General Information of Koh Chang

It was only a few years back that visitors to Koh Chang (Elephant Island) remember it as a mountainous sleepy town nestled among coconut trees. Tourists were given the simplest of accommodations. But now, Koh Chang is a boomtown where moderately priced bungalows to luxury resorts can be found on the west side of the island.

Modern thatched roof bungalow resorts are plenty, sitting on spacious land and wide beaches. Yet this large island also gives visitors hotels and resorts with modern architecture and amenities of an international standard.

Located in the eastern part of Thailand, Koh Chang (Ko Chang) is close to the border of Cambodia. Around 85 per cent of Koh Chang (Ko Chang), along with 50 smaller islands, is part of the Mu Koh Chang (Ko Chang) Marine National Park. Clear waters of varying shades of blue surround the island and a terrain of high peaks and steep cliffs provide magnificent scenic points.

In 2003, Koh Chang (Ko Chang) was able to get a special status that meant less bureaucratic management while the government would finance infrastructure like wastewater treatment facilities, garbage treatment sites and piers. While it is a place that faces rapid growth the communities tries its best to maintain an ecologically sound environment.

Fishing villages, such as Bang Bao, incorporate visitors into their daily scene. Homes are built on stilts that sit on the waters and the village itself has a pier that serves as a gateway to the satellite islands. Accommodations and small restaurants along the water take effort to blend in smoothly with the local lifestyle. The island also boasts the presence of a tropical rainforest and waterfalls. Along the coastline are many notable beaches, including White Sand beach where everyone gathers to watch the sunset, get pampered with massages, dine at restaurants or hang out at bars. But if one wants to get away from it all, there are quiet beaches, such as Lonely Beach, located at the south end of the island.

The area attracts both individual travelers and families from around the world. Activities of every sort are plentiful, from swimming and relaxing on the beach to scuba diving and nature trips into the rainforest. Travel to nearby islands is easy and accessible, with many water transport options. Koh Chang (Ko Chang) has numerous satellite islands, such as Koh Mak and Koh Kham. All one has to do is choose their choice of sand, snorkeling or diving preference.

Recently, several tour companies offer travel packages to the nearby country of Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat and Sihanoukville. As a result, Koh Chang (Ko Chang) has grown in reputation as a top resort destination in global tourism.

Upon arrival at the island, the pace is relaxed. In order to get around the island, there are pickup trucks called songtaews that have drop off points on the main road. Motorbikes and cars are available for rent. One can hang out at the beach, get a massage, get a little tattoo, eat well or surf the internet. There are several beaches to hang out, such as Khlong Prao or Kai Bae beach, although Had Sai Khao (White Sand beach) serves as a central destination where restaurants are located and day and night activities take place.

oh Chang (Ko Chang) suits every traveler's needs - providing accommodations and activities at every imaginable budget.

But the one common thing that Koh Chang (Ko Chang) has is the opportunity to escape from the stresses of daily life. Every person has their own way of doing it and Koh Chang (Ko Chang) manages to provide all the different options to do it.

How To Go to Koh Chang

Koh Chang is 315 kilometers away from Bangkok in the province of Trat. There are several ways of getting there: by air, air-conditioned bus, taxi, hire car or motorcycle.

By air
Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok, Phuket and Ko Samui to a new airport at Trat. There are flights out of Bangkok day which takes about 45 minutes. Onward flights leave at 8:30 (PG310) and 16:10 (PG316) and return at 9:40 (PG311) and 17:20 (PG317), costing around 4,000 baht for the return journey. For reservations, call the Bangkok office on +66 (0) 2265 5555 and Trat +66 (0) 3952 5299-300. For more information and bookings.

By air-conditioned bus
First/second-class and VIP air-con buses leave from the Eastern Bus Terminal at Ekkamai, on Sukhumvit Road, which is conveniently serviced by the BTS Skytrain. The return fare to Trat — the stopping off point for Ko Chang — ranges from 147 baht for second-class coaches to 420 baht for the VIP coach. From the Trat bus terminal, take a cab or minibus to the ferry at Laem Ngop, which should cost you around 200 baht.

By taxi
Getting out of Bangkok is always going to be troublesome unless you leave very late at night or early in the morning. But one of the most painless ways to travel is order a taxi that will take you all the way to the ferry port at Ko Chang. If you're a good negotiator, you can pay as little as 2,500 baht one way.

By private car or motorbike
By hiring a private car or motorbike, you make the decisions as to how and when to travel. However, do make sure you bring an International Driving Permit with you or any hassles you encounter are entirely of your own making. Simply, the best way out of Bangkok is to take Highway 3 on the Bangna-Trat road until you reach the Chonburi bypass. Continue along this road, or take the elevated tollway, then take the exit for Klaeng on Highway 344. When you reach Klaeng, get back on to Highway 3 again (Highway 3 goes via Pattaya and Rayong, which you don't want). Continue on through Khlung and, from here, about half-way to Trat, turn off on to Highway 3156, the Laem Ngop-Saen Tung road, which will take you along the coast to the ferry ports.

Ferry services and times
Ferries leave from one of three piers every 30 minutes from 7am to 7pm. Probably the most popular is the Centrepoint Pier. A motorcycle or car are free while foot passengers are charged Bt30. Once on the other side, sawngthaews are available during the day, the fare ranging from around 20 to 70 baht depending on the distance.

The Island Hopper
The only regular ferry service to the other islands is the Island Hopper (see website for more details). It's a 65ft sleek, comfortable, quiet and fast beautiful boat and has an English-speaking crew. They run a daily ferry service and have many 'mini hopper packages' to choose from, enabling you to stay on the islands for a few days.

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