Koh Chang island is situated in the Gulf of Thailand close to the Cambodian border. It is a real tropical getaway. Being a national park, nature is well protected. Hotel development is mainly around the beautiful sandy beaches on the west coast. The rest of the Island is very mountainous and covered in green rainforest, one of the oldest in Thailand. There is only one road so it is hard to get lost. Most of the bigger hotels are in the north on White Sand Beach and Klong Prao, the south of the island as Lonelybeach, Bailan and Bang bao offer smaller accomodation and hostels. The island has hotels, hostels, rooms, bungalows and dormitories, something for every budget.
You can get to the island by, bus, minibus, plane, private car,... there is very accurate information to be found on iamkohchang.com on various means of travel and information on the island.
Koh Chang has something to offer for everyone. Some of the activities are; serious suntanning, snorkeling, diving, freediving, suping, kayaking, yoga, mountainbiking, tree top park, hiking, elephanttrekking, fishing, swimming, waterfalls and of course... relaxing on one of the many great beaches, tasting the fresh seafood, or even learning how to cook it! There are many websites with information or look for the Koh chang guidebook.
Popular beaches from North to South are:
Hat Sai Khao (also known as: White Sand Beach). The name speaks for itself: beautiful white sand beach with lots of hotels and restaurants along the road. It is the most developed area of Koh Chang although the beach is never crowded! Nice and easy to stay here with everything close at hand.
Klong Prao offers more secluded hotels on a nice sandy beach, most of them quite isolated from bars and restaurants, but offer a great setting in a peaceful and quiet area.
Kai Bae is more of a family beach with some nice hotels and guesthouses on the beach or along the road. On the main road you'll find shops, restaurants and bars. Kaibae is central to everything and easy to get around.
Hat Ta Nam (Lonely Beach) is the largest backpackers area with bungalows, hostels, guesthouses and a few hotels. There is something for everyone here, if you like a party you will find it, if you prefer the quiet then head south of Lonely Beach and you will find your spot.
Bailan is a quiet area to head to if you are looking for peace and quiet. Many small guesthouses and bungalows on a pebble beach with sandy patches, a few small restaurants and bars. Because Bailan is close to Bang bao and Lonely beach it is a quiet but popular hideaway.
Bang Bao village along a pier is the southern end of Koh Chang. All the boats for diving, snorkeling and fishing leave from this pier in the morning. Along the pier there are some guesthouses and homestay, fish restaurants or some great foreign food, and lots of shops. These are traditional Thai stilt houses overlooking Bang bao bay, they are quite charming. In the evening Bang Bao is very quiet, making it a nice place to stay if you look for a simple Thai lifestyle. In Bang Bao you will also find our cozy guest house Cliff Cottage with sea view rooms and restaurant with stunning views.
Klong Kloi Beach (also called Bang Bao Beach) is situated 3 km past Bang Bao. This is a nice and quiet beach which has recently seen some hostels on site. You will also find some restaurants, massage and a few more mid priced hotels. This is a great place when you are looking for the quiet beach life.
On the east coast there is some development, and quite a few things to do. Since the main road is not going around the island, it can be a bit tricky to get there, unless you drive the motorbike, rent a car or a taxi. It is worth the effort though since the mangroves, rocky bays and views on this side are absolutely stunning.
There are a few nice guesthouses not too far from the ferry stop, and some backpackers places all the way to the South, in Salak phed, Salak khok and Long beach. Great places to visit are the many waterfalls, Salak Khok fishing village and mangrove, Salak Phet fishing village and restaurants, Koh Chang memorial, ...