There are so many islands in Thailand, all of them beautiful and different from one another, that deciding where to go can be a daunting task. I decided to go to Koh Chang, considered one of the best islands in Thailand, because I felt it suited all my needs. After having traveled across South East Asia for 4 weeks, from Vietnam to Cambodia, and having endured the unbearable heat of Cambodia, I needed somewhere to relax. That somewhere had to be on my way between Cambodia and Bangkok, from which I would fly home.
Koh Chang proved to be a good choice and its reputation for being one of the best islands in Thailand is well deserved. It is the second biggest among the islands in Thailand – although size is quite a relative concept. I come from Sardinia, a huge island in the center of the Mediterranean, and to me Koh Chang – where it only takes one hour to drive from top to bottom – is actually quite small.
The days I spent in Koh Chang were hardly enough to make the most of it, yet sufficient to fall in love with it and come to the conclusion that Koh Chang is one of the places to visit in Thailand and home to some of the best Thailand beaches. Here’s just a few of the reasons why I think Koh Chang is one of the best islands in Thailand.
The largest wreck in Thailand is located here! THE HTMS CHANG
Koh Chang is a nice national park and biggest island in Gulf of Thailand and The largest wreck in Thailand is here ! HTMS Chang wreck, Its dimensions are impressive: 100 meters long and 15 high, depth 33 meters HTMS CHANG formerly the US Lincoln was sunk on the 22/11/12 around 5 km off the fisherman village of Bangbao on Koh Chang. For the travelers who are interested in wreck, it’s a dream. Scuba diving there is extremely exciting for the divers as this ship is over 100 meters long and it’s the biggest wreck in Thailand. HTMS Chang will provide many dives for wreck enthusiasts to explore. The wreck is ideally suitable for advanced divers but open water certified divers can still dive to 18m deep. Open Water divers are able to descend the tower and take a look at the captain’s cabin and then explore above deck and look at the gun turrets. Advanced divers are able to go deeper and there are some great swim through to get the adrenalin pumping. We are also able to offer wreck specialty course.
Koh Chang has some of the best beaches in Thailand
Koh Chang is home to some of the best Thailand beaches. While Lonely Beach is perhaps the most famous beach in Koh Chang and one of the best beaches in Thailand, I opted to hang out in Klong Koi Beach, right off Bang Bao.
Indeed, despite its name Lonely Beach hardly gets lonely. It is a popular backpackers destination as the village has a lot of budget accommodation options, there are lots of restaurants, shops and parties go on until late. What makes Lonely Beach worth a visit is the incredible sunset it offers every day and the young, backpackers vibe.
Klong Koi Beach is a smaller and way quieter beach. Bang Bao, the nearest village, is the last village at the South of Koh Chang and much smaller than the rest – a few houses, a rather quiet market, some seafood restaurants and a harbor from where boats to nearby islands leave. As a result, Klong Koi gets significantly less people. The beach isn’t spectacular – not for someone who, like me, is used to the standards of Sardinia – but it is nice, sandy and generally clean, and lined with palm trees and the shallow waters are incredibly warm. It is so relaxed and quiet that to me it is one of the best Thailand beaches.
Koh Chang is a great place to relax
What makes Koh Chang one of the best islands in Thailand is that its pace of life is incredibly relaxed. And although the weather is hot – after all, this is South East Asia – as for the rest of the islands in Thailand, Koh Chang gets a lovely marine breeze that makes it all the more enjoyable (and way more bearable compared to the still heat of inland Cambodia).
I spent my days in Koh Chang busy relaxing. Thailand beaches are perfect for that, and Klong Koi didn’t disappoint: it is super quiet. I normally went to the beach, swimming in the shallow waters, cooling down in the infinity pool, taking nap after nap in the shade, having a coconut by the beach during the day and an icy cold beer at sunset and eventually making my way to one of the restaurants on the waterfront to enjoy a lovely meal. And since it is so quiet I got some great quality sleep at night – it was really good to recharge my batteries after a month of intense travels.
Nature in Koh Chang is amazing
I love wildlife and nature and I was delighted to find out that Koh Chang is great for that – making it one of the best islands in Thailand. The island is populated with various species of birds and the unmissable monkeys. I know some people don’t like monkeys because they have a reputation for being cheeky and stealing stuff, but I still find them hilarious and I get instantly happy and amused whenever I see one (or many, as it happened at the Monkey Forest in Bali).
There are several hiking trails around Koh Chang, some of them requiring a multi-day trek and others simpler, half day treks that go through the thick jungle to reach some beautiful waterfalls . The only problem with the hikes is the heat – but the nature, the waterfalls and the wildlife are beautiful, confirming Koh Chang reputation for being one of the best islands in Thailand.
Sunsets in Koh Chang are stunning
Whether from Lonely Beach, on the ferry that goes to Koh Chang or from Klong Koi beach, admiring the sunset in Koh Chang is a great experience. The sun disappears under the ocean or behind the hills, giving it a special aura. This is one of the reasons why I think Koh Chang is one of the best islands in Thailand.
People in Koh Chang are incredibly friendly
Thai people have a reputation for being super kind, and I have to say in Koh Chang they actually go even further. They are very friendly, they go above and beyond to help out, they are always ready for a laugh and curious to have a chat with travelers. This made my time in Koh Chang even better. It certainly is one of the best islands in Thailand for solo travelers who wish to meet the locals.
Koh Chang is a great access point to visit Koh Wai
On my way to Koh Chang I met a lovely couple who mentioned they would spend a few days in Koh Chang and then move to another, smaller island called Koh Wai. Supposed to be one of the best islands in Thailand, and to have the best beaches in Thailand, I was curious to find out more about it.
Koh Wai can be easily reached on a 40 minutes slow boat ride from Bang Bao pier, at the south of the island – which become 20 minutes on a fast boat. The island is so small that there are no roads – just a trail through the forest that connects the two main beaches – and thus no cars, scooters and the likes. Bungalows there are quite basics and wi-fi is only available in one of the very few restaurants.
Day trips to Koh Wai are quite common, and guide books say that the beaches get crowded and recommend spending a few nights on the island to enjoy how quiet it is. I didn’t have much time so I tried my luck and I must say it went really well: I was one of no more than 10 persons at the beach, which was simply gorgeous and by far one of the best beaches in Thailand.
A long stretch of white sand, thick vegetation at the back and the most transparent azure waters, full of fish and corals, and no noise around whatsoever: this is Koh Wai, one of the best islands in Thailand. I spent my day there relaxing, snorkeling (gear is provided on the boat), reading my book, napping and had a lovely lunch in the local restaurant.
The boat ride costs 600 Bahts and includes a 50 Baht voucher, which is hardly enough for a main course, but the food is quite cheap anyways, and delicious.
Thank you information from