Khao Jom Prasat is the 626 metre peak that towers over White Sand Beach. This trek will take you to the summit. The terrain, heat and humidity combine to make this, in my opinion, the most challenging day trek on Koh Chang. In all you will be walking for approximately 6-7 hours and will be left feeling extremely tired but with a great sense of achievement.
( There are two other ‘serious’ day treks available. The the cross island trek is far longer but not as intense. The Khao Jom trek is about the same length and you also get a bit higher but doesn’t have the draining super steep sections this trek has. )
This trek begins with a walk through the flat fruit fields in Klong Son valley before you start to climb up a hill called Khao Chedi. There aren’t any views on the way up and you’ll be taking regular short rests. The heat and humidity will start to affect you and within the first hour you’ll be soaked with sweat and this might not seem like it was such a good idea.
There’s a longer break on Khao Chedi where you get some good views looking east across Klong Son valley. This is followed by a short descent into a gulley before your guide will give you the good news that it’s only another house to the top. The bad news is that this is the steepest section of the trek. The beginning the uphill slog to the top of Khao Jom. On the way up you may hear monkeys and also see tracks from the wild boar that roam the jungle.
The nearer the top you get, the steeper the trail becomes but once you reach the top, about 3 hours after you started walking, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views across the jungle clad hills and valleys of Koh Chang.
Directly below is White Sand beach and to the south Klong Prao and Kai Bae beaches stretch into the far distance. You may even see flying below you some of the rare Hornbills and Eagles that live in this area.
Having rested, taken some photos and eaten lunch on the summit, it is time to start heading down.
After backtracking down the steepest section, the guide will lead you south on a different route back into the valley. This is slightly longer than if you were to go back the same way as you went up. But it means that you will eventually reach a small waterfall, ‘Klong Jao Learm’ where you can stop and swim. By this time you might as well just jump in the water fully clothed as everything you are wearing will be soaked with swat and covered in dust or dirt.
Having cooled off and cleaned up a bit it’s an easy walk along a path by the river side down into the valley. From where you’ll walk the final 1.5 Km along the valley road to the starting point
This definitely isn’t a trek for anyone wanting an easy stroll in the jungle. It’s a long day that will leave you feeling totally shattered – but with a great feeling of achievement when you look back at where you’ve walked.
This shows the elevation (metres) vs distance (kilometres) Although the height is given at 626 metres officially, Mr Garmin thinks it’s just under 600. As you can see the steep sections are steep, around 1:3 to 1:4 gradients (25% – 30%) in places and that’s why you need to be reasonable fit for this trek. Not just when going up, as the descent isn’t as tiring but is very tough on your knees.
Looking North to Klong Son and the Mainland
Looking South towards Chai Chet & Pearl Beach and down to White Sand Beach
How to Trek to the Top of Khao Jom?
You’ll need a guide. Don’t try it on your own, as the trail isn’t well marked or obvious in many places. So I wouldn’t recommend it. You can book this trek with ‘Tan Trekking‘ when you are on the island. Arrange it through your hotel or any tour agent. You’ll be picked up around 08:30 and will get back around 17:00. Although the finish time will depend on the group.
Tan does the trek twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday. The price is 1,100 Baht / person. This includes transport between your hotel and the start & finish of the trek; a lunchbox; fruit; water and wooden trekking pole.
If you want to book direct, please call Tan on 089 645 2019 or 089 832 2531 when you are on Koh Chang or arrive in Thailand.
What You Will Need to Take
Suitable footwear. Trainers are fine but you will find something with more grip, eg trail running shoes or walking shoes are more suitable. Sandals aren’t recommended as you’re feet will slip around. Plus straps can break on steep downhill sections and you’ll get some cuts from the undergrowth. Mosquito spray is handy to have. As is a small backpack.
Plus you should take extra water. When walking in Europe, or anywhere cool and dry, you might be OK with one small bottle in a day. Here you should have 2 Litres or more. You’ll be glad that you did. Other than that, something to snack e.g. cookies, are worth taking. You’ll need a sugar fix. :-)