Explore Undiscovered Koh Chang
Ever dreamt of being deserted on an untouched, unspoilt island paradise? A visit to an island with limited electricity, no phone signal or internet, and none of the reminders of the life you’ve temporarily left behind. These days island paradise in Thailand often equates to high rise developments, western bars and overbearing Thai boxing bars on every corner. On Koh Chang though, the dream of the ultimate untouched paradise lives on…
The beaches of Koh Chang float like a string of pearls along the western coast, this Elephant head shaped isle would not be complete without some toe-dipping under the palm trees. Haad Sai Khao (White Sands Beach) is the most developed of the beaches, with Lonely Beach and Bailan Bay catering predominantly for the backpacker scene. If you want the complete uninterrupted experience, a la local residents, head for the East coast fishing villages and sample some of the freshest fish you’ll ever taste caught right in front of your eyes.East coast fishing villages The locals here are fiercely protective of their island paradise and hold regular ‘litter picking days’ on the beaches which everyone is expected to pitch in with.
Get Out And About
There are lots of kayak rental options on Koh Chang, the locals know this is the best way to sample the small islands and mangrove alleys and can provide independent or guided rentals at almost any beach. Take a snorkel and seek out the best spots for fishy fun. To experience winding roads and hairpin bends like no other hiring a moped is essential, they are ridiculously cheap but be aware that Thai driving is a little unpredictable on two wheels.
Beautiful as Koh Chang’s beaches are, it would be a crime to visit without delving into the jungle. There’s no greater reward at the end of a clammy trek than plunging headfirst into the ice-cold fresh water pool at Klong Plu waterfall. Most visitors stay by the main path at the bottom of the misty torrent, but a little known path snakes up through the canopy further, providing spectacular views of the sea from atop the falls.
There are lots of diving options on Koh Chang, and if timing allows a PADI course is a must, with some of the most economical prices in the world, visitors can leave Koh Chang with more than just pictures and memories. Diving visibility doesn’t get much better than at Koh Rang, the coral around this archipelago is protected from fishing by marine park status, with visibility up to 20m visions of schooling fish, rays, barracuda, puffer fish and the occasional turtle are common.
Although Koh Chang is blissfully undeveloped at the moment, rumour has it that the local government plan to turn Thailand’s second largest island into a replica of its first – Phuket. Advice for any discerning traveller in search of true island paradise? Get there before the changes set in.
Having travelled extensively around Thailand, Louisa Logans favourite spot has to be Koh Chang. She first took a excursion to Koh Chang with Audley Travel and has since returned to enjoy the unspoilt scenery.