View Map

Overview

Misty peaks and knotted forest, silent beaches and empty spaces make up Ko Chang, Thailand's second-largest island and the pride of the eastern seaboard. At the heart of the Ko Chang National Marine Park, and cloaked in one of Southeast Asia's best-preserved rainforests, Ko Chang's interior is an Edenic wilderness as choc-a-bloc with snakes and exotic fruit as the biblical garden itself. Beaches stretch the length of the west coast and hidden bays and coves provide refuge for wannabe Crusoes. But beaches are gold dust in Thailand, and hoteliers and developers seem increasingly determined to wring every last cent out of the island. Now moving ...

Misty peaks and knotted forest, silent beaches and empty spaces make up Ko Chang, Thailand's second-largest island and the pride of the eastern seaboard. At the heart of the Ko Chang National Marine Park, and cloaked in one of Southeast Asia's best-preserved rainforests, Ko Chang's interior is an Edenic wilderness as choc-a-bloc with snakes and exotic fruit as the biblical garden itself. Beaches stretch the length of the west coast and hidden bays and coves provide refuge for wannabe Crusoes. But beaches are gold dust in Thailand, and hoteliers and developers seem increasingly determined to wring every last cent out of the island. Now moving upmarket, with government plans to transform the island into a playground for hotshots and big spenders slowly coming into effect, sections of Ko Chang's west coast are gradually being transformed into pockets of urban jungle as raucous and developed as the surrounding rainforest is quiet and untouched. But the island's beauty is extremely hard wearing. Resorts may be popping up at a breakneck rate, but an eerie stillness hangs over much of Ko Chang and its wildlife — including stump-tailed macaque, small Indian civet, monitor lizard and reticulated python — continue to thrive in the quieter corners. Get off the road, and you enter a whole new world. Ko Chang is also surrounded by a clutch of smaller islands. After a spell on the big island, side trips to Ko Kut, Ko Mak, Ko Kham, Ko Wai and Ko Lao Ya are well worth the journey.

Joe Cummings
About the Expert

Joe Cummings has contributed to more than 35 guidebooks, maps, atlases, phrasebooks and photographic works, including his bestselling Lonely Planet Thailand and Buddhist Stupas of Asia: The Shape of Perfection.

view full overview

Joe Cummings for Triporati

Must See, Do

Save It for Next Time

info

If time is short, save these attractions for a second visit.

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November to May