Koh Chang - Green Door Enterprises

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[Published on 2009-10-06 in Attractionsby Chris Thompson]

Koh Chang

White Sand Beach on Koh ChangThe island of Koh Chang is a tropical marine national park. As such, it is untouched by modernization and its natural resources are kept intact. Surprisingly, it is the second largest island in Thailand, after Phuket, and is often referred to as the last island paradise in Southeast Asia. Situated to the east of Thailand in the province of Trat on the Cambodian border, Koh Chang is a three hour drive from Pattaya and then 35 - 45 minutes by boat or ferry. Nearly 75% of the island is pristine rainforest, untrekked jungle, towering mountain peaks and spectacular waterfalls, all protected by law under the jurisdiction of the Forestry department of Thailand.

Koh Chang Marine National Park has outstanding bays, coves and beaches with pure white sand and coconut palms, beautiful and colourful coral reefs, warm clear blue sea, idyllic smaller islands nearby, fascinating wildlife and an abundance of marine life. As the island is protected, the shops, Thai style bungalows and hotels along the beach roads are designed to enhance the landscape and maintain the natural beauty, rather than ruin it.

Accommodation on Koh Chang ranges from beach huts and bungalows to luxury villas, suites and apartments. Jeeps, cars and motorbikes can be hired to allow visitors to drive to any of the beaches around the island. There are many restaurants, offering a variety of rich and diverse menus, bars, live music venues and nightclubs, where guests can relax and soak up the laid back atmosphere.

Wide beautiful beach on Koh ChangWith visibility up to 30 meters deep, Koh Chang naturally has some breathtaking scuba diving opportunities and several dive centers are located here. They offer both beginners and advanced divers the chance to explore great dive sites, such as the Thonburi wreck, which is an old ship that was sunk in 1941 and the stunning coral reefs that surround the island. For visitors who want an even more peaceful environment there is some magnificent fishing available. Around the beaches are tour operators from whom guests can charter boats, or sign up for scheduled fishing trips. Trekking through the jungle mounted on an elephant is wonderful experience. These huge beasts meander along barely visible forest tracks, cross rivers, where they enjoy being bathed and then taken back to their camps to settle down. Apart from the beaches, the mountainous nature and steep terrain of Koh Chang creates numerous spectacular waterfalls that are frequently visited by tourists and local residents. Take a look at traditional island life at Bang Bao village with its unique housing. Here each house is built on stilts and connected to one another via small bridges. Among  other recreational activities are kayaking and even Thai cookery classes.

All in all, Koh Chang Marine National Park is an ideal place for the whole family to spend a leisurely time relaxing in a blissful, tropical paradise.

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