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The Top 10 Things to Do in Koh Chang

The Top 10 Things to Do in Koh Chang

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 11, 2023

Located 350 kilometers (217 miles) from Bangkok on the far eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Chang is the second-largest island in the kingdom. For many years, Koh Chang remained mostly undiscovered.

Although the island has seen steady development over the last decade, it's nowhere near on the scale of the more popular tourist islands of Phuket and Koh Samui.

Koh Chang, or Elephant Island, retains its rustic charm while still offering visitors a slice of luxury and all the creature comforts you could want from a major tourist destination.

koh chang,thailand

Here, we have detailed the top 10 things to do in Koh Chang.

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1. Check Out the Island's Amazing Beaches

Koh Chang is a large island with many beaches, each having a different atmosphere with different activities. Choosing the right beach is important as Koh Chang is very spread out so walking from beach to beach isn't really an option.

White Sand Beach is the most popular and densely populated beach on the island, with bars, restaurants, and a market. It has by far the largest concentration of upmarket resorts on the island.

Kai Bae Beach is popular with young families and couples and has a more chilled atmosphere than White Sands Beach while still housing some upmarket resorts.

Lonely Beach is the island's backpacker area and the ideal beach for travelers on a tight budget who like to party.

Bangbao Beach is in the quaint old fishing village of Bangbao and is a very relaxed beach. If you like to get away from the crowds, this is your spot. Accommodation is limited in Bangbao and gets booked months in advance.

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2. Visit Klong Plu Waterfall

There are several fantastic waterfalls in Koh Chang. Klong Plu Waterfall is the most popular one and is by far the most accessible.

Unlike some of the island's other waterfalls, Klong Plu Waterfall has water almost all year round, meaning it can even be enjoyed at the start of the dry season. There is a plunge pool at the bottom of the waterfall that makes for a refreshing break from the heat.

The whole area does get busy with tour groups so it's best to arrive at the waterfall early to avoid the crowds. Klong Plu Waterfall is part of the island's national park so there is a 200 baht entrance fee for adults. Kids can visit for 100 baht.

3. Taste Amazing Seafood at Bangbao Fishing Village

The houses in Bangbao village are perched on stilts with a bridge linking each home in the community.

The village has changed over the years, with many traditional fishing houses being turned into homestays as well as dive shops and tour agencies popping up around it.

Sitting outside above the water for lunch or dinner with a plate of the freshest catch of the day is a great experience.

The seas around Trat, where Koh Chang is located, are famous for having some of the best mantis shrimp, cuttlefish, crab, and shrimp in Thailand. Order any of these from one of Bangbao's many seafood restaurants and we are sure you won't be disappointed.

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4. Go to Kai Bae Viewpoint

Kai Bae Viewpoint is located on the west of Koh Chang and boasts one of the best views on the entire island. Sitting above Sea View Resort on Kai Bae Beach, you can see views of Koh Yuak, Koh Pli, Koh Man Nai, and Koh Man Nok.

At either mid-morning or sunset, you are almost guaranteed to get that perfect family photo or social media snap. Kae Bae Viewpoint is best reached by car or motorbike.

5. Visit Salakphet Mangrove Walkway

Nicknamed 'the Red Bridge' due to its rust-red color, Salakphet Mangrove Walkway takes you on a scenic walk through the Koh Chang mangroves.

It boasts a 360-degree panoramic view with a sea of greenery as far as the eye can see. It's a perfect spot for nature lovers as there is plenty of flora and fauna on offer.

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6. Appreciate the Sunset at Chai Chet Cape

Chai Chet Cape is another fantastic destination for sunset views in Koh Chang. Situated at the northernmost end of Klong Prao Beach, the views are even more dramatic than at the above-mentioned Kai Bae Beach, with jagged rock formations shooting out of the water.

After the sun's gone down, head to Chai Chet village where you'll find some of the most authentic local food and drink stalls on the island. Don't miss the famous Thai roti and smoothies!

7. Take a Scuba Diving Course

Koh Chang has a bustling scuba diving scene with many well-established, well-run dive companies competing for business. The best time to see the island's top sites, such as the HTMS Chang shipwreck, is between November and May when the water visibility is at its best.

Koh Chang is surrounded by smaller islands that are perfect for diving so there is no shortage of sites to visit to keep your dive days interesting. The most popular sites are Hin Lak Bat, Hin Tai Nam, Hin Rua Tek, and the islands around Koh Rang.

The common sea life you can spot includes groupers, moray eels, barracuda, clownfish, giant sea turtles, and, if you're really fortunate, the odd whale shark!

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8. Go Snorkeling Around the Island

If you don't feel comfortable diving but still want to see the island's amazing marine life, there are some excellent snorkeling tours on offer around Koh Chang.

The best snorkeling trips head to the large, uninhabited island of Koh Rang off the southern coast of Koh Chang.

If you are visiting the island in October or November and the sea is clear, you can rent a canoe and make your own way to Koh Rang from either Klong Prao Beach or Kai Bae Beach.

A great way to snorkel and see the best of Koh Chang is to hire a private boat to take you around the island's different beaches and coves.

9. Take an Authentic Thai Cooking Class

Thai cooking classes are always a fun experience for visitors to Koh Chang. You can learn so much about the local island culture by cooking the local food. You also get to eat some of the best food you will have on your whole trip and you will have cooked it yourself!

There are dozens of cooking schools and classes to choose from in Koh Chang. The highly recommended ones are Koh Chang Thai Cooking School, Napalai Thai Cooking School, and Happy Turtle.

Each school has different lengths of class times as well as unique menus to choose from. Most classes and schools are happy to accommodate vegetarian and vegan courses with prior notice.

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10. Get a Traditional Thai Massage and Spa Treatment

You can't visit a Thai island without getting a traditional Thai massage. With Koh Chang being such a huge island, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to spa treatments, with salons to suit any traveler's budget.

You can opt for a Thai massage, an oil massage, or even a Swedish massage, the options are endless. You'll find Koh Chang spas using traditional treatments, such as tamarind and honey moisturizers, sea salt body scrubs, and local white mud for facial cleansing.

A real treat is to get your spa treatment done at one of Koh Chang's many 5-star resorts overlooking one of the island's tropical beaches. It doesn't get much more relaxing than that!

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