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Restaurants

Where to eat on Koh Chang

Koh Chang restaurants offer up a variety of different and exciting cuisines, catering for many different tastes. Take your pick from delicious local street fare or beach front dining.

From noodle soup, meat on a stick and mango sticky rice, to spicy Penang curry, Pad Thai and a whole variety Thai salads. No matter your preference, you’ll find something you love, even if the chilli does challenge our palette at times.

If you love your seafood then you will be in heaven at almost all Koh Chang restaurants. Choose from red snapper, white snapper, barracuda, scallops, clams, mussels, as well as oysters, tiger prawns, squid, soft-shelled crab and much more. Koh Chang restaurants also cater well for those who are missing a taste of home.

Western influenced dishes such as delicious authentic Italian, German, Austrian, Indian and French cuisine are all available on the island. There are also lots of bakeries on Koh Chang too, preparing freshly made bread, cakes and sandwiches. Ideal for lunch or a sneaky afternoon sweet treat.

Cheap & Tasty

Some of the best Koh Chang restaurants are also some of the cheapest places to eat on the island. Some of the more expensive establishments may look a little more inviting than the shabby bamboo corner street restaurants, but that doesn’t mean the food is any better, or worse for that matter.

When dining along the beach front, like anywhere in the world, you are also paying for the view. Bare this in mind when you’re choosing where to eat, especially if you’re on a budget.

If you happen to walk down a street and see a small shack-like restaurant, with bamboo tables and chairs and one lady cooking on a single gas ring, go in! Chances are the lady is probably a mother who has been cooking for many years having learnt from previous generations.

These cooks are often just as good (or better) than the high end resort restaurants along the beach front. These informal restaurants often double up as their home so you can normally get a cheap, delicious meal from the crack of dawn until late at night.

Try not to be put off eating at any Koh Chang restaurants if the place looks a little untidy and maybe even dirty. Chances are the cook is running the restaurant alone and spends most of his/her time slaving over the gas ring cooking endless dishes for the hungry customers.

The service may be a little slower at places like this, but the food will be well worth the wait. Plus it’s unlikely to cost you more than 80 THB per dish.

Food Costs

If you’re wondering how much eating out at various different Koh Chang restaurants will cost you, we can help you with a rough guide.

Choose to eat at a basic Thai restaurant on the street side and you can expect to spend between 50 – 80 THB for a typical Thai dish, such as Pad Thai, Green Curry or Chicken Fried Rice.

Opt to eat at a beach front resort or slightly more up-market establishment and you may pay around 100 – 150 THB for the exact same dishes.

Western influenced dishes will set you back around 200 – 300 THB for something like a pizza, pasta dish or burger with fries. Seafood can be considerably more expensive if you are not buying it cooked from the local market. A fish dish could cost you anything from 250 THB upwards.

However, some small Thai eateries do prepare fish dishes for less than this. If you are travelling with a group of friends it’s a great idea to order a few different dishes and try a bit of everyone’s. That way you can sample a variety of flavours to see what you prefer, for future reference perhaps.

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Bars and Nightlife

A night out on Koh Chang

It’s fair to say that Koh Chang isn’t the biggest party island in the Gulf of Thailand and there are more lively places to visit, such as Koh Phangan and Koh Phi Phi, if that’s what you’re looking for. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that the variety of Koh Chang bars and nightlife options will not disappoint you in any way – far from!

Plenty of cafes, beach bars, beer bars, pubs and clubs can be found along almost every beach, especially the popular ones like White Sand Beach, Klong Prao, Kai Bae and Lonely Beach, the latter being the hub for a whole host of regular parties, including the Full Moon Party.

The island has a fantastic selection of beach front bars and venues that will keep even the fussiest tourist happy. A number of Koh Chang bars and nightlife venues draw in the crowds every evening and offer a wide variety of entertainment, including live music, DJ sets for those who love to dance and some other bars will simply put on some all time favourite tracks played through their i-phone.

