With the island undergoing rapid development, the visitor infrastructure on Koh Chang is improving dramatically, providing greater facilities for both comfort and enjoyment. The island’s rich ecosystem is perhaps its greatest appeal and the foundation on which many of its activities and attractions are based.
Beaches in Koh Chang
There are numerous lovely beaches on the island, mostly on the west coast, and a number of headlands between them offer great views. The farther south you go, the less developed the beaches are.
White Sand (Hat Sai Kao) is the busiest and most developed beach, but the nicest for swimming and relaxing. Next you’ll come across Klong Prao, a lovely natural sweeping bay lined with casuarinas trees and named after the mangrove inlet around which resorts are set.
Klong Makok is a smaller, private beach at its southern end. Kai Bae is much quieter, has several accommodation options and a nice individual character. Generally the sand on Koh Chang is not as bright as nearby Koh Samet, but when your dozing off that hangover its hard to tell the difference. See our complete Koh Chang beaches guide.
Waterfalls in Koh Chang
The relaxing sound of gently trickling water combined with tranquil natural surroundings make Koh Chang’s waterfalls ideal places to head when the beaches are getting a little too tourist-heavy. Than Mayom is the island’s most famous waterfall and is easily found on account of its location adjacent to the Than Mayom Pier.
Other waterfalls of note include Klong Plu near Kai Bae Beach, Klong Nonsi located to the far north of the island, Kiripet near the southeastern village of Salakphet and Klong Nueng, which is the tallest waterfall on the island. Open: always, admission: some charge 400 baht national park entrance fee, so plan to visit all waterfalls on the same day to make this cost-effective. More on Koh Chang sightseeing attractions.
Off shore islands by Koh Chang
There are several of these, some within swimming distance such as the one off Laem Chaichet, others within kayaking distance like Koh Maphrao Noi and Koh Maphrao Yai, which are reachable from Salak Phet.
Farther south still are the real gems and these are reached by ferry, private charter or multi-day sailing cruise. All these islands are far nicer on account of their undeveloped and private character as well as their gorgeous beaches and lush natural environment.
These include Koh Kut, Koh Mak, Koh Kradat, Koh Kham and Koh Wai, each with only one or two resorts on them. The larger Koh Kut island is much farther south and transportation is thus less practical, although all of them offer a paradise feel of a true castaway experience that so many Westerners crave. More on Koh Chang tours.
Bang Bao Bay
At the extreme southern end of the west coast is this pretty bay with one upmarket resort on a peninsula. The attraction here is the fishing village set either side of a stilted pier. It’s full of souvenir shops, but has some charm and there are a number of homestays where you can peacefully retreat and enjoy the sea breezes. More on Bang Bao.
Salak Phet Bay
This is the main fishing village on the island, reached by a roundabout journey via the east coast to the southern tip. A trip here for a fresh seafood lunch at one of the waterside restaurants is recommended, and you can stop off at one of the waterfalls along the way. More on Koh Chang east coast.