All Koh Chang hotels with photos, description, Reviews and Online booking.
Ko Chang or Koh Chang is the third largest island of Thailand, with an area of 211 km2. It is located on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand, in the province of Trat, near the Cambodian border. It is located 310 km from Bangkok.
Its name means the Island of the elephant. Mountainous, with several waterfalls, it is part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park so it is the largest island among the other 54 islands and islets that surround it.
At the beginning of World War II, during the Franco-Thai War, a fleet of Vichy France won an important victory over the Royal Thai Navy south of the island (17 January 1941).
Until the mid-1980s buildings on island was not developed, but tourism has increased significantly since then. The island now hosts 75,000 visitors annually, about half of whom are Thai.
The island has a length of 30 kilometers and a width of 14 kilometers. The total area of Marine National Park is 650 square kilometers of which 70% water. The interior of the island is mountainous and covered with tropical rainforest. The highest hill Salak Phet Kao, is 743 meters above the level of the sea. Around the coast of the island extend several sandy beaches near which there are many resorts.
The Hat Sai Khao, Hat Kai Mook and the The Hat Ta Nam (west coast) attract tourists. In the south, there is a village called “Laem Bang Bao.” Many buildings are built on wooden stilts.
Slowly but surely, this large island off the coast of Trat, near Cambodia, just 335 kilometers from Bangkok, is a popular destination for visitors in search of new horizons.
“There are still a dozen years, Koh Chang attracted only backpackers coltinant their backpacks on dirt paths to rustic cabins without water or electricity, bordering beaches as deserted as the dawn of humanity. in 1997, only a few “clubs” luxurious receiving tourists worthy of the name in their campus built for lounging.
Today, the trend has reversed. The “hippie” is always welcome, but to play Robinson, always down to him further south of the island, or isolate themselves on one of the many satellite islands – a good fifty – that make up the archipelago are part of the National Marine Park of Koh Chang, formalized in 1982.
This renewed interest in Koh Chang is easy to understand when you go there. The enchantment begins on the ferry: Laem Ngop (17 km south of Trat), we leave the continent to pass into another reality, less rigid, more mysterious. In the breeze, the island still unfathomable approaches in green. After crossing half an hour, we land in the north-east, on a piece of terra incognita where nature is exhibited with virulence seems irresistible. Landing at the foot of a cliff without urban development. The pick-up support travelers who do not have their own vehicle, stunned by this first contact.
Most immigrants go to the other side, the radiant beaches of the west, with a small strip of asphalt which, having had to adapt to a variety of fantasies hills, often has the appearance of a mountain road … Russian, chlorophyll a tunnel. Climbs, descents and therefore are sometimes dizzying, especially as it simultaneously feels the oppression of a very invasive vegetation. Municipal services are also regularly being repel the attacks of plant tentacles. On both sides of the roadway scrolls a continuous wall of greenery, with here and there a few breakthroughs that let see the large blue at the bottom. And then, after flying over the canopy and furrowed terrain, it lands on the flat, joining the western coastal area: civilization!
In Koh Chang, there are several types of tags that reassure immediately citadinus the homo provisionally “former island”: first, the familiar sign of a 7-Eleven – in less than 5 years, there are already seven between Hat Sai Khao (White Sands Beach) in the north and Kai Bae Beach, 15 km below. Most major banks have their branch and ATM in the villages of the seaside: so far so good. Medical side, no not worry, we find the best medical offices and pharmacies abound. It is now possible to use her cell phone on all roads and in all places. Internet cafes are now everywhere, and 1 baht a minute of connection. One can, to get there, rent all kinds of motorcycles or vehicles with four wheels, or simply use the taxis. Question supplies, there is of course some modern service stations but still found along the single 200-liter drums road topped with a graduated cylinder. No matter the bottle provided they have the right mix. Finally, a symptom not mistaken and is in a way a guarantee of commercial success: after the December 2004 tsunami, many tailors and restaurants in Phuket settled on the east coast of the Gulf of Siam, offering Smalto suits and chicken curry, as of course.
Another telltale sign: more than half of holidaymakers are Thai (Bangkok for many) that come with the family for a few days during long weekends or school holidays. Foreign visitors to Koh Chang are rather young (not bad Russians and Scandinavians) and staying a week on average, according to hotel statistics. There are relatively few seniors. The island configuration and infrastructure for now insufficient assume a certain adaptability. Instead of Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket or Koh Samui, Koh Chang does not yet offer facilities for Western retirees.
