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Ko Chang

Elephant Island - BEGINNER

H Hailed as one of the biggest islands in Thailand, Ko Chang rests 330 kilometers southeast of Bangkok in Trat Province near the Cambodian border. The name Ko Chang translates to Elephant Island, possibly because of the outline of the island itself. Although elephants can be found on Ko Chang, they are not native to the island archipelago which consists of 52 islands.It takes about 5 – 6 hours by bus, plus a 20 minute ferry to reach the island from the capital of Thailand. Although the island is relatively large, 430 square kilometers, there is no airport. It is possible to fly from Bangkok to Trat Province and catch a bus, plus a ferry to the island in around 2 hours.The ferry from the mainland arrives on the north of the island where pick-up truck taxis or motorcycle rentals wait to take travelers and locals south along the western coast. The east coast of the island is largely undeveloped, with quiet villages and a few resorts. The most well-known beaches are White Sand Beach and Lonely Beach both located on the western coast of the island. White Sand is the most developed, with shops, restaurants and hotels lining the beach. Lonely Beach is actually not very lonely, home to the most lively bars and restaurants on the island. It might be hard to have a peaceful night’s sleep at this beach. There are a few smaller beaches on the island as well, some with and without sand. Accommodation on the island ranges from a simple tent rental all the way up to 5 star resorts. Mid-range options include reasonably priced private bungalows.The majority of the interior of the island is actually part of the Mu Ko Chang National Park, boasting jungles, rainforests, waterfalls, and small mountain peaks. This is a great place to see wildlife and do some hiking. A great variety of marine life can also be found off the smaller islands, south of Ko Chang. A ferry terminal on the south side of the island makes runs to these smaller islands, including Koh Mak and Koh Kood.Ko Chang offers great hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, chartered sailboat rides, Thai massage classes and Thai cooking classes. The diving in the area is suitable for beginners and advanced scuba practitioners. There is even a shipwreck off the coast of the south of the island divers can enjoy. Come and enjoy Elephant Island.

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