If you want back to basics cheap huts, an undeveloped super chilled island vibe with community spirit, a lush jungle interior and quiet beaches, Ko Chang is for you.
Power is limited with generators only on for a few hours in the evening, with no WiFi or hot water. Ko Chang beaches are darker golden sand and sea not as clear as some of the postcard-perfect white sand beaches found elsewhere in Thailand. There is very little to do besides relaxing in its simplicity. If you’d like a mellow island but with power, WiFi and more conveniences, go to neighbouring Ko Phayam.
The sea is calm with shallow reefs for safe swimming and snorkelling. You can also head out on liveaboards to Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago and some Thai dive locations. Other activities are exploring the island, kayaking, fishing and joining in a game of beach volleyball.
As with most chilled beach places, just stay as long as feels good or your time allows!
Ko Chang is part of the Mu Ko Phayam National Park. The Islanders mainly live in small fishing communities around the island, their primary income being agriculture rather than tourism, especially cashew’s with orchards all over the island. The undeveloped feel is refreshing for those seeking just to get away from it all and is popular with long-stay middle-aged Europeans. There are no cars on Ko Chang, with only one village boasting a mini-mart and restaurant. The main beaches are on the west coast with Ao Yai being the longest stretch (4km), and where most accommodation is found. There are other smaller beaches such as Ao Lek on the east coast, but it’s a good 5km trek from the village with little in the way of places to stay or facilities – although that can be the appeal.