Koh Chang – climate, travel, transportation
Like many other islands in Thailand, the “elephant island” Koh Chang was discovered by backpackers as a holiday destination in the late 1970s. At the beginning there were only simple huts for backpackers on the beaches . Meanwhile, the image on Koh Chang (Ko Chang) has changed significantly. Beaches such as the White Sand, Klong Prao and Kai Bae on the west coast of Koh Chang now also offer many upscale resorts.
On weekends, holidays and during the holidays also many Thais leave on Koh Chang (Ko Chang). Especially on Christmas and New Year’s Eve the accommodations on the island are scarce. Popular hotels and holiday apartments fill up quickly and are often booked months in advance. While foreigners are more likely to spend their holidays on the beaches of the west coast, the locals frequent the east of the island.
Koh Chang climate
The best time to visit Koh Chang is the dry season between November and April. In the rain and monsoon season from May to mid October, many resorts * have closed on Koh Chang . From November to March the daily high temperatures on Koh Chang are 30 to 33 degrees Celsius. In April the thermometer rises sometimes to 35 degrees. In the rainy season the daily maximum values are 30 to 33 degrees. The average annual temperature is 27.3 degrees.
Getting to Koh Chang by Plane, Bus and Boat
Flight from Bangkok to Trat
Most convenient is Koh Chang from the provincial capital of Trat. Bangkok Airways flies the Trat mainland airport three times a day from Bangkok (flight time: about 50 minutes). The transfer from the airport to Koh Chang by minibus and car ferry (departure Thammachat Pier) costs just 500 baht (13 Euro), and around 900 Baht (about 24 Euro). Tickets can be purchased at the airport of Trat in the arrivals hall. The journey time with the minibus to Thammachat Pier is just 30 minutes, the ferry crossing to the Sapparot Pier in the north of Koh Chang again 30 minutes.
The Thammachat Pier is one of three larger piers south of Trat Town. From 6.30 am to 7 pm, the car and passenger ferries depart every 45 minutes to Koh Chang. The easy crossing to the Sapparot Pier on Koh Chang costs 80 Baht (1,80 Euro) per person and 120 Baht (2,70 Euro) per car.
Car and passenger ferries to and from Koh Chang also dock and descend at the Centerpoint Pier a few kilometers east of the Thammachat pier. From the morning at 6am until the evening at 7.30pm, the ferries run every hour between Centerpoint Pier on the mainland and Dan Kao Pier in the north east of Koh Chang . The journey time between Centerpoint and Dan Kao Pier is between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the ferry. A combined ticket for the round trip costs 140 baht (3.10 euro) per person and 180 baht (4 euro) per car.
Laem Ngob is the name of the third major mainland pier near Trat. It is located a few kilometers east of the Centerpoint Pier and a good half an hour drive from Trat Airport. From the Laem Ngop Pier, only personal ferries to Koh Chang . These also control Dan Kao Pier in the north east of the island. From Laem Ngob there are also ferries to Koh Mak.
Taxi, Koh Chang
Koh Chang Taxi Fares
On Ko Chang there are taxis – so-called Songthaews – at the Sapparot as well as at Dan Kao Pier (both in the north of the island) for the journey to the beaches. The journey to White Sand Beach costs 50 Baht (1,10 Euro) per person, Klong Prao Beach 60 Baht (1,30 Euro), Kai Bae Beach 80 Baht (1,80 Euro), Lonely Beach 100 Baht 2.20 Euro) and to the fishing village and port of Bao Bao in the extreme south of the west coast 120 baht (2,70 Euro).
Travel by bus and ferry to Koh Chang
Cheaper than by plane via Trat you come from Bangkok by bus to Koh Chang . The journey time to the bus terminal in Trat (about 300 kilometers) is between four and a half to five hours. The journey to the piers and the ferry crossing to Koh Chang once again takes an hour. In Bangkok, the buses depart for Trat and continue to Koh Chang Ferry Piers at the Ekamai Bus Terminal (Eastern Bus Terminal, Sukhumvit, near Ekamai Station) and the Northern Bus Terminal Morchit. Some buses also connect Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok Airport . The price for a simple bus trip from Bangkok to the Koh Chang Ferry Piers is about 250 Baht (5,60 Euro) per person.
