Koh Chang island (in the translation from Thai "Ko-island" and "Chang-Elephant", the island of Elephant) is the second largest island in Thailand (Phuket is larger than Koh Chang), about 30 kilometers from north to south and 18 kilometers from east to west. Koh Chang is located in the province of Trat, about 330 kilometers east of the capital of Thailand, Bangkok, 80 kilometers from the border with Cambodia.
The landscape of the island is mountainous, the base of the island is granite, the estimated age of which is 200 million years. At the moment 80 percent of the territory remain untouched, covered with tropical jungles, which mostly occupy the entire central part of the island.
Around 5 hours from the busy capital, drowning in the embrace of the Gulf of Thailand, the beautiful Koh Chang island hides its beauty. It is a real treasure for travelers. Due to the distance from the popular destinations of Thailand, tourism here has been developing relatively recently - since the beginning of the 2000s. But this is only to please fans of the azure sea, tired of crowded beaches of Phuket and Pattaya muddy waters. Koh Chang the sea water is crystal clear and you do not want to go out for a long time of warm and tender sea.
The highest mountain on the island of Koh Chang is Mount Salakpet, which rises to 744 meters above sea level.
The island is included in the facilities of the National Marine Park, in connection with which the government is seriously watching his environment. Such a reverent attitude is probably due to the fact that he once miraculously remained in possession of Thailand. In times of war the country with European powers disagreement France almost took away this Thai paradise island.
In literal translation from the Thai language, "Ko Chang" means "island elephant". But, despite the fact that it is really possible to ride on an elephant, he did not get his name for it at all. The shape of the island, stretching for 290 square kilometers, resembles the head of a sacred animal with a trunk. Currently, an active construction of tourist infrastructure is under way, but to modify the natural landscape, to build high-rise buildings is strictly prohibited by law. Therefore, Koh Chang Island will remain attractive and environmentally friendly for a long time.
Koh Chang is famous for its magnificent beaches, covered with snow-white sand, amazing tropical vegetation, picturesque waterfalls and mountain rivers, mangrove thickets, densely growing along numerous canals. All this natural beauty of Koh Chang belongs to the National Archipelago Marine ParkMu Koh Chang, which includes 52 islands, including large and small islands.
Most of the territory is occupied by exotic jungles, which, being a source of oxygen, allow you to breathe a truly full breast. Here you will not see harmful industries, but will enjoy the delightful landscapes of the majestic mountains covered with dense tropical vegetation and the coconut palms bending over the water.
The tranquility of these places is evident even in the year-round absence of large waves. Koh Chang is not suitable for surfers, extreme, but it is ideal for people who value measured rest and able to safely swim in the sea every day. Especially when it comes to families with children.
The official status of the National Marine Park was obtained in 1982, with a total area of 650 sq. Km, of which the greater part (about 70%) - marine areas.
In the Mu Koh Chang National Park, many animals and fish live. Here you can find macaques, deer, wild boar and other forest and marine inhabitants. On the mountain slopes of the island live more than 70 species of birds.
The tourist infrastructure is concentrated on the entire western coast, along which one main road passes to the fishing village of Bang Bao in the south of the island.
On Koh Chang island has a large choice of hotels, which are presented as a luxury five-star hotels and simple bungalow with a roof of palm leaves.
Koh Chang is almost as big as Phuket, after ten years of development, - the construction of the airport in the city of Trat, numerous hotels and restaurants still retained its attractiveness and amazing natural beauty.
The most popular beaches of the island are located in the western part of the coast. This is White Sand with an abundance of restaurants and bars, and a pearl beach with a dense green on the background of stony landscapes. For a family holiday, Klong Prao is perfect for a short visit to the sea, and for young people - the famous Lonely beach with discos in the open air and parties. As for Chai Chet and Kai Bae, they are quite similar in their crowded and entertaining evening programs in the form of fire shows and performances by local artists, an abundance of restaurants, cafes, bars and markets. The East Coast is capable of real interest only "savages": there is a distance of over a kilometer between a dozen hotels scattered.
If too quiet rest you still bored, we recommend to visit the waterfalls of Koh Chang. Only in this way you can truly immerse yourself in the world of the jungle and, walking along the forest paths, see the most beautiful places. The famous waterfalls of the island include Tan Mayom, Klong Plu, Kiri Pet, they are all concentrated on the territory belonging to the National Park.
Those wishing to come into contact with the main shrine of Koh Chang should visit Chao Po. This place, fanned by a bunch of legends, is capable, according to local, to work miracles.
A bit about the history of the island will tell you the memorial to the heroes of the naval battle. Sunk here in 1921, the ship, and to this day attracts thousands of divers.
Besides, who wants to get to know the people of Koh Chang, like have a trip to one of the fishing villages. You can visit Bang Bao or Salak Pet Village. There is a large number of restaurants offering fresh seafood. Numerous shopping arcades offer a large selection of clothing, shoes, leather goods, souvenirs and much more. The locals are friendly and will gladly open the door to the fascinating world of their customs and traditions.