Where to Stay on Koh Chang? Koh Chang isn’t a small island and all the beaches have a different vibe. So deciding which beach to stay on is the most important choice once you have desired to visit the island. So before you...read more...
Your Travel Guide to Koh Chang
Koh Chang, part of the Mu Koh Chang Marine National Park, is the largest and most popular of the islands in eastern Thailand. It is Thailand's third largest island but is nowhere near as developed or bustling as the two largest - Phuket and Samui. It is far less touristy and far less well-known.
This means Koh Chang is definitely worth visiting if you want to avoid the crowds. There are some great beaches, a good range of accommodation and a wide choice of restaurants and bars.
The site is updated regularly and at the time of writing has over 1,400 pages of photos and information. Pretty much all of it about Koh Chang, Koh Kood and Koh Mak. Hopefully some of it will be useful to you when it comes to planning your next holiday to the island.
But that's a lot of information, so here are the highlights.
Where to start?
You're almost certainly coming to Koh Chang for a beach holiday. (Even if you're a digital nomad , you'll want to spend some time at the beach)
So, here's a brief run down of the island's main beaches. These are all on the west coast, with White Sand beach in the north and Lonely beach in the south. In between, you have Klong Prao - the longest beach on the island and Kai Bae beach.
Bear in mind that each beach has a different atmosphere. So there isn't necessarily a best beach on Koh Chang. Everyone has their own opinion about that. :-)
There are other, quieter, beach areas on the island and you'll learn more about them in the Island Guide which covers all corners of Koh Chang, not just the main beaches.
White Sand Beach
The closest to the ferry piers and by far the most touristy beach on the island. Everything you need is within easy walking distance of your resort. Accommodation is mostly 2-3 star resorts on the beach, the exceptions being KC Grande Resort and Kacha Resort. There's a wide choice of restaurants, plus beer bars, the ubiquitous Irish pub and numerous other watering holes.
Klong Prao Beach
The longest beach on Koh Chang and cut in three by a large river estuary in the centre of the beach and a much smaller one near the south. Here you'll find accommodation mostly in larger resorts. The south end of the beach is home to some of the best resorts on the island Emerald Cove Resort, Centrara Tropicana and The Dewa. In the centre of the beach there are two longstanding budget huts - KP Huts and Tiger Hut.
There are relatively few resorts for the length of beach and so it's easy to walk a few minutes and find a quiet spot to swim even in peak season. The village is a few minutes walk form the south of the beach. Near the north end, you'll find plenty of small shops and restaurants clustered on the roadside.
Kai Bae Beach
Kai Bae is also a beach of two halves. The south having by far the best stretch of sand. But the northern have having three of the islands best resorts adjacent to each other - The Chill, Gajapuri Resort and AWA Resort. All are excellent places to stay but the actual beach outside them isn't great..
The southern section is where you'll find locally owned bungalow resorts eg KB Resort, Kai Bae Hut, Kai Bae Beach Resort. These have expanded over the years and now offer a good 3* standard of accommodation. The main road lies at the back of the resorts and is lined with small shops and restaurants. But unlike White Sand beach, it has a bit more charm and is less commercial.
The original backpacker beach on Koh Chang. Although it is now moving more upmarket. There are only four places to stay actually on the beach itself. Most accommodation is a few minutes walk south in a busy built up area. This is also home to a lot of cheap guesthouses and huts. But the area is moving more upmarket with Nest Sense and Warapura Resort being the picks of places to stay. And Oasis and Little Eden being very popular with 'flashpackers'.
Places to Stay
I've mentioned a few places to stay above. But I've also written some handy guides on accommodation on Koh Chang which cover different types of places.
If you want to avoid reading through the hundreds of reviews on this site then just go to this extensive rundown of the the best accommodation on Koh Chang. This covers everything from 5 star resorts and pool villas to guesthouses and simple beach huts.
