to Ko Chang The Ko Chang Sub-district encompasses
28 islands of the Ko Chang Marine National Park of which Ko
Chang is the largest and most developed. Ko Chang (Elephant
Island) is a gorgeous island, so named because its shape resembles
an elephant in a crouch position. Flawlessly sculptured by
nature, the island is full of coves and bays of pristine beaches
and crystal clear seas with lush green mountains and spectacular
THE BEACHES OF KO CHANG
White Sand Beach (Had Sai Khao) :
As the name implies, this is a long beach
of powdery white sand. The beach slopes gently into the sea
and is very wide during low tide attracting hordes of visitors,
especially in the evening, when it transforms into a playground.
Regular football and volleyball games are played as the sun
sets right off its shore. At night the Ko Chang Lagoon Resort,
Best Garden Resort, Ban Pu Ko Chang and some other resorts
serve dinner alfresco with sumptuous barbecue on the beach.
There are many bungalow resorts of reasonable prices here.
The main road runs pass all the resorts, shops, restaurants,
pubs and coconut groves.
Klong Prao Beach and Laem Chaiyachet
This is another long sandy beach. At the
northern - most part of the beach is the rocky Laem Chaiyachet
or Chaiyachet Cape which is an ideal site to watch the magnificent
sunset or the sunrise above the southern hills of Bang Bao.
LaemChaiyachet is a favourite on-shore fishing ground. A fishing
pier is erected near the cape which is also a great viewpoint
for the whole of Klong Prao Bay.
In the late afternoon villages can
be seen walking on the shallow seabed scooping up tiny shrimps
called "Khei" which is the main ingredient for shrimp
paste. Air-conditioned and fanned bungalows are available.
The Royal Coconut Resort has both bungalows and hotel-style
accommodation. The latest addition is the Boutique Resort
& Health Spa which offers well-appointed bungalows with
spa, massage and beauty services.
Kai Bae Beach:
This is a beach of scenic beauty where you
can see the sunset and a few islands, some so close and tempting
you feel like taking a canoe across. Of special interest may
be the Koh Man Nai which is very near the Sea View Resort.
During the low tide Koh Man Nai reveals it picturesque beach
and you can walk to the island at chest-deep water level.
Boats, canoes, sea-kayaks and dive shops are ready for your
exploration. Although serviced by more than 10 bungalow resorts
and the more leisurely Sea View Resort, accommodation can
be hard to get.
Bang Bao Beach :
The beach at Bang Bao has clear waters with
rocks and corals off its shores. A good place to fish, snorkel
and swim. Getting to Bang Bao is a challenging task as the
road from Kai Bae is steep and winding.
Than Mayom Beach :
Located east of Ko Chang, this is a beach
of rock and mud. It is the location of the Marine National
Park Office, close to the Than Mayom Waterfall. The Than Mayom
Resort is the only resort here.
Klong Son Beach and Khor Khao Khard
Situated northwest of Ko Chang, this is
the first beach as you disembark and head west of the island.
Had Klong Son is a wide beach with plenty of coconut trees.
The Premwadi Resort has a pier suitable for fishing and a
powdery beach safe for swimming. Klong Son now boasts of the
newly open 5-star Aiyapura Resort & Spa. This is a luxury
resort with all the 5-star amenities and facilities set in
a natural environment.
The high peaks and steep mountains of fertile
rainforests in the central region of Ko Chang create some
of the most spectacular waterfalls, so captivating that many
of them now find their places in travel itineraries. The following
are those better known ones. Please note that there is an
entrance fee of Baht 200 per adult and 100 Baht per child
above 3 years old.
THAN MAYOM WATERFALL :
This is the most famous waterfall in Ko
Chang. It is located near the Than Mayom Pier with its entrance
just behind the Ko Chang Marine National Park office on the
east of the island. An approximately 400 meters walk along
a paved concrete route, passing through a durian orchard will
lead you to the waterfall. Than Mayom is a four-level medium-sized
waterfall set in fertile virgin rainforest that flows all
the year round forming a large pool at its front.
Visitors usually stay at the first three
levels as the fourth level is quite far and not recommended.
It is a source of fresh drinking water for the locals. Their
Majesties King Rama V and King Rama VII visited and had their
initials inscribed at the waterfall in 1876 and 1927 respectively.
Camping is safe as the National Park Office is close by. You
may bring your own tents or rent from the National Park Office
for Baht 200 to Baht 500 depending on the size. Rest rooms
and food stalls are available too. Swimming is allowed and
the sunrise can be a real treat.
KLONG PLU WATERFALL :
Klong Plu Waterfall is one of the best known
and most popular waterfalls due to its close proximity from
the favoured beaches of Klong Prao and Kai Bae. Heading 3
kms southward from Klong Prao to Kai Bae along the main road
you will reach the Klong Plu Waterfall signboard on your left.
Follow the sign for 2 kms until you reach the entrance where
you will find some food and souvenir vendors as well as restrooms.
