Koh Chang

Koh Chang Trat

Koh Chang

Koh Chang is a tropical marine national park. Its hinterland consists of over 70% virgin rainforest and is the best preserved tourist holiday 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.

Recently, with the surge of the island's development and popularity, it has been elevated to Thailand's new tourist haven. It has an airport near Trat, just 15 minutes from the ferry terminal. Bangkok Airways run twice-daily services from Bangkok, Phuket and Koh Samui. Also, the island offers fast internet access via many of the island's internet cafรฉs.

With its chain of white sandy coves and beaches, pristine rain forests and abundance of wildlife and marine life, coral reefs, high mountain peaks, several scenic waterfalls, a rich variety of cuisine and great nightlife, Koh Chang is one of Thailand's most sought-after holiday destinations.

Accommodation on the island ranges from simple beach huts and bungalows to luxury villas, suites and apartments. If you drive, you can hire motorbikes, jeeps and cars to take you to any of the beaches along the coastal roads and, in the evening, there are plenty of restaurants, live music bars and nightclubs to choose from to spice up your holiday.

Koh Chang and Koh Mak are currently locked in a battle that will decide which is the safest island for visitors. Which island will 'out-safe' the other

Down on Koh Mak, a new paved road has been laid from Makathanee to Goodtime Resort and Fantasia to Koh Mak Villa. Thus making life easier for people not wanting to get covered in red dust or mud whilst riding their rental scooters. But the island still lacks road signs - unlike Koh Chang.

You can get there buy taking a flight from Bangkok to Koh Chang, Trat Airport , can be very expensive for families. Plus it's always nice to see a bit of the country you are visiting, which you cant do by air.

Koh Chang is 315 kilometres away from Bangkok in the province of Trat. You can get there buy taking a flight from Bangkok to Koh Chang, Trat Airport , can be very expensive for families. Plus it's always nice to see a bit of the country you are visiting, which you cant do by air.

There are several ways of getting there: by air, air-conditioned bus, taxi, hire car or motorcyle.

By air
Bangkok Airways flies from Bangkok, Phuket and Ko Samui to a new airport at Trat. There are flights out of Bangkok day which takes about 45 minutes. Onward flights leave at 8:30 (PG310) and 16:10 (PG316) and return at 9:40 (PG311) and 17:20 (PG317), costing around 4,000 baht for the return journey. For reservations, call the Bangkok office on +66 (0) 2265 5555 and Trat +66 (0) 3952 5299-300. For more information and bookings, see Bangkok Air.

By air-conditioned bus
First/second-class and VIP air-con buses leave from the Eastern Bus Terminal at Ekkamai, on Sukhumvit Road, which is conveniently serviced by the BTS Skytrain. The return fare to Trat โ€” the stopping off point for Ko Chang โ€” ranges from 147 baht for second-class coaches to 420 baht for the VIP coach. From the Trat bus terminal, take a cab or minibus to the ferry at Laem Ngop, which should cost you around 200 baht.

By taxi
Getting out of Bangkok is always going to be troublesome unless you leave very late at night or early in the morning. But one of the most painless ways to travel is order a taxi that will take you all the way to the ferry port at Koh Chang. If you're a good negotiator, you can pay as little as 2,500 baht one way.

By private car or motorbike
By hiring a private car or motorbike, you make the decisions as to how and when to travel. However, do make sure you bring an International Driving Permit with you or any hassles you encounter are entirely of your own making. Simply, the best way out of Bangkok is to take Highway 3 on the Bangna-Trat road until you reach the Chonburi bypass. Continue along this road, or take the elevated tollway, then take the exit for Klaeng on Highway 344. When you reach Klaeng, get back on to Highway 3 again (Highway 3 goes via Pattaya and Rayong, which you don't want). Continue on through Khlung and, from here, about half-way to Trat, turn off on to Highway 3156, the Laem Ngop-Saen Tung road, which will take you along the coast to the ferry ports.

Ferry services and times
Ferries leave from one of three piers every 30 minutes from 7am to 7pm. Probably the most popular is the Centrepoint Pier. A motorcycle or car are free while foot passengers are charged Bt30. Once on the other side, sawngthaews are available during the day, the fare ranging from around 20 to 70 baht depending on the distance.