Introducing Ko Chang & Around
Rising like a rugged, verdant leviathan from the waters near Cambodia, Ko Chang is fast becoming an essential stop on the Thai tourist trail. Earmarked as the ‘next Phuket’ a few short years ago, development has transformed swathes of the island’s west coast and expansion is now beginning to stud other more isolated areas of Thailand’s second largest island. But escape to Ko Chang’s mountainous interior and you’ll find a lost world of rugged waterfalls and impenetrable jungle filled with a Noah’s ark of wildlife, including stump-tailed macaques, small Indian civets and reticulated pythons. Emerge from the forest and you’ll reach isolated lookouts which gaze down on beaches just made for wannabe Crusoes. And if your time on other Thai islands has included just a few too many days laying on the beach, on Ko Chang you can get nicely active and brush off any holiday cobwebs.
After all that honest exercise, recharge in an increasingly cosmopolitan range of bars and restaurants, and relax in accommodation that stretches from basic beach bungalows to luxury five-star resorts. Each of Ko Chang’s beaches has a different style, from the family-friendly ambience of Hat Sai Khao and Hat Kai Mook, to the perfect party vibe of Lonely Beach (Hat Tha Nam). And while it’s true that finding a pristine stretch of sand on Ko Chang is becoming more difficult, with a bit of time and travellers’ get-up-and-go it’s still possible.
After Ko Chang, move on to the other nearby islands of the Mu Ko Chang National Marine Park. You’ll find less to do on gorgeous islands like Ko Kut, Ko Mak and Ko Wai, but after a few days of combining Ko Chang’s catalogue of outdoor pursuits with late night cocktails and beachside barbecues, you’ll probably need a rest anyway.
Last updated: Jun 18, 2009
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.