Thailand - Getting to know Koh Chang
Koh Chang, Thailand’s second largest island, is a four hour drive (thereabouts) followed by a short ferry ride from Bangkok. Nestled within a marine national park, there is ample opportunity for underwater exploration, and the island’s jungle covered interior is favourable for trekking.
If you’re looking for evening entertainment, head to Koh Chang’s west coast, notably White Sand Beach, where there are a number of beachfront restaurants and bars. For a taste of old-school island life visit the fishing villages on the quieter southeast coast or explore the mangrove forests of Ban Salak Phet and Ban Salak Kok.
Whilst the island has experienced an increasing amount of development in the last 20 years, particularly on the west coast, it’s still low-key compared with Thailand’s well-known beach resorts of Phuket and Koh Samui, and the lack of a domestic airport keeps most package holidaymakers away. Due to its proximity to the capital, Koh Chang is also popular with Thais looking for a break from the sweltering city at weekends.
Looking for a quieter island?
- KOH KOOD. Despite being Thailand’s 5th largest island, Koh Kood is one of its least visited. Located just to the south of the larger, better-known island of Koh Chang and close to the Cambodian border, Koh Kood is accessible, yet feels wonderfully remote and untouched. Expect idyllic, deserted beaches and hidden bays, clear waters and a handful of fishing communities. Accommodation is limited: the most stunning property on the island (and one of the finest in Thailand) is the super-deluxe and ultra-private Soneva Kiri.
- KOH MAK. Small (just 16 square km), but perfectly formed, the sleepy island of Koh Mak is covered by coconut and rubber plantations, fringed with white sand beaches (apart from the east coast where the sand is more red) and calm, shallow water. The island is privately owned by a handful of local families and, as a result, development has been low key and carefully managed with only a small number of tourist bungalows and boutique resorts. Lazing on the beach is by far the most popular way to pass the time.
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