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Koh Chang a.k.a. Elephant island | Smile Thailand Ep.22

Koh Chang is a popular destination for both Thai and international tourists, offering a more relaxed and natural setting compared to some of Thailand's more developed islands. Its combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and tranquil beaches makes it a great place for those seeking a tropical paradise getaway.

Koh Chang is located in the Gulf of Thailand, near the border with Cambodia. It is the largest and most prominent island in the Koh Chang Archipelago, which is part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park. It is characterized by lush tropical rainforests, rugged mountains, and pristine beaches. It is part of the eastern Thai province of Trat and is situated approximately 310 kilometers (193 miles) from Bangkok. It is the second-largest island in Thailand, covering an area of around 429 square kilometers (166 square miles). Despite its size, it has a relatively low population, with the majority of the island's inhabitants living in fishing villages and tourism-related areas.

Traveling to Koh Chang involves a combination of land and sea transportation since the island does not have an airport. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get to Koh Chang from Bangkok, which is one of the most common starting points:

  1. Travel to Trat province -- By Air -- You can take a domestic flight from Bangkok to Trat Airport (TDX), which is the nearest airport to Koh Chang. Several airlines operate daily flights between Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Mueang Airport) and Trat. The flight takes around 1 hour. -- By Bus -- Alternatively, you can take a bus from Bangkok to Trat. Buses depart from the Eastern Bus Terminal (Ekkamai) and the Northern Bus Terminal (Mochit). The journey by bus takes approximately 4-5 hours. There are both regular and VIP buses available.

  2. Transfer to the Ferry Pier -- Once you arrive in Trat, you'll need to make your way to the ferry pier. You can do this by hiring a taxi or using a shared minivan service, which is often offered by travel agencies and hotels in Trat.

  3. Take the Ferry to Koh Chang -- From the mainland, there are several ferry piers that serve Koh Chang, with the two main ones being the Center Point Pier (Ao Thammachat) and the Laem Ngop Pier. Most visitors use the Center Point Pier. Ferries run throughout the day, and the journey to Koh Chang takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on the pier you depart from.

  4. Arrival on Koh Chang -- The ferry will typically drop you off at Bang Bao Pier, which is on the southern end of Koh Chang. From there, you can find taxis, songthaews (shared pickups), and motorcycle taxis to take you to your accommodation or other parts of the island.

Koh Chang offers diverse cuisine and delightful Thai Snack Online. Seafood, including grilled fish and prawns, is a highlight due to its coastal location. Traditional dishes like Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad), Pad Thai, and Massaman Curry are readily available. Don't miss the spicy and tangy Tom Yum Goong soup. For dessert, indulge in Mango Sticky Rice or cool off with Coconut Ice Cream. Adventurous eaters can try fried insects sold by street vendors. Fresh fruit shakes, made from tropical fruits, are a refreshing choice. Roti, both sweet and savory, is a popular snack. Local specialties like grilled chicken with sticky rice can be found at street stalls. Koh Chang's culinary scene caters to various tastes, making it a delightful destination for food enthusiasts.

Here are some interesting checkpoints while visiting Koh Chang:

1. White Sand Beach <location:>

Locally known as Haad Sai Khao, is one of the most popular and developed beaches on Koh Chang. As the name suggests, White Sand Beach is renowned for its soft, powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. The beach stretches for approximately 2.5 kilometers along the western coast of the island, offering picturesque views of the Gulf of Thailand. The calm and shallow waters make White Sand Beach ideal for swimming, and it's a great place for families with children. You can also indulge in various water sports activities, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and paddleboarding, which are available for rent. The wide sandy shoreline provides plenty of space for sunbathing and relaxation. White Sand Beach is also a great spot to watch the sunset. As the sun dips below the horizon, it casts a warm, golden glow over the beach, creating a magical ambiance.

  • Entrance fee: None

  • Opening hours: Always open

2. Gondola Koh Chang at Salak Khok <location:>

This is a popular sightseeing and eco-tourism destination located in Salak Khok Bay on the eastern side of Koh Chang, Thailand. This area is known for its serene mangrove forests and tranquil waters, making it an ideal place for exploring the island's unique ecosystem. The guide will take you through the mangroves, allowing visitors to paddle through the narrow channels and experience the beauty of this natural ecosystem up close. Salak Khok Bay is located on the eastern side of the island, and you can easily reach it by taxi or motorbike from the main tourist areas on the western side of Koh Chang. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and bring sunscreen, water, and insect repellent when embarking on a boat in the mangroves.