There is a real warmth and welcoming feel to the bars on Koh Chang, which attracts both tourists and locals, whether it’s for the awesome variety of music, the reasonably priced drinks or the great company. Some Koh Chang bars and nightlife venues have existed since tourism first took hold on the island and have gained a very good reputation over the years. Still today many bar owners see customers coming back to the island again and again simply because of their friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere.

Something for everyone

Expect all kinds of nightlife options from something ‘soft’ like a relaxing chat over delicious coffee at the many cafés, lively pubs – where live music, sports on big screen TV and great drinks are on offer, to wild and rowdy beach and beer bars. Depending on which beach you’re staying, nightlife in each area differs in terms of the crowds, types of music and the vibe.

Spend your day lazy at a beach bar with the warm sea lapping on the sand only meters away from where you sit. Enjoy a healthy fruit shake, order a cold beer or sample their delicious local fresh coconuts. Chill on the beach until the sun goes down, then when you are ready for a bit more action, head to one of the more lively beaches such as White Sands or Lonely Beach to party all night long if you wish.

Here you’ll get to listen to local and international DJ’s play everything from deep house, electronic, commercial and funk. For all the sports enthusiasts, why not arrange to watch a game at one of the sports bars so you can really get into the spirit of things and make as much noise as you like.

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Getting Around

Transport on Koh Chang

From the early morning until late evening, getting around Koh Chang is reasonably straight forward and simple. Whether you prefer the idea of getting around Koh Chang independently, or would rather hop in a taxi and let someone else do the driving, there are a few options on this Thai island.

Songthaew ( Pickup truck taxi )

You can easily flag down a passing songthaew on its route around the main roads of Koh Chang, hopping off when you wish.

There’s normally a steady flow of taxi’s coming and going from various popular beach locations and attractions across the island. The price you pay for the journey will depend on whether the taxi is heading in that direction already, the time of day and how many other people are travelling in the taxi with you.

You can expect to pay between 50 – 150 THB per person for most journeys. Many of the popular routes around Koh Chang now have fixed prices, so there is very little room for negotiations. Just be sure to confirm the price with the driver before hopping into the vehicle.

There are always taxis waiting at Dan Kao Pier when the boats arrive. This makes life very easy for those who are visiting the island for the first time and would like a straight forward way of getting around Koh Chang when they first arrive.

From this pier you can expect to pay about 100 THB to reach Lonely Beach and about 150 THB to reach Bang Bao. On the (very unlikely) odd occasion when there are no taxis waiting at Dan Kao Pier, simply walk 400 meters to the main road where you should find plenty of them passing by.

Bike & Car

The main road on Koh Chang is mostly constructed from concrete and almost circles the whole island. There are plans to complete the circuit in the near future so that you will then be able to drive all the way round, without the need to double back on yourself. The roads vary in condition.

Pot holes are a common problem partly due to the harsh summer temperatures it has to endure and partly to the way the roads are constructed. There are only a few tight bends, steep hills and badly maintained roads across the island, which makes getting around Koh Chang pretty easy, whether you are an experienced driver/rider or not.

Cars and 4 x 4’s are available for rental – most hotels can help arrange this for you. A 4×4 car is recommended, as they give you more flexibility to negotiate dirt roads should you wish to. There are a few roads like this around Lonely Beach area.

To rent a motorbike is also a great way for getting around Koh Chang and a good option to save money, as you are avoiding the expensive taxi rides. It further gives you the freedom to ride and explore more remote beaches where you will also find lower rates for accommodation.

Average costs are 250 baht per day for daily rentals, 200 baht per day for 5 days, and 150 baht per day for monthly rentals. Prices are not normally negotiable.

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Waterfalls

Koh Chang Waterfalls

Koh Chang waterfalls are scattered throughout the island. Koh Chang’s interior is made up of 70% tropical rainforest, rocky terrain and mountainous jungle. It’s this rocky and mountainous terrain which creates some of the most spectacular waterfalls, especially during the wet season.

