Less touristy due to it’s location off the beaten path, Koh Chang and the neighboring islands of Koh Maak and Koh Kood are great places to add to your Thailand itinerary if you are more of an independent minded traveler looking to get away from crowded commercial hubs and enjoy a beach destination where the pace of life is more relaxed. Located over 300 kilometers southeast of Bangkok on it’s Cambodian border, Koh Chang is Thailand’s third largest island and the most developed of the Mu Koh Chang Marine National Park.
Alongside international visitors, the island is also very popular with Thais on holiday. The area is quite diverse, mountains and rain-forest covers a good chunk of the island while the western portion has most of it’s beaches.
White Sands Beach
Situated at the northwestern end of the island, white sands is the first beach you are likely to see after arriving by ferry from the mainland, it is also at 2.5 Kilometers the longest, busiest and most popular beach of Koh Chang. There’a wide choice of restaurants, stores, plus even a few Pattaya style beer bars, most of the accommodation in the town itsef are in the mid range to high end bracket.
Those looking a Robinson Crusoe experience of staying in a basic huts right on the beach have a few options to chose from, the best area would be located near the middle to end of White sands beach like the ones here above and below
The vibe here is very relaxed
Thai spirit house along the beach
Thai local practicing his guitar along the beach before tonight’s performance
Last restaurant by the sea on the northern end
Bars along the way back
Cool little beach-side bar at Independent Bo Bungalows
Tables are set on the beach for diner near the busier areas of the beach a little before sunset
Time for some Thai curry
Just one of those Koh Chang sunsets…
Where I like to stay personally when on White Sands beach
Awarded Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards so you really can’t go wrong here with Top Resort, Lovely tropical garden with pool, plenty of sun loungers around to relax as well as a private beach cove exclusive to the resort guests
Rooms are rustic and basic but everything is clean and works
Modern commodities like Wi-Fi signal is strong and there’s plenty of channels to watch given you want to laze in bed
My room had a little closed balcony are offering a view on the main road and hills in the back
Nice little dip pool at the center of the resort to cool off on a hot and sunny day
They also offer some bungalows within the garden just next to the pool area which I haven’t had the chance to try yet
Sun loungers set in lush tropical gardens offering lovely view of the surrounding mountains
They also have a private beach cove you can enjoy by going down a few stairs
Place is a little rocky but it’s all yours most of the day if you want to enjoy it
Time to exploring a bit the rest of the island
Khlong Phlu Waterfall
Located just 10KM away from white sand beach, this was the obvious 1st stop in the morning before heading south
Arriving on motorbike, you need to park and make your way up on foot to the Khlong Phlu Waterfall which is an easy talk done in about a 15-mins walk/hike up 600 meters.
Arriving at the waterfalls, nothing earth shattering here but a nice change of scenery from the beach
Getting in for a refreshing swim to cool off before continuing on the road
Lonely Beach is the backpacker hub on the island due to its affordable prices and party scene. Mostly populated by younger travellers who run on a routine of sunbathing during the day, drinking buckets late into the night.
At 600 meters in length, it’s not the longest beach of the island but it offers a perfect blending of sea sand and jungle
Some of the rock bottom price huts offering a glimpse of the local wildlife for free
The lovely vibe of Lonely beach, particularly at it’s best near it’s northern end
Local fisherman looking for what to put on your plate for dinner
Klong Kloi Beach
The strip of sand is relatively narrow and backed by a shady thick line of palm and coconut trees, great place for chilling during the day and swim, beach chairs are free to use as long as you order anything from the bar or restaurant. The water is clear and free from rocks. You’ll find a nice mix of backpackers and older tourists, lots of cheap bungalows on offer.
Arriving in Klong Kloi Beach, also referred to as Bang Bao Beach for it’s close location to the the pier of the same name
Enjoying a Chang beer with my feet in the powdery golden sands of this lovely beach
My kind photographer who I also taken a shot of
Menu arriving at one of the cheap bars and restaurants along the beach
The very relaxed vibe about the place
Drink, snacks & a view
Guy cooling off with the waves lapping at his feet