The 20 minutes, 400 meters hike along the stream to the waterfall
is a fascinating experience. On the way are countless species
of vegetation, birds and giant trees.
Klong Plu Waterfall is a large fall of 3
levels. It has been an important water source to the Ko Chang
dwellers for a long time. Klong Plu derived its name from
the Phu Pha Mek Sawan Mountain where King Chulalongkorn The
Great(Rama V) used to rest. Most visitors stay at the first
level only as the 10-meter fall here is already a breathtaking
sight. Besides, it is too slippery and far to reach the next
two levels. To do so, guidance from the Park's office should
be requested. Swimming and camping are also allowed here.
KLONG NONSI WATERFALL :
Situated on the northernmost of Ko Chang,
Klong Nonsi is a small sized waterfall with several cascades.
It is about 4 kms north of the Ko Chang Marine National Park
Office. A one-hour, 3 kms path from Ban Dan Mai near the Ko
Chang Sub-district police station leads to Klong Nonsi.
KHIRI PHET WATERFALL :
The Khiri Phet Waterfall is 2 kms from the
Salak Petch community, south of Ko Chang. It is a medium-sized
waterfall. During the cool and rainy season the fall may look
as if it is a two-storey waterfall of about 5 meters high.
However, during the dry season you can climb up to the 7th
level. Although not very large Khiri Phet Waterfall flows
year-round. There is a pool at level one. Swimming is possible
but it is advisable to check the water current especially
during the rainy season.
Hikers should wear studded shoes and avoid
climbing up the levels during rainy season as the rock may
be slippery. The Salak Petch Forestry Office is not too far
off and rangers can lend a helping hand. If you are driving
you can park your car in the rubber plantation within the
waterfall vicinity and take a 15-minute walk from there.
KLONG NUENG WATERFALL :
This is the tallest waterfall in Ko Chang
with a chest-deep pond in front, good for a cool dip after
the long hike of about an hour. It's actually quite a challenge
trying to get to Klong Nueng and of course rewarding. A huge
boulder stands between you and the waterfall which you need
to climb over before you reach it. Once conquered you will
exhilarate at the magnificent sight of a tall waterfall gushing
waters down the ravine, so fast the water seems white and
foamy. Klong Nueng Waterfall is situated in Salak Petch not
far from the Khiri Petch Waterfall.
HISTORICAL & CULTURAL SIGHTS
Ban Salak Petch - Ban Long Than :
These are the 2 biggest community on Ko
Chang. They are situated south of the island around Ao Salak
Petch (Salak Petch Bay) which is the largest bay on Ko Chang.
The villagers are mostly fishermen. Ao Salak Petch is an ideal
shelter for fishing boats. There are many piers that serve
fishing boats as well as boats to neighbouring islands and
Laem Ngob. Ban Long Than on the west of the bay is the main
residence of the community.
Salak Petch Temple are the focal points
of religious affairs. Salak Petch is a genuine fishing village
worthwhile of a visit. It represents the local way of life.
Bungalows, food and drink stalls are found scattered around.
Visitors rarely miss the Salak Petch Seafood & Resort
which is popular for its fresh seafood. At present the roads
are unpaved. A project to link the roads around the island
has been approved and soon Ko Chang will have a proper road-link
around the island.
Moo Ban Bang Bao (Bang Bao Fishing
The charm of this fishing village is the
wooden houses which are built on wooden stilts embedded in
the sea. Houses are connected by bridges. The Bang Bao Bay
has been a sanctuary for fishing boats seeking shelter from
the monsoon for over a century. It has lately become a resort
and recreation area with bungalows built on selected scenic
sites, fine seafood restaurants that guarantee fresh daily
catches and local shops of souvenirs. There are some small
resort bungalows in Bang Bao. Facing the sea, in front of
the village houses, turn right and you will come across some
small bungalow establishments followed by the 50-unit Bang
Bao Cliff Cottages. Thatched-roofed bungalows are set on a
cliff in terraces that descend to the shore. Clear waters
and rocks here are enchanting and you can enjoy fresh seafood
with a fascinating sea view. Popular activities include swimming,
snorkeling, fishing and lazing around!
San Chao Po & Chao Mae Ko Chang
On arrival at Ao Sapparos and while on the
way up a steep road leading to the west coast, not too far
from the pier, you will see the shrine of f Chao Po &
Chao Mae Ko Chang on the right. This is a highly revered shrine
for both the locals and visitors.
Chao Po Ko Chang (literally Godfather
of Ko Chang) :
It has been a saviour to the Khon Kard
(the original name of Trat people) for generations. In the
past, when seafaring depends solely on sails with no support
or help from the state, fishermen who often find themselves
facing a strong monsoon, in desperation, and lost, seek faith
and guidance from Chao Po Ko Chang. Amazing stories of answered
prayers spread and Khon Kard had since been loyally praying
to Chao Po Ko Chang when encountering low yield from their
harvest, sickness or other miseries. Those on the mainland
will pray with joss sticks in the direction of the shrine.