You'll find all types of accommodation on the island. For visitors on a tight budget there are some great hostels
Or for those of you who want to avoid the larger resorts but enjoy some home comforts, Koh Chang has a growing number of boutique resorts. Take a look at some of the best.
Transport to Koh Chang
Having decided on a holiday on the island and checked out a few hotels, all that remains is to figure out how to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok or elsewhere. Whether you plan on travelling by bus, plane or private car or minibus, you'll find all the information you need in the Transport section.
In brief, if you are on a budget then there are regular bus services from Ekamai Bus Station, Bangkok to the mainland ferry piers. Or you can book tickets for a shared minibus that would pick you up from your hotel in Bangkok or Pattaya and drop you off at your hotel on Koh Chang.
Private transfers by car or van are also easy to arrange for couples, groups or families who want to get here with the minimum of hassle.
If you plan on flying, Bangkok Airways has 3 or 4 flights a day to Trat Airport, from where Koh Chang is a short minibus and ferry ride away. As you'll see from the guide, passengers can easily take a minibus direct from Trat Airport to their hotel on Koh Chang.
There's also a useful page on getting around Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, which is the entry point to Thailand for most western tourists. Learn the layout of the airport and the best place to exchange money, how to get into the city centre or direct to Koh Chang etc.
The boats to Koh Chang are all large car ferries, gone are the days of wooden passenger boats. These run from 06:00 - 19:30 daily throughout the year and depart from two piers on the mainland. Detailed timetables and information can be found on this bus and boat timetable page.
An ever increasing number of people are combining Koh Chang with a trip to Cambodia, either to Angkor Wat or the islands in the south. Fortunately, getting to Koh Chang from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh is relatively simple nowadays. You'll find more on this in the transport section.
What to Do on Koh Chang
For many people a holiday is just about lazing in the sunshine and enjoying sunset cocktails. But there's plenty to do away from the pool and beach.
There are numerous activities to keep you occupied when you aren't sunning yourself. Including jungle trekking, snorkeling boat trips, jungle trekking, cooking classes, ATV riding, treetop adventure park, massage, scuba diving courses and elephant trekking.
And if you want to explore the interior of the island, grab a scooter and head off to discover various waterfalls which can easily be reached on foot. Or take a tough hike to the top of one of the mountains.
Afterwards, you may well need and inexpensive Thai massage to soothe your aching limbs.
Hopefully, you'll have a safe, enjoyable holiday on Koh Chang. But don't forget to check out the Health & Medical Care page for some tips of avoiding illness and also getting treatment should you fall sick or have a scooter accident on the island.
Koh Kood, Koh Mak and Koh Wai
These include include essential information on boats to the islands, the best beaches, accommodation and what to see and do on the islands. They are all worth visiting if you have time and all have a very different vibe than Koh Chang.
About This Site
We've lived on the island since 2003 and in addition to running this site also have a small guesthouse, 'Baan Rim Nam' on Klong Prao beach which, as of mid-2020, is being rebuilt. Hopefully we'll be open by the end of the year, assuming that there are some tourists visiting Koh Chang by then.
Tweet or message me if you need any specific information you can't find on the site.
Coronavirus / Covid-19 Update
16 May - No cases reported on Koh Chang or in Trat province.
Thailand is now starting to come out of lockdown as there are now zero or very few new cases daily. There have been just 55 deaths in the Kingdom from coronavirus (less than the number that die in road accidents on any day of the year.)
So it's quite surreal for expats here to read the news about the situation in Europe and the US.
Trat province is one of only 9 provinces which has had no reported cases of covid19. The roads into the province were been shut down to non-residents and no outsiders - except those making deliveries or who have business here - were allowed to enter.
On Koh Chang many hotels and businesses are closed and most restaurants are only doing take-away or home delivery services only. Trips and tours all stopped running back in March.
At present there isn't any news regarding when tourists will be allowed to travel to the island again.
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