Koh Chang, Thailand’s second-largest island, is just off the coast of Trat Province on the east side of the Gulf of Siam. Koh Chang has everything you’d want in a tropical island – white sandy beaches, plenty of palm trees, and warm, clear water. But for now, at least it doesn’t have the big crowds you’ll find in more popular Phuket or Koh Samui. That's not to say it's entirely undeveloped. There are plenty of resorts and enough roads, restaurants and convenience stores, too (and more of each on the way).
Getting Around Koh Chang
Koh Chang is a big island, so unless you're staying on one beach, you'll need to figure out how to get from place to place.
Songthaews (covered pickup trucks with seating in the back) cover most of the island's perimeter and function like public buses. On a regular route expect to pay about 30 Baht.
Motorbikes are available for rent on Koh Chang for about 200 baht per day, but be warned that the road conditions can be very tough! Biking around Koh Chang is not for the inexperienced. There are plenty of accidents every year.
Rental Cars and Jeeps are available on Koh Chang if you need to have your own four wheels.
Getting to Koh Chang
By plane: Take a direct flight from Bangkok to Trat then transfer to the pier in Laem Ngop.
By Bus: Take a direct bus from Ekkamai or Mo Chit Bus Terminals in Bangkok to Trat. The trip is about 5 hours and there are also scores of private bus companies that make the trip.
By boat: Once in Laem Ngop, take the ferry to Koh Chang. The trip is just under an hour and boats leave frequently during daylight hours.
Where to Stay
There are more are more hotel, resort and bungalow options available on Koh Chang every month. Whether you're looking for a cheap bungalow or a luxury resort you'll find it on the island.
Just south of Koh Chang are a handful of other islands, the largest of which is Koh Mak and Koh Kood (sometimes spelled "Koh Koot" or "Koh Kut"). Koh Kood is already well-known among travelers who want off-the-beaten-path destinations that aren't too remote. Koh Mak is fast becoming a favorite island among those who want to have seen something just before the rest of the world gets wind of it. Both islands are accessible by boat from the mainland or from Koh Chang.