By following these simple tips and exercising common sense, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Koh Chang.

Expensive or Cheap

Koh Chang is generally considered to be an affordable destination for travelers. However, prices can vary depending on the season and the type of accommodation, activities, and dining options you choose.

In general, budget accommodation on the island starts around 300-500 baht per night, while mid-range options range from 1,000-2,500 baht per night. High-end hotels and resorts can cost 5,000 baht or more per night.

Food prices can also vary widely, with street food and local restaurants offering affordable options for as little as 50-100 baht per meal. Western-style restaurants and higher-end dining options can cost 200-500 baht or more per meal.

Activities such as island tours, snorkeling, and other water sports can also vary in price, but there are often affordable options available. Motorbike rentals start around 200-300 baht per day, with discounts for longer rental periods.

Overall, Koh Chang can be a budget-friendly destination for travelers, but costs can add up depending on your preferences and activities. It’s always a good idea to research and plan your budget ahead of time to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

Date Ideas

Koh Chang, Thailand is a beautiful destination that offers a range of activities for couples to enjoy together. Here are some date ideas to consider:

  • Sunset Cruise – Experience the beauty of the sunset while cruising around the island.
  • Waterfall Hike – Hike to the island’s stunning waterfalls and cool off in the refreshing pools.
  • Snorkeling – Explore the vibrant coral reefs and marine life of the island’s surrounding waters.
  • Cooking Class – Learn how to cook traditional Thai cuisine together in a fun and interactive class.
  • Thai Massage – Relax and unwind with a couples massage at one of the island’s many spas.
  • Beach Picnic – Pack a basket and enjoy a romantic picnic on one of the island’s many beautiful beaches.
  • Island Tour – Discover the island’s rich culture and history on a guided tour.
  • Night Market – Stroll through the bustling night market and try delicious street food.
  • Yoga – Connect with each other and the island’s natural beauty with a couples yoga class.
  • Kayaking – Paddle around the island’s stunning coastline and enjoy the tranquility of the sea.

Koh Chang offers a range of activities for couples to enjoy together, whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or romance. With its beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, and rich culture, there’s no shortage of date ideas to make your trip unforgettable.

Fun and Interesting Facts

Koh Chang is a beautiful island located in the Gulf of Thailand, known for its pristine beaches, lush jungles, and crystal-clear waters. With a history dating back to the early 19th century, Koh Chang has long been an important part of Thailand’s history and culture. Today, it is a popular tourist destination, attracting travelers from all over the world who come to enjoy its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. Here are some fun and interesting facts about Koh Chang:

  • Koh Chang is the second largest island in Thailand, after Phuket.
  • The island is part of a national marine park, and is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, monkeys, macaques, gibbons, monitor lizards, and over 200 rare bird species.
  • The island is part of the Mu Koh Chang National Park, which covers over 50 islands in the Gulf of Thailand.
  • The island’s name translates to “Elephant Island”, due to the shape of the island resembling an elephant’s head. This was first inhabited by the Chao Leh, or sea gypsies, who used the island as a stopover on their voyages between Thailand and Malaysia.
  • Koh Chang has over 50km of coastline, with numerous beaches and bays to explore.
  • The island was once a base for pirates, who used its hidden bays to ambush passing ships.
  • Koh Chang has a rich history, dating back to the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 17th century.
  • The island later became an important trading hub for fishermen and merchants, and in the early 20th century it was developed as a center for the rubber trade.
  • During World War II, Koh Chang played a significant role in the Allied effort against the Japanese, serving as a base for the Royal Thai Navy and hosting a number of military operations.
  • The island’s interior is covered in lush rainforest, with several waterfalls to discover.
  • Koh Chang is a popular destination for water sports enthusiasts, with activities such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking and paddleboarding.
  • The island is home to several traditional fishing villages, where visitors can experience local life and culture.
  • Koh Chang has a vibrant nightlife scene, with beach bars and clubs that stay open late into the night.

In conclusion, Koh Chang is a beautiful and fascinating destination that offers a wide range of activities and experiences for visitors. From its stunning beaches and lush rainforest, to its rich history and culture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on this tropical paradise. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or just a fun time, Koh Chang is definitely worth a visit.