* Dec ’11: Quite a few people have been doing this walk but one of the local landowners, whose elephant camp, part of this walk goes through doesn’t like the idea of people walking on tracks across his property when they should be riding elephants across them. Therefore, I have been asked to remove the PDF print out from the site. *
You’ll find a variety of jungle trekking options on offer on Koh Chang, these will take you to the top of peaks and make for a great, if strenuous, day out. But what you won’t find are any marked, easy to follow trails for people who just fancy a nice walk. Without any local knowledge you’re pretty much limited to just wandering along the main road. This makes for a hot day out.and one where you don’t see anything that you wouldn’t see from a scooter or the back of a pick-up truck taxi. Or you could go to the Klong Plu waterfall but in High Season that gets pretty crowded too as that’s where everyone who doesn’t want to just walk along the main road goes to.
So here’s something for anyone wanting to stretch their legs and get off the beaten track. A loop around the Klong Prao village area. The 9km walk doesn’t involve any hill climbing and most of it is on tracks and an abandoned road. It will take you from the beach to boundary of the National Park through fruit farms, coconut and rubber plantations. There’s also a couple of spots where you can cool off in the river and you can also add on visit to Klong Plu waterfall or stop and feed the elephants. on the way Plus there is some great mountain scenery and a few good restaurants on the route where you can grab lunch. You’ll also have to cross a river by boat and so you may want to consider this in your choice of restaurant. (More about this later.)
It’s quite a flexible route so it’s easy to skip half of it or make your own detours and take a pick up truck taxi back to your hotel. For anyone staying in the center or south of Klong Prao beach then just make the starting point your resort. You don’t have to follow it to the letter, but it should make you a bit more confident about exploring on your own and wandering down dirt tracks to see where you end up.
Nothing in particular. No GPS required. No sensible footwear ( I wore 200 Baht flip flops but you might prefer your Tevas or Birkenstocks.) Just take a bottle of water or two with you, a sun hat and your camera. and of course my rough map and instructions. Providing you posess a vague sense of direction you shouldn’t get lost as there are only a couple of short sections where the trails aren’t immediately obvious.
It takes me two hours to walk the route. But I already know where I am going and I don’t stop off anywhere other than to take photos and buy a bottle of water. So a more realistic time would be around 4-5 hours if you want to visit the waterfall, swim or stop for lunch. But it’d be easy to fill a whole day and, for example, end with a late afternoon swim in the sea and a beer on the beach.
I started at our guesthouse ‘Baan Rim Nam’ and ended here and so for the purposes of this guide they’re the start and finish points. But as mentioned before, you can start and end anywhere you choose.
The Googlemap above shows the route and directions for each point.
These photo galleries have annotated photos. The numbers correspond to those on the map at the top of the page:
Part 1 From the Start, Along the Beach and Inland
Part 2 Towards the River and along the Abandoned Road to the Waterfall
Part 3 Around the River and onto the Hillside
Part 4 More Views and the Finish Line