Koh Chang waterfalls range from small rocky tributaries in the dry season, to impressive gushing falls when the wet season is in full swing. You can choose to make their own way to the various Koh Chang waterfalls, or you can join a guided tour of the island and you’ll be escorted to the different attractions throughout the day. Many of the waterfalls can be found deep in the dense jungle, amongst the island’s wildlife.

Keep your eyes peeled as you make you way to any Koh Chang waterfalls because you may encounter a whole range of animals and wildlife; macaques, reptiles, an array of bird species and lots of different insects.

Klong Plu Waterfall, during the wet season, is one of the most popular Koh Chang waterfalls. You’ll find Klong Plu Waterfall down a road at the northern end of Klong Prao beach. It is a short walk to the plunge pool at the bottom where it’s possible to enjoy a revitalising swim in the fresh water. 

Than Mayom Waterfall is another popular attraction and sits on Koh Chang’s east coast, near Na Tara Resort. Of all the Koh Chang waterfalls, this impressive four level waterfall was initially made famous by two previous kings of Thailand, Rama V and Rama VI. Both kings engraved their initials into a rock at the waterfall and still today tourists visit just to see the famous inscription for themselves.

If you are feeling particularly fit and adventurous, head south to Salak Phet and you’ll find Klong Neung and Kheeri Pet Waterfalls. Klong Neung is the tallest waterfall on the island and although challenging to access, is the most awe-inspiring. Kheeri Pet is a little easier to access and has a cascade that ranges dramatically from two to seven levels depending on the season.

A waterfall that seems to be visited the least is called Kai Bae Waterfall. There may only be a single drop from this waterfall but it is simply breath-taking because the water falls from such a height. Opt to enjoy a refreshing swim in Kai Bae’s plunge pool at the bottom and you’ll be surrounded by sounds of the jungle, making any challenging hike to the top well worth the effort.

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Visitor Information

Here’s some useful information which will help you plan for your trip to Koh Chang

Banks & Foreign Exchange

There are ATM machines placed all over the island, so withdrawing cash at anytime of day or night is no problem. There are many different banks and foreign exchange offices based at the main beach areas. Some banks, including Bangkok Bank and Krung Thai bank, are open on weekends as well as week days.

Most of the resorts and hotels will happily change both travelers cheques and cash, but their exchange rates are normally lower than the banks. Many of the resorts and restaurants will accept credit card payments, but be aware that they will charge you a fee for this service.

Internet

Most of the resorts and bungalows on the island offer free Wi-Fi, but if you are staying at one of the very few that doesn’t, then a large number of bars, restaurants and cafes do. Connection speeds are not super fast by international standards but they are good enough for normal internet browsing.

If you’re not traveling with your own laptop then you’ll find that Koh Chang has several internet cafes offering access to the internet, all at very low rates.

Health & Safety

Before departing for your holiday to Koh Chang, it would be sensible to check with your doctor that you are up to date with all boosters as recommended for life in your home country. This would also be a good opportunity to ask your doctor what vaccinations you may require for your travels to Koh Chang.

Your doctor may suggest the following vaccinations; Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Cholera, Diphtheria, Rabies, Typhoid, Japanese Encephalitis. It is currently not necessary to take any anti-malaria pills during your stay on Koh Chang.

A visit to the island does not present any major health risks as long as you take some basic precautions. Standards of health care in Thailand are generally very good. However, costs in private hospitals for any sickness or injuries can be high so make sure you have suitable travel insurance prior to leaving your home country.

Providing you’re insured you don’t have to worry about a thing, just enjoy yourself in paradise. 

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The History of Koh Chang

Understanding the history of Koh Chang and how it became to be the popular tourist destination we have all grown to love today.

