Welcome 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 waterfalls.
THE BEACHES OF KO CHANG
White Sand Beach (Had Sai Khao) :
A s 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 Bay :
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.
A monastery known as Atulapombanpot Monastery and the
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
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) :
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.