Something faster than with normal buses is with the minibus at the goal. Minibuses to the Koh Chang Ferry Piers depart in Bangkok from Khaosan Road. The price is 250 Baht (5,60 Euro). Minibus transports to the ferries to Koh Chang are also available from Pattaya (travel time approx. 4 hours, price 400 Baht / 8.90 per person) and from Koh Samet (two and a half hours travel time, price 300 Baht / 6.70 Euro). The minibuses can be quickly bussed, especially during peak season and in holiday periods. Places should be reserved in time.
Traveling from Cambodia
The Cham Yeam / Had Lek border crossing (often referred to as the Koh Kong / Hat Lek border crossing) is open daily from 7 am to 8 pm. Lek on the Thai side is accessible from the Cambodian border town of Koh Kong Town in just a few minutes by car. The distance between Hat Lek and Trat is around 90 kilometers. Visas for Thailand are issued at the border, but are only valid for two weeks. If you want to travel from Thailand to Cambodia , you will receive a visa for 20 US dollars at the border.
Visa regulations may change at any time. For binding information, please contact the relevant embassies.
Koh Chang – Island Transportation
The main means of transport for tourists on Koh Chang are mopeds and coaches, called Sonthaews. Car rental and bicycles are more rarely used. Rental bikes for example with 125 cubic feet cost between 200 and 300 Baht (4,50 to 6,70 Euro) per day and can be rented on all larger beaches . On Koh Chang there is helmet duty as in Thailand. Anyone who is caught without a helmet must pay a fine.
It should be noted that the roads, particularly in the south and north of Koh Chang, are very steep and steep. Therefore, only experienced drivers should borrow mopeds. As in Thailand, the rental agreements on Koh Chang do not include – or if – a small amount of insurance.
Taxi on Koh Chang
The taxis (Songthaews) drive the ferries to the north of Koh Chang and all island beaches accessible from the road . The white vehicles with two narrow seatbases for the passengers have fixed routes and hold on hand signs. If you want to get out, press a bell button.
Taxis on Koh Chang depart from 6am until late evening. The prices depend on the distance. Short distances from the White Sand Beach at the northern end of the west coast to Klong Prao Beach, a little further south cost 50 baht per person, the stretch from Kai Bae to Bailan Beach 70 baht (1.60 Euro ) And a ride along the entire west coast from White Sand Beach to the fishing village Bang Bao or 120 baht (2.70 Euro).
If you want to take a private island tour by car, you can hire a car with driver in one of the numerous travel agencies on Koh Chang . For our approximately eight-hour round trip we paid 2500 Baht (about 55 Euro). Organized tours in the group are already available for 800 baht per person, but are rarely offered.
Please note that in some places, as in most waterfalls, national park fees of 200 baht (€ 4.45 per person) are incurred. More information on the waterfalls and other attractions on Koh Chang can be found on this page .
Cash machines on Koh Chang
ATMs are available on Koh Chang on all major island beaches as well as in most major villages. The machines take all the usual credit and debit cards. Each single withdrawal is normally limited to a maximum of 10,000 to max. 20,000 baht (222 and 444 euros respectively). For each withdrawal, the respective Thai bank usually charges a fee of 150 baht (€ 3.40).
Wi-Fi | Wireless internet on Koh Chang
Wi-Fi (wireless) is available almost everywhere on Koh Chang , in many resorts * , restaurants and pubs. There are also internet cafes on the island. One minute surfing costs one to two baht. Who would prefer to be independent of WLAN access, can buy a few euros for a prepaid card for the smartphone or tablet. SIM cards are available at 7-Eleven at White Sand Beach, for example.
Koh Chang – Facts and figures
Koh Chang , the second largest island in Thailand, belongs to the province of Trat and is located in the far east of the country near the border with Cambodia. Koh Chang has an area of 217 square kilometers. The highest mountain is Khao Salak Phet with an altitude of 744 meters. 70% of Koh Chang’s area consists of largely undeveloped rain forest.
Translated, Koh Chang “Elephant Island”.
The island was given the name because of its elephant-like form. In the south-east of Koh Chang the trunk can be found with some imagination.
Since 1982 Koh Chang has been providing the Marine National Park Mu Koh Chang Thailand with some 50 additional islands . The approximately 6000 inhabitants of the main island Koh Chang live mainly from the rubber cultivation, fruit farming, fishing and from the tourism. Meanwhile Koh Chang has some 200 hotels and resorts * . 800,000 tourists come to Koh Chang each year, including many Russians.