Some French assets came to settle and are pioneers, beginning with Frederick Nice, better known by the nickname “Kai Bae Fredo”, named his restaurant on the small Gave Kai Bae Beach. Now rooted, with two children born on the island, there is a wealth of information for the uninitiated. “I discovered Koh Chang in 1999. It was the spell, a thunderbolt which decided me to chuck everything in France and settle here. A Kai Bae Beach, I found a piece of land for rent with a small hut four walls boards. At the time, it was the Far East: there were no roads, no bridges, no more than a dirt road and fording streams for. The few available pick-up ranged up to Kai Bae, and again, it was quite an expedition. In that time, we lit the candle, there were very few generators, let alone banks or supermarkets! The first hospital, the Salak Phet, was under construction. A Lonely Beach, there was really no one and the village of Bang Bao, while in the south, had not seen the color of cement. To move from one beach to another, we rented fishing boats … “says a nostalgic, the Frenchman.
It really began in 2001-2002 with the boom of White Sands Beach. The launch of road work has brought new immigrants, determined to make a fortune. Some are quickly gone, disappointed as important players have entered the scene changing financial issues. Indeed, shortly after taking office, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said he wanted to Koh Chang the new “pearl” of the Gulf of Siam (after Phuket). This had the effect of seeing land prices quickly tripled. Nevertheless positive result of this maneuver: the authorities held a “cleansing” in good standing of all the resorts and other businesses illegally encroaching on the field of maritime National Park, marked with white and blue terminals, protecting Island danger of a wild and uncontrolled urban planning. Today, while respecting these investors are doing the very luxurious.
Do not forget that soon the Chinese also have their holiday pay, and they are only three hours flight from Trat (the provincial capital) …
Fred, Marseilles, opened its “A-Lee-Bar-Bar” there is a year and a half, a few tens of meters across from Fredo. It is quite content with his lot and even has a guest-house project. “It is better to diversify here as the authorities do not want a Pattaya-bis. The go-go are banned and highly regulated bars. Anyway, the island attracts far more foreign couples and families on vacation than single spree “. Behind in Fredo, Nicolas and Bruno have built a dozen bungalow rooms (St. Tropez). They are also calm: “It’s only two years and we believe soon have a return on investment. It was not easy, because in terms of building materials such as wood and sand, you have to import everything from the mainland and is therefore inevitably more expensive. The legislation is very strict here: it is forbidden to touch the forest and beaches, national park oblige! In addition, for shopping, there is not much in Trat either and we have to go to the Lotus or the Makro Chanthaburi, 65 kilometers from the port of Laem Ngop … ”
Still Kai Bae Beach (a French territory, really), and Eric Wilfrid star Mango Guest House. They bring a little flat, “Koh Chang is becoming an ideal place for children and adults, but unfortunately there is an average of one death per day in motorcycle accidents. Most Westerners are inexperienced because Thais them practice moped before you can walk. And there are quite a drowned also among the swimmers, beware of treacherous currents that carry the unwary … ”
A few kilometers further south, Lonely Beach (Hat Tha Nam) is the meeting place for nature lovers. Nicolas and his Thai wife to rent bungalows (P & Nico Guest-House), offering pizza and the Franco-Thai cuisine. While défournant a Margarita, he explains: “I was a cook in luxury cruises. I went here on holiday there 5 years. There was nothing, it was the jungle, it was necessary to advance to coupecoupe. Yet the idea to settle in this wild corner made its way. I returned several times. And then I met my wife. We opened the facility there are less than two years. Now in front of us, there are shops, small hotels and restaurants-bars for more than 500 meters. But the beach is a stone’s throw, and our quality of life is still intact. Fortunately, too, there was more solidarity among French in Koh Chang, more than at the beginning anyway … ”
In a few years it opened on the west coast of the island a large number of diving schools, not surprising when you see the crystal clear waters, the beauty of wildlife and rich seabed . Michel, another French, was one of the first to create its Eco-Divers center affiliated TDA (Thailand Diving Association) and CMAS (World Underwater Federation), close to the beach of Khlong Phrao. “Our approach is to offer diving enthusiasts an alternative to Phuket and we are trying to make converts,” he enthuses.
To finish the tour Francophone messes we must go back to the north, between Khlong Phrao and White Sands (Hat Sai Khao), near the Laem (Cape) Chai-Ya-Chet, to meet with Stéphane Brisard, a French La Rochelle, which manages with his wife Jane, for three years, Jane Chalet Resort, a collection of twenty houses by the sea Despite his musical activities. – he sings, plays piano and guitar – Stéphane does not merely routine and placing on the future of Koh Chang: “We plan with Thai partners to build a small building of six luxury apartments and two luxury villas. There is currently a shortage of apartments on the island, and we think create a dynamic of the condominium. The only constraint is that the buildings should not exceed four levels (three floors), the size of a royal palm tree, but good for the aesthetics of the shoreline. “Because the authorities ensure the protection of the environment and result: despite its transformation, Koh Chang retains a real authenticity. Only time will tell if this policy of “sustainable development” will be permanently applied …. “