About Ko Chang
If you're visiting the Gulf of Thailand, make sure to spend a few days or more taking in the serene beaches and thick jungle interior of Koh Chang. The island's quiet coves and scenic white sands, as well as peaceful Mu Koh Chang National Park, mean you can easily escape from the everyday. If you're also looking to sip Thai whisky in a bar with your toes in the sand, you'll find several lively places along the shoreline.
Koh Chang hostels have spacious outdoor areas, like a wooden chill-out deck surrounding the swimming pool. There are also plenty of unusual options, including an airy loft-style hostel or a collection of idyllic beach huts minutes from the ocean for a little extra privacy. To light up your Instagram, choose a Koh Chang hostel that has a tropical theme with bright palm and parrot-printed wallpaper, or opt for a Thai-style villa complex with a restaurant and pool facing the sparkling sea.
Life on Koh Chang centres around the island's beaches. Backpackers flock to Hat Tha Nam (Lonely Beach) to unwind in its rustic huts, as well as for its tattoo parlours and reggae party scene. The former fishing village of Bang Bao is a little more developed, with dive shops, souvenir boutiques and international restaurants. Klong Prao Beach is high-end in comparison, making it one for the honeymoon crowd, while Klong Kloi Beach is relaxed and has a friendly vibe in its low-key bars.
There are plenty more things to do on this elephant-shaped isle even after you've hopped around the shore. The interior includes Mu Koh Chang National Park, famous for its sunset viewpoint over the island and its archipelago, and is home to the tiered Klong Plu waterfall. If you're seeking a rainforest experience, you can hike in the jungle or head to Treetop Adventure Park for a tour above the canopy via rope bridges, swings and slides.
You'll find taxis waiting to whisk you around the island at Dan Kao Pier, which is where you'll arrive by boat from the mainland. You can also rent a motorbike, car or 4x4 to get around (ask at your hostel). If you're coming from Bangkok, take a bus or minibus to Trat (about 5 hours) and you'll be dropped off at Saen Tung and ushered onto a songthaew (shared pickup truck taxi) for the remaining 20km to the ferry pier.