While Pattaya is a bustling city with all kinds of interesting and exciting things to do it can sometimes get just a little bit too intense. When this happens the best thing you can do is get away for a few days and recharge your batteries. Maybe there’s no better place to do this than on Koh Chang in Trat Province.
Since it is only 250 kilometers away by road you can be there in three to four hours. If you have a car you can catch a ferry over to the island and if you don’t there are several companies providing minibus connections from Pattaya.
Koh Chang is Thailand’s second biggest island and it's a rain-forested, mountainous beast, rising out of the Gulf of Thailand like the elephant after which it is named. The island and the surrounding waters were turned into a marine national park in 1982 in recognition of the area’s outstanding natural beauty.
There are good sandy beaches and plenty of resorts on the west coast. The eastern side is quieter and less developed. White Sands is the busiest beach and then travelling down the island you pass through the beaches of Klong Prao, Kai Bae and Lonely Beach before arriving at Bang Bao, an atmospheric village built out on a pier over the sea in a sheltered bay. Room rates on the island are reasonable, particularly at this time of year, and, depending on budget and taste, you can choose anything from a rustic bamboo beach hut to a five-star luxury resort.
On your visit you can be as chilled-out or as active as you choose. You can have a perfectly pleasant trip relaxing by the beach, having a massage on the sand and eating great seafood barbeques or Western meals from the island’s many good restaurants. The nightlife on the island is, of course, nothing like that available in Pattaya but then that’s not what you’re coming for is it? And there are plenty of nice places to have a relaxing drink.
If you do fancy being more adventurous there are plenty of activities. Boats will take you cruising from one jungle-clad island to another in the chain of 52 that make up the Koh Chang archipelago. Or, if you prefer to do your sightseeing under the water there are plenty of dive shops who will be happy to introduce you to the local undersea community. If you’re really lucky you might even spot a whale shark. Or you could enter the jungle and check out some of the island's impressive waterfalls or go the whole hog and arrange a jungle trek, on the back of an elephant if you want to save energy.
But remember to be on your guard. Koh Chang is addictive. Nearly everyone who comes here once is hooked and comes back for more.
To help you to plan your trip you can find maps and all kinds of information about Koh Chang at our website,www.whitesandsthailand.com.
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