About Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a Leisure Island least known to foreigners, the largest among the 52 islands of Trat, is also the nation’s second largest island, after Phuket. Koh Chang (Ko Chang) has always been a favorite get-away for Thai people. Its hinterland consists of over 70% virgin rainforest and is the best preserved but little known tourist destination in Thailand. Situated to the east of the country in the province of Trat on the Cambodian border, it’s Thailand’s second largest island after Phuket.

The name means Elephant Island. Ko Chang was named for the elephant shape of its headland, although elephants are not indigenous to the island. At present, there are eight villages in total. It is a mountainous island and Khao Salak Phet is the highest peak of all at 744 metres. The island is known for several waterfalls, thriving coral reefs and rainforests. The island has an area of approximately 217 square kilometers.

The recent success of Ko Chang as a serious tourist destination has been quite phenomenal. But it remains a lot more peaceful and less developed than islands like Samui and Phuket. It's some 5 hours from Bangkok by bus and there's no airport on the island yet so it should remain more tranquil than Samui or Phuket. Ko Chang too is one of Thailand most beautiful islands with some white sandy beaches, some half deserted. Some of the beaches are rocky in parts though so it doesn't have ideal swimming beaches like Phuket. The island is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including a good selection of birds, snakes, deer and a number of elephants. The island and its vicinity are great places for snorkeling, diving and jungle hiking.

Some critics however, worry that the Ko Chang tourism boom won’t survive as they believe that ‘gross over-development will only, over time, frighten off tourists to one of the other more unspoilt islands nearby. Investors though, claim that what they are now doing in Ko Chang is nothing on the scale of the likes of Samui. With the development of Ko Kong in Cambodia as a casino resort, it makes Ko Chang even more of an ideal place for a stop-over between the two islands.

This so called tourism boom is relative to a small base. Tourist numbers are a lot less than Samui or Phuket and approx 2/3 of the visitors are Thai.