With steep, jungle-covered peaks, picturesque Ko Chang (Elephant Island; เกาะช้าง) retains its remote and rugged spirit – despite the transformation of parts of it into a package-tour destination. Sweeping bays are sprinkled along the west coast; some have superfine sand, others have pebbles. What the island lacks in sand it makes up for in an unlikely combination: accessible wilderness with a thriving party scene.
Because of its relative remoteness, Ko Chang has only been on the tourist radar for the last 20 years or so. Today, it's still a slog to get here, but its resorts are busy with package tourists, Cambodia-bound backpackers and island-hopping couples funnelling through to more remote islands in the marine park. Along the populous west coast are sprawling mini-towns that have outpaced the island’s infrastructure. For a taste of old-school Chang, head to the southeastern villages and mangrove forests of Ban Salak Phet and Ban Salak Kok.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Ko Chang.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Ko Chang.