There’s only one place on Koh Chang where you can paddle a kayak to see elephants. So this is for anyone staying around Klong Prao beach and who wants to see something other than ocean when they go out for a paddle.
All you have to do is follow the estuary in the centre of the beach inland. Once you get past Aana Resort the main river sweeps round to the left into a lagoon and on the right you will see a smaller channel. Take this. Head around 500-600 metres upstream. You are heading to the bend in the river where Baan Chang Thai elephant camp brings their elephants to swim with visitors taking an elephant trek. It’s easy to spot, as you come around a sharp right hand turn you will see the wooden platform where people get on and off the elephants on the right hand side.
Whilst you have probably seen elephants before, it’s a very different when you are in a small boat and they surface out of the water a few metres in front of you. But don’t get too close. Give them space. If you have a camera be prepared to hide it quickly as the mahouts like to get the elephants to spray you as they are walking back along the river bed to the camp.
You can’t guarantee when you will see elephants, but in High Season, if you head there anytime from 09:30 – 16:30 you should see them. If none are around, wait 10-15 minutes. If you are lucky you will see four or five, if not then maybe just one. Also, take some time to enjoy the views along the river. You can be sure than 99% of people staying on the island won’t know this area exists and won’t take time to explore it despite it being so close to busy tourist areas.