Relax on the Tranquil Island of Koh Chang
Koh Chang is one of the largest islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It is an ideal haven for snorkeling and diving, and is far less touristy than its southern Gulf neighbors. The jungle is dense, the beaches are quiet with white sandbars taking you out far into the sea. The views on these hilly drives through paradise are breathtaking and their are countless options for market take out or dine in. You will feel more immersed into the Thai culture while also meeting fellow backpackers, couples and families on your journey.
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Where to stay in Koh Chang, Thailand
Koh Chang Paradise Resort & Spa
Indulge in the tropical beauty of Koh Chang at Paradise Resort & Spa, where pristine beaches, lush gardens and luxurious accommodations create the perfect escape for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Oasis Koh Chang
With its serene ambiance, stunning natural surroundings and comfortable accommodations, this resort offers a perfect retreat for those seeking relaxation and tranquility.
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Things to do in Koh Chang, Thailand
White Sand Beach: My favorite beach on the island! Glowing white sand that stretches on for about a mile, so you will have plenty of space and peace. This beach is great for sunbathing, has minimal waves for swimming, and many great restaurants/hotels along the beach to stop for a snack.
Klong Kloi Beach: Set in the denser jungle region of the island, this beach provides a very quiet area with laid-back bars off the beaten path (so make sure you have reliable transportation!).
Lonely Beach: One of the most popular beaches for backpackers, this area is a festive scene with white sand, beautiful blue water and bigger waves to dive into (I found myself playing in these like I was a little kid again!).
Scuba Diving: There are many tours to choose from, but I recommend the day trip with BB Divers. They did an amazing job on this two-dive trip by giving us a fully immersive under-the-sea experience with an onboard buffet lunch. All for $105 in nine hours. If you are looking to get your PADI Certification, they also offer trainings for about $300 over the course of three days.
Klong Plu Waterfall: Unfortunately, I was here during the dry season in May, so there was not enough water to swim. But between August and February, I highly suggest visiting this beautiful landmark of Koh Chang! This is an easy 15-minute trek with a deep pond for swimming and a free feet cleaning service provided by all the small fish swimming around you!
Koh Rang Nature Park: Unfortunately, again due to low season, there were no boat tours operating. However, based on my fellow backpacker recommendations, ThaiFun Luxury Cruise provides a full day of snorkeling and 5-island hopping adventures with a full buffet lunch for $45.
Salak Khok Fishing Village: A unique experience away from the beaches and into the mangroves with the mountains as the perfect backdrop for kayaking around the area and grabbing a simple lunch at one of the tucked-away restaurants.
Long Beach: A beautiful and tranquil destination for a peaceful getaway. The water is crystal clear with many beachfront restaurants and bars to choose from. The road is long, narrow and hilly, so you will feel very victorious by the time you reach this hidden gem and will be ready for a Mojito or two.
Some optional trips I would recommend are taking a ferry over to Koh Mak and Koh Kood. These are smaller islands located within a two-hour distance from Koh Chang. They are known for their tranquil atmosphere and are even quieter than Koh Chang. You can enjoy the stunning and pristine beaches all to yourself. If you have one or two nights to spare, I highly suggest visiting these islands as they offer unparalleled natural beauty and the opportunity to stay in tucked-away bungalows that allow you to feel immersed in nature.
Places to eat & drink in Koh Chang, Thailand
Cafe Del Sunshine: Affordable prices with cozy vibes and great smoothies with typical breakfast menu items.
Fig Cafe: Great location, excellent croissants, and a modern twist.
Everflow: Vegetarian restaurant that was a hidden jewel in my opinion. The food is a work of art and has a cozy seating area to dine in. I recommend the Kombucha and smoothie bowl. However, I would have loved to try the veggie burger!
Lunch and Dinner
Indie Raw: My favorite place on the island! Super cute setup with an upstairs deck to take in the mountain views. Extensive veggie menu, but my favorites were the Coco almond choco bowl and Falafel rice bowl. They also have a cocktail menu, and the drinks looked delicious!
El Greco: Greek restaurant with decor that makes you feel like you are actually sitting in Santorini! I got the Hummus platter with red wine to wash it down and Baklava for dessert.
Babylon: Excellent choice for a casual sit-down with pizza, pasta, and traditional Thai food. I recommend the Ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese.
El Barrio: Authentic Mexican cuisine on the main strip with a nice selection of drinks and tapas in a romantic setting. I recommend the Strawberry Margarita and chorizo burrito. You will leave stuffed!
MaHa Restaurant & Bar: If you are looking for traditional Thai cuisine, this restaurant offers affordable prices with an incredible view of the beach.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out this guide by Fora Advisor Kim Walters: A Guide to Phuket Island, Thailand.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Thailand.