3. Snorkeling at Koh Rang & Koh Wai <location:>

Snorkeling at Koh Rang and Koh Wai offers an incredible opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful underwater environments in the Gulf of Thailand. These islands are known for their vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and clear waters, making them popular snorkeling destinations off the coast of Koh Chang. Snorkelers can expect to see hard and soft corals, reef fish, sea anemones, clownfish, parrotfish, angelfish, and if you're lucky, even sea turtles. Snorkeling equipment is often provided as part of the tour package, but you can also bring your own gear if you prefer. Exploring the underwater world at Koh Rang and Koh Wai is a memorable experience for nature enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates the beauty of coral reefs and marine biodiversity.

4. Tree Top Adventure Park <location:>

Visiting Koh Chang isn't just about relaxation; it's also a haven for adventure enthusiasts. For those seeking thrills, Tree Top Adventure Park on Koh Chang is a must-visit destination. Here, you can test your mettle by ascending trees and conquering new heights. The exhilaration of being perched high up in the trees is truly something to experience. Engage in tree-based adventure activities that involve traversing from one tree to another via various connecting bridges, all while ensuring your safety with top-notch equipment. Give it a go and embark on this exciting tree adventure!

5. Salak Phet Mangrove Forest <location:>

This place is a significant natural attraction located on the eastern side of Koh Chang. This mangrove forest is a vital ecosystem that plays a crucial role in preserving the island's environmental balance. It is part of Salak Phet village and bay on the southeastern coast. The forests are unique coastal ecosystems that thrive in brackish water, where freshwater from rivers and saltwater from the sea mix. They consist of salt-tolerant trees and plant species with intricate root systems that extend both above and below the water's surface. You can expect to see various species of birds, crabs, fish, and other aquatic creatures. Birdwatching is a popular activity in this area, as you can often spot kingfishers, egrets, herons, and more. There are also nature trails in the Salak Phet area that lead you through the mangroves and along the coastline. These trails are excellent for those who prefer to explore on foot and want a closer look at the mangrove trees and their root systems.

  • Entrance fee: None

  • Opening hours: Always open

6. Khlong Phlu Waterfall <location:>

Klong Plu Waterfall is a popular natural attraction that draws visitors looking to enjoy the island's lush tropical environment and cool off in its refreshing waters. It is located on the western side of Koh Chang, relatively close to the island's main tourist areas. The waterfall is set within a dense, verdant jungle, and the surroundings are lush and green. It's a refreshing and picturesque escape from the beach areas and offers a peaceful, natural setting. With a height of approximately 30 meters (100 feet). The cascading water creates a cooling mist, and the sound of the rushing water adds to the serene atmosphere. The pool at the base of the waterfall is also a popular spot for swimming. The water is cool and inviting, especially on a hot day. Many visitors enjoy taking a dip and relaxing in the natural pool while surrounded by the sights and sounds of the jungle.

  • Entrance fee: 40 THB per person

  • Opening hours: 08.00-16.30 hrs

7. Kai Bae Viewpoint <location:>

Also known as Kai Bae Sunset Viewpoint, is a scenic vantage point on Koh Chang island. This viewpoint is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views of the island's western coastline and is especially popular for watching the sunset. It is situated on the western side of Koh Chang, specifically in the Kai Bae Beach area. It's relatively easy to reach by road, making it accessible to visitors staying on the island's western coast. From this vantage point, you can gaze out over the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand and enjoy sweeping vistas of the neighboring islands and the rugged coastline of Koh Chang. Kai Bae Viewpoint is particularly famous for its sunset views. As the sun sets over the horizon, it bathes the sea and the sky in a warm, golden glow, creating a truly magical and romantic atmosphere. Many visitors gather here in the evenings to witness this natural spectacle.

  • Entrance fee: None

  • Opening hours: Always open

Certainly! Koh Chang is a picturesque island located in the Gulf of Thailand. It's known for its stunning beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant marine life. Popular attractions on the island include White Sand Beach, Klong Prao Beach, and Lonely Beach, each offering a unique atmosphere. Visitors can explore waterfalls like Klong Plu, go snorkeling or diving around Koh Rang and Koh Wai, and enjoy outdoor adventures like jungle trekking and kayaking. Koh Chang is also home to a diverse range of wildlife and has several mangrove forests. The island offers a mix of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty for travelers to enjoy.

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