KOH CHANG ISLAND
Koh Chang is a beautiful and unforgettable, secluded, but at the same time quite accessible island. It is located 300 kilometres (6-7 hours by taxi include are ferry) south of the capital of Thailand - Bangkok and is the second largest in the Kingdom of Thailand after Phuket. Chang stretches from north to south for 25 km, and its width is 9 km and the total area is approximately 215 sq. Km. Koh Chang with 53 adjacent large and small islands makes up the Mu Koh Chang Archipelago of Thailand (Mu Koh Chang Marine National Park). Wonderful long sandy beaches, varied marine life and coral reefs attract thousands of tourists to the island every year.
The name Koh Chang (เกาะ ช้าง) means "Elephant Island" in Thai. The island got its name due to its shape, which on the map resembles the head of an elephant, turned towards the kingdom of Cambodia. Surprisingly, initially, elephants themselves were never found on the Koh Chang.
Koh Chang is one of the most famous island resorts in Thailand, not only among visitors, but also among the Thais themselves. Thais come on weekends from Bangkok and Pattaya, spend vacations, celebrate family, national and religious holidays. Thus, three whole New Years are celebrated on Koh Chang: European (December 31-January 1), Chinese (late January - mid-February) and Thai (mid-April).
Interestingly, in addition to the Mu Koh Chang archipelago, some of the islands located to the south of it also belong to the Mu Koh Mak and Mu Koh Kood archipelagoes. All three are combined into one national park. There are 53 islands in total, from very tiny to as large as Koh Kood, the fourth largest island in Thailand. The unique fauna, air and incredible water of these places are rightfully considered a protected area protected by the state. Note that in this regard, any entertainment associated with motor installations is prohibited, therefore, you will not find riding on jet skis, boards, etc. However, rest here will leave the most wonderful and lasting impressions.
On the islands of Koh Wai, Koh Mak and Koh Kood there are hotels that offer bungalows by the sea. This kind of pastime is suitable for those who are tired of civilisation and want to spend a few days enjoying the clean, warm sea and beautiful beaches.
ISLAND THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Due to its tropical climate, the weather of Koh Chang Thailand can be divided into three seasons: “green”, "monsoon wind ” and "dry". The “green season" is the rainiest months of the year - June and September. The "monsoon wind” season is considered the hottest and lasts from July to August; in July, for example, there is an average of about 700 mm of precipitation. Typically, tropical rain on an island is a 30-60 minute night or morning downpour. After such a rain, as a rule, everything dries up within an hour, after which the humidity of the air rises noticeably. The "dry" season, which tourists call turquoise because of the azure waters near the beaches, lasts from October to May inclusive. It was precisely at this time that the stunning sea and almost no waves, which is an undoubted argument in favour of a trip to Koh Chang for families with children - the island is just perfect for this.
Interesting fact, but the quiet Koh Chang takes its humblest in world history. In 1941, a battle between the Thailand and French navies took place in these waters. As a result of the battle, three Thai ships were sunk, the French did not suffer losses. But as are result Thais left this victory. Here is such an entertaining story. Until now, Thai wrecks lie at a depth of 15 meters, 200 meters offshore in Salak Phet Bay and Ko Klum Island, presenting fun for divers from all over the world.
Until the mid-70s, few people had heard of the island, but it was then that the first European travellers began to come here. In 1982, Koh Chang Thailand and the surrounding islands were designated Mu Chang National Wildlife Refuge. Only in 1998, Koh Chang began to be dotted with hotels and small hotels, and already in 2002 there was a real tourist boom.
Most of the island, its "core", and this is about 80%, is occupied by mountains and jungles. Usually, the island is divided in half - on the west and east sides. Local villages and all tourist infrastructure are located along the coast. The highest peak (Khao Salak Phet) is 744 meters above sea level and is located in the Kong Khoi jungle in the south of the island.
Most of the picturesque beaches are located on the west coast. Most of the hotels, shops and the entire infrastructure of the island are also concentrated here. The eastern side of Koh Chang, on the other hand, is not so developed and is not explored by tourists due to rocky beaches, plus part of the coastal territory is occupied by the industrial cultivation of shrimp. The local inhabitants of the island live off the sap of the hevea tree (rubber tree), coconut cultivation and fishing. But nevertheless, it is still worth a visit here - explore the wild beaches, walk through the mangrove forests or waterfalls and taste fresh seafood here.
KOH CHANG INFRASTRUCTURE
The road encircles the island, but does not close in the south. As we said earlier, Koh Chang is a perfect piece of wilderness, with its dense jungle and rocky terrain, so there are many places with steep slopes and even paved roads have unsafe areas.
There is no road from the fishing village of Bang Bao to the village of Salak Phet. The vast majority of tourists visit Bang Bao and Salak Phet.
Despite having a reputation for being quiet and serene, Koh Chang also has bars, discos, restaurants and nightlife. Therefore, do not worry about your free time on the island, you will always find yourself new friends and places of positive pastime!
If you are lucky enough to get to this beautiful island, then be sure to take a tour of the jungle, explore the island and get imbued with its spirit, rent a bike or a car and ride on all the beaches of the island - surely one of them will become your favourite, be sure to spend a romantic evening on one from the viewing platforms of the island, contemplating the sunset - they are simply magical on Chang, walk through the mangrove forests or visit the waterfalls.
A completely unique, special and unlike any other island with its own atmosphere and mystery that cannot be solved. Koh Chang is not an island for one trip - having been here once, you come back again and again. Legend has it that the spirit of the island does not let go of those who fell in love with it.