Ko Chang Marine National Park Travel Guide

Set in Thailand’s southeastern region near the border with Cambodia, Ko Chang Marine National Park covers an area of 650 square kilometers comprising of 52 islets, most of which are still untouched by modernization thus qualifying this destination as a true hideaway.

The largest island, and in fact the country’s second-largest island after Phuket, is Ko Chang, while other popular islands in the park include Ko Klum, Ko Ngam, Ko Rung and Ko Lao Ya. The coastline of Ko Chang Marine National Park is spectacular and features countless stunning beaches, bays, coral reefs and a profusion of healthy marine life, while inland you will find fertile virgin rainforests, pristine jungles, high peaks and breathtaking waterfalls as well as fascinating wildlife.

Located just 330kms east of Bangkok, Ko Chang looks like a sleeping elephant, hence its name which translates as ‘Elephant Island’. Although this is the most developed island of all, you can still find your very own piece of fine white sand beach here. Ko Chang’s selection of beaches ranges from the almost deserted Lonely Beach to the party-like White Sand and Kai Bae beaches. Accommodation is mainly on the western side of the island, while the eastern part remains agricultural.

Ko Chang offers an endless array of activities such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, sailing, deep sea fishing and island hopping as well as hiking, waterfall and elephant trekking, bird watching, and firefly tours. You can also go to a Thai cookery school, visit a spa, get a tattoo and even play paintball, or make a trip to nearby Cambodia.

Those looking for a more cultural experience can visit some of the many temples scattered around the island, which provide insight into the practice of everyday Buddhism. Located along the east coast, several traditional fishing villages offer home stays, a great chance to come into contact with the traditional life and famous hospitality of the Thai people.

Getting There & Away

Ko Chang lies 330kms east of Bangkok and can be reached in about 4 hours by road plus an additional 30 to 40 minutes by ferry. There are also three daily flights from Bangkok to Trat Airport, with the flight taking 60 minutes. The airport offers limousine transfers to the piers in Laem Ngob that provide access to Ko Chang. Those traveling independently can hire a pickup taxi from the bus terminal in Trat and get to Laem Ngob in around 30 minutes. There are frequent boats and car ferries from here to Ko Chang.