In the early 20th century the province of Trat was regained by King Rama from the French in exchange for the then Thai governed Siem Reap, Sri Sophon and Prataborg. This triumph is still celebrated to this day and the 23rd March is known as independence day to it’s locals. Chang island around this time was little known and the few families that inhabited the island would take to the mainland to grow coconuts and fruit as way of providing for there families.

Between 1940 and 1941 during the indochina war, Koh Chang history would change for good with the French Navy’s attempts to recapture Trat. On 17 January 1941 the French-Thai battle took place on the waters around the island of Koh Chang. The Thai navy were successful in driving the French out of Thai waters but not without cost. A significant number of Thai nationals lost there lives as they fought for there country.

The sunken ships during this time provide excellent wreck diving to this day. As a mark of respect for those that sadly died during the “Koh Chang Naval Battle,” the Thai navy holds a ceremony on 17 January each year.

In the mid 1970’s local fishing boats sailed Koh Chang’s first backpackers to it’s shores in search of the untouched sands and forestation that formed the island. A few years later in 1982 Koh Chang and it’s surrounding area was granted national park status under the name of Mu Koh Chang National Marine Park.

In 2001, the then Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, visited the island to find out what it was about Koh Chang that everyone loved so much. After exploring the place, the Prime Minister was so in awe of the islands natural beauty that he decided he would do everything he could to develop Koh Chang into a destination where the wealthy and rich could holiday.

Targeting tourists from all around the globe, Koh Chang soon became a holiday destination for everyone to visit. Today the once traditional bamboo huts that lined the beaches of Koh Chang are being replaced with luxury, high end resorts and hotels, and continues to grow at a steady pace

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Koh Mak

Koh Mak Thailand is a picture perfect paradisaical island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is covered with coconut trees, white sands and surrounded by magnificent clear blue water. It’s the ideal location for anyone looking to enjoy a relaxing break away in Southeast Asia. Koh Mak Thailand is located just outside the Mu Ko Chang Marine National Park in Eastern Thailand. It is the biggest privately owned island in the whole of Thailand.

The island spans just 16km² making it possible for anyone to explore every part of Koh Mak, even if you are limited on time. Situated off the beaten track and not frequently by many tourists, Koh Mak Thailand is the perfect holiday destination for those looking to escape and unwind.

The island has not been developed like many other islands in the Gulf, such as Samui and Koh Phangan. There are only a small selection of restaurants and resorts. Most of the bars and places to eat are within the resorts themselves, overlooking one of the beaches.

When it comes to nightlife on Koh Mak… there is none. If you are someone who enjoys a late night drinking the local rum, Sangsom, and dancing until the early hours, then you’ve come to the wrong island. Koh Mak is all about quiet, peaceful evenings chilling in a hammock whilst catching up with friends or reading a book.

Koh Mak Thailand is home to over 10,000 coconut trees, nearly 30 fantastic resorts, a primary school, Buddhist temple, health centre, fishing village, diving centre, a few shops and a handful of restaurants. It’s easy to see why the island occasionally even attracts film crews from around the world, who are in search of a place that is naturally beautiful and unspoiled.

Whether you like to explore the underwater world, or prefer to keep your feet dry, there are various activities and things to do on Koh Mak Thailand. For those who love the sea, you can experience diving on the reefs surrounding Koh Mak or book a snorkelling trip.

The nearby Marine Park has the best selection of marine life Thailand has to offer. Other watersports include windsurfing, Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) or swimming. Back on dry land, you can explore the island on foot or using two wheels.

There are also a number of organised daily tours that will take you to other neighbouring islands. You can of course, opt to simple sit back in your hammock for the entire day, moving only to sample a Thai massage on the beach front.

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Koh Kood

Koh Kood is the second largest island, within Trat province, after Koh Chang and sits at the southernmost point in Trat waters. Koh Kood is the forth largest island in Thailand and covers 105 square kilometres. It’s situated approx 330 kilometres southeast of the Thai capital, Bangkok.

