In the Trat Province of east Thailand sits Koh Chang Island, the second largest island right after Phuket. Many people agree that Koh Chang is the most beautiful destination in Thailand which is probably why it has seen a major boost in tourism during the last couple of years. It’s an incredible place for scuba diving and snorkeling, has many miles of picture perfect and deserted white sandy beaches and home to a large number of wildlife such as various bird species, elephants and even deer. The interior of Koh Chang island consists of jungles, massive mountains and lots of waterfalls while palm tree’s, gorgeous beaches and colorful coral reefs surrounds the island. In spite of all this stunning beauty, Koh Chang is still much quieter than Phuket despite a major increase in tourism. That could change very soon so it’s best to visit now before it gets over commercialized and over priced.
Most of the beaches on Koh Chang island can be found on the west coast. The east coast mainly consists of cliffs and rocks so most of the tourism development sits on the other side. There are many miles of white sandy beaches and many people who visit Koh Chang say that they are better than the ones on Phuket island and the rest of Thailand for that matter. Enjoy beaches such as Lonely Beach, White Sand Beach, Klong Son Beach, Klong Phrao Beach and many others.
Elephants are very common in Thailand. They aren’t indigenous to Koh Chang but you will find many here though since they have been bought in. There are various treks you can choose from, with some of them lasting half a day while others are a couple of days. It’s a popular tourist activity on Koh Chang because tourists are able to see these elephants in their natural environment, feed them and even go on elephant rides throughout the jungle. I have to admit that riding on the back of an elephant is not very comfortable at all and I only lasted on one for an hour, however it’s a great way to see the island (at a very slow pace).
With so many coral reefs surrounding Koh Chang it would be hard not to scuba dive or at least snorkel around some of them. It’s also fast becoming one of Thailand’s hottest new diving destinations. You won’t find any shortage of tour operators that can take you scuba diving or snorkeling the coral reefs surrounding the island as well as other coral reefs found at the neighboring islands. For your own safety just make sure that the tour operator you go diving with is certified as there are a few here that aren’t.
Koh Chang has a very good reputation for its spa treatments and yoga classes. There are various places where you can book yourself into a health spa for a few days where you will be given wholesome and healthy vegetarian meals, incredible spa treatments, indoor and outdoor yoga classes. Many of the hotels and resorts on Koh Chang provide these services but you will also find a wide variety of independently run businesses that you can book yourself in.
Koh Chang has a very similar climate to Bangkok so the coolest time of year to visit will be between October and January. The worst times to visit Koh Chang will be during the rainy season which is June to September. A lot of flooding occurs during this period and it’s normally hard to find accommodation because most of the guesthouses are closed during the rainy season. February to May is simply too hot for most people but if you don’t mind scorching heat then this could also be a good time to visit.
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