Unlike Koh Chang, Koh Kood Thailand has a reasonably flat landscape and much of the inner area is covered with dense lush jungle. The rainforest is home to 3 very pretty waterfalls, mangroves and rich coconut plantations. The beaches on Koh Kood are simply breath-taking. Fringed with tall palm trees on one side and emerald green water on the other, Koh Kood beaches are rated some of the best in Thailand.

Without a doubt, Koh Kood Thailand is all about its attractions; beaches, waterfalls and charming fishing villages. The most beautiful and picturesque beaches are on the island’s west coast, along with the best choice of accommodation. The east coast is largely uninhabited and difficult to access. The west coast is where you will find popular beaches such as Klong Chao, Ngamkho and Bang Bao, all which offer a good choice of accommodation starting from 500 Baht per night.

Getting to Koh Kood

Over recent years, getting to Koh Kood has become increasingly easy and it’s now possible to reach the island in a number of ways. A private transfer is certainly the quickest way to reach Laem Sok Pier from any direction within Thailand. It’s then just a catamaran or express boat journey to Koh Kood pier. This can, however, also be the most expensive way to travel.

Alternatively, you can fly into Trat Airport which is close by, or there is also a direct bus service that runs from Bangkok. Hopping on a bus is often the cheapest option, although you can sometimes pick up some great flight deals.

Getting around Koh Kood

Most of the main roads around the island are concrete, however they can be very steep in places. Many of the smaller roads are dirt tracks still so navigating your way down these can be rather hazardous, especially when wet. Opting for a hotel transfer is probably the most suitable option and you can always hire a motorbike for the shorter journeys.

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Beaches

What is the best beach on koh Chang?

White Sand beach is the best beach on Koh Chang island.

Koh Chang beaches are among some of the most naturally beautiful beaches in Thailand and are often what attracts so many visitors to the island every year.

Unlike other Thai islands, such as Koh Samui and Phuket, Koh Chang has kept its natural charm and has not been bombarded by too many developments and high rise buildings. Koh Chang beaches still have a rustic and authentic feel to them, with an ever present laid back vibe.

Most of the scenic sandy beaches are on the west coast of the island, with the east coast being mainly rocky with a smattering of small villages and a handful of resorts. The east coast is much better suited to those who really wish to escape for some peace and quiet as there are limited facilities here.

All Koh Chang beaches offer something different and unique.

White Sand Beach is probably one of the most popular Koh Chang beaches. It is the longest beach on the island with plenty of space for everyone, even during high season.

White Sand Beach has a magnificent seascape, perfect for watching the sunsets. It is also one of the most developed Koh Chang beaches with plenty of choice for affordable beach front bungalows, luxury resorts, restaurants, shops, clubs and bars.

Which beach to stay on?

The best Koh Chang beaches for families with young children or older couples are Kai Bae and Klong Prao.

Both beaches tend to be fairly quiet, with little or no nightlife. There are plenty of options for accommodation to suit all budgets; luxury resorts and backpacker bungalows. There are also restaurants galore along this beach too; western style, Thai dishes and street food. Kai Bae is split into two halves; the sand on the southern side tends to be nicer.

If you are looking for party central then the best Koh Chang beaches to head for are Lonely Beach and White Sand Beach.

Lonely beach has the reputation for being the liveliest beach on the island and is the original backpacker destination with parties going on until the early hours.

White Sand has a couple of clubs which stay open late and are a hot sport for backpackers and travelers. A number of sports bars and a zoned strip of beer bars can also be found in this area.

Bang Bao in situated at the most south western point of the island. It is a charming classic fishing village, which has a prominent 700 meter long concrete pier that stretches into the bay. This is the departure point for most of Koh Chang’s diving and snorkelling tours. There is a real community feel to Bang Bao and is still home to traditional Thai fisherman. Klong Kloi beach is a very laid back spot about 1km away.

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Hotels